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by Daniel DeGasperi

Audi will need to put into production a sports coupe to fill the gap between the Audi TT and Audi R8 before 2017, chairman of the board at Audi AG Rupert Stadler has claimed.

Speaking at the Frankfurt international motor show, Stadler replied a steadfast “yes” to both the question of whether Audi could build the sport quattro concept shown, and whether he would like to see the car put into production.

“But we have to fix some numbers first,” he added. “Spend us some time. I think the car is really terrific and it’s worthwhile to think about.”

The Audi sport quattro concept is the first car built off the company’s LNB platform that will underpin the next-generation A4, A5, Q5 and A6, among other cars from VW Group brands, hence why the sport quattro could be put into production.

Audi Sport quattro concept

Stadler also confessed that there is more room for halo cars in the Audi brand beyond the hugely successful R8, which almost certainly indicates a ‘baby R8/plus TT’ is in the works.

“I am a strong believer that there is everywhere room … there is plenty of opportunity for further growth, for additional halo cars.

“The question is whether you work on a bigger or a smaller car like the TT, because there is a price space between TT and R8.

“I would like to fill it, but you have to find the right quantity of customers.”

Audi Sport quattro concept

The concept is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, teamed with an electric motor, and offers plug-in charging capability. It produces 515kW and 800Nm and drives from 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds.

Stadler has said that Audi e-tron models – such as the sport quattro, the now-defunct R8 e-tron, and production-ready A3 e-tron – will form a larger part of the lineup within three years, saying that from “2015-2016 you will really see it and feel it [e-tron in production].”

When it was suggested the Audi sport quattro could fill the gap between TT and R8 by 2017, Stadler responded “that’s a little bit late,” confirming that if a production decision is made, the sub-R8/plus-TT coupe will be in showrooms by 2015 or 2016, with e-tron capability available.

The production sport quattro will complement a reborn, second-generation Audi R8 supercar one or two years later which Stadler confirmed is in development. He described building the next R8 as “a must,” adding that the company “wouldn’t even think about not to do it”.




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