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Audi has launched the new Audi R8 LMS GT4 at the New York International Motor Show.

Audi has been racing the Audi R8 GT3 LMS in various guises since 2009, but it is the first time the R8 will feature as a GT4. GT3 LMS has sparked a successful customer racing program for the manufacturer that now includes the TCR-spec RS3 LMS TCR.

The GT4-spec R8 is based on its road-going counterpart, sharing more than 60 per cent of its components with the road-approved R8 V10. Depending on Balance of Performance ratings and homologation the car is set to produce 364Kw, while production is set to start in the second half of the year ahead of the first customers taking delivery by the end of the year.

The car joins a growing number of manufacturers that have joined the GT4 ranks in 2017 including Mercedes, and an existing number that have upgraded their models such as Chevrolet and Ford. There are a variety of series that GT4 can enter throughout the world and that was what attracted Audi, said Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH.

“13 racing series in which GT4 models can compete worldwide already exist today worldwide,” said Winkelmann

“Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time. These fast-growing business segments and the DNA shared by our race cars and production vehicles underscore our ambition to become a true global player in the high-performance league.”

The new Audi R8 LMS GT4 will debut at the Nurburgring 24 Hours on May 25-28.