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AIMS: Audi to offer peek at super-exclusive R8 GT

I like mine rare: Not only is Audi's R8 GT quick, only five examples will be delivered in Australia, making it even harder to spot.

Bahnstorming Audi R8 GT to join new A6 sedan on stand at Melbourne show

17 Jun 2011

IN ADDITION to the new A6 sedan’s Australian debut at next month’s Melbourne motor show ahead of its showroom arrival, Audi will be drawing the crowds to its stand with an example of its ultra-exclusive lightweight R8 GT supercoupe.

It might be the only chance most people in Australia get to see one because, as GoAuto has reported, just five examples of the stripped-out 1525kg, 412kW two-seater coupe will make it here.

Audi Australia spokesman Sean Poppitt told GoAuto that the owner of one of the first cars in the country allowed Audi to feature his car on the stand.

The R8 GT – which made its first public outing at the Paris motor show last October – is not only lighter than the standard 5.2-litre V10 R8 Coupe but also packs an extra 28kW of power, pushing the performance of the Lamborghini-sourced engine out to 412kW and 540Nm (a 10Nm increase over the standard car).

7 center imageEquipped with the R-tronic sequential automated gearbox, the R8 GT accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds – 0.3 seconds faster than the standard Coupe – and has a top speed of 320km/h.

To save 100kg over the standard car, weight-reducing measures include the use of carbon-fibre for the bumpers, a thinner windscreen, polycarbonate bulkheads and fibreglass reinforced plastic seats.

Unlike some stripped-out sportscars, the air-conditioning and sound-system remain standard-fit.

A similarly exclusive drop-top Spyder variant of the R8 GT was also recently announced, although Audi Australia is not yet taking orders for that car, of which Australia’s allocation is again five units out of a global run of 333.

“We’re still working through our production times and availability,” said Mr Poppitt. “Our preferred or long-term customers will be contacted personally and directly and that’s usually where we go from there.”

Pricing for the Spyder has not yet been announced, but given the hard-top GT’s price of $440,000 expect the GT Spyder – expected to arrive here some time in 2012 – to cost around $475,000.

At 1640kg the GT Spyder weighs 85kg less than the regular R8 V10 drop-top but tips the scales some 115kg higher than the hardtop version. The result is 0-100km/h acceleration in 3.8 seconds, 0.2s slower than the GT coupe but still outgunning most of the open-air supercar competition.

On both the R8 GT coupe and drop-top variants, aluminium double wishbone suspension features on all four corners and the 19-inch wheels (with 235/35 tyres up front and 295/30 tyres at the rear) cover large, lightweight carbon-fibre/ceramic brake discs.

More sedate than the bahn-storming R8 GT, the redesigned A6 nevertheless represents an important part of the sales volume puzzle for Audi, which so far this year is ahead of Mercedes-Benz and within 50 units of snatching the premium segment crown from BMW.

As GoAuto has reported, the latest A6 takes on many design cues – inside and out – from the A8 luxury flagship that was introduced last year while adopting much of its technology.

More than 20 per cent of the new A6’s body is aluminium and the material is also used for much of the suspension architecture, contributing to a weight saving of about 80kg over the previous model.

The new A6 is also slightly smaller than its predecessor, although there is more interior space in the form of 13mm more front headroom, between 8mm and 10mm more shoulder room and 25 per cent more storage areas.

A centre screen, displaying various information including the satellite navigation map, automatically pops up out of the dashboard. Audi’s MMI (multi media interface) and touchpad that allows occupants to input letters and numbers by drawing them with their finger are carried over from the A8.

The Australian entry-level engine will be a naturally-aspirated petrol V6 although four-cylinder petrol and diesel variants may eventually be added. All engines will include fuel-saving, emissions-reducing idle-stop technology.

The base 2.8-litre V6 features direct-injection and dual overhead camshafts with variable intake valve timing to produce 150kW and 280Nm. It returns an average fuel economy figure of eight litres per 100km and has an emissions rating of 187g/km.

Next up is Audi’s supercharged 3.0-litre V6, which pumps out 220kW and 440Nm. This potent engine can sling the A6 from 0-100km/h in just 5.5 seconds. Its fuel economy is equally impressive given its power, coming in at 8.2L/100km while emissions stand at 190g/km.

One diesel will be offered initially, a 3.0-litre V6 with direct injection, dual overhead camshafts and a variable geometry turbocharger. It produces 180kW and 500Nm of torque while using an average of just 6.0L/100km and emitting 158g/km of CO2.

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