Earlier this year, our European spy photographers managed to catch the facelifted Audi R8 V10 Coupé undergoing road tests. But its topless sibling, the R8 Spyder, has just surfaced. And in Europe, no less.

Just like the coupé, the Spyder looks to share the same new outfit, comprised of a revised front and rear bumper, the former featuring a bolder Singleframe grille and new mesh-type inserts. Interestingly, the headlights appear to be of a new design with revised LED DRLs, but considering the low-res picture quality, we cannot confirm this. The side sills however, are new, with deeper grooves that potentially function as aerodynamic optimisers.

The mid to lower section of the rump is completely new, with conjoined horizontal vents to regulate engine temperature and a more aggressive lower bumper. The latter features two huge oval exhaust pipes, which is a departure from the hexagonal units from before.

It’s unclear if this is the hotter GT variant (which would sit above the V10 plus), but time will certainly tell. The LED tail lights and fixed composite spoiler seem unchanged. Expect slight to no changes to its soft-top mechanism – it weighs in at 44 kg and opens or closes in 20 seconds, thanks to an electrohydraulic system.

In terms of powertrain, the range-topping R8 Spyder V10 plus packs a mid-mounted naturally-aspirated 5.2 litre 10-cylinder petrol engine. The rev-happy mill packs a hearty 610 hp and 560 Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed S tronic transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds and has a top speed of 328 km/h.

While news of the R8’s retirement looms, it’s still too early to dwell in the said eventuality. Audi’s R&D chief Peter Mertens said “it [the R8] has a long life, and it’s doing okay. Never say never; performance cars are good for Audi.”

The current, second-generation Audi R8 made its global debut in 2015, so it’s already three years into its lifecycle. Since then, many versions, including a special rear-wheel drive model have surfaced, though it is likely there are more variants to come, particularly a track-focused version a la R8 GT. Could this variant be it, then?


GALLERY: 2019 Audi R8 V10 Coupé facelift spyshot