Audi’s next-generation R8 supercar has been spied lapping the Nurburgring this week as it moves closer to a production debut.
The new R8's styling presents more as an evolution than an all-out redesign, with the supercar retaining its trademark sunken intakes beside each door.
These photos suggest the slatted grilles both front and rear may receive more of a gauze-like finish, although both head- and tail-lights on the test car appear to be all but identical to the current model.
A more prominent air diffuser is visible at the rear, along with quad-exhaust outlets in place of the current twin set-up and perhaps a slightly larger rear windscreen.
Engine wise, the new R8 is expected to receive updated versions of its current naturally aspirated 4.2 litre V8 and the 5.2 litre V10 power plant shared with its Lamborghini Huracán relative.
Current power outputs for the R8 are 316kW/430Nm for the 4.2 litre engine and 386kW/530Nm for the 5.2 litre V10, while the ‘V10 Plus’ lifts power to 404kW/540Nm.
The Huracán’s 5.2 litre V10 makes 448kW and 560Nm, so expect the upgraded Audi version to fall a little shy of this.
We can also expect the manual version to be killed-off with the updated model, which is expected to offer the S-tronic automatic only.
The new R8 will be lighter yet stronger than the outgoing model, and will provide the basis for the R8 e-tron EV performer, confirmed by Audi recently for a production run based entirely on orders received.
Expect the 2016 Audi R8 to debut at a European motor show either late this year or early next year.
MORE: Audi R8 news and reviews