Audi Sport has revealed its latest racer at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – the R8 LMS GT2.
Following the R8 LMS GT3 revealed at last year’s Paris motor show, the R8 LMS GT2 is the most powerful vehicle ever created for the company’s customer racing program.
Powered by a version of the naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine that powers the R8 road car, the R8 LMS GT2 develops a meaty 470kW (640hp) – up from the GT3 model’s 430kW – and “more than” 550Nm.
Drive is sent to the tarmac via an S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, operated by steering-mounted paddle shifters. Audi says the transmission has been taken out of the GT4.
With a dry weight of 1530 kilograms, the R8 LMS GT2 achieves a weight to power ratio of 2.1kg/hp. It’s also 100kg lighter than the current R8 LMS GT4.
From an aerodynamics perspective, the GT2 has been given a rework, getting some unique design elements and components, while also borrowing parts from its siblings.
The vents for the ‘voluminous radiator' up front, for example, are on the left and the right unlike the GT3 and GT4 race cars. Audi says this causes air to flow past the windshield “in order to avoid thermal conflicts with the engine’s air intake on the roof”.
Carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) adorns the underfloor panels, extending into a rear diffuser that features the geometry of the unit seen in the GT4. However, the GT2’s diffuser is also finished in CFRP.
Underneath the skin, Audi has fettled the suspension and braking components “for weight reasons”, adopting new hub carriers and wishbones combined with the GT3’s brake calipers on the front axle, while the rear calipers have been taken from the GT4.
The electrical architecture has been upgraded to allow for four-level adjustment compared to the GT4, including the ABS, traction control and electronic stability control.
Audi has taken several measures to optimise the R8 LMS GT2’s safety suite too. There’s a sturdy racing seat for the driver, a six-point harness in accordance with FIA standard, safety nets on either side, a fire extinguisher, a roof-mounted rescue hatch, and a rear-view camera as there is no rear window thanks to the intake system.
The doors are made out of a new carbon-fibre construction combined with CFRP-AFRP side impact protection inserts with aluminium honeycomb that has been mandatory since 2019.
Pricing for the R8 LMS GT2 starts at €338,000 ($543,551), with deliveries to commence before the end of 2019 for the 2020 racing season.
Expect to see the R8 LMS GT2 battling it out in the GT2 category across Europe and North America next year.