- This might be a major facelift or the rumoured entry-level V6 variant with a 2.9-litre motor from RS5.
- Rumours also have it that Audi will shelf the R8 for good with no replacement expected at the turn of the decade.
Audi was spotted testing a test mule of their flagship sports car, the R8, near its headquarters in Ingolstadt. This could either be a major facelift for the R8 or this might be a test mule of the entry-level V6 variant. However, since the latter reports are being denied by the carmaker, we suspect that the R8 will indeed get a mid-life update for its second generation.
The test-mule is wearing a scanty camo around the fascia and at the rear. The front is revised with the same grille as seen on the new-gen A6, A7 and flagship A8. The side air intakes are also covered in mesh with missing vertical louvres as seen on the current model with a noticeable chin spoiler. However, the sleek, LED headlights remains unchanged. There is also cladding on the side skirts which means there is a revised design underneath.
At the rear, the test mule has a massive circular exhaust pipe sticking out of the bumper as opposed to the integrated squared ones on the current model. It also features a new rear grille which now runs across the entire rear. The subtle spoiler is present while the camouflage fails to hide the sporty diffusers on the bumper.
According to recent speculations, Audi has denied the development of an entry-level R8 with a 2.9-litre turbocharged V6 scrounged from the recently launched RS5 Coupe. The V6 would make more than 400bhp and would be cheaper and easier to maintain. The smallest engine ever fitted in their flagship supercar was a V8, which ceased production in 2015. The dwindling sales figures is also another factor which may point to why the R8 may be discontinued rather replaced at the turn of the decade.
The updated R8 could be the last hurrah for the flagship coupe when it arrives later this year. With the introduction of the refreshed model, we hope to see a positive growth in terms of sales. This could, in turn, help the German carmaker change its decision of putting the R8 to rest.