Audi un­leashes its lat­est R8 LMS GT3 rac­ing beast

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

THE brand new Audi R8 has only been out for a mat­ter of weeks, but In­gol­stadt’s en­gi­neers have al­ready turned it into a GT3 racer.

The R8 LMS racer not only meets the new GT3 safety stan­dards that are set to be in­tro­duced in 2016, but meets the crash test re­quire­ments for the much lighter Le Mans pro­to­types.

To achieve this, Audi has mod­i­fied the car’s front crash struc­ture and used car­bon fi­bre–re­in­forced poly­mer (CFRP) for the rear struc­ture.

A big part of the LMS’s safety pack­age is the Audi Pro­tec­tion Seat PS 1, which is con­nected di­rectly to the chas­sis for greater stiff­ness and can be eas­ily ac­cessed through the roof by medics if the car is in­volved in an ac­ci­dent.

De­spite the weight that comes with this ex­tra safety equip­ment, the new R8 LMS is 25 kg lighter than the out­go­ing car. This is thanks to the use of alu­minium in the car’s space­frame and CFRP for struc­tural re­in­force­ment.

Pow­er­ing the R8 LMS is a lightly mod­i­fied ver­sion of the road-go­ing R8’s 5,2-litre V10, which pro­duces 430 kW (585 hp). It is built on the same as­sem­bly line as the stan­dard car’s mo­tor, and Audi claims that its sched­uled rebuild in­ter­vals of 20 000 km sets the stan­dards in rac­ing. As part of the new R8 LMS pack­age, Audi has fit­ted the car with wish­bones specif­i­cally de­signed for rac­ing, while the six-speed trans­mis­sion has been de­vel­oped to be sig­nif­i­cantly lighter.

Audi has also re­placed the old car’s elec­tron­ics sys­tem with a new MS 6.4 sys­tem that takes care of en­gine man­age­ment, trac­tion con­trol and gearshift map­ping.

Along­side the mo­tor and elec­tronic up­grades, the new LMS is the first R8 to be fit­ted with a fully lined un­der­tray and in­te­grated rear dif­fuser — an ad­vance that al­lows the rear wing to work more ef­fec­tively.

The new R8 LMS will race in the 24-hour races at the Nür­bur­gring (May 16-17) and at Spa (July 25-26), while qu­at­tro GmbH, which de­vel­ops and as­sem­bles the race cars, will begin to take cus­tomer or­ders in the sec­ond half of the year. — Giz­mag.com.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The new Audi R8 LMS racer not only meets the new GT3 safety stan­dards that are set to be in­tro­duced in 2016, but meets the crash test re­quire­ments for the much lighter Le Mans pro­to­types.

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