The Audi R8 is a mid-engine, 2-seater sports car, which uses Audi's trademark quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. It was introduced by the German automaker Audi AG in 2006.
The car was exclusively designed, developed, and manufactured by Audi AG's high performance private subsidiary company, quattro GmbH, and is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform. The fundamental construction of the R8 is based on the Audi Space Frame, and uses an aluminium monocoque which is built using space frame principles. The car is built by quattro GmbH in a newly renovated factory at Audi's "aluminium site" at Neckarsulm in Germany.
For 2009, Audi announced the production of an R8 LMS racing car, designed for the GT3 rules in the FIA GT3 European Championship and various national racing series. Known within Audi Sport as the 'R16', the R8 LMS features a 500 PS (368 kW; 493 bhp) V10 engine. Because the GT3 regulations prohibit the use of four-wheel drive, Audi had to drop its 'trademark' quattro four-wheel drive system, and the R8 LMS is only available with the typical rear-wheel drive setup. The torque is transmitted via a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox.
The "Ultra" feature set of the Audi R8 LMS includes CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) doors with high-energy absorbing new crash foams, a new PS1 safety seat developed by Audi, an updated transmission providing additional reserves on long-distance runs, increased engine power to 570 PS (419 kW; 562 bhp) with higher torque at lower engine speeds, larger engine oil and transmission fluid coolers, a relocated steering hydraulics oil cooler (to the vehicle's midsection), enlarged air vents, improved air flow to radiator and interior, front 12-inch wheels with Michelin 30-65/18 tires, optimized brake cooling at the front wheels, uniball joints transverse control arm mounts, weight-reduced compression and rebound-adjustable gas dampers from Bilstein, a wider front hood with louvers, a new wider rear wing with larger end plates, and a new front plate with optimized diffusion under the front end.
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