2013 Audi R8 revealed

2013 Audi R8 front three-quarter viewAudi’s R8 supercar is going through a mid-life refresh, with a few tweaks to keep the Tony Starks of the world interested. The German company released the first photo of the 2013 R8 today on Twitter. The new car isn’t radically different, but there wasn’t much about the old car that needed changing.

The biggest change so far is to the R8’s front end. The 2013 model has a slightly different grille and headlights with new versions of Audi’s signature LED daytime running lights. The new look brings the 2013 R8 in line with recent Audis like the A7.

The rest of the car in this front three-quarter view looks the same as the outgoing 2012 R8. The car’s trademark “side blades,” which can be rendered in carbon fiber or body body-color, remain.

Audi did not give any specifics on the 2013 R8’s powertrain, but a bump in power over 2012 models and a switch from the current six-speed single clutch automated manual transmission to a double-clutch seven-speed are both possibilities.

The current R8 comes in two flavors. The “base” model sports a 4.2-liter V8 similar to the one used in the RS5 and other Audi sports sedans. The V8 makes 430 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, propelling the R8 to 62 mph (0-100 kph) in 4.6 seconds, and on to a top speed of 185 mph.

If that’s not enough, Audi currently offers a 5.2-liter V10 with 525 hp and 391 lb-ft. The bigger engine brings the 0-60 time down to 3.7 seconds, and the top speed up to 196 mph. Both models are available with a six-speed manual transmission, in addition to the automatic.

Like many other supercars, the R8 has spawned several variants, including the 560 hp R8 GT and the convertible Spyder models. The Spyder seems like an obvious choice to compete against the Porsche 911 Turbo convertible and Ferrari 458 Spider, but there is no word on whether the GT will come back for 2013.

Audi also recently set a world record for electric cars at the Nurburgring with an R8 e-tron. This battery-powered R8 will likely enter production sometime after the first 2013 models hit showrooms.

Audi did not announce pricing for the 2013 R8, but expect the new models to cost about the same, or a little more, than the old. A 2012 R8 4.2 FSI stickers for $118,450, while a top-spec, V10-powered R8 GT costs $201,050.

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