By on October 23, 2018

Audi is prepared to debut important updates for the second-generation R8 within the next few months, assuming a teaser image floating around the internet is anything to go by. While you’ll still have to do a side-by-side comparison from most angles, most of the changes seem beneficial. Gone are the vertical slats on the air inlets, replaced by a mesh akin to what you’ll find on the R8’s new grille — which is slightly wider and tappers inward at the bottom.

Above it, a row of vents lead into what would normally be an engine bay. That’s a clear nod to the Sport Quattro of the mid-1980s and a tasteful reference the brand’s motorsport heritage (they also appear on the new A1 Sportback). Still, we doubt the mid-engined R8 would make a stellar rally car without some serious suspension mods, and it’s not clear what purpose those openings serve. 

The R8’s headlights appear upsized, giving the model a less-squinty look. However, it could be an illusion created by the foggy photograph’s angle — as their overall design seems to be very similar and spy shots of camouflaged test mules show the current model’s headlamps.

Those earlier photos likewise suggest that the R8 will receive updated side skirts while the back gets ventilation all the way across, using the same rectangular-mesh pattern as the front. Ovoid mufflers are also expected to replace the current editions trapezoidal tips.

As the Lamborghini Huracan soldiers on with the same — albeit tweaked — engine, we can expect the R8 to continue using the 5.2-liter V10. Rumors abound, including some that claim Audi will offer a smaller engine for specific markets. That unit is expected to be around 450 hp and turbocharged, if it exists. There are also whispers that the brand might revive the limited-edition rear-wheel-drive R8 after the facelift. Audi has confirmed nothing thus far.

Expect that to change right around the time 2018 draws to a close.

[Image: Audi]

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