Audi told us a new R8 was coming, and now our spy shooters have caught it testing. The good news is that the car still looks stunning. The bad news is that's because the original R8 design has aged so well.

What we're seeing in these photos doesn't indicate much has changed outside of minor tweaks to the front fascia that seem mostly designed to accommodate new headlights with a different LED pattern. The rear fascia and taillights are similarly reconfigured, with round twin tailpipes like the R8 GT, but without the side ducting.

When they sent us the images, KPG Photography also speculated that this forthcoming R8 update will ditch the R-tronic sequential automatic transmission for a dual-clutch gearbox. That's in line with rumors we've heard for the next-generation R8, which indicate that the DSG will be the only transmission available.

We've got shots of both the coupe R8 and the R8 Spyder, including some taken at night where it's easier to see the new LED designs. Check out all the high-res images in our gallery.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      atltv
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cannot determine the front from the back ...... TILT
      crosleyjon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks crappy "jAPPY "jUNK!
        cornell0673
        • 2 Years Ago
        @crosleyjon
        its german,lol
        • 2 Years Ago
        @crosleyjon
        [blocked]
      Gamblour
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish like hell they would get rid of that stupid blade. The car flows horizontally so nicely, only to be completely disrupted by this huge, vertical blade. It's so out of place, it seems like someone at the design meeting said, "OK, above all else, we need to have a blade somewhere on this car, so find a place for it and make it happen and design the rest of the car around it!"
        Alex740
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Gamblour
        I like the blade and give Audi credit for introducing a totally new and different element that had helped defined the model as different. If everyone liked it then it wouldn't be much of a statement anyway.
        ryanandrewmartin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Gamblour
        What?! That's one of it's defining characteristics. Look at the Spyder for example. No blade, looks like a Gallardo.
        moch5team
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Gamblour
        Umm? but how would the engine be cooled without them? There's a reason all these sports cars have those side vents and scoops, and that's to get air into the engine. If they don't have those they would need a giant roof scoop like you see on F1 cars lol.
      Alex Fischer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear Audi, new headlights do not make for a "refresh." Maybe more will change before production, but as it is now - *yawn*
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Alex Fischer
        [blocked]
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's that? An audi with a 6-sided front grille that goes from the bottom of the bumper up to the top of the headlights, flanked by two 2/3 size grilles? What a surprise.
      ELG
      • 2 Years Ago
      wow that looks downright boring. might as well be a TT
      Will
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh that looks good.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      judgesmails
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really wish Audi would decide on some sort of uniformity with the LED DRLs, (i.e. BMW), rather than experimenting wildly with each different model. Here's my list of LED patterns from favorite to least favorite: A7, A5 (old version), A8, A4 (old), A4 A5 (new), A6, A3 (old), R8 (new). The new R8 LEDs look... I don't know, terrible?
        Alex740
        • 2 Years Ago
        @judgesmails
        Since LED lighting is the only way Audi experiments wildly with design and the only way they really update their designs during refreshes, they wouldn't have anything to redesign if they all used the same LED design.
      vripper
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not sure what it is with the front and rear proportion, but to me, it's always looked like a hot chick in the front and then she turns around she has no butt.
      Leviathan18
      • 2 Years Ago
      Car needs a better interior to bring it up to the standards of Audi today. The exterior still looks good, but the DSG is a must have for this car, that R-Tronic transmission is a POS
        wrxfrk16
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Leviathan18
        No, a proper manual is a must have for this car, leave that DSG garbage in the GTI.
          Feurig
          • 2 Years Ago
          @wrxfrk16
          DSG is faster than manual. I'm all for having manual an option with any sports car just for old times sake, but all DCTs are faster.
        RG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Leviathan18
        "that R-Tronic transmission is a POS" Are you saying that based on long term personal experience with the transmission, a quick test drive, or just what you read? I love the R-T in my V10. And having recently bought an S4 with Audi's S-Tronic as a daily driver, I can honestly say the twin clutch is something of a downgrade. Although the S-T is very smooth, like an automatic, it often has the wrong gear staged at the wrong time, which provides a healthy delay and clunk as it re-selects your chosen gear. It also is torque limited, so it automatically short shifts first and second gears, even in manual mode. Because the R-T is at heart a manual box, it cannot have the wrong gear waiting on the second shaft. The R-T never misses a shift, and if you know how to drive a manual gearbox smoothly, then getting smooth shifts from an R-T is a breeze. Care to tell us specifically why the R-T is so bad?
      J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nope, don't care for that at all really. Maybe it's better in person.
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