Spy Shots: 2016 Audi R8 Caught Testing for the First Time
Feast your eyes upon the reworked 2016 Audi R8 as it enjoys a spirited drive around its natural habitat — the Nurburgring. While the R8’s overall shape doesn’t change, the car is riding on an all new platform shared between its corporate cousin, the new Lamborghini Huracan.
Our sources are saying the new platform architecture helps trim 100 to 200 pounds off the R8’s once-hefty proportions. The generous use of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials will help the R8 gain rigidity, as well as quicker lap times around the ‘ring.
The other hot speculative news is the R8 will keep its monstrous 4.2-liter, naturally-aspirated V-8 despite rumblings Audi would swap it for the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 found in the RS6, RS7, and S8. According to Car & Driver, the force-induction engine is having issues staying cool in the R8’s mid-mounted engine bay. All rumors seem to be consistent regarding the massive 5.2-liter V-10, however. Looks like it will be returning for 2016. Also returning will be the six-speed manual and the seven-speed DSG gearbox, available with either engine.
Appearance wise, the new R8 doesn’t change that much. It does feature a more squared-off front grille similar to what Audi’s new TT looks like. Out back, the square cutouts in the camouflage reveal curvaceous LED taillights. Beneath that are reshaped vents that lack the horizontal bars of the current model. Down below is a reshaped and more aggressive air diffuser with reworked exhaust pipes.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi R8.
The R8’s new face is more squared-off but still features its three large grilles, thought the center grille appears smaller. The headlights also appear to be smaller and less swoopy than before. Even the hood itself seems to have lost some curves in favor of a more angular approach.
The side profile of the R8 looks basically the same as the current generation with its deep cut into the door which feeds the side blade air intakes. The curvature of the roof looks nearly identical as well. The only changes we perceive is the angle at which the rear fascia slopes downward. The new model appears to be more flat, whereas the outgoing model was more curved.
Here at the rear of the R8, you can see the lack of horizontal fins cutting across the vents. Perhaps they’re covered by the camouflage, but it seems more likely the bars are gone. Like the headlights up front, the taillights are much smaller and more angled. The biggest change, however, is the reshaped air diffuser sitting below the bumper. It’s flanked at either end by rectangular exhaust pipes.
The current R8 enjoys some nice enhancements before Audi rolls out the updated 2016 model. As in the R8 V-10 Plus noted here, the car makes use of Audi’s 5.2-liter V-10, that in Plus form, puts out an extra 25 horsepower to achieve 550 while torque sits at 398 pound-feet. Carbon-fiber reinforced plastics help reduce weight to an impressive 3,461 pounds, while new cosmetic bits, including the splitter, lateral air inlets, and rear diffuser, help distinguish it from lesser R8s.
With the additional horsepower and reduced mass, the R8 V-10 Plus rockets to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds on its ways to a 198 mph top speed. The seven-speed dual clutch transmission helps fire off shifts quickly with its close-ratio gearing.
Starting prices for the R8 V-10 Plus begin at $170,545 with the manual transmission and $179,645 for the dual clutch transmission.