The facelifted R8 range, both in coupe and convertible bodystyles, is expected to be unveiled later this year.
We’re expecting an official world debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September, though Audi may use next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans to reveal the car, just like it did last year with the R8 GT Spyder.
This means the new range should hit showrooms around the end of the year, making them 2013 models.
With a completely brand new model due out in a couple of years, Audi is keeping the changes to the current R8 at a minimum. It appears designers have only implemented minor tweaks to the exterior of the car, and the same is expected for its interior.
2013 Audi R8 facelift spy shots
The engine lineup should still consist of a base 4.2-liter V-8 and range-topping 5.2-liter V-10. However, output may be increased slightly to better align with the competition. The 5.2-liter V-10 model may see as much as 540 horsepower for this facelift.
Rather than increasing output significantly, Audi engineers are believed to be focusing on shedding weight. Expect to see many of the weight saving modifications applied to the high-performance R8 GT carried over to the regular models. These are likely to include the use of thinner glass, carbon fiber and aluminum construction, thinner sheet metal and lightweight carpeting.
The big news is that Audi may finally do away with its clunky R tronic sequential manual gearbox in the R8 with this latest facelift, replacing it instead with an S tronic dual clutch arrangement. A pair of R8 prototypes spotted previously were believed to be running the dual clutch setup.
2013 Audi R8 Spyder facelift spy shots