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Audi Sport Performance Parts R8 – the most focussed R8 yet

A motorsport-inspired suite of upgrades delivers a limited-edition hardcore R8

Audi has introduced the Sport Performance Parts R8 Edition to crown its supercar model line-up. Conceived in a similar vein to the Audi R8 GT, it benefits from a host of ‘motorsport-proven enhancements’, targeting aerodynamics and weight, which render it the most capable and focused R8 to date. Just five have been allocated to the UK market, priced at £176,650 apiece.

A new wind tunnel-honed carbonfibre aero kit sees the GT generate 250kg of downforce – 100kg more than the standard R8 – at a quoted 205mph top speed, while at 93mph the GT develops double the downforce of the regular model.

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> Audi R8 review

At the base of the front apron sits a protruding splitter, while higher up there's a series of dive planes featuring around the air intakes. Down the flanks, extended side skirts reach the length of the wheelbase, and carbon cladding behind the arches is tasked with cleaning the turbulent air flowing from the rear wheels. At the rear you’ll find a fixed rear wing, and an aggressive rear diffuser that stretches the width of the car.

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Audi’s weight-saving measures see the fitment of fully-milled, 20-inch wheels, which save about 8kg in all-important unsprung mass. They’re wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, confirming the GT’s track-oriented brief. Suspension is by way of double wishbones and adjustable, lightweight, three-way coilovers.

Audi has managed to save more kilos by upgrading the brake hardware, too, with ceramic discs and titanium backing plates. Enhanced brake pads also feature, which offer greater stopping power and higher fade resistance, according to Audi.

> Porsche 911 GT2 RS review

Audi has refrained from tickling the 602bhp, 5.2-litre engine, which isn’t cause for concern. In this application, the V10 sends its operatic soundtrack out through a sports exhaust.

Alcantara and leather trim the cabin, where you’ll find bucket seats. All the mod cons have been retained to ensure the R8 maintains its breadth of purpose as a capable GT and a trackday weapon.

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