Audi R8 GT (2010): first news of lightweight R8

Published: 01 May 2010

Audi has shown the new R8 GT – a limited-edition model to sit atop the R8 supercar family. The GT is 100kg lighter, thanks to some body parts made from carbonfibre and its V10 engine is tuned up to Gallardo-nibbling spec.

With 552bhp and 398lb ft, the R8 GT will be considerably faster than the standard R8 5.2 FSI V10. And revving to a heady 8700rpm red line promises plenty of aural entertainment for the lucky 333 customers who can bag a GT.

Just how fast is it? The sprint to 62mph takes 3.6sec, 200kph (123mph) 10.8sec and top speed now stands at 199mph.

How have they trimmed 100 kilos from the R8?

The R8 GT has a head start by using the aluminium spaceframe, which weighs just 210kg before the alloy body panels are added. Once Audi’s fitted a thinner windscreen, polycarbonate back window, a carbonfibre reinforced (CFRP) tailgate and other tricks, the R8 GT weighs 1525kg. Hardly a flyweight, but remember this Audi has four-wheel drive and R tronic automated transmission.

Audi’s provided a detailed breakdown of the weight savings:

• Thinner glass and polycarbonate rear screen, -9kg
• Thinner aluminium front hatch, -3kg
• Rear hatch made from CFRP –7kg
• Rear bumper made from CFRP –5kg
• Sideblades from CFRP –2kg
• Lighter battery –9kg
• Less engine insulation –3kg
• Lighter carpets –8kg
• Sports bucket seats –32kg

We could go on…

Anything else on the 2011 Audi R8 GT?

The R8 GT’s fixed rear wing squashes the car down on to the tarmac at higher speeds, yet Audi claims an identical 0.36 drag coefficient to the ‘regular’ R8. The front splitter is fashioned from carbonfibre and – car spotters take note – the GT has new 19in wheels with twin-spoke Y designs and those ventilation slats in the rear bumper are a giveaway, straddling enormous bazooka exhausts.

The chassis has been worked over, too. Drivers can manually adjust the coilover suspension, lowering the body by as much as 10mm, while higher camber rates front and rear are claimed to make the GT more agile. Cup tyres are available to order and carbon brakes are standard.

There’s not much not to like about the R8 GT. We’re already big fans of every existing version, and this leaner version can only provide more thrills. There’s a bit of a delay before deliveries start in spring 2011 and the UK market will get 33 cars, a tenth of the global production run.

>> Think Lamborghini will be worried the R8 is finally encroaching on Gallardo territory? Click ‘Add your comment’ and sound off

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet