Skip to content
Audi models, news & reviews
By Chris Chilton
26 April 2011 11:05
This is the race version of Audi's R8 V10 and R8 GT supercars, the R8 LMS. Audi scooped a load of silverware in 2009 with these cars and added a class win in the Nurburging 24hrs covered in Phoenix Racing livery. For the 2010 season the Audi R8 LMS was been updated with tweaks to the suspension, gearbox and cooling system. How does the track-spec Audi R8 LMS compare to its roadgoing brethren? Read on for our first drive review of the Audi R8 LMS to find out.
This particular car, operated by United Autosports and running in the European GT3 championship certainly looks the part with its huge carbon wing and loud Stars and Stripes graphics. Squeeze between the bars of the roll cage and your first reaction is: ‘doesn’t Stephen Hawking need his chair back?’. The basic shape of the dash and centre console remains, but in the place of the conventional instruments there’s a square digital display, giving information about revs and gear selection.
Flick the master switch, pull back on the ignition toggle, hit the black button to the right and the V10 growls hello. It’s the same engine as the road car’s but tuned to produce 500bhp, around 25bhp less than the standard R8 V10, and 52bhp less than the new R8 GT’s. The gearbox is a six-speed sequential unit with paddles, so what’s that clutch pedal doing in the footwell? It does work, but you only use it to pull away from rest. Bracing myself for a waahhhh-wah-wah-wahhhh-wah kangaroo start, I gingerly feed in the clutch. But it’s neither heavy nor snappy as you’d expect of a race car.
We’re on Silverstone’s baby Stowe Circuit, formerly a rubbish little triangle, now made significantly more interesting thanks to some twiddly new tarmac sections on two of the points. The R8 is certainly quick in a straight line, but not savagely so. As long as the weather is dry and the front wheels are pointing in the right direction the fat slicks will take almost everything your right foot can give despite this R8 being rear-wheel drive – Audi’s famed Quattro four-wheel drive isn’t allowed under current GT3 rules.
Unsurprisingly grip is immense, yet the beautifully tactile steering never loads up badly. The brakes (steel, not carbon) however, do need a serious push to release their full decelerative potential. Obviously there’s no stability system to bale you out but a 12-stage traction control dial is just a hand stretch away. But whether flicking through the chicane just past the finish line or braking while turning to get ready for the tight left hander beyond, the R8 feels rock solid.
The appeal of the Audi R8 LMS isn’t hard to see. From a sponsor’s point of view it stands out in a sea of 911s, from a team’s point of view it looks likely to be capable of bringing in the silverware, and from a driver’s it’s both brilliant fun and easy to drive. It proved so quick in its debut season that it was forced to run with a weight penalty and stricter rev limit.
>> Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know what you think of the Audi R8 LMS
Add your comment
Sign in You must be signed in to submit a comment.
Audi R8 LMS (2011) CAR review
By submitting your comment, you agree to adhere to the CAR Magazine website
Terms and Conditions
You must be logged in to subscribe to a topic
Login or register now
RE: Audi R8 LMS (2011) CAR review
Been through my copy cover to cover and I couldn't see it... though I do hold my hands up and admit that I saw this in another publication and that is what I was recalling. Their test was published in their July 2010 issue. And this test is also of the 2010 car.
28 April 2011 11:46
@daveandrews13- In fairness, I think the issue of the magazine did have April 2011 on the spine.
27 April 2011 06:50
Is there a tear in the fabric of space around CAR HQ? This article is months old.
26 April 2011 16:13
Now there should be a road version that is this light and this fast!
26 April 2011 13:31
Upload stories, photos or videos direct to the site, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, call 01733 468 485 (+ 44 1733 468 485)
Seen a secret new car, fabulous exotic or have news we should publish? Then get in touch now.
Advertise with us |
Site map |
About Us |
Contact Us |
© Copyright 2013 Bauer Media Limited - All rights reserved.
Magazine Subscriptions | Motoring Magazine Subscriptions | Car Magazine Subscriptions | FHM | Zoo | Empire | MCN | Parker's | Today's Golfer