The name of the R8 is legend: The R8 sports prototype won the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times between 2000 and 2005 and celebrated 63 wins from 80 starts. The first thoroughbred production sports car from Audi with the same name, the Audi R8 unveiled in 2006, carries the genes of the triumphant racing prototypes. Now, the name R8 returns to the race track bearing a close resemblance to the production car and derived from a chassis taken from the production line.
Advantages of the Extreme Production Design
The road-going sports car based on the lightweight aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF) with its conceptual roots in racing provides the perfect basis for motorsport. Whether chassis structure, engine position, suspensionSuspensionSee 4-link front suspension, 4-link rear suspension, dynamic suspension, stabilizer bar, and trapezoidal-link rear suspension.Suspension or brakesBrakesA vehicle's brakes must be matched to its power, weight, and top speed. Brakes – many elements could be carried over entirely from the production line or with small modifications. quattro®quattro®Audi's quattro® permanent all-wheel drive, has had over 25-year-long tradition.quattro® GmbH takes a standard production chassis from the production line in Neckarsulm as base for every R8 LMS. After the roll-cage is fitted the R8 LMS is completed at the quattro® GmbH. The Audi Hungaria Kft. production line in Györ provides the 500 hp plus V10 engine. Audi Sport in Ingolstadt assumes absolute responsibility for project development.
Many Active SafetyActive SafetyActive safety refers to everything designed to help prevent an accident from happening. Active Safety Elements
Like every Audi the Audi R8 LMS also guarantees first-class safetySafetySee active safety and passive safety.Safety . The sports car designed for customer sport offers exceptional active safety. The range starts with the most prominent external features, the standard lighting system with Xenon plus headlights and LED tail lights. A race ABS, the minutely adjustable traction control (ASR) and the specially tuned suspension take every demand into consideration. The steering and seat are further active safety elements. The steering column length and angle can be adjusted, and the Recaro bucket seat moves longitudinally to allow drivers of different statures sharing a car to sit perfectly. During a race, drivers must never remove their hands from the steering wheel since the production six-speed gearbox adapted for racing purposes is activated by shift paddles. For this purpose Audi successfully transferred technology from professional racing: the pneumatic system required for such gear-shift procedures originated from the R10 TDI® race car. Finally, the complex rapid refueling system from Stäubli ensures splash-free fuelling and helps to prevent possible burn injuries. The standard production all-wheel drive quattro® – another active safety feature – is however unfortunately prohibited by the regulations.
Technology Transfer from Other Projects
The pneumatic gearbox control from the Audi R10 TDI® is not the only technology to have found its way from professional projects into the customer sport program. The fuel direct injection – originally tested by Audi for the first time in the R8 sports prototype in 2001 – is a characteristic feature of the Audi R8 LMS and many Audi road going cars. The rear-wing profile of the R8 LMS is almost identical to the corresponding R10 TDI® aerodynamic component. Indispensable for Audi, even if not specified by the regulations, are the two race catalytic converters fitted to the R8 LMS.
Ten-cylinder Power Plant
The R8 LMS is powered by a 500-hp plus V10 engine. Derived from a production unit, the race engine is ideally suited for racing purposes. The normally aspirated unit is mounted longitudinally in front of the rear axle of the Audi R8 LMS. However, when fitted as mid-engine it requires a different layout to the front engine version used in the S6 and S8 models. The capacity is 5.2 litres. The two cylinder-heads each house a pair of camshafts operating the four valves per cylinder. The relatively compact and light engine is equipped with petrol direct injection FSI®, a racing version of which booked wins from 2001 at Le Mans as power unit for the R8 sports prototype. It allows higher compression in the R8 LMS V10 power plant and guarantees an excellent power output.
Huge Effort for Environment and Sport
In addition to other modifications Audi fundamentally re-worked the exhaust system for motorsport use. The lightened exhaust manifolds on the right and left cylinder banks are each fitted with race catalytic converterCatalytic ConverterThe “cat” generally refers to the car’s complete exhaust emission control system. Catalytic Converter . As a result, Audi exceeds the requirements of the GT3 regulations, which do not specify use of emission control. However, with more than 500 hp and over 369 lb-ft torqueTorqueTorque is what causes rotational speed to change. Just as greater net forces cause greater linear accelerations, greater torques cause greater rotational or angular accelerations.Torque the power plant will number among the more powerful engines in the GT3 sports car field.
Ingredients for Competition
The roll-cage must be made, as specified by the regulations, of steel and is therefore bolted to the aluminum chassis. The three pneumatically operated air jacks to lift the car are also new. The anti-roll bars fitted are genuine racing parts. Audi also adapted a race ABS brake system and the traction control ASRTraction Control (ASR)For today’s typical high-torque engines, a form of wheelslip regulation or traction control (ASR) can increase both comfort and safety, particularly on surfaces with differing coefficients of friction or on slippery roads.Traction Control (ASR) for perfect handling and control.
Apart from its enormous rear wing the R8 LMS is almost identical to the R8 at first glance. However, the squat appearance of the race car can be put down to many factors. To achieve a lower centre of gravity the R8 LMS, at a height of 1.19 metre, crouches low above the road – another 5.4 centimetres lower than the low production sports car. Since modifying the production aluminum components or pressing new metal bodywork panels would generate far greater costs Audi Sport decided to manufacture almost the entire outer skin from carbon-fibre composite (CFC). Only the doors, which fulfill the most stringent safety standards, remain completely as production parts. The aluminum roof panel also originates from the production line.