ABT XGT: The Audi R8 says goodbye with a registrationable racing version
99 units of this spectacular supercar will be manufactured, practically for competition.
For nearly 20 years (even longer, when it was still known as Le Mans quattro, the name given to the prototype on which it is based), the Audi R8 has been the favorite supercar of many young and old alike. A spectacular line and performance close to those of names like Ferrari or Lamborghini – given that it originally shared a propeller with the Gallardo – made it a halo model for a brand that has already achieved great sales numbers year after year with such models. successful such as the A3, A4 and others, as well as their respective sports variants. Through two generations, the Audi R8 has remained present to this day. Not only on the streets, but also on the circuits, where it has competed in different types of competitions, especially among GT3s, even having an Evo version.
Unfortunately, times change and many supercars that we have seen at the dawn of the 21st century have disappeared or are about to disappear – the same as happened with many cult JDMs such as the Mazda RX-7 FD, the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 or the Toyota Supra JZA80. After almost twenty years, the Nissan GT-R is about to say goodbye and the same will happen to the Audi R8 soon. Or disappear because it cannot cope with the increasingly restrictive emissions regulations… or become electric, something that is going to happen with both the Dodge Charger and the Challenger. A terrifying future for purists and many lovers, since it is about completely changing the nature of these cars, the heart of the beasts that, on many occasions, is what characterizes them.
Meanwhile, ABT Sportsline has been on other duties. What was once Auto-Abt in 1991 was converted into a tuning company as well as a street and racing trainer, almost always linked to Audi – although it has also worked with models from other Volkswagen Group brands, such as VW itself, Skoda or SEAT. Above all, it stood out at the beginning of this century in the DTM as one of the reference teams with those Audi TT DTM and Audi A4 DTM, like the one Mattias Ekström used to be champion of the iconic contest (when it was still contested with silhouette cars). before the Swede was world rallycross champion or entered the Audi project in the Dakar together with Carlos Sainz and Stéphane Peterhansel. In all this time, they have also released their own variants based on existing Audi models.
Examples of this are the ABT AS4-T coming from the A4 Avant, a family car with no less than 480 horsepower, its TT-R with a V6 engine and supercharger or the R8 GT R, boosting the 5.2 V10 up to 620 horsepower. and modifications that made it look like a racing car, although it was still registrable.