After more than a year's worth of prototypes testing around Europe, Audi lifted the covers off the 2013 model year R8 facelift in advance of its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in September.
So what's new about the 2013 R8 Coupe and Roadster models?
Well, if you want the short story, the R8 benefits from some minor cosmetic tweaks both inside and out, the addition of a 7-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission that replaces the 6-speed automated manual R tronic, and a new range-topping and lighter V10 Plus model with 542-horses, which is available solely in Coupe guise.
In more detail, the 2013 model features a revamped fascia with new LED headlamps (standard on all versions), a six-point single-frame grille with horizontal chrome inserts adorning the struts on the V10 variant, and a redesigned bumper with the air inlets bearing three crossbars each.
At the back, the R8 sports a new set of LED taillights, a different 'R8' logo, a restyled diffuser, air outlets with three slats on each corner and two new round tailpipes on all engine versions.
The interior changes are limited to some minor modifications to the trim, the needles in the instrument cluster and the shift paddles. Available options include a diamond-stitched, Fine Nappa full-leather treatment for the seats, door panels and the headlining.
While both the base 4.2-liter V8 with 424hp (430PS) and 430 Nm (317 lb-ft), and the 5.2-liter V10 rated at 518hp (525PS) and 530 Nm (391 lb-ft) remained unchanged, Audi has replaced the outgoing model's 6-speed automated manual R tronic with a new 7-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission.
Audi says the 7-Speed S tronic has reduced CO2 emissions by up to 22 grams/km (35.41 g/mile) and decreased the sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) by three-tenths of a second. A six-speed manual gearbox is also offered.
The R8 V8 Coupe with S tronic accelerates from rest to 100km/h (62mph) in 4.3 seconds and tops out at 300km/h (186mph), while the R8 V10 with S tronic completes the sprint in 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 314 km/h (195mph).
For 2013, there's also a new "Wave" design for the brake disks that lowers the weight overall by about two kilograms (4.41 lb) compared with round disks of the same dimensions.
The overhauled R8 rolls on larger wheels size 18-inch with tires sizes 235/40 front and 285/35 rear for the V8, and 19-inch rims shod in tires 235/35 and 295/30 for the V10 models.
The new addition to the range is the V10 Plus, which is essentially a replacement to the 560hp GT models, the production of which was limited to 333 examples for each body style. The V10 Plus edition, however, will be offered only as a coupe.
With S tronic, the all-wheel drive R8 V10 Plus goes from standstill to 100 km/h (62mph) in 3.5 seconds and tops out at 317 km/h (197 mph). It has an average fuel consumption of 12.9lt/100km (18.2 US mpg).
The key data for the 6-speed manual transmission model are 3.8 seconds, 319 km/h (198 mph) and 14.9 liters (15.79 US mpg) respectively.
Thanks to the bucket seats with glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) chassis, reduced use of insulating materials, special light alloy wheels and chassis components, including the standard ceramic brakes, as well the CFRP add-on parts on the body, the V10 Plus tips the scales at 1,570 kg (3461 lbs) or just 10kg (22 pounds) more than the V8 Coupe with a manual gearbox.
The V10 Plus model also gets specially tuned springs and shock absorbers, different camber values on the front axle, and standard magnetic ride adaptive damping.
You can distinguish the V10 Plus from its lesser coupe siblings by the carbon fiber package that adds a front splitter, mirror housings, wider side blades and air vents. In addition, the vent louvers next to the rear window, the 19-inch alloy wheels, the larger rear diffuser and the twin exhaust pipes are finished in black.
Other features include the CFRP lining and LED lighting for the engine compartment, and bucket seats with prominent side sections for better lateral support.
The revamped for 2013 Audi R8 will reach European customers at the end of the year with prices in Germany starting at €113,500 for the V8 Coupé, €124,800 for the V8 Spyder, and €154,600 and €165,900 for the V10 Coupe and Spyder respectively, while the R8 V10 Plus costs €173,200.
Sales in the U.S. are expected to start in the first quarter of 2013.
Audi is also planning to debut an all-electric version of the R8 with the e-Tron moniker at the Paris Motor Show this fall.