The changes are subtle, but together they make a significant change to the car's look. The hexagonal center grille at the front has had the lower sides brought in toward the bottom, and the upper sides have been widened. This gives the main grille a bit more shape than the old one, which in contrast looks like a beveled rectangle. The grilles that flank the center one no longer meet the headlights and are a little smaller and diamond-shaped. Along the side, the skirts now seem to have a bit of a scoop in contrast to the closed-off version on the current model. Together, these changes make the nose of the new R8 look lower than it does now. They also give the car a look closer to its more mundane cousins such as the A8, A7 and A6.
The back of the R8 has some significant tweaks, too. Instead of only having vent grilles directly below the taillights, the grille stretches across the entire backside. The taillights and rear diffuser look mostly the same. The rectangular quad-tip exhaust outlets are gone, though. Instead, this R8 has two enormous oval tips that almost don't seem to fit the rear bumper. A move back to oval tips wouldn't be too strange since Audi has used them on every RS model, which are handled by Audi Sport.
We're expecting to see this updated Audi R8 sometime this year. This is based on a leaked product plan that showed a new R8 appearing in 2018, but also the fact that this is a fairly light facelift. If that plan is to be believed, which considering that it predicted the recent reveals of A8, A7, RS5, A6 and E-tron (C-BEV) Audi will offer a V6 powerplant with the car, too. We doubt the V10 engines will go away, though.