Audi Surprises Paris Crowd With New $500,000 R8 LMS Customer Race Car

2018 Paris Motor Show

Well, we weren't wrong about rear-wheel-drive.

Last week, Audi teased a mysterious new R8 model that would be shown off at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Our best guess was a hardcore R8 GT model, which would match the 630 horsepower figure of the Lamborghini Huracan Peformante.

While we were correct about this new R8 being hardcore, we underestimated just how hardcore it would be. In fact, Audi has just revealed the new R8 LMS GT3, a full-on race car that you can actually buy. This is the fourth model from Audi Sport Customer Racing in just four years and acts as the evolution of last year's R8 LMS GT4.

Audi has focused on providing customers with an even better experience than before. Changes include optimizing the aerodynamics and cooling, increasing the durability of the transmission, and allowing for longer service intervals for the clutch and transmission. All of these modifications should make the R8 LMS GT3 easier to own and race. Not only will these changes be made on the new car, but current R8 LMS GT4 owners can retrofit these improvements onto their existing car.

No changes seem to be made to the drivetrain, so the naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 should still send 495 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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This being a race car, it doesn't come cheap. Audi will begin selling the cars in November for 398,000 euros (around $460,000). If you already own the older car, Audi will retrofit it with the GT3 upgrades for 28,000 euros (around $32,000). Like the previous customer race cars, the R8 LMS GT3 will be meet FIA homologation rules and will be used to compete in various worldwide racing series.

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