World Premiere of the New Audi RS 3 LMS

source: Audi Sport

  • Second generation of the entry-level model from Audi Sport customer racing
  • Customer benefits significantly increased in many areas
  • Managing Director Julius Seebach: “The Audi RS 3 LMS stands for records”

Audi Sport customer racing continues its model offensive. The second generation of the Audi RS 3 LMS follows in the footsteps of one of the brand’s successful touring cars. Improved in many areas, the new model for global TCR racing had its virtual premiere at Audi Sport in Neuburg an der Donau on February 5.

“We are underlining the importance of motorsport for our road-going products and presenting a race car still in disguise before the spearhead of the corresponding production model is on the market,” says Julius Seebach, Managing Director Audi Sport GmbH and responsible for Audi Motorsport. “The Audi RS 3 LMS is a clear commitment to customer racing and stands for records in our program. We want to continue the remarkable series of successes of the first generation with the new model.” No other customer racing car with the four rings has been produced as often in a single generation as the first-generation RS 3 LMS, of which 180 units have been built. The compact race car is not only a top performer commercially, but also in sporting terms: In just four years, the entry-level touring car achieved 764 podium places in 1,051 races worldwide, including 279 victories. 16 titles in drivers’ championships and 38 championship successes in other categories round off its record, including the title of TCR Model of the Year 2018.

“The development goals for our latest model focused on the customers,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Whether it’s about running times or setup options, safety or ergonomics: we want to offer the teams a car that is even more of a race car than before.” The second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS presents itself with new developments in all areas that serve two goals: To make the production-based entry-level model an even better race car and to optimize customer benefits in all areas. Despite this, the model remains affordable in purchase and maintenance, offers an even higher level of safety and provides plenty of driving pleasure with up to 250 kW (340 hp).

Audi RS 3 LMS at a glance (click on photo to enlarge)

Audi in the TCR: Second generation of the Audi RS 3 LMS ready for the race track

Audi Sport customer racing unveils the successor to its successful RS 3 LMS model in January 2021. The second generation of the entry-level touring car will initially undergo a testing season before going into production and being ready for customers at the end of 2021. The model, which has been improved in many areas, is set to continue a series of great successes of the first generation in international TCR touring car racing, both in sporting and commercial terms. The focus during development was always on optimum customer benefit.

The Audi RS 3 LMS, which has been offered since the end of 2016, stands for records in the Audi Sport customer racing model range. No other model has been produced as in such large numbers in a single vehicle generation as the RS 3 LMS, of which 180 units were built. And no model with the four rings is currently used more frequently by customers around the world in racing than the compact four-door model. Up to the end of 2020, the model made 3,105 appearances in a total of 1,051 races around the globe in its life cycle to date. On average, there were almost three Audi RS 3 LMS cars on the grid in each race. A remarkable achievement in a category that is exclusively for customers and in which Audi has not been involved on the factory side with the exception of a two-year program in the FIA WTCR in 2018 and 2019. In the four years since its launch, the race car has clinched a total of 764 podium places in Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe, including 279 victories. This is a win rate of 26.5 percent in an extremely tough competition in which TCR race cars from up to 14 manufacturers go head-to-head. 16 drivers titles, 38 further championship successes and a total of five class victories in 24-hour races characterize the sporting record of the entry-level model, which was the global “TCR Model of the Year” in 2018.

“Our new Audi RS 3 LMS thus takes on a great and responsible legacy,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “The focus of our development goals for our latest model was on the customers. Whether it’s about running times or setup options, safety or cockpit ergonomics: we want to offer the teams a car that’s even more of a race car than before, that has many practical advantages in everyday use and that can be operated economically thanks to long running times.” Customers all over the world benefit from a comprehensive service network, a reliable supply of parts and the continuous further development of the race car over the course of its model lifecycle.

The TCR category offers beginners as well as gentleman drivers, but also touring car professionals, cost-effective racing with production-based models. The WSC organization currently has 24 national, regional and international TCR racing series and classes licensed worldwide, in most of which the Audi RS 3 LMS has been firmly established on the grid for a long time. In addition, teams use the race car for other programs in many regions, primarily in endurance racing in mixed sports and touring car series. TCR touring cars have long since become firmly established in classic racing nations as well as in emerging countries. Hardly any other category is so widespread in global motorsport.

With the second generation of the RS 3 LMS, Audi is committed to the continuity of an entry-level model in its vehicle range, a low-cost discipline in racing, customer racing as a central pillar in this class, and predictability and consistency vis-à-vis a loyal customer base worldwide. Multiple examples prove that Audi’s race car is also ideally suited for national retail organizations, and even individual dealers, to raise their own profile in the market in an affordable and popular racing category. In the basic design of its body, but also in many characteristic accents of its design from the radiator grille to the titanium gray rims, the new Audi RS 3 LMS is closely related to the high-performance models from Audi Sport. It is thus the perfect link between a fast model family for everyday use and fascinating touring car racing on the race track.

Audi Sport customer racing: Established model range on four pillars

Audi’s customer racing program began in 2009 with the GT3 model Audi R8 LMS. In 2015, the sports car appeared in its second generation and an evolution stage has been on the market since the end of 2018. From the end of 2016, an entry-level touring car was available to order in the form of the Audi RS 3 LMS, for which an optional upgrade kit can be ordered since 2020. The second generation of the touring car will follow in 2021. The Audi R8 LMS GT4 entry-level sports car appeared in 2017 and received an evolution package at the end of 2019. Since 2019, the Audi R8 LMS GT2 has completed the broad-based model range of Audi Sport customer racing, whose products are among the youngest and therefore most advanced on the market.

The models’ market successes prove how close Audi Sport customer racing’s offering is to the teams’ needs. The Audi RS 3 LMS with up to 257 kW (350 hp) has been produced in a run of 180 units already in its first generation and has won more than 50 titles worldwide. In 2021, Audi has presented its successor. The Audi R8 LMS GT4 is the ideal entry-level model for amateurs and young up-and-coming drivers who want to get to know GT racing in sprints or endurance races with an attractive, production-based coupe. For the 2020 season, Audi Sport presented a revised version of the sports car with up to 364 kW (495 hp) that can be tailored even better to individual wishes. The GT3 version of the Audi R8 LMS has been on the grid in an evolution stage since the 2019 season and ranks among the top cars in this category worldwide. The race car with up to 430 kW (585 hp) has a balanced overall technical package and is even more drivable than before. The Audi R8 LMS GT2, also presented in 2019, is the most powerful model with 470 kW (640 hp). It is aimed specifically at gentleman drivers and sports car enthusiasts who can enjoy its fascination at club races and track days.

The brand’s model range is attractive and established in the market around the globe. Beyond the competitive products, Audi Sport customer racing’s service has long been crucial for many teams. Five contractual partners – two in Asia, one in Australia, one in the USA and one in Canada – cover the regional supply of teams around the world, while Audi Sport customer racing, based in Neuburg an der Donau, looks after the European markets. In addition, customer racing advisors are on site to support the teams at all major competitions.