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2012 Audi R8 GT

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On: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 9:04AM | By: Peter C Sessler

2012 Audi R8 GT

Porsche has come to be regarded as the ultimate in the sports car market. The brand has consistently dominated with a combination of engineering excellence and quality for the last forty years. The M1 was BMW’s attempt to compete with Porsche in 1980. Since then, BMW has never again taken Porsche on in the sports car field. The partnership with Porsche’s sports car reputation should lift Audi’s image above BMW’s.

Audi’s vision to produce a mid-engined sports car began in 1991 with the concept car called the "Quattro Spyder." Ferdinand Piech, the CEO of Audi, was actually a member of the Porsche family, and felt that a mid-engined sports car could damage Porsche’s reputation. Consequently, the project was put aside until he retired in 2003. Martin Winterkorn, Piech’s successor, unveiled a new mid-engined concept car called "Le Mans" to fill this role. Winterkorn was fascinated with the idea of an “Audi 911,” thus, the Audi R8 was born in 2007.

The ultimate variation of the R8 is the 2012 R8 GT sports car. The GT is the lightest, fastest, and most powerful car in the Audi supercar lineup, and production is currently limited to 333 units, with the US market allowed only 90 units. Prices will start from $196,800.

For the hard-core driver, the model can be ordered with a race package which includes a bolt-in roll bar that can be extended to a full roll cage. Other enhancements include four-point seatbelts, fire extinguisher, and a battery kill switch.

The GT also features a weight reduction of 220 lbs. The 5.2-liter V-10 is basically unchanged from the standard car except for circular (instead of oval) exhaust pipes. The V-10 is rated at 560hp and 398 lb-ft torque, which is exactly the same as the specifications of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. The R-tronic automated manual transmission is mandatory on the R8 GT. The Audi R8 GT can reach 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds, and the car has a top speed of 198.84 mph.

The Audi R8 GT may outperform the Porsche in areas such as style and refinement. Discerning drivers, however, may continue to prefer the high standard of performance that continues to make Porsche the greatest sports car on the roads today.

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