Track-focused R8 spawns huge aero and is fittingly tested on the Nurburgring

This year we bid farewell to the legendary Audi R8 supercar, but not before Audi’s long-term tuning partner Abt signs off with a hardcore variant – which we’ve already spotted undisguised. 

The Audi R8 has had a rich history of racing across its two generations with the current model (in LMS race trim) taking wins at the Nurburgring 24hr, ADAC GT Masters and the 24 Hours of Spa. This new Abt model is likely to be a road-going version of the R8 GT2 that was unveiled in 2020. 

We can assume that this is an Abt creation by the ‘Abt Sportline’ badging on the number plates. It’ll surely be limited in number and Auto Express understands that no more than 100 examples will be produced, most likely all in left-hand drive.  

Along with the aggressive aero, we could see Abt use the GT2’s drivetrain in its latest creation. The final R8 by Audi was the V10 GT RWD with 612bhp, but the GT2 uses a tuned version of the 5.2-litre V10 for 640bhp and over 550Nm of torque – still sending power only to the rear wheels. In the GT2 that power is sent through a seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission. The GT2 is also 220kg lighter than the GT RWD thanks to its stripped interior and use of carbon fibre. 

From the outside it looks like the Abt R8 is virtually unchanged from the GT2 race car. Compared to the standard R8 it’s longer, wider and, thanks to the central air intake, taller too. At the front a huge splitter is complemented by side fins and extra vents in the bonnet. The side windows look to be made from a lighter perspex material and within the extended wheel arches there’s a set of centre-lock wheels that are a slightly different design to the GT2. 

There’s an additional side air intake like the GT2 and to the rear a massive swan-neck spoiler with a redesigned engine cover beneath, plus a bespoke exhaust system with the tips situated high up on the bumper. The race car’s Brembo brakes have also been carried over. 

Although this test car wears a number plate we don’t expect the see Abt’s creation to stray too far from the track once sales commence, given its hardcore nature.

The Nurburgring is the home of legends, and these are the record holders…

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