Audi is gearing up to replace the R8 supercar in spring 2014 and the next R8 is tipped to follow an evolutionary look, as depicted in our new artist's impression.
But it's not the first change to the R8. Later in 2012, Audi will give the R8 a mild facelift and tech update. It will be fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission instead of the sequential six-speeder, the improved MMI hard- and software we know from the latest A6, the power output of the V10 increases from 525bhp to 540bhp, and at the end of 2012 the limited-edition electric RSe will satisfy those Prius owners who crave a bit more zero-emission grunt.
Audi R8: the new 2014 Audi supercar
In early 2014, Audi will replace the R8 and the second-generation German supercar pursues an evolutionary styling theme. According to the Ingolstadt grapevine, the sideblades and the manual transmission disappear, the packaging is a little more generous here and there, and the MMI system switches to a single multi-functional colour monitor positioned between speedometer and rev counter.
Plenty of new tech will be sprinkled on the new R8. A head-up display will be available as an option and the redesigned lights are variable-intensity LED units.
Carbon and aluminium for the next 2014 R8
The current 100% aluminium-based ASF structure gives way to a multi-material mix on the new R8, introducing carbonfibre for the rear firewall, the transmission tunnel and the B-posts that double-act as rollover protection elements.
This approach makes the body in white 24 kilos lighter and 13% stiffer, CAR understands. The total kerbweight is expected to tumble by a stout 100kg.
Engines in the new Audi R8
While the base model remains loyal to the naturally aspirated V8 good for 450bhp, the power output of the V10 version goes up to 550bhp. Mid-term, the relatively thirsty if charismatic ten-cylinder may give way to a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 good for 600bhp; the latter is the same engine you'll find in the Audi S8 and, soon, the Bentley Continental GT.
One year after the R8 coupe, the new R8 Spyder should be ready to charm the in-crowd with a launch in 2015.
The new R8, and its Lamborghini twin, the Gallardo replacement coming in 2013, will both stick with the MSS (modular sports car system) architecture masterminded by Audi. But the generation after that will be part of MSB-M (modular rear-wheel drive maxtrix, mid-engined variant) conceived by Porsche.
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