Audi R8 GT: More Power, Less Weight

Audi is the latest supercar-maker to launch an even lighter, even more powerful version of its flagship model. Just 33 examples of the new 552bhp Audi R8 GT will come to the UK market this summer, priced at £142,585.

As well as gaining an extra 35bhp, this exclusive new version of Audi’s hugely popular R8 has lost a remarkable 100kg in weight, meaning the V10 engine’s prodigious power and torque (540Nm) – channelled through the R tronic automated manual gearbox – can propel the car to 62mph in a mere 3.6 seconds. This, says Audi, is its fastest-ever road-going car, with a top speed of 199mph; yet it’s still able to return a combined mpg of 20.6.

Many of the R8 GT’s weight savings have been a result of the lessons learnt in the development of the R8 LMS GT3 racer, which claimed 23 race victories in its first season and three championships in 2009 and 2010. But the enhancements go beyond power and weight. The chassis, we’re told, is ‘even tauter and more precise’, the aerodynamics allow greater downforce at speed without increasing drag, while the ESP has been specially tuned to the R8 GT. It can be switched into Sport mode to allow an element of controllable oversteer or, for track days and other circuit-based driving, the ESP can be deactivated altogether.

Visually, the R8 GT is recognisable by the matt titanium grey and matt black grille, the carbonfibre splitter under the bumper with its double lip, and the slender, curved, carbonfibre ‘fins’ at the corners of the nose to increase downforce. There is also a matt carbon fixed wing at the rear.

First deliveries to UK customers are scheduled for Spring 2011.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Classic Driver

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