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Finally - a road legal RWD R8

2010-04-09 07:16
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer MTM
Model GT3-2
Engine 4.2L supercharged V8
Power 412kW @ 7 750r/min
Torque 580Nm
Zero To Hundred 3.9 sec
Top Speed 317km/h
Despite being awarded the Performance Car of The Year title last week, many enthusiasts still feel Audi’s R8 would best be served with rear-wheel drive.

Audi remains unmoved by public sentiment though.

All-wheel drive is the company’s engineering signature and despite fielding a hugely successful rear-wheel drive racing version of the R8 in GT3 racing, you’ll probably never be able to attach number plates to a single differential R8. Or perhaps not?

Thanks to former Audi powertrain engineer Roland Mayer’s MTM tuning concern, Audi fans who wish to catch a rotation-and-a-half of opposite lock in their R8s are now in luck.

Graphics not the last word in subtle. Open wheel design shows off bigger brakes - which you're bound to be grateful for.

Banishing the Quattro

Roland and his team of MTM technicians have taken Audi’s R8 V8 and converted it to rear-wheel drive. Oh, and for good measure they’ve supercharged the 4.2l V8 engine too.

The team is quite coy concerning how they achieve the rear-wheel drive set-up, but it cannot be that hard - Audi is set to build nearly 50 rear-wheel drive GT3 spec R8 racers this year. An interesting aside is that this conversion is only possible on R8s with the R-tronic six-speed automated manual transmission, not on the tri-pedal cars.

Dressed up with carbon front and rear spoilers (those side skirts are new too) the MTM R8 GT3-2 rolls 20-inch forged BIMOTO alloys wheels in its arches. For all the world it looks quite stock. Mechanically though, this is one very focused car.

MTM have binned the all-wheel drive system, converting the car to rear-wheel drive (it has an electronically lockable diff at the back) and added Bilstein adjustable dampers at all four-wheel corners. This combination ensures the R8’s mid-engined handling dynamics finally come to fruition for enthusiasts who prefer to steer on the throttle.

Blown RS4 sourced V8 is worth 412kW at a dizzying 7 750r/min. Nice.

Hooligan R8

Powering the R8 GT3-2 is a blown version of Audi’s excellent 4.2l V8.

It produces 412kW @ 7 750r/min and 580Nm running at only 0.5bar of boost, which should ensure very little additional strain is put on the internal components.

Tallying the performance numbers, the R8 GT3-2 shifts from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds before powering onto a top speed of 317km/h. All things considered, it's not really that much swifter than a stock R8 V8.

The issue at hand though, is how it behaves negotiating corners though. Here a judicious lift-off the throttle (or some severe powering up with the steering angle wound up) should see the rear axle neatly stepping out of line.

To ensure the all MTM GT3-2 cars are as dynamically rounded as possible new brakes (featuring 380mm rotors) and tyres (Dunlop Sport Maxx GT 325/30s at the rear) serve as the pivot between 412kW of good intentions and the reality of rear-wheel drive indiscretion.


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