Audi has revealed its most powerful customer race car yet in the form of the R8 LMS GT2, which will be eligible for GT2 championships from next year.
It sits at the top of the Audi Sport range and is based on the R8 Spyder road car – albeit with extensive modifications.
At its heart is the most powerful iteration of the firm’s iconic 5.2-litre V10 engine. Making 631bhp, it has been designed to meet the new regulations and work without the need for an air restrictor to balance performance between competitors. Power is transmitted to the wheels through a seven-speed double clutch transmission.
Using the Spyder as a base, Audi Sport then took sections of the roof from the coupe to enclose the cockpit, which features a full roll cage, safety nets, fire extinguisher and other FIA-specified safety equipment.
More of our new Audi R8 LMS GT2. High-res photos are available in the Audi MediaCenter:
— Audi Sport (@audisport) July 5, 2019
The exterior bodywork has been given an extreme makeover in the name of aerodynamic gains. There are sideblades ahead of the rear wheels, a new front splitter, flat underbody and rear diffuser. The bonnet vents are angled to direct warm air either side of the roof scoop to ensure only cool air is directed to the engine.
Chris Reinke, head of Audi Sport’s customer racing programme, said: “Eleven years ago, we entered GT3 racing, which has evolved into a highly professional category. The expense incurred by drivers and teams is high, and racing there is not easy for amateurs and gentlemen.
“We also offer an attractive and globally successful product for the GT4 class, the Audi
R8 LMS GT4. It marks the entry level of GT racing. A gap certainly still exists between
these two classes: the new generation of GT2 race cars achieves even higher top
speeds than a GT3 model and nearly identical lap times.
“This is ideal for gentlemen drivers: its longitudinal dynamics stands for a new experience with Audi and lateral dynamics does not put excessive demands even on amateurs.”