Skip to main content

Safety, lightness, and performance is what the new Audi R8 LMS race car is all about

Audi R8 LMS
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The advent of a next generation Audi R8 meant that an update to its motorsport counterpart was inevitable. Audi makes good on that expectation with the introduction of the R8 LMS, the GT3 class race car that will drive rings (or four rings) around the opposition.

Audi’s first generation R8 LMS collected an impressive track record throughout its run. 26 GT3 Championship wins, seven victories in 24-hour races and 23 titles from various events is just a collection of achievements racked up by the R8 LMS during its service with different customer teams.

Audi R8 LMS
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This next gen R8 race car is, as before, very closely based on the production road car, with e many of the parts carrying over. For instance, the 5.2-liter V10 power plant remains nearly unchanged, producing 585 horsepower and is connected to a newly designed six-speed transmission that’s lighter than the outgoing component.

The lightness in general is an overall bonus over the retiring R8 LMS. Its base weight may only be a seemingly insubstantial 55 pounds, but every ounce adds up, and any chunk you can shave off means the car can go that fraction of a second faster. A new mix of aluminum in the Audi space frame is a large contributor to the wait saving, as well as increasing torsional stiffness by 39 percent.

Audi R8 Lineup
Audi’s R8 lineup, including the R8 e-tron and R8 LMS Image used with permission by copyright holder

An increase of speed and capability is almost pointless without an increase of safety to go alongside with this, and Audi state that the R8 LMS will set new standards in that as well. A new modified front structure and a carbon-fiber reinforced polymer crash element on the rear help it surpass the safety regulations set for GT3 cars set for 2016.

Audi R8 LMS
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The underfloor of the R8 LMS is now fully lined that ends with an integrated rear diffuser, resulting in the ability to reduce the dimensions of the rear wing without increasing drag. Wheel wells open up rearwards via a larger cross-section, which contributes to better airflow, which has improved cooling by 10 percent. Fresh air circulation into the cockpit has improved as well, with a flow rate of 250 liters per second when the car reaches a speed of 124 miles per hour. Fresh air means a comfortable driver, which means less mistakes and fatigue during endurance runs.

The R8 LMS is already scheduled to take place in 24-hour races at the Nurburgring as well as at Spa. Audi will start taking orders from customer teams in the second half of the year, with the goal of delivering the first models by year’s end.

Alexander Kalogianni
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Alex K is an automotive writer based in New York. When not at his keyboard or behind the wheel of a car, Alex spends a lot of…
With 1,800 horsepower, Bugatti’s Tourbillon brings plug-ins past the Prius
The Bugatti Tourbillon is a plug-in hybrid.

Plug-in hybrid technology has reached the automotive industry’s upper echelon. Bugatti has unveiled the Tourbillon, the long-awaited successor to the Chiron, with a gasoline-electric drivetrain rated at 1,800 horsepower, 3D-printed parts in the suspension, and an unusual sound system that has no speakers.

Bugatti developed the Tourbillon on a blank slate. The big coupe’s proportions are relatively close to the Chiron’s because the two cars need to fulfill a similar mission: cruise safely and comfortably at jaw-dropping speeds. Bugatti hints that hitting 250-plus-mph is well within the Tourbillon’s scope of capabilities. For context, the Chiron set a speed record and became the first car to break the 300-mph barrier when it reached 304 mph in 2019, so the brand knows a thing or two about speed.

Read more
Tesla has teased three new cars — but what are they?
Tesla Roadster

Tesla is expanding its lineup. We've known for some time that Tesla has been working on two new models, but at a recent shareholders meeting, CEO Elon Musk showed off a slide that showed three cars under a white sheet -- suggesting that there are actually three new Tesla vehicles in the pipeline. The new models will expand its consumer lineup to eight cars -- which will hopefully mean that the company offers something for everyone.

But what are those new vehicles? Of course, there's still a lot we don't know about the new Tesla models. However, Tesla itself has offered some information --- and plenty of rumors have also surfaced about what the company is potentially working on.

Read more
EVs may produce more emissions during manufacturing, but they quickly catch up
european cars getting bigger engines emissions car pollution smog

Electric vehicles are here in full force, and while they're still more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts, prices are slowly, but surely coming down. In fact, EVs are likely to be just as affordable as internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in the next few years. But like anything, there are pros and cons to buying an EV over an ICE vehicle. For example, on average, it's cheaper to charge an electric vehicle than to fill the gas tank of an ICE vehicle -- not to mention the lower costs of maintenance.

At face value, having a smaller impact on the environment is also a tick in the EV column. But as many have been rightfully pointing out, the impact that EVs have on the environment is a little more complicated than the simple fact that they're not using gasoline and themselves emitting carbon dioxide. For example, what about the emissions involved with manufacturing an electric vehicle compared to a gas-powered vehicle? What about the materials in those huge batteries?

Read more