Audi will offer a limited-edition R8 GT that pairs rear-wheel drive with a more powerful version of its 5.2-liter V10 engine.
Why it matters
In addition to more power, the GT has a retuned transmission and a Torque Rear drive mode, and it’s 44 pounds lighter than a standard R8, as well.
Only 333 R8 GTs will be sold globally. It goes on sale early next year.
Audi will say goodbye to its awesome 5.2-liter V10 engine next year by way of this: the limited-edition R8 GT. Making its debut Monday, the GT is based on the rear-wheel-drive R8 but uses a more powerful version of Audi’s naturally aspirated V10, and it gets a few other neat upgrades, as well.
It’s a little odd that Audi — a company known for its Quattro all-wheel-drive system — would choose to base the GT on the rear-wheel-drive R8, but in our experience with this stellar supercar, the fewer driven wheels, the better. But unlike the base R8 RWD, which has 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, the R8 GT makes 612 hp and 413 lb-ft. This allows the R8 GT to accelerate to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, though interestingly, the R8 Quattro is still quicker (3.1 seconds to 60 mph).
Helping the R8 GT achieve peak performance is a retuned seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which has different gear ratios and quicker shift times. Audi also fits the GT with a Torque Rear drive mode, which opens up seven different levels of traction control intervention, meaning you can make this R8 as tail-happy as you want.
Compared with a standard R8 RWD, the R8 GT is 44 pounds lighter, largely thanks to the new 20-inch forged wheels. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are also standard, which means this R8 will have tremendous levels of grip, and ceramic brakes are part of the GT package, too. Audi says the GT’s suspension is stiffer than a standard R8’s, and you can even opt for a coilover setup with manually adjustable compression and rebound levels.
Visually, the R8 GT is set apart by its unique front splitter, dive planes, side skirts, diffuser and large swan-neck rear wing. You can order the R8 GT in matte Suzuka Gray, Tangorot (red) or Daytona Gray. The R8 GT will be available to order next year, with US pricing still TBD as of this writing.