Audi R8 GT

Audi announced more details about its upcoming R8 GT exotic sports car Wednesday, including production figures and final pricing. According to Audi, the R8 GT will be its most expensive vehicle ever when it hits the States late in the summer, starting at $196,800. But the German luxury brand says it will have the thrills – and the exclusivity – to back up the hefty price tag.

To help justify the R8 GT’s sizeable base price, Audi will be keeping production of the performance-oriented R8 extremely limited. Audi says there will be just 333 R8 GTs manufactured for worldwide sale, with just 90 earmarked for the United States. That means after shelling out big bucks for the supercar, you probably won’t run in to another one on your daily commute.

Don’t expect to get out for just $196,800, though. That’s just the base price, before a mandatory $1,250 destination charge is tacked on and any options are added, meaning it’s unlikely that any R8 GTs will trade hands for under the $200,000 mark (especially after tax and license fees). That puts it about $60,000 north of the already-raucous R8 V10, which packs a muscular 525 horsepower.

But Audi hopes the allure of the “ultimate” R8 will make it easy for buyers to shell out the premium. Extensive use of carbon fiber helps the exotic shed just under 200 pounds versus the standard R8 V10 – and the weight savings go well with the R8 GT’s extra 35 horsepower. Audi says the added power and decreased weight help the R8 GT achieve a 0-to-60 time of just 3.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 199 mph. Further modifications include exterior changes like larger exhausts, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, and a carbon fiber rear diffuser which help hone the GT’s unique look.

Due to its focus on track performance, the R8 GT likely won’t be offered as a convertible, since an open roof would decrease the mid-engine sports car’s rigidity and diminish its handling. But Audi will be offering other options, including carbon fiber-reinforced ceramic brakes and a 12-speaker, 495-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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