Born as a GT2 vehicle, the XGT was created by the DTM racing team and vehicle tuner ABT Sportsline at the ABT factory in Kempten, Germany, during a complex two-year development process. The road legal racer, just announced by the auto maker partners, can hit 640hp at 1,400kg and is aimed at motorsport enthusiasts and collectors, with a limited run of 99 units.
As a traditional racing team, ABT Sportsline has contested more than 300 races in the DTM since 2000 and is currently the most successful active DTM team, the company states.
“Two highly intensive years have passed from the idea to completion,” said ABT Sportsline managing director Thomas Biermaier, who came up with the idea for the XGT, together with Ernst Christian Scherer, managing director of Scherer Sport.
With around 40 individual approvals, the months-long approval process went beyond the scope of conventional vehicle development. Visually, the XGT differs only marginally from the Audi R8 LMS GT2 racing car. Currently, 99 rolling chassis are waiting to be hand-built into one-offs according to customer specifications.
For everyday usability, the fueling system from the series was integrated; the instrument cluster was modified for civilian use; and the handbrake, central locking and even a reversing camera and immobiliser were added. The technical modifications in the areas of thermal management, software and the highly complex vehicle diagnostics system have been carefully implemented to preserve the character of the racing car.
The control panel was adapted to road use and controls the electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, air conditioning and indicators, while the special exhaust system including aftertreatment components had to fulfil the German motor authority) KBA’s emission specifications.
There was also a focus on safety, with the XGT used in the demanding side and front crash tests, and all KBA specifications regarding brakes and noise levels were met in extensive tests.
So that the vehicle would possess that “racetrack feeling”, the XGT completed thousands of kilometres on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the Sachsenring and the Hockenheimring.
DTM driver Kelvin van der Linde, DTM driver and Scherer brand ambassador Ricardo Feller, ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk and Scherer brand ambassador Frank Stippler were also used as development drivers, and their assessment of the vehicle was unanimous: “The road handling, steering behavior and acceleration cannot be compared with any road car.”.
And, ABT says, thanks to the dual-adjustable suspension with modified springs, “ambitious drivers have the opportunity to find their own perfect setup for every racetrack”.