The heavily camouflaged prototype is believed to be a special farewell edition designed to send off the first-generation Audi R8 in style before an all-new second-generation model arrives in 2015.
The spied car appears to take cues from the German manufacturer’s R8 LMS Ultra GT3 racer, suggesting Audi may be working on a racecar for the road in the same vein as the Porsche 911 GT3 and the Bentley Continental GT3-R.
Impossible to miss are the R8 prototype’s massive adjustable rear wing and aggressive rear diffuser, both intended to alter air flow at the rear and improve downforce.
Other motorsport-inspired elements include a large bonnet intake, a sportier lower front bumper panel and matching side skirts with intakes.
The hardcore model is understood to be powered by the hottest version of the brand’s 5.2-litre V10, matching or potentially bettering the 404kW/540Nm output of the $408,200 R8 Plus.
Reports suggest the farewell edition Audi R8 may be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January, with production allegedly set to be limited to 333 units.
The second-generation Audi R8 is tipped to debut shortly after, potentially as early as March’s Geneva motor show.
As our spy shots from April revealed, the new R8 will feature updated styling similar to the third-generation TT, while it will shed weight by sharing its carbonfibre-infused platform with the Lamborghini Huracan supercar.