The Essen Motor Show is now underway, and one of the bigger manufacturer unveilings was Audi's official presentation of the R8 LMS, the new GT3-spec racing car aimed at privateer teams. It's seen as one of Audi's so-called "three pillars" of motorsport. The automaker will not field a factory effort in the car, but it's expected that next year, several teams will be running the R8 LMS in various European series, as well as in the Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race. The €260,000 (plus VAT) asking price gets you the track-ready R8, which makes 500 horsepower from its mid-mounted V10. That power goes to the rear wheels (in GT3, AWD is a no-no) via a six-speed sequential gearbox. As you can see, the LMS certainly looks the part , with a subtly meaner nose, a big carbon-fiber front splitter, new mirrors, a giant rear wing, and a pretty wicked rear diffuser join the ten-cylinder engine among the changes made from road car to racer. Customer deliveries begin in Fall '09. Oh, to have a deep-pocketed benefactor... Audi PR follows the jump.
UPDATE: Video added after the jump!