An Audi for the Gentleman Racer (?)

As Chris Reinke, head of Audi Sport customer racing, put it when announcing the development of the Audi R8 LMS GT4, “GT4 racing is the ideal stage for gentlemen and amateurs that would like to race sports cars but find GT3 racing to be too complex.” Audi has been involved in GT3 racing since 2009, so it knows more than a little something about the demands and the complexities in that series.

As Chris Reinke, head of Audi Sport customer racing, put it when announcing the development of the Audi R8 LMS GT4, “GT4 racing is the ideal stage for gentlemen and amateurs that would like to race sports cars but find GT3 racing to be too complex.”

Audi has been involved in GT3 racing since 2009, so it knows more than a little something about the demands and the complexities in that series.

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And now it has opened its order book for those who are interested in getting the R8 that has been specifically engineered to go racing in the GT4 circuit.

Audi R8 LMS GT4 2017

Know that this GT4 car, produced at the Böllinger Höfe site in Germany, shares more than 60 percent of its assemblies with the road-approved R8 Coupe.

And the V10 engine, a 5.2-liter mill that can (depending on the specific regulations of a given race) produce up to 495 hp, is produced by Audi Hungaria at the Győr location and is modified only to the extent that there is a new exhaust system, a regulations-required restrictor plate, and modified mapping of the production electronic control unit.

Four-wheel drive is not allowed in the GT4 class, so there is no quattro.

The rear-drive car features a seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

Among the differences from the street R8 is a steel disc braking system with modified brake calipers—although there is a production-level ABS system. Brake cooling ducts are installed fore and aft on the car. What’s more, standard equipment for the R8 LMS GT4 includes a fire extinguishing system, safety nets for the driver and crash foam in the doors.

Deliveries of the race car are planned for December 2017.

One more thing: the price is 198,000 euros, excluding VAT.

But a gentleman never asks.