I spy: Next R8.

Test mules for the upcoming third-generation Audi R8 (second if you don’t count the facelift) have been testing at the Nurburgring for a few weeks now so sighting one may not be terribly new news. However the one our spy photographer encountered earlier today qualifies as making a bigger deal.

This time around the main change is that the car has begun the long strip tease of cladding from full-on spy mule to its eventual auto show reveal. Today the car loses its psychedelic wrap meant to hide body lines from the prying eyes of photographers like the guys we know who hang about at places like the Nurburgring.Audi R8 Test Mule

Instead of the black and white vinyl, this R8 goes with black paint and some remaining black cladding. Not only does it look more menacing, but it also reveals more of the evolutionarily redesigned lines of the car’s body lines. The rear fascia, with its rectangular tail pipes, is also fully displayed.Audi R8 Test Mule

Some cladding remains, and this still hides key details. The front fascia including headlight lighting signature is one of the most obscured portions of the design. Also interesting is the fact that the blade area also appears to have some sort of covering? That seems a bit odd, though perhaps not. Some rumors have hinted that the new R8 will ditch its signature blades and maybe this is meant to make the car blend in as a current-generation R8.Audi R8 Test Mule

One last change we note are the wheels. These appear to be possibly even 20-inch diameter and are a new design we haven’t seen before. Whether they make it to a production variant remains to be seen.

See our constantly growing mix of R8 Mk3 spy photos via our photo gallery carousel below this story.

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