It’s slick, way slick. But the blower system isn’t the only thing. The brake calipers are one-offs like the car. The wheels too. Almost nothing comes off the shelf as PPI went all out to produce the ultimate R8.
Then there’s the aero, which really seems to work, although we can’t push hard enough on the roads around Stuttgart to truly test the theory. Apparently, the first time the car went into the wind tunnel they found the rear wing, which was designed with pen and paper before it hit the computers, actually improved airflow over the front of the car.
American surgeon Dr. Abraham and his twin brother started PPI Automotive Design after a lifetime of modifying their own cars. The pair fell in love with tuning, and Germany, when they hit Europe as teenagers, where they organized meetings with the likes of Alois Ruf, posing as potential buyers, hiding their backpacks before heading inside. For the record, they did later go back for a Ruf conversion and Alois is a friend to this day.
The brothers both have immense respect for ABT and MTM, too. Indeed, look closely and you’ll see a PPI front splitter on the polished MTM R8 that’s also now doing the rounds. But they felt that Audi needed a wilder side, a more extreme visual treatment than the other tuners provide, as well as brutal speed, and that’s certainly what they’ve come up with.
Both brothers come from science backgrounds, though, and it wasn’t enough just to look the part. They literally stripped the R8 down to the bare bones and analyzed the whole car before reconstructing it in their own image. This went to a near molecular level, and while the engine work is the obvious headline, get them talking and they’ll tell you how the wing mirror on the stock car is borderline retarded in its design, but they opted to keep it and profile the air intakes to match.
The bodywork is all carbon, everything bar the roof and the doors; that keeps things simple for the crash regulations, too. And as well as looking cruel, it generates such massive downforce that the first front wing ripped clean off the car.
The rear wing was also a first for the wind-tunnel operatives; as mentioned, it somehow helped the airflow over the front. Two huge vents in the rear create a vacuum that drags hot air from the engine bay and there’s an optional slatted rear screen for those that want the full effect. It isn’t just a show thing, the slats and vents help reduce the temperature in the engine bay by up to 40 degrees and anybody that has felt the power sap from their car after 10 minutes on track will know this is a good, good thing.
The MAG9 wheels are magnesium and come with a carbon rim, reducing the weight of the front rims to 17 pounds and the rears to 18. It’s borderline obsessive, but undeniably brilliant.
Of course, this level of tech doesn’t come cheap. Dressed this way the car costs $450,000, and there will only be 10. It’s developed to within an inch of its life and the mild-mannered R8 has turned into Superman with PPI’s help.
One thing is for sure; for a fledgling company, this is a hell of a statement of intent.
PPI Razor GTR 800
Longitudinal mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
5.2-liter V10, dohc, 40-valve. Novidem twin centrifugal superchargers, charge coolers, carbon-fiber airbox, sport exhaust, software
Adjustable suspension lowering up to 60mm, front hydraulic lift kit
Custom calipers, carbon-ceramic rotors
MAG9 magnesium/carbon, 9x19 (f), 11x19 (r) Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, 235/35 (f), 305/30 (r)
PPI front spoiler, decklid, rear wing
Peak Power: 801 hp @ 7500 rpm
Peak Torque: 634 lb-ft @ 5910 rpm
0-60 mph: 2.9 sec.
Top Speed: 217 mph