Based on the Le Mans Quattro prototype shown in 2003, Audi took a long time developing their supercar from concept to production. While the Audi Ur-Quattro was regarded as high performance machine and the Audi TT had a formidable sports car presence, the full-blown initiate to build a hyper-exotic supercar required some definite attention to detail. Able to mold a Lamborghini Gallardo platform to unique perimeters, the Audi R8 road car began its 20 unit per day production in 2007. Having no trouble gaining momentum the respect of the choosy exotic car crowd, the Audi R8’s quattro all-wheel drive was immediately applied as the German supercar exited dealerships with ease. The 2010 addition of a 5.2 liter V-10 engine and the 2011 introduction of a chic R8 Spyder has continue to keep Audi’s supercar a sought-after commodity.
However, as alluring the Audi R8 is in North America, there was one special model left on European soil. First brought to the attention of Automoblog.net readers in a May 2010 article, the Audi R8 GT is a step deeper into performance delight. For the 2012 model year, the United States market will finally receive this limited edition German road rocket.
Priced at $196,800 with an addition of a $1,250 destination and dealer charge, the 2012 Audi R8 GT will cost $34,000 above the price of an Audi R8 5.2 Spyder. A premium base sticker, options can be added to the R8 GT proving this supercar can be driven to new pricing as well as performance barriers. For Audi Carbon Ceramic Brakes, be prepared to fork out $9,900 for the high-performance stopping power. Inside the Alcantara wrapped interior where a numbered knob connected to the R Tronic gearbox, the Audi R8 GT can also be fitted with a 1,800 Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Bred like an Olympic runner, the GT version’s extensive carbon fiber construction allows the supercar to lose 180 pounds. In the mid-mounted powertrain, the R8 GT gains 35 horsepower (a net of 560) over the 5.2 V-10 equipped Audi R8. Equating to a 0 to 62 mile per hour time of 3.5 seconds and top speed of 199 miles per hour, the Audi R8 GT is further controlled a fixed rear spoiler for stabilization. An exclusive colour called Samoa Orange provides extra flash accenting the Audi R8 GT’s carbon fiber use.
The arrival of the Audi R8 GT in North America comes almost 11 years since an R8’s first great triumph in Sebring, Florida. As many know by now, the Audi supercar shares its name with one of the most successful prototype sports cars ever launched. Between its introduction in 1999 until its replacement by the R10 TDI in 2005, the Audi R8 prototype race car commanded the American Le Mans Series and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 5 times. On March 18 2000, the Audi R8 le mans prototype car won its first ever race with the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Through 2010, the Audi R8 road car spawned a FIA GT3 car said to be the basis for the 2012 R8 GT supercar. There was also a rumour that the Audi R8 was suppose to be competing in the 2011 American Le Mans Series season in the GT Challenge. However, with the Mobil 12 hours of Sebring, there are no Audi R8s returning to the track where the prototype’s legacy was formed.
With 333 Audi R8 GT supercars to be sold worldwide, the United States enthusiasts will receive a handsome sum of that production. There will be 90 examples of the 2012 Audi R8 GT available to Americans able to afford the just under $200,000 base price tag.
Information and photo source: Audi of America