Audi has manufactured its 50th GT4 sports car at Böllinger Höfe, Germany, using the same production facilities as its consumer models.
The GT4 race car passes through the same 15 cycles as the production model, from the body shop to the inspection station. The same employees approve the quality of both the production model and the race car, with the two cars sharing some 60% of their components. The relationship is especially close in the chassis and the powertrain areas —the 5.2-liter V10 engine and the S tronic 7-speed double-clutch transmission of both models are near-identical.
In terms of its chassis, the race car benefits from the excellent genes of the road-approved car — 79% of the multi-material Audi Space Frame (ASF) consists of aluminum and 13% of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP), resulting in both high strength and light weight. For racing, it benefits from additional equipment, such as a steel roll cage or air jack.
The employees install these systems in the preproduction operation prior to cycling the car into the assembly line. The production model and the racing version pass through the same painting process as well, with the GT4 receiving its special Florett Silver color in the Edition paint shop. At present, one Audi R8 LMS GT4 is driven out of the assembly halls per day.
“We take pride in being able to build the race car in such close combination with the production model,” said Wolfgang Schanz, head of production, Audi Sport. “This yields maximum synergies for the entire Audi Sport brand.”
Chris Reinke, head of Audi Sport customer racing, added: “Our customers directly benefit from these advantages. We offer the ready-to-race model at a price below €200,000. In return, the teams receive a new race car in premium quality.”
This season the Audi R8 LMS GT4 will be competing in various series and single events in America, Asia, Australia and Europe.