It may have been around for six years now, but it's safe to assume that Audi's R8 supercar has aged rather gracefully - Audi has just updated it and the aesthetic chiseling is subtle to say the least.
The most obvious alteration is a new set of LED headlights and there's a new bumper and grille design. You'll also find new LED lights at the back end, along with a bolder diffuser and a pair of large round tailpipes.
Mechanically, the big news is the addition of a 404kW 'V10 plus' model, while the entire range benefits from a brand new seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch gearbox. The more modern transmission improves performance and reduces fuel consumption and emissions - by up to 22g/km in fact.
The engines in the familiar models are unchanged, however, with the base model powered by a high-revving naturally aspirated 4.2-litre direct injection V8 that pushes 316kW at 7900rpm and 430Nm from 4500rpm. Likewise, the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 continues to produce 386kW at 8000rpm and 530Nm at 6500rpm. In S Tronic guise (a manual is also available), the R8 V10 shrieks to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and manages a top speed of 316km/h, says Audi.
404kW TOP MODEL
Top of the pile is the new R8 V10 plus, which is credited with 404kW and 540Nm, a 3.5-second 0-100km/h sprint and 317km/h top speed.
Lighter too, the V10 plus has been decked out with numerous carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) components, including the front splitter, mirror housings, lateral air inlets and rear diffuser.
This as well as some lighter chassis and interior components and standard ceramic brakes knock the kerb weight down to 1570kg (The standard V10 weighs 1625kg).
Suspension on all R8 models is by aluminium wishbones at all corners, while the V10 comes standard with Audi's magnetic ride adaptive damping system - optional on the V8.
So when can you buy one? Our contact at Audi SA says we can expect to see it in local showrooms during the first quarter of 2013.