The first generation of the R8 has been raced all over the globe and is immensely successful and popular with the teams that run it. Audi has now introduced its successor, and it’s ‘d its almost guaranteed to be better in every way.
Called the R8 LMS, the new racer shares about 50 percent of its parts with the production model, including its aluminum space frame that is partially reinforced with carbon-fiber composite materials. Compared to its predecessor, it is 55 pounds lighter, and total weight drops to a claimed 2701 pounds.
Audi claims to have already met anticipated GT3 crash regulations by fitting a PS1 protection seat and engineering the front and rear crash structures to conform with the more rigid LMP1 safety standards. A roll cage is fitted, and a roof opening now allows first-aid responders to take off the driver’s helmet from the top. And another key factor in endurance-racing mishaps—driver fatigue—is targeted by improved air circulation in the interior.
Conforming with the regulations of the class in which it will compete, the R8 LMS is a rear-wheel-drive car, as opposed to the all-wheel-drive regular model. The naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 makes around 585 horsepower, which puts it basically between the 540-hp V10 and 610-hp V10 Plus versions offered to civilians.
Visually, the R8 LMS can be easily identified by its fixed rear spoiler, large front air intakes, and wide extensions to its body, which is made fully from carbon-fiber composite material. The modifications go well with the new, more angular style of the base model. The R8 LMS also has some snazzy race liveries to distinguish it.
Production of the R8 LMS will begin late this year and it’s scheduled to start competition during the 2016 season.