A prototype of an Audi R8 has been spied in southern Europe today, wearing camouflage over some significantly redesigned body bits. At the front, the whole bumper has been revised around a new hexagonal grille design shared with the A6, A7, and the A8.
The side intakes have also been modified. Gone are those vertical bars, replaced by conventional mesh. Slight changes to the side skirts and chin spoiler will only be noticeable by doing a side-by-side comparison. The rear-end features a new grille design that goes across the car instead of being cut in the middle, where the license plate is. The air diffuser seems more understated, and that leads to believe this is the 400bhp base model that's been rumoured for many years.
Instead of square mufflers, this R8 has two oval ones with those little perforations that help it sound better. This could be connected to either a 2.5-litre 5-cylinder with over 400bhp or, most likely, the 450bhp 2.9-litre V6 from the RS5.
If sales are the main problem of the R8, then this engine will do a lot to help. Not only will it make the mid-engined supercar cheaper to buy, but it will also lower taxes based on emissions or displacement.