Le Mans quattro '03

The Audi Le Mans quattro was a sports car styled concept car, developed by Audi, for presentation at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, as a result of Audi's three successive wins at the arduous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance motor race in 2000, 2001, and 2002. It was the third and final concept car designed by Audi in 2003, following the Pikes Peak quattro and Nuvolari quattro.

Audi subsidiary quattro GmbH subsequently decided to produce the Audi Le Mans quattro as a production road car, calling it the Audi R8, naming it after their very successful Audi R8 (race car) which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times.

Design and technical

The Audi Le Mans Quattro has a number of high-tech features, including the headlights which are composed entirely of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The structural framework of the body, the Audi Space Frame (ASF) used in the Lamborghini Gallardo, is made entirely of aluminium, while the outer skin is made out of carbon fibre and aluminium. The car also features an automatic rear spoiler which raises at 70 mph (110 km/h).

The Le Mans quattro featured the magneto rheological dampers, also installed in the latest Audi TT, which gives the car a firmer and more responsive drive and improved handling characteristics. In Audi tradition, the car features quattro permanent four-wheel drive to optimise traction and handling.

The Le Mans quattro's engine was a development of the Gallardo's, with the same displacement but utilizing different cylinder heads (with four valves per cylinder rather than five), as well as twin-turbochargers and Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) technology, resulting in the high output of 449 kW (610 PS; 602 bhp), and 750 N·m (553 ft·lbf) of torque. The gearbox is the six-speed sequential manual transmission used in the Gallardo.

The car showcased various Audi styling cues and technological details, planned to be used in future production Audis.