Here’s another one to file in the “sports cars aren’t dying” folder.
Audi is one of the carmakers that have thrived in the sports car world. The R8 and TT sit at opposite ends of the sports-car scale, but both have found a niche and generate enough sales to justify their existence. And the automaker’s S line turns its sedans and coupes into formidable performance machines.
Now Audi may be working on a rear-engine sports car to slot under the R8. Presumably called the R6, the new Audi would be based on the Porsche Boxster/Cayman twins, but would involve a lot more than a simple badge job.
The Audi R8 is basically a Lamborghini wrapped in Audi’s aluminum and carbon-fiber body. The TT, on the other hand, sits on the Volkswagen Beetle platform. It makes sense to bridge that wide chasm with a car to sit in the middle, and a Boxster-derived R6 makes perfect sense.
The sleek rounded lines of Porsche wouldn’t translate over to the Audi version, however. Instead, the R6 would likely gain the sharp angular stance of the R8 and come in both coupe and roadster trims.
Here’s what else we know:
Audi will further differentiate the R6 from the Boxster/Cayman by replacing Porsche’s newly introduced turbo four engines with a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder mill tuned by Quattro, the company’s go-fast division. Entry-level variants will get about 280 horsepower, mid-range models will up the ante with 340 ponies, and the range-topping version will use a 400-horsepower evolution of the engine. Additionally, the R6 will come standard with Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, while the Boxster/Cayman will remain rear-wheel drive in the foreseeable future.
Audi and Porsche are both owned by Volkswagen, a company going through some serious legal and financial problems brought on by the diesel emissions scandal. That’s why it’s best to not get overly excited just yet, because a lot can happen to derail a project like this.
The R6 project isn’t official, but we could see a concept within the next year and a production version in showrooms around 2018, if all goes according to plan.
Would you choose a possible Audi R6 or the current Porsche Boxster/Cayman?