- For 2023 Audi will offer a special edition 333 RWD R8 GT.
- The Audi R8 GT RWD gets a power boost for its 5.2 liter V-10, from 562 to 602 hp.
- To better manage wheel slip from the rear axle, the electronic stability control now offers seven settings, from minimum to maximum slide.
Until now, if you wanted big power from the Audi R8, you had to step up to the all-wheel-drive model. For 2023, Audi will offer a special edition R8 GT, a rear-wheel-drive coupe with a more powerful version of the 5.2-liter V-10 producing 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque previously only available on the Quattro. Audi says the GT will hit 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 199 mph.
The R8’s gearshifts will also be faster, with new gears for the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission to allow for increased top speed, and faster gear changes along the way.
What’s Special about the Special Edition
There will only be 333 special edition R8 GT RWD coupes available, which can be distinguished from the other R8s by black badges including the new R8 GT badge. For wind tunnel-tested stability and increased auto show credibility, the GT comes with a glossy carbon fiber front splitter, side spades, rear scoop, diffuser, and a high gooseneck rear wing. Not only are the badges and aero elements threatening midnight, but if you peek through the rear hatch of the V-10 engine, even the intake manifold on the GT is black. Basically, it looks like the ZL1 1LE from the R8s.
Inside, it mirrors the first-generation R8 GT with a black and red interior, including red seat belts. The floor mats and seats declare the GT’s special status, and owners can know their place in the order line by the sequential special edition build number embedded in the carbon fiber center console.
Rear Drive, Now with More Slip-N-Slide
We like the RWD R8 for its more pleasant driving characteristics, and Audi is leaning into that with the R8 GT. The rear axle now offers Torque Rear Mode which allows the traction and stability control system to be set in one of seven different programmed curves, from more to less slip. It is controlled by a knob on the steering wheel, for last minute drift decisions. Jokes aside, stability control adjustments mean that the R8 can adjust for different drivers, or increase track confidence.
The GT will weigh 44 pounds less than the R8 Performance Coupe RWD. This is partly due to the lightly forged 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Sport Cup 2 rubber. Ceramic brakes are standard on the GT, as are the sports seats and performance sports suspension with carbon fiber reinforced plastic anti-roll bars. Lightweight rods and aluminum suspension components also help the GT achieve its weight loss.
The real downside here is what Audi only hinted at with a headline in its press release that read, “Goodbye to the V-10 Engine.” It’s no surprise that the days of the V-10 are numbered, but if it’s the start of Audi’s celebrations last year, can we expect some additional special R8s for 2023?
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