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Seven of Audi's fastest for SA

2011-04-21 14:11

AUDI’S GT ROAD RACER: You could have a Gallardo Superleggera or pay (substantially) less for something like this.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Audi
Model R8 GT
Engine 5.2l V10
Power 412kW @ 8 700rpm
Torque 540Nm @ 6 500rpm
Transmission Six-speed
Zero To Hundred 3.6 sec
Top Speed 320km/h
Weight 1 525kg
Each of seven (very) fortunate (and wealthy) South Africans have managed to ink their signature next to one  of only seven units of Audi’s limited edition R8 GT.

With global allocation limited to 333 cars, Audi South Africa has confirmed it will import seven R8 GT supercars to honour its commitment to seven local orders, placed at R2 620 000 each.

What does one get for the additional R600 000 GT customers are paying over a standard R8 V10 R-tronic coupe? Well, not much in absolute terms. Unpack the details, though, and you start appreciating the GT’s limited-edition billing.

GT adds 26kW to the R8’s 5.2-litre long-stroke V10, powering the engine peak output past 400kW to a new dynamometer graph tipping point of 412kW.


Not only is the GT more powerful than Audi’s standard R8 V10, it is also lighter. Ingolstadt’s engineers have significantly embellished the car’s surfacing with carbon-fibre bits, which not only look good but also melt away 100kg of mass.

Considering the standard R8 V10 is hardly a portly car at 1625kg, one wonder’s just how Audi managed to get the GT’s mass down to 1525kg. Well, lots of little weight-saving details make up the 100kg difference.

The GT’s windshield is thinner, the window, bulkhead and rear hatch are all polycarbonate (plastic) instead of glass. The composite fixed rear wing trims 1.2kg, a new battery (less 9kg) and brakes (another 4kg) help the GT’s weight-saving regime.

Audi found plenty of superfluous trim material in the cabin to get rid of. New carpeting is 7.9kg lighter than the stock R8’s, whilst glass-reinforced plastic seats account for a 31.5kg reduction.

The R8 GT will only be available with Audi’s six-speed R-Tronic sequential manual, which isn’t the company’s best transmission when you're cruising around in auto mode but works a treat when driving the GT close to the limit. On a high-friction surface, Audi says, the R8 GT should run to 100km/h in 3.6sec before passing 200km/h seven seconds later on the way to a top speed of 320km/h.

Dynamic poise and agility promise to be outstanding thanks to manually adjustable coil-over suspension on each wheel, a 30mm ride-height reduction and more generous fore and aft wheel camber rates.

KUNCKLE COLOUR-CODED: R8 GT’s white faced dials are one of the few indictors of its status as Audi’s fastest ever road car; should match your knuckles during the driving experience too…

Harnessing the R8 GT’s 412kW of peak power is Audi’s quattro drive system. Configured to run in a 15/85 default torque split, R8 GT promises to deliver ample samples of power-on oversteer when required.

A locking rear differential provides 25% lockup under power and 40% traction security on overrun, which means whether you invoke tail-out behaviour by depressing or abruptly lifting off the throttle, R8 GT will always retain a remnant of control.

Behind the R8 GT’s wheels are carbon-ceramic discs measuring 380mm up front and 356mm at the rear.

Audi will only produce 333 R8 GTs, which is of course (in a detail of delicious irony) the number of the beast divided by two. We're sure the production run number is Ingolstadt having some fun at the expense of Lamborghini's Diabo heritage...

The car's potential customer base will primarily be drivers with a serious circuit-navigating fetish. Priced midway between Porsche's 911 GT3- and GT2 RS models, the R8 GT makes for a compelling alternative - especially considering its mid-engined configuration.

If you're not one of the fortunate seven, Audi will have one on display at the 2011 Johannesburg international auto show in October. You'll be able to look, but not touch...

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