Properly, that is lastly the tip. Each for Audi’s 5.2-liter V-10 screamer—and V-10s typically—in addition to its mid-engine R8 supercar. It appears 2023 is the final mannequin yr, and this limited-edition R8 GT, which lives among the many remainder of the R8 coupe and spyder lineup, the final variant.
Whereas that earlier cluster of phrases is sufficient to bitter the temper, the R8 GT will just do the other. It is easy to drive, controllable on the throttle. Sweeping by a nook, we may rapidly place it proper on the restrict of the rear finish’s traction, the place including a contact extra energy precipitated the again finish to step out. Playfully, by no means frightfully. We nonetheless miss the gated guide from the first-generation R8, however the seven-speed dual-clutch automated within the GT however shifts even sooner than earlier than. In its most aggressive modes, the ferocious vitality of a wide-open-throttle upshift on the 8700-rpm redline reverberates by the carbon-fiber and aluminum monocoque construction.
Audi is promoting simply 333 GTs worldwide, with 150 coming to the U.S. There will probably be 50 every in pink, grey, and black, which quantities to 1 for under each different Audi vendor. Every automobile is labeled with its construct quantity, the sequence sunk beneath the floor of the carbon-fiber center-console trim. We spent a day in southern Spain at Circuito Monteblanco, the place Audi had automobiles 62 by 64 available for lapping, plus a couple of extra pre-production models that are not a part of the official rely. That is proper—the extra fascinating early-number automobiles get constructed later within the manufacturing cycle.
Getting the 602-hp state of tune that was beforehand solely accessible in all-wheel-drive R8s, the GT is 40 horses stronger than the common rear-drive R8 and probably the most highly effective rear-drive automobile ever from Audi. Perhaps that is why the Quattro model is de facto leaning into drifting discuss. Actually, the R8 GT is the one R8 to get a brand new function referred to as Torque Rear—Audi officers say labeling it drift mode is just too iffy from a regulatory perspective—with seven settings of escalating allowability of rear-wheel slip. It is extra of a enjoyable mode than a observe device, programmed to permit a goodly quantity of wheelspin whereas making it a bit harder for an under-skilled driver to go all Mustang exiting Vehicles & Espresso. Click on the brand new checkered flag button that is sprouted on the steering wheel after which flip a knob to regulate. Stage 1 does not permit sufficient slip for a recognizable drift whereas Stage 7 supplies solely the lightest touches of energy discount. Not like Ferrari’s Facet Slip Angle Management, nonetheless, Torque Rear is not a spin preventer. Ask us how we all know.
The GT is not totally a parts-bin automobile, but it surely does borrow various bits from the present lineup. The carbon-fiber entrance anti-roll bar, as an example, is an $1100 possibility on different R8s. It has precisely the identical stiffness because the bar it replaces and saves 4.4 kilos. The GT additionally will get the shorter gearing from the all-wheel-drive variants, with the third by seventh ratios shorter by 4 to 29 p.c, and normal carbon-ceramic brakes and bucket seats, that are a part of the $12,900 Dynamic bundle on different R8s. Cast 20-inch wheels are new for the GT and are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber in the identical sizes as the remainder of the lineup. European R8 GTs get an elective coil-over suspension that is adjustable for peak and damping, but it surely’s not accessible on U.S. automobiles. Ours follow a hard and fast setup, skipping even the adaptive dampers from the all-wheel-drive variants.
If the GT’s $253,290 worth appears pricey, it is in all probability as a result of it is $91,895 greater than an everyday 2023 rear-drive R8 coupe. However after checking all the choice bins which can be included on the GT, the premium drops to $53,900. GTs additionally put on a complete carbon-fiber aero bundle, together with a big, mounted rear wing, entrance diffuser and canards, and a component behind the rear wheels. U.S. automobiles come pretty loaded, which is why they’re barely heavier than their Euro counterparts. Customary tools consists of laser headlights, sport exhaust, dynamic steering, a B&O stereo, and carbon-fiber mirror caps, door sills, and facet blades. Nonetheless, the GT is a claimed 55 kilos lighter than the common rear-drive R8 and roughly 120 kilos lighter than the all-wheel-drive coupe. A part of the burden loss is a discount in sound deadening that makes the R8 louder, and U.S. automobiles are louder nonetheless, due to the removing of the particulate filters required within the European market. It was laborious to get a very good learn from the Euro-spec automobiles we drove, because the V-10’s candy escalating melodies had been at all times muffled by a helmet.
Acceleration will not have the ability to match that of the all-wheel-drive R8; plan on a 60-mph time within the very low threes and a quarter-mile proper round 11 flat. The GT’s fixed-back bucket seats are relaxed match for his or her style; they’re neither slender nor have steep bolsters on their periphery. They maintain an influence peak adjustment and guide fore-aft. However this appears to suit with the R8’s extra daily-drivable vibe—together with a baggage shelf behind the entrance seats—in contrast with its relentlessly manic company cousin, the Lamborghini Huracán. Talking of which, the GT is analogous in idea to the rear-drive Huracán Tecnica.
Should you’re questioning how this final, greatest R8 may stack as much as the Corvette Z06, Audi says you are not one in all its prospects and claims there’s subsequent to zero overlap with Corvette consumers. However, you will not be shocked that the R8 struggles to justify a worth that is greater than twice as costly because the Z06. The Z06 makes extra energy (though it is greater than 100 kilos heavier) and revs almost as excessive. The R8’s grip ranges positive did not really feel as lofty because the Z06’s, though a barely damp observe throughout our drive definitely had one thing to do with it. However we really feel assured saying it might be laborious to discover a observe the place the Z06 would not win.
The R8 GT will arrive in early 2023, and the whole R8 line will depart by the tip of the yr. It has been a very good run.
2023 Audi R8 GT
Automobile Kind: mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe
DOHC 40-valve V-10, aluminum block and heads, port and direct gasoline injection
Displacement: 318 in3, 5204 cm3
Energy: 602 hp @ 8000 rpm
Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 6400 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch automated
Wheelbase: 104.3 in
Size: 177.0 in
Width: 77.3 in
Top: 48.2 in
Passenger Quantity: 50 ft3
Cargo Quantity F/R: 4/8 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 3550 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 3.1 sec
100 mph: 6.6 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.0 sec
Prime Pace: 199 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 17/14/21 mpg
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