The GT3 race version of the Audi R8 called LMS made its first public appearance at this week’s Essen Motorshow in Germany. Audi’s first-ever racing sports car that has been developed specifically for customer use will available from autumn 2009 for a proposed price of €262,000 (plus tax) which comes to around $332,000 U.S. with the current exchange rates. The Audi R8 LMS is powered by a mid-mounted 500HP plus V10 engine hooked up to a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox. Given that the GT3 regulations prohibit the use of four-wheel drive, Audi’s race-spec supercar comes with a rear-wheel-drive powertrain.
The new Audi R8 LMS will be seen in action on the race track during the 2009 season with up to eight customer cars competing in different European race series and in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, for which Audi Sport will develop an endurance version of the R8 LMS. The German automaker itself does not plan to enter any races with the new GT3 car.