We knew it was coming, and now it’s here – get ready to meet the latest Audi R8 with a combustion engine. The V10 era is coming to an end as Ingolstadt ditches the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre FSI with a hardcore version of its mid-engined supercar. It’s effectively the best of both worlds by combining the superior power of the Quattro model with the lighter package of its RWD sibling. In fact, more weight was reduced for the GT.
Sequel to the 2010 special edition of the same name, the new R8 GT offers 612 horsepower to perfectly match the Quattro model. The big difference here is that the output is routed to the rear wheels only. Plus, a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission offers faster-than-ever shifting possibilities. Maximum torque of 565 Newton-meters (417 lb-ft) arrives from 6,400 rpm.
For even better performance, the engineers at Ingolstadt have managed to reduce 20 kilograms (44 pounds) compared to the standard R8 V10 RWD. The mid-engined coupe now weighs 1,570 kilograms (3,461 pounds) thanks to a scheme that involved bespoke 20-inch forged wheels with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires and ceramic brakes. Bucket seats and a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) stabilizer bar on the front axle also contribute to weight loss.
With more power, less weight and a faster gearbox, the Audi R8 V10 GT RWD sprints to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds and to 124 mph (200 km/h) in 10 .1 seconds before peaking at 199 mph (320km/h). Another trick up its sleeve is the ability to adjust the amount of torque transmitted to the rear axle by choosing from one of seven selectable levels.
To visually distinguish it from other R8 versions, Audi has blacked out the four rings and the “R8 GT” badge at the rear. A new aerodynamic body kit perfected in the wind tunnel and made from carbon fiber bridges the gap between the road model and the various racing versions of the Lamborghini Huracan sibling. As a node of the original R8 GT, the finale is painted in matte Suzuka Grey. Alternatively, buyers can opt for Daytona Gray or Tango Red metallic colors.
The black interior with red accents also nods to the 2010 R8 GT while an individually numbered plaque under the gear lever reflects the car’s limited availability. Indeed, only 333 copies will be manufactured, much like the special edition of the previous generation. Audi also sold the first R8 GT as a Spyder, but the new one is exclusively available as a coupe.
Arriving in dealerships in 2023, the Audi R8 GT RWD starts from €225,000 in Germany.