The facelifted and significantly re-engineered Audi R8 that goes on sale this autumn has been scooped for the first time.
Spotted testing at night in non-reflective paintwork, this otherwise undisguised R8 Spyder gives away the visual changes of the facelifted supercar, due to be revealed at the Moscow show this August.
But the substantial changes are under the skin. There’s a new seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission on the options list — and this has required a completely new rear structure.
Originally, the R8 was engineered with a six-speed transmission in mind, operated either by a conventional clutch and shift mechanism or an optional R-tronic clutchless sequential-change system.However, Audi’s product planners and marketeers significantly underestimated the global demand for a self-shifting gearbox. The lack of one in the R8 is understood to have put off significant numbers of buyers from all over the globe, depressing sales of the R8.
So Audi has taken the expensive step of redesigning the whole of the rear tub, engine carrier and suspension to accept the much wider and heavier dual-clutch transmission, even though the current R8 has only two years further on sale.