The Audi R8 bows out after the 2023 model year, and Germany's Abt, a motorsports and tuning company with close ties to Audi, is celebrating with what is essentially an Audi R8 LMS GT2 race car made legal for the road.
The new Abt XGT unveiled last week has been in development for more than two years and involved fellow German motorsports and tuning company Scherer Sport, which like Abt races Audi R8s in various competitions. Scherer will also serve as the distributor and service provider for the XGT.
The goal of the project was to deliver a genuine race car experience in a turnkey package that doesn't require a team of racing engineers to prepare for each outing. The XGT is based on a donor R8 chassis supplied by Audi, and is built to an almost identical specification to the R8 LMS GT2. The endurance racer was unveiled in 2019 for the revived GT2 series organized by SRO. It also competes beyond SRO-sanctioned competition, including in Germany's DTM.
Like the race car, the XGT is powered by a 640-hp version of the R8's 5.2-liter V-10. However, instead of the race car's sequential transmission, the XGT uses a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic shared with the production R8. Drive goes to the rear wheels only.
The wheels are an Abt design featuring a 19-inch diameter up front and 20-inch diameter at the rear. The wheels also come with center locks, and are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires as standard. Another upgrade is an adjustable suspension with unique springs.
The suspension setup delivers a ride height that isn't as low as what you'll find on the race car, though the ride and handling is unlike anything you'll find on any road car, according to Frank Stippler, an Audi factory driver who serves as a brand ambassador for Scherer. He helped developed the XGT on popular racetracks, including the Nürburgring.
The body is almost all carbon fiber, helping to keep weight at about 3,086 pounds, and the standard R8 interior has been replaced by a design that matches the race car. Some road car features were maintained, though. These include air conditioning, a rearview camera, and controls for the indicators and side mirror adjustments.
2024 Abt XGT
Abt hasn't released any performance claims apart from a top speed of 192 mph, which is limited by aerodynamics tuned more for downforce than top speed.
Just 99 examples will be built, each priced from 598,000 euros (approximately $652,000). Availability outside of Europe hasn't been announced.