What is it?
New, harder, lighter, 199mph version of the V10-engined Audi R8. It costs £142,585.
Audi has worked hardest at weight saving on the R8 GT. New bucket seats save 31.5kg while while carbonfibre bonnet, bumpers and side blades save 6.6kg, 5.2kg and 1.2kg respectively. Even the carpeting inside is lighter by 7.9kg. It all adds up to a total saving of 100kg.
What’s it like to drive?
The new springs and dampers mean that the ride is noticeably firmer. Combine this with the extra 34bhp and 9lb ft of torque and I’m quite sure that the GT would be tangibly faster around a track. On the road, however, it’s very hard to find genuinely compelling dynamic reasons to have one over the already brilliant standard car. It is capable of crossing the ground bewilderingly fast and with minimal fuss – so much so that it is easy to find yourself pottering along at speeds that are alarming when you look down at the speedo. However, it doesn’t feel like a quantum leap in the same way that a GT3 does when compared to a standard 911.
The other thing that you will notice straight away is the R tronic automated manual gearbox. It needs a little finessing with the throttle in order to get really smooth upshifts when you’re not at full bore, but other wise it’s a decent transmission. Unfortunately its presence means the absence of the wonderful open gated manual that brings so much character to the R8 normally.
Nevertheless, the R8 GT is a wonderful car and the aerodynamic appendages have been wrought with such attention to detail that you’ll be sold as soon as you clap eyes on it. Even in Samoa Orange.
How does it compare?
Its most obvious rivals are the £40,000 cheaper Porsche 911 GT3 RS (which we quite like) and the £30,000 more expensive Lamborghini Superleggera. You’ll have to wait for our evo Car of the year to find out which one we’d most like in our garage.
Anything else I need to know?
A ‘Race Package’ is an option which adds a roll over bar behind the seats (ready for conversion to a full cage should you wish), internal and external cut out switches (the internal one delightfully hidden in a pot in a cup holder), a fire extinguisher in the passenger footwell and four-point harnesses in the seats.