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Audi R8 LMS GT4 Unveiled

Audi takes wraps off R8 LMS GT4 car…

Photo: Audi

Photo: Audi

Audi has taken the wraps off its all-new GT4 contender, the R8 LMS GT4, which will make its race debut in next month’s Nürburgring 24.

The unveil came Tuesday evening at the New York International Auto Show and expands Audi Sport customer racing’s range to three models, alongside the R8 LMS GT3 car and the RS 3 LMS TCR entry.

The car, produced on the same assembly line as the Audi R8 Coupe V10, shares more than 60 percent of components from its road-going counterpart.

It features a 5.2-liter V10 engine, estimated to producers nearly 500 horsepower and controlled under the SRO GT4 regulations.

The GT4 platform has seen a recent rapid growth to championships worldwide, including Pirelli World Challenge and the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

“Thirteen racing series in which GT4 models can compete worldwide already exist today worldwide,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH.

“Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time.

“These fast-growing business segments and the DNA shared by our race cars and production vehicles underscore our ambition to become a true global player in the high-performance league.”

Customer deliveries of the R8 LMS GT4 are expected to begin before the end of the end of the year, with a development and race program planned prior to the car’s homologation, which is expected to come in mid-July during the SRO’s next Balance of Performance test.

Audi joins fellow GT3 manufacturers BMW, Mercedes-AMG, McLaren GT and Porsche with having recently debuted or announced GT4 machinery for the emerging global platform.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Matt

    April 11, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    We’re coming up on a GT class bubble here lol so many different formulae, somethng has to give soon enough. GTE will likely collapse in the next 5 or so years unless they can wrangle costs down or merge with GT3

    • tracer

      April 11, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      You’re joking, right?

  2. guest

    April 11, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Sweet GT3 car bro.

  3. John

    April 11, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    I feel that Audi totally wasted its opportunity with GT4 to promote its new RS line. The R8 is already a household name and this move won’t help it sell any more of them, while the TTRS and RS5 sit around probably underselling their potential because Audi does nothing to promote them. Bad marketing move.

    • Raphael

      April 11, 2017 at 11:32 pm

      The RS5 is competing in DTM, the TT-RS competed in TCR for a while, plus the TT has a one make racing series.

      • Jareth Belanger

        April 12, 2017 at 12:07 am

        the TT-RS is replaced by the RS3. and one makes do nothing for marketing, but if done right are a good small profit maker for the manufacturer.

        GT4 would be the perfect place for the TT-RS, but I’ve got a feeling that the decision for the R8 has more to do with the FWD based AWD system probably not being easy to convert to a RWD car for regulations.

      • Matt

        April 12, 2017 at 10:07 pm

        DTM is not a global platform such as GT4 and only sells cars within Europe, with the engines being custom. The TT Cup and old TTRS cars were barely known outside of Germany. The RS line needs to be promoted on a global platform. The SRO should also mandate that manufacturers cannot run the same model between their series platforms to promote diversity and lessen confusion for fans.

    • Anon

      April 12, 2017 at 12:09 am

      The funny thing about this is Audi’s flagship supercar is going to be beaten by lower tier sportscars like Mustangs, Camaros, Caymans, BMW M4s, Maserati GTs, Vantage V8s, Ginettas, and KTM.

      • Max Goulter

        July 15, 2017 at 3:51 am

        The Nissan GTR is still the fastest production car made. Just look at thelast few laps of the Bathurst 12 hour for the last 2 years. Left the R8 behind at will along with the Bentleys and Porches. The build may not be the same quality but the pace is there.

  4. Mitch Tedesco

    April 12, 2017 at 3:55 am

    Look at the clearances of hub and bumper, the 4 exhausts!! What’s that? That’s not Audi-Style. Do they really build that in the line of the R8. It doesn’t look like that…

  5. Af

    April 12, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Hereby is the end of GT4 once again. A crying shame that OEMs can do nothing but stick their oars in when profits are visible, thus ruining what should be raw areas of motorsport.

    • thomas

      April 12, 2017 at 5:10 am

      I guess that’s how McLaren’s GT4 car has killed the category too.

      • tracer

        April 12, 2017 at 9:59 am

        Exactly. Could say the same for Porsche as well…

        • Anon

          April 21, 2017 at 3:13 am

          Porsche is a pretty cost competitive option. The Cayman GT4 (road model) costs less than half a R8 V10 Plus.

  6. GT

    April 12, 2017 at 6:49 am

    It makes no sense that Audi would make this car a gt4 competitor. Why not make this car a competitor in GT Le Mans class in IMSA, or GTE Pro? Go up, not down. Watching a Mustang beat this car in the Continental Sports Car series is going to make the non casual fan be very confused.

    • tracer

      April 12, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Audi has never shown an interest in GTE racing, and I imagine that’s largely been due to the lack of customer sales and support being built into the business case for entering into the top tier GT class. The number of series (and privateers for that matter) running GTE worldwide are decidedly limited by comparison to the multitude of GT3 and now GT4 based series across the globe. For Audi and their customer-centric GT racing philosophy it makes far more sense to “go down” to GT4 as opposed to “going up” to GTE. The spend required to develop a GT4 platform is far more easily recouped in GT4 than in GTE, especially with potential GT convergence muddying the waters at the moment when it comes to the interplay between GTE and GT3 regs.

  7. TimS

    April 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I’m not a big fan of the same model across all the platforms.

    It would be a lot cooler if GT4, GT3 and GTE were all separate models from the same Mfg. I would think that connects to the customer base better.

    • Andy Flinn

      April 12, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      It worked just fine for Porsche (935, 934, Carrera RSR, 911).

      Porsche establish themselves for years as the undisputed kings of IMSA (except those consecutive years Mazda kicked Porsche’s ass in IMSA GTU with the ’80s Rx-7 “econobox”).

  8. Edgar

    April 12, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    This has more aero than the GT3 cars of 10 years ago. Can’t wait to see the 488 GT4 and Huracan GT4 models join the fight pretty soon at this pace.

  9. Andy Flinn

    April 12, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    I’m still curious to see who actually races GT4 Mustangs and Camaros.

    • Anon

      April 21, 2017 at 3:07 am

      They’re popular here in the U.S., and the lower costs and competitive package they bring should gain them some international popularity.

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