There’s something about the Audi R8 that is so incredibly appealing. Actually, there are quite a few things. Not only is it a great looking car that has continually gotten better looking since it was first introduced back in 2003, but it also performs as good as it looks. A lot of that comes from the popular, powerful, and nearly bulletproof 5.2L V10 that can produce anywhere from 500-610hp depending on the application. A variation of the same motor powers the Lamborghini Huracan and Gallardo. When you combine that reliable motor with Audi’s stellar handling characteristics and racing heritage, you have the makings of a fantastic race car. Case in point, this drop-dead gorgeous example of the R8 called the LMS GT4.

Photo: jalopnik

The R8 LMS GT4 is what you would call a “ready made race car,” or “off the shelf race car” because you can buy it as is and take it straight to a race track. Although, that means it’s not street legal. It might technically be the entry level option in Audi’s race car line up right behind the more potent GT3 model. But it’s still a race car nonetheless. Audi claims that the new LMS GT4 will carry over roughly 60% of the parts from the road legal R8 V10. It also was described as being “essentially an R8 V10 Plus with the interior ripped out that’s been caged.” Audi wanted the LMS GT4 to be extremely customer friendly and safe. They wanted it to be one part production car and yet equipped for every challenge one might run into at race tracks around the world. And from what we can tell, they have accomplished just that.

Audi released the beautiful race car at the New York Auto Show and while they’re apparently still working out the final details, they did release some basic specs to satisfy everyone’s curiosity. It will feature the same 5.2L V10, only it will likely be tuned down to the 495hp range depending on the specification of the race class your competing in. There will be an option to use it more as a privatized car for track day events and those will be unrestricted to allow the owner to tune it and customize it to their satisfaction. Unfortunately, the LMS GT4 won’t get the famous Quattro all-wheel drive system and will instead have a standard rear wheel drive setup. But it will get the 7-speed dual clutch transmission to help provide lighting fast shifts.

Photo: jalopnik

The R8 LMS GT4 is scheduled to make its first race appearance at the 24hrs around the Nurburgring on May 25-28th. If you’re in the market to buy a race car and the LMS GT4 is exactly what you’re looking for, it’ll cost you an estimated $200,000. Which is actually a bargain if you compare that the cost of the R8 GT3 that has a price tag around the $450,000 range. As much as I liked the Mclaren 570S GT4 we reported on recently, it would be a tough decision if I had the keys to both that and the LMS GT4. But that’s one of those things where you can’t go wrong either way, the best kind of decisions in my opinion.

Photo: jalopnik