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Audi R8 GT in the test: racing offshoot with Lambo genes gives rubber

Rossen Gargolov
Audi R8 GT in the test
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D he opponents have not changed, just wear them this time license plate and registration stamp. Those responsible for Audi are hoping for better luck with the Audi R8 GT than with the LMS motorsport model, which was defeated by the Porsche 911 GT3 and BMW M3 in the 2009 and 2010 24-hour races at the Nürburgring. The fight should now be different on the street.

The real brother of the Lamborghini Gallardo

Rear-wheel drive, wings in beer counter format and a wildly flashing LED Christmas tree in the cockpit - no, that one The series GT, limited to 333 units, did not appear in the test with the radicalism of the customer sport version built according to the international FIA GT3 regulations. Like its Audi R8 brothers with a 420 hp V8 and ten-cylinder with 525 hp, permanent all-wheel drive also remains part of the Audi R8 GT. The Audi engineers wrote 'More potency' under the glass engine cover for the most powerful Audi R8 version in the specifications. From now on, the ten-cylinder 90-degree V engine roars with the fiery temperament of its corporate colleague Lamborghini Gallardo and 560 hp. Quite as cheeky as the Lamborghini Gallardo, the voice of the 258 kilogram V10 vacuum cleaner with dry sump lubrication doesn't scream through the flap exhaust system.

In the foreground of the development was not only the moderate reprogramming of the electronic engine management, but also a weight reduction. At 1,660 kilograms, the Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro has so far lagged well behind the 1,590 kg Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. The goal of reducing the vehicle weight of the Audi R8 GT by 100 kilograms did not succeed, but the slimmed-down Audi R8 weighs 1,576 kilograms with a full tank. In addition to the tailgate (minus 6.6 kg) and the rear bumper (minus 5.2 kg) made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, the Alcantara bucket seats with CFRP chassis, which are 31.5 kg lighter (surcharge € 2,400), reduce the weight.

No radical diet like the competition from Porsche and BMW

The pounds also tumbled in the engine compartment of the Audi R8 GT. 2.3 kilograms were found on the intake module, and lower engine insulation saves another 2.8 kilograms. That all sounds logical, but the last radicality such as in the BMW M3 GTS or Porsche 911 GT2 RS without air conditioning, radio or navigation system is missing. In the Audi R8 GT, there is no storage compartment in the instrument panel (Porsche 911 GT2 RS) and there is no plain plastic cover(BMW M3 GTS). The Audi R8 GT has a navigation system and the familiar automatic air conditioning as standard. That fits the racing interior with a screwed-in roll bar behind the seats, red four-point seat belts, battery emergency stop switch and fire extinguisher as well as a lambskin steering wheel cover on a DTM car.

Okay, while Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera drivers have to ask for directions in the carbon fiber mess without GPS, the Audi R8 GT driver always stays on the right path in everyday life thanks to the GPS. Club sport fans are still more enthusiastic about the possibility of turning the roll bar into a full-fledged cage with additional struts. There is also a twist lock for the four-point belt.

Bournout is guaranteed in the Audi R8 GT

Thanks to the 35 hp power injection and a slight increase in torque by ten to 540 Newton meters, the Audi R8 GT burns with even more pressure in the test over the asphalt in Hockenheim than the normal ten-cylinder. But the increase in performance fumes from zero to 100 km /h when chasing speed. During the sprint test, the test car sends too much power to the rear axle, and despite electronically controlled launch control and well-warmed Pirelli sports tires, the driver cannot fully stand on the accelerator pedal when accelerating. The control electronics in the Audi TT RS work more effectively.

In the test with scraping wheels, the Audi R8 GT gives away the chance to achieve its factory specification of 3.6 seconds several times. The 2D measuring device records 4.0 seconds. This makes it only a tenth of a second faster than the normal V10 without a double front splitter, CFRP flaps on the front fenders and a rigid rear wing. On the other hand, the Audi R8 GT scurries 0.7 seconds faster over the 200 km /h mark with 12.3 seconds. Only at 320 km /h is the end (base V10: 316 km /h).

Audi R8 GT has been optimized for more lateral dynamics

But the lateral dynamics elite are more curious to see what fireworks the Audi R8 GT can burn off in the test on the small circuit in Hockenheim. The development department modified the chassis for this. The Audi R8 GT with coilover suspension without adaptive dampers acts a bit more rustic on bumps in everyday life, but on the racetrack the tighter set-up and the center of gravity lowered by ten millimeters are good for fast lap times. With increased camber values ​​on the front and rear axles, the Audi R8 GT steers in more jaggedly at the entrance to a curve than the 525 hp variant.

While the 5.2 liter base model impresses with its absolute neutrality in Hockenheim, the Audi R8 GT takes corners just as safely, but with a noticeable tendency to understeer after entering the corner. Thanks to the variable all-wheel drive with viscous coupling and mechanical rear-axle locking differential, it shines with impressive traction from tight turns. A more aggressive set-up could definitely make the Audi R8 GT even faster on the lap testmake and simplify photo productions with drift motifs. In order to drive the all-wheel drive right across the curve, massive commuting is necessary due to the safe chassis design.

The R-tronic does not whip the six gears as hard as the identical gearbox in the Lamborghini Gallardo, but the Audi R8 GT twitches in slight bends with the rear despite the gentler gearbox setting when shifting under load. Load change calming brings a productive working gas foot, which accompanies the switching choreography not with thumpy full throttle, but with a slight lob.

After the Hockenheim excursion in the individual test, the Audi R8 GT still has another short trip ahead of it in the super test. The rather conservative chassis design could be an advantage here. 'Less than 7.30 minutes' is what the Audi developers say for a low flight over the Nordschleife. The GT naturally aspirated representatives from Porsche and BMW should therefore dress warmly.


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