We knew it was coming, and now it’s here – prepare to meet the final Audi R8 with a combustion engine. The V10 era is drawing to a close as Ingolstadt is sunsetting the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre FSI with a hardcore version of its mid-engined supercar. It's effectively the best of both worlds by combining the superior power of the Quattro model with the lighter package of its RWD sibling. In fact, more weight has been trimmed for the GT.
A follow-up to the namesake special edition from 2010, the new R8 GT offers 612 bhp to perfectly match the Quattro model. The big difference here is that output is routed only to the rear wheels. In addition, a newly developed seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission delivers gear chances quicker than ever before. The maximum torque of 565 Newton-metres (417 pound-feet) arrives from 6,400 rpm.
2023 Audi R8 V10 GT RWD
For even greater performance, the engineers from Ingolstadt have managed to shave off 20 kilograms (44 pounds) compared to the standard R8 V10 RWD. The mid-engined coupe now weighs 1,570 kilograms (3,461 pounds) thanks to a diet that involved bespoke 20-inch forged wheels with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres and ceramic brakes. Further contributing to the weight loss are bucket seats and a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) stabiliser bar at the front axle.
With more power, less weight, and a quicker gearbox, the Audi R8 V10 GT RWD sprints to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds and to 124 mph (200 km/h) in 10.1 seconds before topping out at 199 mph (320 km/h). Another ace up its sleeve is the ability to adjust the amount of torque channelled to the rear axle by choosing from one of the seven selectable levels.
To visually set it apart from the other R8 versions, Audi has blacked out the Four Rings and the “R8 GT” badge at the back. A new aerodynamic body kit perfected in the wind tunnel and made from carbon fibre bridges the gap between the road-going model and the several race versions of the Lamborghini Huracan's sibling. As a node to the original R8 GT, the finale comes painted in matte Suzuka Grey. Alternatively, buyers can opt for Daytona Grey or Tango Red metallic colours.
The black interior with red accents also hearkens back to the 2010 R8 GT while an individually numbered plaque below the gear lever reflects the car’s limited availability. Indeed, much like the previous-generation special edition, only 333 will ever be made of which only 15 examples are bound for the UK. Audi did sell the first R8 GT as a Spyder as well, but the new one is exclusively available as a coupe.
Arriving at dealers in 2023, the Audi R8 GT RWD kicks off from €225,000 (approx. £200,000) in Germany. UK pricing is yet to be confirmed.