Well, sort of. What we mean is that you can now buy an Audi that’s built to race. It comes direct from the manufacturer itself. This means that once bought, all you have to do is stock up on racing boots and spare parts before heading to the track. The car featured here, the RS 3 LMS, is a sign of Audi’s dedication to motorsport from a customer’s point of view. It builds on the success that came from building and selling a race specification R8, namely the R8 LMS.
However, while the R8 LMS was focused on the high-end GT3 end of the scale, the RS 3 LMS has more grounded aspirations. Though they’re no less thrilling of course! The car is built in the same manner as a touring car. So think road-going car turned racer. Basically, think awesome!
Audi RS 3 LMS – the people’s racer
“Audi has been active in motorsport on the highest level for generations.” Says Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director at Audi Sport with responsibility for the Audi R and RS models. “With the Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport customer racing, in a very short time, managed to build a successful customer sport program alongside the factory commitments in the WEC and the DTM. The Audi R8 LMS has since become the market leader in its segment. We have the same plans for the Audi RS 3 LMS. Offering customers an attractive opportunity to get started in fascinating Audi racing.”
The Audi RS 3 LMS is being developed by Audi Sport customer racing for the TCR category. It’s still relatively new. But it is in addition to an international TCR series, with some of its races being held as part of the FIA Formula One World Championship supporting program, more and more national racing series for TCR touring cars are being founded. Even major endurance events such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring are now including TCR classes!
Audi RS 3 LMS – a proper racer
The Audi RS 3 LMS gets from 0-62mph in about 4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of about 240 km/h. In TCR trim, the proven four-cylinder two-liter TFSI engine delivers 330 hp, which goes some way to explain those figures. However, if you’re going to be fast, you better be safe, too. Thankfully, Audi has that covered.
In terms of safety, Audi Sport customer racing is not making any compromises. The extensive safety package includes an FIA-conformant safety fuel tank, a racing safety cell, the PS3 safety seat, FIA safety nets on both sides of the seat and a rescue hatch in the roof like the one used in the Audi R8 LMS. So you can stack it and walk away, with any luck.
Audi Sport customer racing will start delivering the first Audi RS 3 LMS cars to customers this December. So, in time before the seasons of the major TCR racing series open in 2017. The purchase price is 129,000 euros (plus VAT) for the TCR version with a sequential six-speed racing transmission and 99,000 euros (plus VAT) for a club sport version. So get saving.