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Future models - Audi - R8

Audi teases R8 facelift

First glimpse: Audi released this side-on silhouette of the facelifted R8 supercar as part of a video celebrating the car’s five years in production.

Video celebrating fifth birthday of Audi’s R8 supercar ends with teaser for facelift

Audi logo19 Mar 2012

AUDI appears to have confirmed a facelifted R8 supercar is imminent with a video recently released on YouTube celebrating the model’s five years in production.

It is impossible to tell what the changes will be from the side-on silhouette glimpsed briefly at the end of the video with the caption “The New Audi R8”, but it is expected to fall into line with the rest of the brand’s line-up in terms of the current tapered ‘single frame’ grille design and angular headlight shapes.

The Ingolstadt-based brand is also likely to tweak the R8 to provide more performance and efficiency, perhaps through weight reduction combined with aerodynamic and mechanical tweaks.

Audi is rumoured to be working on a dual-clutch S-Tronic automatic transmission to replace the six-speed R-Tronic automated manual unit that can be jerky at low speeds.

Given Audi used a celebration of the R8’s fifth birthday to tease the updated car, it is likely the brand will use the Paris show in September for its unveiling as this was the scene of the original’s public debut in September 2006.

A possible preview of the revised R8’s front end emerged in 2010 when Christopher Häussinger, a student at German university Technische Universitat Dresden, produced an intelligent LED lighting system for the Audi e-tron concept.

7 center imageLeft: Matrix Beam Light Concept.

Mr Häussinger’s design featured LED Matrix headlights, a technology that featured on the A2 concept at last year’s Frankfurt motor show, but most significantly these radically shaped headlights were incorporated into a new front end featuring the aforementioned modern grille design.

The rest of the look, with its honeycomb mesh grille and side air intakes, formed a believable progression from the original R8. Audi has been a market leader with LED technology and some form of high-tech headlights could become a standard feature on high-end cars like the R8.

Audi’s second-generation R8, due around 2014, will use an aluminium spaceframe construction combined with exotic materials like carbon-fibre to reduce weight by around 100kg compared with the first-generation model, which weighs between 1560kg for the V8 Coupe and 1725kg for the V10 Spyder.

According to VFACTS figures, 280 R8s have been sold in Australia since it was launched here in October 2007.

At first the R8 was available in coupe form only, powered by a 4.2-litre V8 producing 309kW at 7800rpm and 430Nm at 4500-6000rpm.

The V10 version was launched in Australia in August 2009, its 5.2-litre Lamborghini-derived engine producing 386kW at 8000rpm and 530Nm from 6500rpm.

September 2010 saw the V10 Spyder convertible arrive Down Under and recently Audi made the V8-engined R8 Spyder available in Australia, expanding the drop-top version’s audience here by pricing it at almost $80,000 less than the V10.

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Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.