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The Abt XGT is an Audi R8 GT2 racer you can drive on the road

Abt Sportsline has developed the ultimate swansong to the Audi R8, a road-legal GT2 car limited to just 99 units

The term ‘race car for the road’ is often attached to cars that don’t entirely warrant it, but that can’t be said of Abt Sportline’s newest creation – a wild, bewinged Audi R8 GT2 race car adapted for road use, and built to upstage Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS

Called the Abt XGT, the new model has been built to celebrate the R8 as production comes to a close this year. Audi has produced its own official last-hurrah already – the 611bhp GT RWD – but Abt has gone one (or several) steps further by developing the most extreme road-going R8 yet. 

Abt has a storied motorsport history with Audi, having entered DTM racing in 2000 with a TT-R and since becoming the most successful active team in the sport. The outfit ran two R8 LMS GT3 evo 2 race cars for the 2023 season, and has now applied its technical know-how to convert the R8 GT2 into a road car. 

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Abt’s engineers have kept the DNA of the race car largely intact, with only minor changes to its design to satisfy around 40 road-legal approval processes. Like the racer, the XGT’s exterior is bespoke from nose to tail, with intricate aero-optimised bodywork covering wider tracks than the standard R8.

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The rear deck has been completely redesigned to incorporate an enormous intake snorkel that feeds air to the mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10, with an adjustable rear wing and diffuser generating GT2-levels of downforce. The seven spoke forged wheels measure 19-inches at the front and 20 at the rear, wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres.  

The XGT’s technical spec is very close to that of the competition car, with a 631bhp variant of the R8’s V10, a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and a kerb weight of 1400kg. The top speed is 193mph (depending on the rear wing angle), but straight line performance is only part of the story – the XGT’s cornering ability will be leagues ahead of other road-going R8s thanks to bespoke racing suspension components, geometry, enormous downforce and those Trofeo R tyres. 

Certain concessions to usability have been made, however, not least the fitment of a modified instrument panel, a handbrake, central locking, an immobiliser and a reversing camera. There’s even air conditioning and a bespoke exhaust system to comply with sound and emissions regulations.

Ultimate track performance was the primary goal from the outset, and to that end, Abt enlisted DTM drivers Kevin van der Linde and Ricardo Feller to help develop the XGT. Thousands of miles of testing on the Nürburgring, Sachsenring and Hockenheimring have informed its setup, which can be adjusted per track via two-way adjustable dampers.

Scherer Sport acts as the distributor for the XGT, which costs €598,000 including taxes. An extortionate amount of money, yes, but when you consider that the XGT is essentially a full-blown race car with the potential to match or beat some seven-figure hypercars, the price is easier to stomach…

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