Say It Ain't So: Audi R4 Roadster a No-Go Says Auto Motor und Sport
by, 05-07-2011 at 12:09 AM (9688 Views)
We can't say we're entirely ecstatic about the latest news & rumor story coming out of Auto Motor und Sport. If it's to believed, and A, M und S usually is, then the planned 'Audi R4' project has been canned. Here's a quick Google translation of the text about the R4.
It was almost too beautiful, true to be: A little less expensive mid-engine roadster from Audi below the TT, analogous to a variant, which in result would VW parallel - these rumors stayed for long as the team headed by CEO Rupert Stadler yes has also worked specifically on the Audi R4. But that is now over. There will be no Audi R4 below the R8 type.
Why not? Consolidated sister Porsche would be with the always already sluggish sales of the Boxster progressed in trouble, the positioning of the TT would start to slip, and whether it will create VW to develop this model as the cheapest Mazda MX-5 rival, is also in the stars.
So What Do We Think?
As mentioned, A, M und S is a reliable source but they don't specifically say where they heard this or under what context they were told. We'll chalk it up as rumor, but with good chances the rumor is true. Still, specifics would help us ascertain how far-reaching the decision is.
How so? When you say things like "There will be no Audi R4 below the R8 type" we wonder if that's direct word from Audi executives or if that's perhaps assumption when you're told a specific model has been canned.
We do know for a fact that Michael Dick, Audi AG board member in charge of development, has told us directly that there is room for the R8 to have a 'little brother'. Further, we knew of two possible scenarios for R-car expansion including the transverse MSS-based small roadster (rendered above) and a possible model positioned between the two with longitudinal engine and maybe based on the new MSS architecture that will underpin the next R8... albeit scaled down and that we've referred to as R5.
We're not saying Michael Dick and his colleagues can't change their mind but we're seriously hoping that at least one of these cars is still in play and the R5 has always been a favorite.
The next Boxster/Cayman is still an evolution of the 987 architecture as we understand it so perhaps R5 is simply going on the backburner until presumably Boxster/Cayman migrate to a group platform like MSS. We're making some assumptions here, but it seems reasonable. That Audi has already shown concept cars loosely based on these platforms (e-tron Detroit for the smaller R-car, e-tron Spyder for the larger), we're keeping our fingers crossed.
Thanks Hans for the tip. Read the original Auto Motor und Sport article in German after the jump.