The images, captured on the first industry day of the 2014 Nurburgring test season, are the first of the second-generation Audi supercar wearing production body panels.
A shorter and wider front grille and taller side air intakes are visible at the front beneath slimmer LED headlights. The profile retains the signature shape of the original R8, including the upright bands that create the intakes behind the doors. The rear features sharp-edged rectangular LED tail-lights above larger outlets and an aggressively styled rear diffuser with twin exhausts.
The new mid-engined, two-seat Audi R8 will save weight by sharing its carbonfibre-infused platform with the Lamborghini Huracan that debuted in Geneva earlier this month, though the German version will gain wider front and rear tracks and a stretched wheelbase.
The occupant cell, floor, centre tunnel, sills, rear bulkhead and B-pillars of the new chassis are constructed from carbonfibre-reinforced polymer, while lightweight aluminium will be used in the front and rear sections of the car and its axle mounts.
The second-gen R8 will be powered by uprated versions of its predecessor’s 4.2-litre V8 and 5.2-litre V10 engines, the latter closely related to the unit found in the Huracan.
As in the baby Lambo, the R8 will employ a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to distribute power to all four wheels.
The new Audi R8 range looks set to include the electric R8 e-tron – Audi’s on again, off again technology showcase that is expected to get the green light for production shortly.
Production of the petrol-powered models is scheduled to commence in the coming months at a new facility at the car maker’s Neckarsulm plant in Bollinger Hofe, Germany.
Its debut is tipped to take place later this year before the new-generation supercar launches into Australian showrooms in 2015.