The Audi R8 LMS has been making Porsches look bad in GT3 races ever since 2009 and here's the second generation of the car. The main focus appears to be safety.
Audi happily notes the car's higher downforce and lower weight compared to its predecessor, dropping 25 kilos and gaining for the first time a fully-lined floor/diffuser combo. Aero efficiency is up, engine reliability is up, electronics are more advanced (no fuse box!), while power is unchanged (still a 585 hp 5.2l V10) and the rear wing is actually reduced in the name of efficiency.
What stands out about the car is its new design for safety. Basically, Audi built their new GT3 car nearer to the more-stringent standards for their LMP1 R18.
The R8 gets an LMP1-esque carbon fiber rear crash structure, which is a first for a GT3 car. The R8's seats are built like the R18's. The R8's roof has some kind of rescue opening, as used in DTM, for pulling injured drivers right out of the car without disturbing their spinal chord.
GT3 is very much customer racing, and building GT3 cars is very much a business. It makes sense that Audi would pitch their new car on safety — that would sound pretty attractive to a new billionaire wanting to race Monza for the first time. It's a smart move, and a reassuring one as well.
That and the car looks awesome. That can't hurt.
Photo Credits: Audi
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