Audi has premiered their new R8 LMS GT4 race car at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. Audi Sport GmbH’s customer racing program has been experiencing rapid growth. Audi has been offering the Audi R8 LMS GT3 race car since 2009, followed by the second generation model in 2015, and the RS 3 LMS for the TCR category in 2016. Now Audi Sport’s portfolio of models has been extended once again.
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 stands for production-based racing. It has been derived directly from the road-approved Audi R8 Coupe V10 and offers a high level of safety. At the same time, it is an affordable choice in terms of purchasing price and cost of ownership. It is the ideal race car for amateur campaigners, in line with the spirit of the GT4 regulations that continue a great sports car tradition — fascinating road-going sports cars were a popular base in GT racing around the world more than half a century ago.
The first race for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 will be the Nürburgring 24 Hours from May 25 to 28. The GT4 class, which originated in Europe, will be intensively marketed on an international scale starting in 2017, with fielding opportunities in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
“13 racing series in which GT4 models can compete worldwide already exist today worldwide,” says Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time. These fast-growing business segments and the DNA shared by our race cars and production vehicles underscore our ambition to become a true global player in the high-performance league.”
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 shares more than 60 percent of its assembly components with the road-approved Audi R8 Coupe and is produced at the Böllinger Höfe site as well. The customers of the new race car benefit from these synergies in terms of purchasing price and cost of ownership.
Audi Sport is developing the GT4 model, which delivers up to 495 HP depending on its rating, during the course of the 2017 season before a final homologation level has been achieved and approval for racing is requested. During the second half of the year, the team of Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, will be preparing the production of the race car. Consequently, the first customers will be able to receive the new Audi R8 LMS GT4 before the end of the year.
Around the globe, Audi Sport draws on an extensive network of service, spare parts logistics and professional support for the R8 LMS GT4. Audi Sport customer racing has established this infrastructure for the GT3 project on four continents and, like for the RS 3 LMS, uses this proven network for the GT4 model range as well.