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Audi R8 GT3

Audi has just announced plans to offer the 2010 Audi R8 GT3, or internally codenamed “R16,” to a very few lucky customers late this year. The new R8 race version supercar features lots of performance upgrades over current R8 models, and has been designed to conform to GT3 racing regulations that require automakers to release a set number of race cars with identical performance specs and styling to the cars used in GT3 racing series.

Homoglamated production race cars such as the 2010 Audi R8 GT3 are an exciting consumer perk required by the rules of some race series. In the past, the rule set which calls the R8 GT3 into production has brought us such cars as the BMW M3 CSL, Mercedes-Benz 190 Evolution II and the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Mechanically speaking, the 2010 R8 GT3 features several changes from the production car.

As per GT3 regulations, Audi ditches the Quattro AWD system characteristic of the R8 in favor of a RWD setup. Rest assured the team at Audi Sport is putting significant attention into the RWD system used in the R8 GT3. The Le Mans racing series Audi R10 has proven, with its unprecedented record in endurance racing over the past couple of years, that Audi is committed to its motorsport division.

Rounding out known info for the performance upgrades on the 2010 Audi R8 GT3 are a menacing track-ready aerodynamics kit promising greatly increased downforce and handling prowess, a 6 speed sequential manual transmission, and a gasoline motor promising more than 500 horsepower.

Which brings us to the next question. Will the 2010 Audi R8 GT3, or Audi R16 if you prefer, be street legal? Audi has not released the official word on this yet, saying only that the R8 GT3 “will offer customers a racing sports car equipped with high-calibre technology and the typical Audi qualities, but which is nevertheless easy to handle.”

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