Audi R8 Sport Lapping the Nurburgring Spied


The most apparent fault with the Audi R8 is its lack of visceral oomph. Mind you, it's no deal breaker: The 4.2L R8 took our "America's Best Handling Car" award last year. Yet the feeling is the same on the 5.2L V-10 "Plus" model. As Arthur St. Antoine wrote in his review, "The 5.2 doesn't feel that fast. If there's a flaw in the character of this immensely gifted machine, it's that it's too genteel."
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If the above spy photos offer any indication, Audi could be adding some brashness. Our photographers caught what looks to be a lightweight Sport version of the mid-engine supercar running laps on the Nürburgring. The wheels and exhaust tips are 5.2L V-10 spec, but offer little information otherwise.
audi-r8-v10-rear-front-three-quarter-2Aesthetic differences are minimal on this prototype. We see subtle canards on the ends of the lower fascia, quick-release buttons on the trunk, a wing, and a more aggressive rear diffuser. While there's always a hope for more power from the Gallardo-sourced, 518-hp mill in the R8, we wonder how fearful the German overlords are of stepping on the Italian's toes.