With Audi R4" rumors floating higher than a helicopter ride over an Austrian ski jump, we feel like someone needs to put 'em all in one spot. That said, here's our first look.
Any time you see a two-door from Audi there are bound to be myriad rumors conflicting and conflating the story. The latest and greatest take a couple different paths.
Car & Driver's take on the R4 looks like this:
A number of engines from the VW Group's parts bin could be used, including the super- and turbocharged 1.4-liter gas engine and 1.6- or 2.0-liter TDI diesels. A Quattro all-wheel-drive version is also possible, as is an electrified R4, as previewed by the e-tron. Later into the life cycle, a top-spec version could be powered by VW's ubiquitous turbocharged 2.0-liter rated somewhere between 200 and 300 hp.
Considering the global appeal of a product like this, we should expect this assessment to be fairly accurate. Many engines will be necessary to satisfy the various iterations of "entry market." We're hoping to see a more rear-wheel bias from a car shaped like a true sports car, but we'll just have to see.
Auto Motor und Sport has a lot to say about the car, even assuming a price (translated):
The time remains at Audi not standing - especially as the small sports car below the TT as a coupe with the model number R4... The 1.4-liter TSI 180 hp, the two-liter TDI could be up to 170 H. With a weight of about 1,150 kg (2,500 lbs) and a tail-heavy weight distribution of 40 to 60, the the R4 especially the Japanese competitors Mazda MX-5 the fear of God, especially as he is about to move in the price level (from 22,100 €) (about $27,000)
The price-point and and performance levels are definitely supposed to be below the TT, but by how much and under what trim level options is open for debate. Everyone seems to think there will be a stripped-down model, but how high the performance level goes is still open.
AutoBild believes the car to be operating as an homage to the Audi UrQuattro, with a working title "Anniversario" as this is the 30th anniversary of that car, saying (via translation):
Only the bare essentials: XXL-sized wheels with a lush brake system, headlights in the style of the last e-tron studies , a high hump-Sportback, a steep and imposing rear exhaust pipes... this should preserve the tradition and dispose the exhaust of a five-cylinder turbo unit.
A five-cylinder turbo unit would imply the I5 found under the hood of the Audi TT-RS, developing 335 hp and considering the chopped-down wheelbase, make for a one heck of a nimble performer. We like this direction, but in no way would expect it to come early in the production cycle.
The e-Tron powertrain seems to be something up for debate. Because it's being developed as the top-line green performance option. This would be further down the timeline and there is no reliable information yet on what kind of performance it would return. An electric R4 seems like it may be a bit of a stretch as a value proposition, but Audi's got more money than Oprah right now and has been pushing electric concepts recently. Whatever the case, we're certain to learn much more about this tasty new sports car at Paris.
Photo credit R4um