The refreshed 2013 Audi R8 is almost ready — Audi has just released the first official photo of the new model on Twitter.
From the front-view photo Audi tweeted, the new R8 looks to be getting a minor nip/tuck up front. The 2013 R8 gets reworked headlights, new LED daytime running lights, and a revised grille. The result isn’t a huge departure from the current R8, but may be enough to keep the R8 looking fresh for the years to come. Though we can’t see what changes Audi’s made to the rear of the R8, we can see that its distinctive side blades remains.
UPDATE: We now have more 2013 Audi R8 photos and details. As we reported yesterday, upfront the R8′s LED headlights, bumper and grille are new. The new grille is a single-frame piece that’s painted black in V-8 models and trimmed in chrome on V-10 models. Around back the R8 gets new LED taillights, and a chrome-ringed dual exhaust. There will also be a new top-of-the-line model, dubbed the R8 V10 Plus, and the drop-top Spyders will return.
Mechanically, the big change to the all-wheel-drive R8 is the addition of the new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which Audi expects to reduce 0-62 mph times by three tenths of a second on the V-8 model.
With the new transmission, Audi expects the base 4.2-liter V-8 to accelerate from 0-62 in 4.3 seconds, and top out at 186 mph, while netting an estimated 19 mpg combined (current R8 V-8 gets 16 mpg combined). With the Lamborghini-derived 5.2-liter V-10 and the new dual-clutch transmission, the R8 should be of 0-62 mph sprints in 3.6 seconds, and top out at 195 mph, while returning an estimated 18 mpg combined (current R8 V-10 gets 15 mpg combined).
The new R8 V10 Plus, which is available only as a coupe, makes just under 550 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. Audi expects the new Plus model, which is available with an exclusive matte paint option, to hit 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, and top out at 197 mph. The Audi R8 V10 Plus model tops the European R8 lineup in price but features adjustable seats with glass fiber reinforced plastic, light alloy wheels, and less insulating materials to keep weight down.
The refreshed R8 will hit dealers in Europe by the end of the year. Check out the additional 2013 Audi R8 photos in the gallery below.