Looks like someone is in a serious world of "loose-lips" hurt, as an image of what appears to be the 2016 Audi R8 has made its way onto Instagram. The image was first shared by Instagram user “dreboog,” but it’s since been ripped down, likely due to threats from Audi. Fortunately, the Internet never forgets, and plenty of other folks have grabbed the picture.

There is a good bit to soak in from this leak, but the best news is that not too much is changing. Sure, many of the design cues are different, but on a whole, the next-gen Audi supercar will be very similar to the 2015 R8. Some of the changes include a new front grille to put it in line with other current Audi products, smaller front air intakes, harder angles on the base of the front apron, and what appear to be more-streamlined air inlets just behind the doors.

I cannot confirm the validity of this leak, but to my eyes this sure does look like it’s the real deal. If this image is real, then the rumors of a Geneva debut for the R8 seem to fit perfectly, as the car in this picture looks to be a finished product.

The Geneva show kicks off for us press folk on March 3, 2015, so we don’t have to wait too long to find out.

Why it Matters

Leaks are always huge for us, but this one is monstrous, as it all but confirms when the R8 will debut. Along with the visual changes, I also expect to see a bump in power from all three versions of the 2016 R8. In the 2015 R8, the 4.2-liter V-8 pumps out 430 horses and 317 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.2-liter V-10 lays down 525 horsepower and 391 pound-feet in its base format, and 550 ponies and 398 pound-feet in its Plus version. Also on the table is an increase in fuel economy and a reduction in emissions to comply with new regulations around the world.

One thing that concerns me is the quickness in which these images were pulled down. That can mean either that they were 100-percent real and Audi forced the leaker’s hand in taking them down, or they are complete fakes and someone called the leaker out. I am leaning more toward the former, given the rumors surrounding its reveal date. I hope the leaker managed to dodge any legal trouble.

Spy Shot

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Exterior Spyshots
- image 546194

2016 Audi R8

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Exclusive Renderings
- image 515159
Justin Cupler
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