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    Audi News Blog

    Spied: Audi R8 e-tron Test Mule at Nurburgring Hints at Upcoming R8 Refresh

    Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.


    Our spy photographer sources have just sent us over a new set of shots of the R8 e-tron test mule of which a few photos surfaced yesterday. Photographers tell us this mule rounded the Ring quite quietly though we're checking to see if it was employing any of the e-sound elements that Audi defined recently.

    Obvious e-tron design cues such as those on earlier e-tron prototypes on display at the Frankfurt IAA last September can be easily seen. Lack of exhaust pipes, the split-ventilated rear window segmentation, vented hood and plenty of vinyl signage make no secret of this car's specification and we expect a full production R8 e-tron to hit showrooms by next year.

    Also interesting to our eyes were design changes that are new to this prototype and likely cues from the upcoming R8 facelift expected to be revealed this September at the Paris Motor Show. We've got a much larger gallery (linked at the bottom) but have picked a few photos shown here to help describe what we're seeing.



    This detailed low-speed profile shot shows a few notable differences. This car wears the side sill of the R8 V10, something we're thinking may go line wide with the refresh. Note also the more protruded rear lip spoiler/crease as well as two new-looking mis-matched wheels that likely indicate a newer and lighter wheel design that will go with the refresh.



    This tight crop on one of the frontal photos in our collection shows more changes. Note the more hexagonal shaped grille. The grille itself has horizontal chrome slats that may or may not be e-tron spec when the car hits production... but we've no doubt that little "e-tron" badge instead of the usual "quattro" badge will be a production detail for Audi's first "ur e-tron" model. That lower vent with the border the whole way around is expected to be a design cue on all facelifted R8s however the headlights (and taillights) are expected to change.

    Also seen here are R8 GT-shaped mirrors. We're guessing this mirror body design will replace the old setup for all R8s because we've also heard that other facelift elements will be GT inspired including round exhaust tips on V8 and V10 models.

    Check out more photos in our gallery and let us know if you spot any details we've missed.

    PHOTO GALLERY: R8 e-tron Test Mule at Nurburgring

    Comments

    1. squishacorn's Avatar
      The hood vent?
    2. pimpbot's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by squishacorn
      The hood vent?
      I was gonna say. I guess the batteries need some cooling, but not nearly as much as an IC engine... therefore not requiring the huge drag-inducing opening at the front of the car. AC Condenser, maybe.... ?
    3. carljhay's Avatar
      In the next couple years, Audi is set to start putting its e-Tron technology in cars that will be appearing in car dealerships. A test run is starting soon for the A3 e-Tron and the very first models will be here by 2014. Better check this out: Big push coming for Audi e-Tron line

      According to AutoBlog, the first of the e-Tron line to hit the streets is going to the R8 e-Tron. However, since the R8 starts well above $100,000, hardly anyone will be able to afford it. The A3 e-Tron quattro will be released for the 2014 model year. After that, the A4 and Q7 SUV will follow. They are likely to incorporate at least some technology from the R18 e-Tron quattro.

      AutoBlog quotes Audi chairman Rubert Stadler as saying that an e-Tron model will be an option on every model Audi makes by 2020.
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