The new face-lifted R8 both in a coupe and convertible version is expected to be unveiled later this year, most likely at the Paris Auto Show in September. This means it is likely to hit all showrooms at the end of 2012, making it a 2013 model.
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. Designers have appeared to have made only minor tweaks to the exterior of the car which is expected for the interior as well.
The biggest and most apparent change to the R8 is at the front, which adopts a new bumper and revised headlights. All-LED elements can be seen in the headlight unit, and the overall shape of the lights appear to feature a sharper look similar to what was seen on the 2010 e-tron Spyder concept.
The engine lineup should still consist of a base 4.2-litre V-8 and range-topping 5.2-litre V-10. However, output may be increased slightly to better align with the competition and the 5.2-litre V-10 model seeing as much as 540 horsepower for this facelift.
Rather than increasing output significantly, Audi engineers are believed to be focusing on shedding weight. This may be achieved through the use of thinner glass, carbon fibre and aluminium constructions and lightweight carpeting.
The big news is that with this facelift, Audi may finally do away with its clunky R tronic sequential manual gearbox in the R8, replacing it instead with an S tronic dual clutch arrangement.