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    Audi News Blog

    Kacher's German Intel Via Autobild: R5, R5 Sportback, A9 and More

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    We've spoken enough good about Georg Kacher and his authority on far-reaching intel to perhaps look like a bunch of fanboys of the German/Anglo motor journalist. Fact is, Kacher's got contacts at the highest levels in the board of Audi and other German manufacturers so he usually knows what's what. And even though it may be so far out that it's subject to change, his always gives a good indication of what the Audi board are thinking. It is under this context that we take anything he writes, including a German language intel report about Audi's product development struggle with Porsche within the Volkswagen Group and updates about the R5 sub-R8 sportscar and the A9 coupe.

    R5 Sportscar
    Michael Dick told us back at the launch of the Detroit e-tron concept that "The R8 needs a baby brother". Such a car has been called many things, most commonly "R4" but the "R5" is more accurately the name we expect to see if its on-again-off-again finally ends up to simly "on".

    According to Kacher, there's still a chance for R5. With developmental control of sportscars, an internal program known as "550" has proceeded at Stuttgart, stemming from the former project known as 'Bluesport' and loosely based on the concept car by the same name.

    Where we remain confused is engine configuration. Bluesport had a transverse engine and so too would the Detroit e-tron coupe had it ever been built according to our sources, but the e-tron Spyder that popped up again in Le Mans boasted a longitudinal V6 engine just like the R8.

    According to Kacher, this 550 program wiill give birth to an entry-level "Porsche 356" by 2014 and also a VW version. Mr. Kacher also says Audi had been on the fence and almost pulled out, but that the R5 is again gaining traction internally, believed possible to fit alongside the TT in the lineup and even a shooting brake style 'Sportback' might happen. If so, it'd differ from its VW and Porsche siblings by boasting all-wheel drive and the Audi 5-cylinder turbo, which'd position it above the VW and even above the Porsche in pricing. Assumedly, that'd put it above the TT as well.


    A9 Coupe
    Another point of contention inside the group is large cars. As reported before in these pages, Audi is moving toward its next-generation of multi-material space frames that will evolve the current longitudinal architecture dubbed MLB-evo. At the same time, Porsche is readying its own mid-front engine rear-wheel drive platform dubbed MSB that is intended for other cars including the next-generation Panamera, a smaller Panamera siblingknown currently as Pajun, and also the entire Bentley range, VW Phaeton and any front-engine Lamborghini models such as the Estoque 4-door coupe concept shown several years ago.

    At first it was believed that the A8 and an upcoming A9 coupe (rendered above) would also migrate to MSB (from MLB in the case of the A8) in order to achieve higher volume for the new architecture, but according to Kacher this may have been flipped back to Ingolstadt for the MSB-evo use on request of executives in Ingolstadt.

    Turns out the Gallardo successor (2013) and R8 successor (2015) based on the MSS platform revealed to us a while back by Michael Dick are still largely Audi developed. So says the report, the next all-new A8 (2016) and A9 (2017) would remain under Audi's developmental control.

    As a footnote, Autobild also mentions the A9 could turn up as a concept at Frankfurt. That would be a pleasant surprise.

    Full Story - German

    Full Story - English with Google Translation

    Comments

    1. R5T's Avatar
      There are so many rumours going on about future Audi's it's just ridicules.
      Audi R5 would be the name for the production version of the Concept quattro.
      But the engine layout is still up in the air.
      The R5 could get every possible engine layout you can imagine.

      More interesting would be the next TT, will it be down or up-graded position wise.
      Will it be a "Poser" design wise or will Audi make it a real drivers car that will be much better then the current TT 8J.
      I don't like the hole baby R8 thing, why would you want something like that under the R8.
      It only will unstable the R8 position.
    2. George@Fourtitude's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by R5T
      There are so many rumours going on about future Audi's it's just ridicules.
      Yes, that may be true but we've come to trust Kacher and I'll stand by our record to call things early and accurately as well. Kacher is personal friends with much of the board. We're confident he has a good line on what's going on.

      Audi R5 would be the name for the production version of the Concept quattro.
      But the engine layout is still up in the air.
      The R5 could get every possible engine layout you can imagine.
      No, these are NOT the same cars. If the quattro Concept goes into production it will be a front longitudinal engine, 2.5T and likely an early adoption of the MLB evo. R5 is a mid-engine sportscar and there is no suggestion that an 'R' badge will go on a front engine car.

      R5 would have volumes higher than R8 and sell at a price below the R8. quattro Concept would be very limited in number and sell in very limited numbers and more limited than the R8. Its price would be more than the R8.

      More interesting would be the next TT, will it be down or up-graded position wise.
      Will it be a "Poser" design wise or will Audi make it a real drivers car that will be much better then the current TT 8J.
      I actually like the current car, but whether or not they go more radical as the first remains to be seen. I've heard the more radical design proposals were pretty cool, but am not sure what the final outcome was.

      I don't like the hole baby R8 thing, why would you want something like that under the R8.
      It only will unstable the R8 position.
      The top-of-the-line TT RS is in the $60,000s in the US and the R8 begins at $115,000 in the USA. That leaves a lot of room price-wise for a model in-between.