Audi R8 GT review

* Limited-edition R8 supercar * Price: 145,645 * Already sold out...

28 July 2011

Audi R8 GT review

What is it? A lighter, more extreme version of Audi's R8 supercar.
With 518bhp, you'd think performance from the R8 V10 would be sufficient to satisfy the lust of even the most rabid speed junkie.

Audi doesn't agree, so its wheeled out the more powerful GT.

Power from the mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10 rises by 34bhp to 552bhp, while weight falls by 100kg to just 1525kg. The result: 0-60mph in just 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 199mph.

What's it like to drive? The GT is more about getting around a race track quickly than leaving fat black lines away from the traffic lights and blowing off Porsche 911s on the autobahn, so it's as well Audi invited us to drive it on a private race track in Lincolnshire.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the GT and the standard R8 is the way it changes direction. That's because no area has escaped Audi's weight-saving microscope. The rear bumper, rear hatch and the iconic side blades are all formed from lightweight polymers, while thinner glass, a lighter battery and even a lighter weave for the carpets all contribute to the savings.

It took only a few quick laps in the GT to conclude it's a sensational machine. The quattro four-wheel-drive system sends 85% of the engine's torque to the rear wheels, while the race-spec dampers and adjustable springs keep the whole lot under control.

There's also a more aggressive locking differential to launch the car through corners.
All this means you can fling the GT into a bend at absurd speeds, creating rib-crushing G-forces in the process. When exiting the corner, the acceleration is so strong you need to back off mid-straight just to draw breath.

It's as well, then, that the GT also boasts hugely effective carbon ceramic brakes and eight-pot calipers to deliver maximum bite when you stand on the retard pedal.

What's it like inside? Despite the GTs race focus, Audi has resisted any temptation to strip its cabin bare.

Yes, the figure-hugging sports seats are a little short of padding, but in every other respect the GT is as luxuriously appointed as any other R8. Climate control, sat-nav and a Bang & Olufsen sound system are all fitted as standard.

Should I buy one? Unfortunately you can't. Audi is bringing only 33 right-hand-drive examples to the UK, and all 33 were snapped up almost as soon as the announcement was made.

The good news is there will be a soft-top Spyder version of the GT arriving early next year, so if you're quick...

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