Audi AG chairman Rupert Stadler has approved production plans for the car which will use the new Volkswagen Group two-seater layout. Reports say the car will be based on the E-Tron Spyder concept unveiled at the Paris Motor Show late last year.
Potential production of the car was previously thought to be too close to the Audi TT, in terms of where it sat in the market, but according to Autocar in the UK, Audi has confirmed that the Audi R4 will be made. A source said,
"We have to make sure there is space in the line-up without causing a conflict with existing models. It will definitely happen.”
The Audi R4 isn't expected to hit the market until 2014, with the inside source saying that "it won’t go on sale until after the third-generation TT."
Reports have previously said the car could be built on an aluminum spaceframe-type arrangement designed by Volkswagen, but after development plans were introduced in 2010 which included Porsche, rumour has it the model will incorporate some of the upcoming Porsche Boxster platform.
Powering the new model will be at least two different four-cylinder petrol options, both of which will be mounted transversely and power the rear wheels. This setup will lend itself well to drivetrain sharing with other models, even front-wheel drive layouts which could be adopted by the Volkswagen version.
Some potential engine combinations include the upcoming Audi A3 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, producing around 170kW of power, as well as a full-blown sports version incorporating the famous 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder RS 3 unit producing around 250kW. A twin-turbo diesel 2.0-litre four-cylinder could also be on the cards. We'll keep you updated.