R8 LMS Racer Gives Hints at Upcoming R8 Tweaks
Slideshow: The Audi R8 GT3 Evo LMS racer is Audi Sport’s fourth race car in the last four years and it previews the direction of the 2020 R8 due to arrive next year.
Blurring The Lines
Using the release of its latest customer race car, the R8 GT3 Evo LMS, Audi has teased the updated design of the roadgoing 2020 R8 V10 Plus.
The Audi R8 GT3 Evo LMS racer was shown to the world in Paris, it’s Audi Sport’s fourth race car in the last four years and it previews the direction of the new production version of the R8 due to arrive next year. Ingolstadt's move follows a similar strategy used by BMW when it unveiled the M8 as a GTE-spec race car prior to its road-going debut at Le Mans earlier this year.
Down With The Force
The most noticeable change on the R8 LMS is the revised front fascia, which is far more muscular and looks even meaner than before but also features new slots above the grille, much like the new Audi A1.
The dive planes have been extended, and the lower ducts feature a wider aperture in an effort to increase both downforce levels and cooling capabilities. There are also new NACA ducts just ahead of the rear wheels in order to deliver cold air to the back brakes. The rear end is relatively similar to the current car, save for the redesigned taillights, and the black mesh that now extends cleanly all the way across the rear fascia.
Powering the new R8 GT3 Evo LMS is effectively an unchanged version of the current car’s 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10. The engine is capable of making 585 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, however, exact specifics will vary by series. The engine is expected to require service every 6,200 miles of racing, and will require a complete tear down every 12,425 miles.
The largest change to the powertrain comes in the form of a heavily revised six-speed sequential transmission, along with a redesigned triple-plate racing clutch, and locking differential. The improvements to the transmission are aimed at improving longevity, with Audi claiming the new parts will have a 50% longer service life before needing a full rebuild compared to the outgoing car, which is nice to hear if you’re a privateer just scratching by.
Audi also went ahead and increased the safety levels of the R8 GT3 Evo LMS. It surpasses FIA mandated spec for GT3 cars and enters into the realm reserved for Le Mans Prototypes. Even with the more robust safety cell, the car R8 LMS manages to shed 55 pounds, and offer increased torsional stiffness by 39 percent. The cars will be homologated in January, and the new R8 LMS will be eligible to compete in series like the FIA GT World Cup, ADAC GT Masters, Blancpain GT Series, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Look for it to feature in iconic endurance races like the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the Bathurst 12 Hour in the early part of 2019.
Dollars and Cents
If you really want to get your hands on one it will set you back $459,000 to get the entire car, however, if you already own one of the existing R8 GT3 LMS cars, Audi will sell you the Evo parts for a mere $33,000.
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