2011 Audi R4
AUBURN HILLS, MI – Despite the fact that Porsche is the new majority shareholder of theVolkswagen Group, Audi continues to pursue an ambitious sports car strategy. Inaddition to the just-introduced R8, Audi is now looking at two additionalmid-engine R models. While a proposed R6, aimed squarely at the Porsche Cayman,has been put on the back burner, the smaller R4 has just entered the initialevaluation phase, according to www.automobilemag.com.
Audibelieves it can sell some 35,000 such vehicles a year. For even more volume,Audi could team up with Spanish carmaker Seat, which is also part of the VWfamily.
Quattroall-wheel drive would be standard on the R4, and the company’s dual-clutchgearbox and magnetic dampers would also be available. As with the R8, Audiwould like to add a convertible later in the car’s lifecycle.
Unlikethe aluminum-intensive R8, the R4 is expected to feature a spaceframe structuremade of high-strength steel. The body panels would rely on a mix of aluminumand synthetic elements. The engine of choice is said to be the turbocharged 2.0Lfour, which delivers 200 hp in the TT and 270 hp in the upcoming TTS. For evenmore power, the 350-hp, 2.5L turbocharged five earmarked for the TTRS couldalso be shoehorned into the R4. The transmission, steering, brakes, andelectronics are expected to come from the corporate parts bin, but thefloorpan, suspension, body, and interior would be new. Priced between the TTand the Cayman, the Audi R4 could be out in late-2010 as a 2011 model,according to www.automobilemag.com.