Thursday, May 6, 2010

Audi R8 GT goes on a diet and gets more power

Audi R8 GT

Audi dropped a very pleasant surprise on us this afternoon with the long-awaited announcement of the R8 GT.

The Audi R8 V10 was already one of our favorite sports cars in the world (sans the R-Tronic transmission) so how could you make it better? In the immortal words of Colin Chapman, "add lightness." But in a modern sports car required to meet rigorous safety standards, you can only go so far short of a complete redesign. Hence, the R8 GT's lightened chassis benefits from a power boost to boot.

The R8 GT swaps in a thinner glass windshield and polycarbonate rear windows and replaces many aluminum body panels with carbon fiber. By going over every part of the R8, Audi's engineers have carved a total of 220 pounds off the standard R8's curb weight.

The 5.2-liter V10 has been bumped from 525 horsepower to 560, topping its cousin, the Lamborghini Gallardo. The GT is only available with the aforementioned R-Tronic hydraulically actuated semi-automatic, and when pushed to its limit, the R8 GT is claimed to accelerate to 62 miles per hour in just 3.6 seconds and on to 124 mph in 10.6 seconds. The terminal velocity has been increased to 198.8 mph.

Only 333 examples of the R8 GT will be built and the price in Germany is €193,000 ($256,000 USD). No mention is made of U.S. availability, but we'd be surprised if Audi doesn't apportion a few for Stateside consumption.


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