In the mix of all the clean-fuel, plug-in hybrid, all-electric swish, there was this gem at this year’s Paris Motor Show. It’s the new endurance racing spec Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo and it looks frighteningly angry.

This new racecar facelift comes before the road-going R8 facelift which is due later this month and will feature some of the design cues seen here, like the slits on the hood and the new lights. On the Evo racer though, those slits have a serious purpose and are key to the improved cooling measures to improve the durability of its parts. The tweaks to the aerodynamic profile are meant to make the racecar’s handling more consistent.

According to reports, Audi admits that the changes to the R8 GT3 racecar are catering to their customers, the ‘gentlemen racers’ and not all-out racing drivers. Hence the focus on making it safer and less expensive to run instead of just making it madder and faster per lap. “The objective was not to make faster lap times possible,” said the head of Audi customer racing, Chris Reinke. “The balance of performance rules level differences between the various race cars from more than a dozen manufacturers through specific interventions anyway.”

Speaking of the BoP rules, the Evo has less power than the road-going R8 even though they share the same 5.2-litre V10 engine. The race car has a maximum output of close to 580bhp but even that’s limited to 500bhp in most race series. Meanwhile, a road-legal R8 that offers up to 612bhp isn’t allowed for most races around the world like the Nürburging 24 Hours or the Super GT.

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