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Audi TT and Audi R8 gain racy carbonfibre upgrades

By Cameron Kirby, 13 Jul 2017 News

Audi TT and Audi R8 gain racy carbonfibre upgrades

Audi Sport brings carbonfibre goodness and track-spec mechanical upgrades to the R8 and TT RS

AUDI has put the TT and R8 on a high-fibre diet. What kind of fibre? Carbonfibre – and lots of it.

Available under the Audi Sport Performance Parts moniker, a range of go-faster upgrades for both cars will be available through Audi dealers, and can be retrofitted to already purchased cars. It’s not just carbon bolt-ons either – there are some genuine track-spec mechanical bits to enjoy as well.

Among the carbonfibre options are two- and three-way adjustable coilover suspension packages, as well as uprated brake pads for both the standard fit steel brakes and optional carbon-ceramics.

For the R8, those brake pads also come with an ultra-light titanium backing plate rather than conventional steel, for an overall weight saving of a kilogram. A single kilogram!

Also on Audi Sport’s tuning menu are upgraded steel front brake discs for the TT RS, as well as various brake cooling kits for all TT models. CNC-machined 20-inch wheels are available for both the TT and R8, and reduce overall mass by up to 7.2kg on the TT and up to 8kg on the R8. For the TT they wear 255/30-section tyres all around, while the R8 is shod with 245/30 rubber up front, and 305/30 tyres at the rear.

Audi has also teamed up with exhaust specialists Akrapovic to give the TT and R8 a new, louder voice. Akrapovic’s bespoke exhausts, which feature its signature titanium mufflers, are finished in an appealing matte gold finish and offer a significant weight reduction over the standard pipes – though Audi doesn’t mention exactly how much mass is cleaved.

The headline act though is the carbon-centric aero kits, which were wind-tunnel developed in-house and bring some track-style flavour to Audi’s sports coupes.

Festooned with canards, vents, ducts, diffusers and spoilers, the aero bits aren’t just for show either. Audi Sport claims the R8 kit generates 250kg of downforce at 300km/h for an increase of 100kg over standard. At 150km/h, the downforce is doubled in comparison to the standard car. Swan-necked rear wing uprights may look a tad… strange, but they are modelled off the R8 LMS and apparently allow the wing to function better.

On the inside, Alcantara-clad steering wheels with a red strip at the 12-o’clock position strengthen the racecar theme for both TT and R8, and can be paired with carbonfibre shift paddles. The wildest – and most visible – feature by far, however, is the monstrous carbon rear strut brace for the TT, which replaces the rear seats entirely (saving 20kg in the process) and ties the rear suspension towers together to improve torsional rigidity. If you’ve unsuccessfully tried to use the TT’s rear seats, you’ll know that you’re better off turfing them for this slick piece of carbon architecture.

“With the Audi Sport Performance Parts we are tapping into a new business segment,” says Stephan Winkelmann, managing director of Audi Sport.

“Our wealth of experience garnered over many years of building sports cars is incorporated into every component we offer. Along with our expertise from motor racing, which is still the best testbed for volume production.”

While currently only available for the TT and R8, other Audi models will soon be added to Audi Sport’s performance parts catalogue.