• Aug 27th 2008 at 10:28AM
  • 20
Click above for a hi-res gallery of the Audi R8 GT3 car

The courtship between Audi and GT3-class racing teams has officially begun with the automaker's announcement that it has developed a GT3 version of the R8 sports car dubbed "R16" internally by its project overlords at Audi Sport . The rear-drive racer (GT3 regulations prohibit AWD) features a six-speed sequential gearbox, mostly production-spec suspension components, plus an updated front end and a large rear wing designed to keep it planted to the tarmac. No additional tech specs have been revealed at this time. Factory driver Frank Biela was at the wheel for the prototype's roll-out, and customer deliveries are expected to take place next fall. Look for the car to see wheel-to-wheel action against the likes of the Aston Martin DBRS9 and Jaguar XKR GT3 during the 2009 European racing season. We patiently await its inclusion in a future Gran Turismo update so that we can try it out, too.

[Source: Audi]

Audi develops race version of the R8

* Customer sport programme with the mid-engine sportscar
* First races planned for 2009 season
* Factory driver Frank Biela completes roll-out

Ingolstadt – For the first time, Audi Sport will offer a racing sports car specifically developed for customer use in the form of the powerful 500 hp plus GT3 version of the Audi R8 which will be available from autumn 2009. The logistics and factory space required for the AUDI AG customer programme will be created over the next few months in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and Györ.

"The R8 is the first production Audi bearing the name and genes of a successful racing sportscar and is therefore an excellent base from which to build up our first big customer sport programme," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "Ever since the R8 was unveiled we've been inundated with enquiries about a race version. With the Audi R8 we will offer customers a racing sportscar equipped with high-calibre technology and the typical Audi qualities, but which is nevertheless easy to handle."

The Audi R8 conforms to the production-based GT3 regulations allowing the car to be fielded in numerous national and international race series.

Because the GT3 regulations prohibit the use of four-wheel drive the Audi R8 comes with the typical GT rear-wheel drive. The power is transmitted via a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox. The suspension uses almost exclusively components from the production line. A comprehensive list of safety equipment guarantees the highest-level of passive safety. A modified front end and a large rear-wing generate the required downforce for the race track.

The Audi R8, which bears the project name "R16" within Audi Sport, was developed under the direction of Audi Sport. Mid August, the first prototype successfully completed a roll-out in the hands of Audi factory driver Frank Biela.

The first test races in various European racing series are scheduled for the 2009 season. Delivery to the customers is planned from the autumn of this coming year.

The customer cars are manufactured together by Audi Sport and the quattro GmbH, which is also responsible for production of the Audi R8 street version, and Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. (Györ).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      BRB... Gotta go change my pants.
      • 7 Years Ago
      haaawt :D
        • 7 Years Ago

        If it was a street car, I would agree. But it's a full fledge race car where those funky wings and splitters will actually do some good.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'd take the stock form thank you very much. Not a fan over overage. The wing's got to go. Along with the stickers and lower body moldings
        • 7 Years Ago
        It is a race car it's supposed to have the huge wing and stickers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      hot. i'd drive it.
      • 7 Years Ago

      Audi should launch a RWD version of street legal R8, too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can't wait to see how this stack up against the Porsches.
      • 7 Years Ago
      look the at the rear view picture...exhaust is melting the paint...thats hot!

      i wonder if Audi would consider a street-sold RWD version.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I guess the melting are simple light reflections of the exhust pipes...
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's very cool. However, the dumbo name now comes full circle on Audi.

      "Man, that Audi R8 is one amazing car!"
      "Which one, do you mean the race car or the street car?"
      "I mean the race version of the street car! That race-prep street R8 is one amazing car!"
        • 7 Years Ago
        Or you can just say R8 GT3 and there won't be any confusion for people that know something about the racing Audis. As for the R8, you can add R8 P1 if talking to the same people.
        • 7 Years Ago
        well at least no matter which R8 you are talking about, they are all pretty amazing vehicles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Boy, I am sure that Aston hopes it's DBRS9 isnt in any wheel-to-wheel action with the R8 GT3. The DBRS if GT1 while the R8 is GT3, so I imagine the time they will be spent together will involve passing, or waiting to pass.
        • 7 Years Ago
        your confused. the DBRS9 is available as a GT3 car. Your probably getting confused with the more expensive DBR9
      • 7 Years Ago
      This might be my favorite new race car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm waiting for anything to be added to Gran Turismo.

      And considering Forza's much better and extensive tuning options, I'd say you can make an acurate replica tonight instead of hoping either developer creates a dowloadable version in several months.

      I have both games and GT5 is a bit disappointing so far.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, thats pretty badass. Too bad the closest I'll get to driving one is on Gran Turismo 5 when it comes out it 3 years!
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