2023 Audi R8 Coupe GT RWD Is An Oversteering Last Hurrah For The V10 And (N)ICE Sounds
Audi is saying goodbye to the V10 engine by bringing back the R8 GT, a limited-production, lightened, and honed version of their supercar that has been factory-approved for oversteery antics, straight out of the box.
Limited to just 333 examples worldwide, the 2023 Audi R8 Coupe V10 GT RWD is powered by a 5.2-liter naturally-aspirated V10, with 612 hp (456 kW / 620 PS) and 417 lb-ft (565 Nm) of torque. Each car will feature a sequential numbering, while the swansong channels its GT-racer siblings by sporting a carbon body kit and shaving off 44 lbs (20 kg) off the curb weight.
Power Upped To Quattro Levels
For the V10’s swansong, the RWD chassis features the uprated power figures from the R8 Quattro. With 620 PS, that makes the GT some 50 HP (37 kW / 50 PS) more powerful than the entry-level R8 Performance RWD. That beefier 10-cylinder lump is also good for 417 lb-ft (565 Nm) of torque (11 lb-ft / 15 Nm more than the base RWD) available from 6,400 until 7,000 rpm, sitting as the most powerful rear-wheel drive unit in Audi’s history.
Power is sent to the rear wheels through a tweaked 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The shift times have been tightened for the GT, while the boffins have adjusted the gear rations to provide better acceleration and a higher top speed.
The R8 will get to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds — 0.4 seconds quicker than the RWD Coupe, but a tad shy of the Quattro’s 3.1-second timing. The GT will go on to hit 124 mph (200 km/h) in 10.1 seconds and maxes out at a top speed of 199 mph (320 km/h).
“Controlled Oversteering” As Standard
Audi is leaning into the fashionable “Drift Mode” options that are becoming popular amongst enthusiast cars, offering “precise and controlled oversteering” via a button on the steering wheel. This activates the new Torque Rear Drive mode. It gives the driver a choice of seven different pre-determined profiles to aid in getting the rear to step out sideways.
Audi says the system uses the traction control to modulate the slippage on offer. At the same time, wheel speed sensors, steering angle, accelerator pedal position, and the selected gear are all monitored to adjust output to the rear axle.
Weight Lost, Handling Improved
As only fitting with hardcore renditions, the R8 GT has been put on a crash diet to shave off 44 lbs (20 kg). Overall weight now sits at 3,461 lbs (1570 kg), with several alterations made to the car. These include exclusive and lightweight, 20-inch motorsport-inspired wheels (which are shod in Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires). Plus, ceramic brakes and bucket seats are standard, both of which add to the weight-saving measures.
The front suspension components have seen pounds shed, too, while being designed to improve handling — specifically, the front anti-roll bar and its connecting rods. The anti-roll bar is now made out of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). Meanwhile, the two coupling rod connections are made of red anodized aluminum.
If that’s not enough for the racer within, Audi is happy to sell you a set of sportier R8 GT coil-overs, which come with the ability to adjust compression and rebound levels.
The GT’s Second Coming
The 2023 Audi R8 Coupe RWD GT aims to mimic the past in a number of ways. Billed as the second generation GT, the limited number of 333 units is the same as the original offered some 12 years ago.
The R8 GT also comes in the same Matte Suzuka Grey shade as the first-gen (Tangorot Metallic and Daytona Gray Metallic are also on offer). Inside, the homage theme continues, with red and black used liberally and the trademark red seat belts from the original making a return.
Externally, the R8 GT won’t go unnoticed by keen-eyed car spotters. The supercar’s emblems, including the “R8 GT” lettering on the rear, are finished in black. Meanwhile, it sports a carbon bodykit consisting of a front splitter, flics, side skirt covers, elements on the sides of the rear bumper, and a diffuser — all finished in high gloss. The rear wing sees similar treatment, featuring its own gooseneck suspension to improve wing underflow.
Naturally, all of the aero additions have been tested in a wind tunnel to ensure they contribute towards generating a more stable package on the road.
Pricing And Availablity
The Audi R8 Coupe V10 GT RWD will arrive in dealerships, including Europe and North America from 2023. Prices start at €225,000 (around $221,000 at current exchange rates) in Germany. Audi said that U.S. specific details, including volume, and pricing, will follow at a later date. But, with just 333 available, you better get your orders in quick.