Audi Sport's R8 LMS racing into the 2019 motorsport season made a pit stop on Tuesday at the 2018 Paris auto show.
The version shown is designed for GT3 competition but Audi Sport also offers an R8 LMS GT4. Crucially, the car shown features the design bound for an updated version of the R8 road car due in showrooms next year, a prototype for which is shown below.
Revealed on the race car is the wider, more aggressive grille design that's destined for the road car. We also get a look at the new cutout in the rear fascia, which on the road car will be covered by a mesh element.
Audi Sport said its engineers focused on optimization of the aerodynamics, cooling and drivetrain durability for the 2019 R8 LMS. The good news is that this should result in a better R8 road car since the two beasts are closely related.
2020 Audi R8 facelift spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The engine is still the R8's familiar 5.2-liter V-10, which in the race car has its output restricted to below 600 horsepower to meet homologation rules. But with the drivetrain durability improvements, Audi Sport said teams will benefit financially from longer service intervals, particularly in the case of the clutch and transmission.
Deliveries of the 2019 R8 LMS will commence in November, with the starting price set at $459,380. Teams already fielding the current R8 LMS can purchase an upgrade package for $32,000.
Unfortunately, Audi Sport remains tight-lipped on when the updated road car will appear. It's currently thought to be making its own debut late this year or early next.
For more from the Paris auto show, head to our dedicated hub.