words: George Achorn, photos: Denis Podmarkov
Believe it or not, you’ve seen this car before. Well, if you’re a longtime reader of quattro Magazine, then you may recall that we featured a modified R8 back in 2018 (“Red is Right”, pp. 36-38, quattro quarterly Summer 2018). While that may not qualify as a long time by most measures, it is a considerable amount in Pacific German years. For that well-known SoCal shop, life moves pretty fast. Witness the R8.
The full back story on this car is thus identical as last time. It began life as a rather mundane specimen… at least in a world where a red R8 might be considered mundane. Effectively, it wasn’t an R8 V10 plus, which made it a fine-looking blank canvas for Shawn and Tyler Setterstrom who own and operate Pacific German. The plan was to make it exemplary of their capabilities. It made a convincing argument back in 2018 and shows just how much further they’ve come in the two years since that time, and with a big focus on creating a racecar for the street.
Under the glass enclosed jewel case of a hood, this R8 is anything but mundane. For starters, it’s got a supercharger system from VF Engineering that augments the Audi V10 FSI’s horsepower to over 850. Adding a few more ponies, not to mention incredible sound and dropping weight, is a titanium exhaust from Akrapovič, the same people who have made exhausts for the Audi R18 and the RS 5 DTM racecars.
In order to contend with the increase in power, the chassis has been similarly augmented. KW HAS coilover sleeves help handling. Stopping is improved thanks to the addition of carbon-ceramic brakes, USP Motorsports stainless brake lines, and Castrol SRF racing brake fluid.
When it comes to wheels and tires, it’s here that we believe Pacific German went for the gold in the build of this car. Center lock fastening systems has become a cool differentiator pulled from racing pedigree on some of the world’s most exotic cars. Thus far, Audi hasn’t offered such hardware on the R8, but the car’s corporate platform sibling the Lamborghini Huracán Performante does. In this case, the Setterstrom’s turned to the Lamborghini parts bin and back fitted the hardware to the Audi. To that they paired a set of satin black Vossen Forged Monoblock EVO-4R wheels (20×9 front, 20×12 rear), and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (245 25 20 front, 325 25 20 rear).
Inside the cabin, changes are tasteful and simple. Retrofitting the steering wheel from a V10 plus and custom red seatbelts look like something the factory could have done.
It’s on the outside where the aggressive OEM+ motorsport theme becomes vividly real. For starters, they fitted the Audi Sport performance parts body kit not yet available in the USA. That package includes many elements inspired by the Audi R8 LMS, particularly the GT4. It includes plenty of carbon fiber, comprising of front lip, Gurney flaps, side skirts, rear diffusor, and motorsport-derived rear decklid spoiler for copious levels of downforce.
Of course, they didn’t stop at just the body kit. The carbon theme continues with carbon side blades from ABT that blister out much like those used on the R8 LMS GT4. Further carbon details come from OEM mirror caps from the R8 V10 plus, carbon fiber exhaust tips from Akrapovič, plus a fuel door lid and front mirror triangle air deflectors from DB Carbon. That black theme carries through with European gloss black factory badges and an Audi Sport badge on the front grille from the R8 RWS.
The final tailoring of the motorsport look on the R8 finishes the appearance. For starters, this included an R8 LMS inspired livery applied in vinyl. Other more minute details include gloss gold metallic finish on both the brake calipers and the engine cross brace.
With such a long and significant investment in the augmentation of the R8, Pacific German wasn’t going to leave it there unprotected from the Southern California elements. To that end, the coupe received full Xpel Paint Protection, Suntek Ceramic window tint, and Gtechnic Crystal Serum Paint Sealant.
Should you spot the Pacific German R8 on the road, we’d forgive you for mistaking it for an R8 LMS GT4 you might catch contesting the Michelin Pilot Challenge series on any given IMSA race weekend. Short of driver names on the door, it’s a convincing roadgoing impersonator though with a brag sheet maybe even longer than the race car. Last we checked, the R8 LMS GT4 doesn’t offer 850hp nor those trick center locks…