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New Audi R8 Sportscar Test Mule Caught at the Nurburgring

That there will be a road-going R8 is no surprise. Audi boss Dr. Martin Winterkorn has alluded to it several times, and the company has put out a press release of its official ‘R8’ nomenclature. There’ve been several mules spotted since that time, from an A6-bodied beast to a production-looking X-files style shot from far away and through a fence. Then today, Audi decided to give more than a peak by running this black polka-dot liveried mule around the Nurburgring.

audi r8audi r8 2audi r8 3 Audi seems to be the masters of the reveal, netting more and more PR for their new models. First come the spy photos, then the microsites like the current ‘TT Lounge’, and finally the final production model. They do tease us so, and frankly we seem to love every minute of it.
The new R8’s design appears strikingly similar to the Le Mans quattro concept – so much as to make even the concept-true TT a bit jealous. Unlike the TT coupe that lost some of it’s C-pillar design in order provide better rearward vision, the R8 appears to retain the aggressive C-pillar line and maybe even the alloy accent panel of the original Le Mans concept car.

Structurally, the car will be built of an aluminum space frame, sharing some chassis components with Lamborghini’s Gallardo. The most commonly believed rumors on engines include the 4.2 FSI from the RS 4 and possibly the FSI V10 from the S8 and S6 models. Don’t be surprised to see a new 7-speed DSG such as the one in the recent Roadjet concept either.
No pricing has yet been announced, though some rumors point towards a base price of 95,000 Euros – squared off against rivals such as the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

When will it appear for its official debut? Previous rumors have suggested September's Paris International Auto Show, which might make sense, Paris being the next major European show. However, we've heard further detail of a June debut around the 24-hours of Le Mans. Le Mans has become Audi's second home over the last few years, and the launch of a sportscar named after one of the most dominant Le Mans racecars in history might make sense. More importantly, the car wouldn't get lost in the crowd of typical auto show launches. And, as mentioned above, Audi has shown itself to be a master of the reveal.

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