The development of the Audi R8 LMS for GT3 racing marks the beginning of a new era. For the first time Audi develops a car specifically for customer sport use and not primarily for a factory programme.
New customer sport era in Ingolstadt
For the first time a unique customer sport centre, conceived as profit centre, is built in Ingolstadt. Development of the Audi R8 for GT3 racing requires the systematic expansion of the organisation. Absolute responsibility for development is in the hands of Audi Sport in Ingolstadt. At the same time two other sites are integrated in this project. The bodyshell is taken from the quattro GmbH production line in Neckarsulm. The engine for the racing car originates from Györ in Hungary. As before, Audi Sport implements the factory motorsport programmes.
Approximately 200 employees at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm are responsible specifically for the development and testing of racing cars. Audi Sport is tied to the Technical Development (TE) of AUDI AG and, as result, reports to Michael Dick, Member of the Board in charge of Development. Head of Audi Sport since November 1993 is the Austrian Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. Audi Sport was restructured in preparation for the future in 2007. Audi Sport will complete the first phase of its customer sport centre in Ingolstadt by the end of 2009.
Since October 1983, quattro GmbH has represented a unique lifestyle under the sign of the four rings. This wholly owned subsidiary of AUDI AG offers an extensive range of high-tech products, customisation options and accessories.
In November 2006 production of the first thoroughbred Audi sportscar began in the assembly halls of quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm: The Audi R8 integrates Audi’s many years of motorsport experience, the brand’s technical innovations and also an extremely progressive design into a single car, which is just as at home on the race track as it is on public roads.
quattro GmbH employs 814 people in 2008, 492 of which are directly employed in areas such as production, logistics or quality assurance. Administration, development and production are based at the site in Neckarsulm. Sales and marketing are located in Ingolstadt.
"The R8 is the first production Audi to carry the name and genes of a successful racing sportscar and is, as a result, an outstanding base from which to build up our first large customer sport programme. With the Audi R8 LMS we will offer customers a racing car incorporating high-quality technology and the typical Audi qualities but which is, however, also easy to handle."