Audi will put a heavily updated R8 on sale this autumn. It will have the usual styling nip and tuck that all midlife updates get...but it will also have an entirely new gearbox, necessitating the re-engineering of much of the car. Zoiks!
Says Autocar, the distinct lack of a super duper twin-clutch automatic gearbox in the R8 has "put off significant numbers of buyers from all over the globe," prompting Audi to get its act together, and sharp - a whole new R8 is due in a couple of years, but Audi reckons the gearbox is needed before close of play on this one.
The problem is, Audi thought twin-clutch gearboxes weren't conducive to the specific tastes of the buyers of fringe supercars like the R8, so it engineered the car without space for one in the chassis.
However, with so many customers demanding the sort of thumpingly quick automatic gear changes that only a twin-clutch can provide, Audi has had to redesign huge sections of the rear, including the engine carrier and suspension; Audi's twin-clutch S-Tronic automatic (VW's DSG by another name) is much bigger and heavier than the current auto 'box in the R8, called R-Tronic.
The V10 model will go to 540bhp from today's 525bhp, while the V8 version will get a few extra bhp, too.
And, naturally, the prices will go up a little too - facelifts are always a nice excuse for a manufacturer to lift a car's price, especially ones that have involved major structural engineering work.