A more extreme GT3-Inspired Audi R8 possibly in the works

This weekend, the Audi R8 LMS GT3 race car won the Nurburgring 24 Hours, the fifth win in eight years. Sure, the win came thanks to a penalty on the leading Porsche 911 GT3 car but a win is a win. After that race, the folks at Piston Heads had a chance to meet up with Audi Sport boss Oliver Hoffman about the car and even the road-going R8. The info Hoffman provided was even more exciting than the race prior.

At the moment, Audi Sport lacks a proper hardcore machine to take on the likes of Porsche GT cars and Mercedes-AMG Black Series cars. So PH asked if such a thing might ever exist. Surprisingly, Hoffman claimed that his team already has some ideas for a more hardcore, GT3-inspired Audi R8. “We have some good ideas for a more extreme R8 as we know the powerful exterior design of our racing car is amazing – people want to drive this on the street,” Hoffman told PH.

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Apparently, the reason for the brand’s lack of hardcore performance machine has little to do with desire on the brand’s end. In fact, it has more to do with pedestrian safety regulations and making a GT3-inspired car that works within road rules, according to Hoffman.

If such a GT3-inspired Audi R8 were to ever exist, its added performance would likely only come on track. There’s really not much more the brand can do with its naturally-aspirated V10 engine. Instead, its added performance would come in the form of handling and dynamics.

“The racing car engine is almost identical to the road car’s, so that’s already proven, but we have the GT3 drivers doing chassis testing for us. For example, Frank Stippler, he’s driving our GT3 car and is also our development guy doing the Nurburgring testing for road cars.” said Hoffman. He also said that the Stippler has been “doing a lot of work with [Audi] road cars regarding suspension and brakes”. That sounds promising.

We don’t know if a more hardcore Audi R8 will ever exist but we sure hope so. The idea of an R8 with sharper steering, a more stripped-out interior and wild aero is a very exciting one and we hope this teaser from Hoffman because more than just that.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.