If the GT European Series is the perfect motor sport contest for the non-professional driver, then Audi’s new R8 LMS GT4 might just be the perfect car for the competition, especially if you are on a budget. True, the GT3 has been available and proven very popular since 2009 but the GT4 has been marketed to be even more affordable.
LMS GT-class racing is some of the most entertaining motor sport out there and in Audi’s latest offering they have created a true entry-level series of vehicles. Unlike the better known and higher financed motor sports such as The World Rally Championships, NASCAR and Formula 1, GT cars are close to their general production counterparts and in the case of this new GT4, 60% of its parts are shared with Audi’s R8 Coupe, meaning that spare parts are both readily available and will not make a big hole in your wallet.
Rather than employing Audi’s wonderful Quattro drive system, here they have opted for rear wheel drive and an Audi Space Frame chassis with a body of aluminium and composite materials housing a 5.2 litre V-10 engine, and possible of generating up to 495 horse power and 405ft lbs. of torque. It also boasts a 155mph top speed and is capable of 0 – 62 mph in less than four seconds.
The car is set to make it’s debut at the Nurburgring 24 Hours next month but only as a demonstration as it won’t be competing until the 2018 season. This is Audi going through the process of fine-tuning the design by testing it across various circuits as the final pre-launch process.
Obviously with a car designed with the race circuit in mind safety is always at the front of the thinking and includes a steel safety cage with six chassis mounting points, safety nets, crash foam lined door panels, PS3 seats, a six point harness and a fire extinguishing system.
The driver is also surrounded by cutting edge technology, which allows interaction with the car via controls on the steering column and a central display presenting all the required performance metrics.
Pricing hasn’t been confirmed as of yet but is thought to be aiming somewhere between the £145,000 of the RS3 LMS and the £450, 000 of the R8 LMS GT3, so something around the quarter of a million pound mark. That might seem like a lot of money for a car that is just a nudge on from similar street-legal counterparts, but in the world of semi-professional racing it’s a relative bargain.