Earlier in April, we reported on Audi's R8 super car spotted out in the open ahead of its official launch. Now the covers have been removed, so to speak, as the German automaker prepares to debut its facelifted super car.Image galleryThe update to Audi’s R8 sports car has been announced, and we have the details – there’s a new 404kW flagship plus a seven-speed gearbox – ahead of its Paris auto show outing. Audi’s R8 sports car pulls in for a mid-life facelift that includes a number of new details, including a new R8 V10 plus range-topper and a new seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. LED headlights and dynamic rear indicator displays (indicator lights "moves" in the direction the driver wishes to turn) are now standard across all the variants, too. New design details have been added, which include adjustments to the single-frame grille, a new bumper and an optional carbon fibre front splitter (standard on the V10 plus). The facelifted R8 also shows off a new badge – an “R” resting on a red diamond – which is the Audi Sport signature. V10 PLUSFurthermore, on the V10 plus, the wing mirror housings and side blades are also made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). LEDs are again used to highlight the glass-fronted engine compartment: these are optional on all models other than the V10 plus. There are twin metal tailpipes for all variants except the V10 plus where the exhaust outlets are pointed black. As before, the R8 continues to embody Audi’s lightweight design principles with its aluminium Audi Space Frame – it weighs only 210kg on the Coupe, 216kg on the Spyder – contributing to a 1560kg mass for the V8 Coupe stretching to 1660kg for the Spyder. The V10 plus is available only as a coupe and weighs 1570kg. Further weight-saving techniques include bucket seats in glass fibre reinforced plastic, fewer insulating materials, special light alloy wheels and CFRP parts. The Spyder’s fabric roof’s linkages are also largely constructed of aluminium and magnesium. The top can be opened and closed in 19 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h. FAMILIAR ENGINES, NEW DUAL CLUTCHThe hand assembled engine range remains unchanged with the 4.2-litre V8 and 5.2-litre V10 FSIs continuing to do duty. The gated six-speed manual transmission is there too, although the addition of a new seven-speed S tronic transmission will see average CO2 emissions drop by up to 22 g/km, while the 0 – 100km/h sprint times across the range have also been decreased, Audi said.The 4.2 FSI generates 316kW at 7900rpm and 430Nm between 4500 to 6000rpm. Acceleration from 0 – 100km/h varies, depending on the body style and transmission, from 4.3 to 4.8 seconds, which the top speed ranges from 300 to 302km/h. The V10 develops 386kW and 530 Nm at 8000rpm and 6500rpm, respectively. The Audi R8 V10 Coupé with S tronic, Audi claims, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 314 km/h. With the manual transmission, the benchmark sprint test is covered in 3.9 seconds and the top speed is 316 km/h, the automaker said. The R8 V10 Spyder with S tronic completes the standard sprint in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 311 km/h (with manual transmission: 4.1 seconds and 313 km/h). The average fuel consumption rate of the R8 V10 Coupé with S tronic lies at 13.1 litres/100 km.The big news in the R8 line-up, however, is the new 404kW Audi R8 V10 plus. It has a peak torque figure of 540 Nm at 6500rpm. With S tronic, the R8 V10 plus catapults from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds (manual is 3.8 seconds) and achieves a top speed of 317km/h (manual 319km/h).ATHLETICISM MEETS LUXURIOUSNESSAudi’s magnetic ride adaptive damping is standard on the V10 plus, which will also benefit from retuned springs and shock absorbers, and adjusted camber values to the front axle. The revised R8 range also rides on bigger wheels. But Audi maintains the R8 is practical too with 100 litres of luggage space (there’s 90 litres extra behind the coupe’s rear seats. Depending on the model variant, the seat upholstery is an Alcantara/leather combination or Nappa leather; the R8 Spyder’s upholstery is finished with a special treatment that reduces heating from direct sunlight. Optional bucket seats (standard on the V10 plus) have larger side bolsters for better lateral support. Several smaller details within the cabin have also been modified although features include Audi’s MMI system, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, a belt microphone and parking system with reversing camera. Audi SA has confirmed the revised R8 range, including the new V10 plus model, will be available in South Africa from the first quarter of 2012.