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For those who’ve been following along via Fourtitude’s social media channels, we’ve been busy this week on a trip to Munich for the launch of the new Audi Q5 and SQ5. While in town we made a day trip both to Audi’s factory towns Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt. Needless to say we’ve got plenty of cool photos shot in each location to share with our readers, but the most exciting of the cars we saw was this facelifted Canadian-spec Audi R8 Spyder test mule.
Coincidentally, we actually encountered this car on two different days and in two different towns. Our first encounter occurred when we first arrived in Neckarsulm. Waiting at a stoplight to enter the Audi Forum Neckarsulm, the car cruised past us and on through traffic. We chased it down to where we saw it get stopped in traffic at a gate to the factory and managed to snap off a few pics.
Two days later we were in Ingolstadt and passed the car again. Again it was at a gate to the factory, though we were simply turning around and sitting at a stoplight when it breezed past. Fortunately we had a camera at the ready on both occasions.
Changes seen on this R8 are not fundamentally different from other facelift R8s we’ve seen thus far. The various shots show that bodywork changes are R8 GT inspired and that some of the most significant changes appear to take place in the front and rear light clusters. Most of the surface area of these clusters at both front and back has been taped to obstruct view, but some of this still needs to be seen so that the car can operate on public roads and via these peep holes we can see obvious changes to the LED arrays if not the overall shape. Where once we’d thought the new headlights had become rectangular, our detail shots now show that they retain the basic shape of the current car.
So how do we know it was a Canadian spec? The giveaways are the reflectors in the bumpers at the front and rear. These are identical to that of the current generation R8 in North America. The other giveaway is that large license plate splitter in the grille, with its extended look. While the American version is smaller, Canadian law requires the extension.
We’ve one other bit of news regarding the R8. While we didn’t get any interior shots, this new intel centers around the interior and specifically the MMI system. Interior shots of the R8 e-tron spotted at the Frankfurt IAA and other shows seemed to suggest the R8 would get an upgrade to the MMI system found in the new A3. While these preproduction R8 e-trons most definitely featured the A3′s MMI controls on the center console, our sources tell us that the new R8 will not get this feature for production.
Expect the new R8 to be revealed at the Paris Auto Show in September. If that proves accurate, we wouldn’t be surprised to see North American-spec cars like this on display by the Los Angeles Auto Show in the fall or by Detroit in January.
Check out more photos of this car in our photo gallery linked to the right.
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