Currently reading: Audi R4's future 'undecided'
Small, entry-level Audi roadster's future in VW's hands; baby Porsche Boxster to share tech
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2 mins read
10 May 2010

The future of the Audi R4, a Boxster-sized mid-engined sports car, currently hangs in the balance as Audi and Volkswagen decide whether steel or alloy body construction is the way forward for the all-new model.

The final stamp of approval for the R4 rests with parent company Volkswagen, according to high-ranking Audi insiders in Ingolstadt.

They say production feasibility studies are yet to determine whether a pressed steel or alloy spaceframe chassis is the better option. The e-tron concept car was based, like the R8, around an alloy spaceframe.

Engineers involved in the studies have told Autocar that lines have been drawn between the cheap-to-produce yet relatively heavy monocoque or the more expensive but lightweight aluminium structure.

One source told us: “The reaction to the e-tron concept has been overwhelming.

"We’re weighing up all of the options and possibilities. There’s no real time pressure because we’re not replacing an existing model but establishing a new one.”

Volkswagen’s involvement in the R4 programme stems from its own plans to use the same platform to create an even more affordable mid-engined coupé/roadster along the lines of its BlueSport concept, which was unveiled at the 2009 Detroit motor show.

In a production strategy similar to that of the Volkswagen Polo/Audi A1 and Volkswagen Golf/Audi A3, the two car makers plan to create two distinctly different cars using a common mid-engine/rear-wheel drive structure.

A final green light for the new platform also hinges on a decision from Porsche, which is studying proposals to create a new entry-level model positioned underneath the Boxster and using the same underpinnings.

"Scale is important to a project like this,” an Audi source told Autocar. “But with three different car makers working to a common goal, the chances [of it getting the go-ahead] look good.”

Although the Audi e-tron concept car was revealed with an all-electric driveline, the production version of the R4 is planned to come with the choice of turbocharged 1.4–litre and 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engines as well as a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine.

 

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Rover P6 3500S 10 May 2010

Re: Audi R4's future 'undecided'

Lanehogger wrote:

I assume the R4 would be the replacement for the TT, on the basis that the R4 is being labelled as a Boxster/Cayman rival which the TT is at the moment. But to confuse matters, Porsche are planning a model based on the R4......which will sit below the Boxster/Cayman?!?!

The TT is NOT a rival to the Cockster/Cayman at all, it's a lot cheaper, it's front-engined, FWD or AWD, not mid/rear. The R4 will slot in below the Cockster/Cayman, and the Porsche equivalent - new 914, let's call it - will slot in between the R4 and the Cockster/Cayman.

Lanehogger 10 May 2010

Re: Audi R4's future 'undecided'

I assume the R4 would be the replacement for the TT, on the basis that the R4 is being labelled as a Boxster/Cayman rival which the TT is at the moment. But to confuse matters, Porsche are planning a model based on the R4......which will sit below the Boxster/Cayman?!?!

Peter Cavellini 10 May 2010

Re: Audi R4's future 'undecided'

Please build it!, then we can forget about the TT !,the R4 is the natural successor too the TT, a car up until the TTRS was at best the default Cheltnam chariot!

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