Audi R8 GT3 LMS (2015) spied on test at the Ring | CAR Magazine

Audi R8 GT3 LMS (2015) spied on test at the Ring

Published: 04 November 2014 Updated: 26 January 2015

Engineers are beavering away on a whole family of new 2015 Audi R8 supercars – crowned by this, the forthcoming GT3 race version.

Audi has successfully competed in GT racing since 2009 with the R8 GT3 racers, and this is the proof that it will continue to campaign its sports cars in the GT championships in 2015 and beyond.

Audi R8 GT3 LMS: full-on aero

Check out the extreme aero modifications to the new 2015 Audi R8 in our new spy photos published today for the first time. You’ll see these cars racing in anger in the Blancpain Endurance and Sprint championships, as well as the British GT series.

A huge front apron sits just millimetres above the ground, peppered with scoops feeding cooling air to the ceramic brakes. The bonnet, too, is sliced and diced, with extra vents to cool the race engine and radiators.

The R8’s distinctive ‘side blade’ feature – alloy-look on the road cars – looks set to continue; on the GT3 version pictured here it channels yet more air into the mid-mounted engine.

Click here for our last scoop on the roadgoing Audi R8 supercar.

That rear wing…

Ah yes, the rear spoiler. There’s no mistaking this for a roadgoing R8 with a huge aerofoil of this stature bolted on to the back of the prototype. It’s de rigueur in GT3 sports car racing to develop the downforce required to keep the cars stable in high-speed cornering.

Note also the fast-filling motorsport refuelling cap, Michelin racing slicks and rollcage.

Cars racing in the Tudor United Sportscar Championship in the US run less aero and are not allowed such robust traction control, so it’s likely the car caught in our spy photographs is a Euro-focused GT3 racer.

What about the roadgoing 2015 Audi R8?

The R8 race car may be considered a silhouette racer, but Audi claims more than 50% of parts were shared between the road V10 and race version of the outgoing R8 GT3 Ultra (last car in our gallery).

From 2015, the new R8 supercar for the road will be based on the VW Group’s new MSS architecture, already seen on the latest Lamborghini Huracan. There’s plenty of aluminium and composites onboard, trimming weight by some 100kg compared with the outgoing R8.

V8 and V10 power will again be used and R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed to CAR at the recent Paris motor show that two electric R8 versions were coming: a plug-in hybrid and a pure EV.

The new Audi R8 coupe arrives first in summer 2015, followed by the R8 Spyder in 2016.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words