Audi is readying this stunning new R3 sports car, a mid-engined little brother to the R8 supercar. Developing with mother positive Volkswagen, the Audi R3 could disembark in five living’ time, with four-cylinder dominance to take on the Mazda MX-5 but not enough mumble to tread on the toes of Porsche’s Boxster. The Audi R3 is a replacement for the stillborn R4.
Audi’s mid-engine R4 was pronounced stillborn this past year, but with Volkswagen bringing its own midship concept to the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi might revive plans its own version to market in the next five years. The new R3 would effectively replace the TT, providing a better business case for VAG to produce a mid-engine platform and silencing critics that have constantly complained that the TT is merely a tarted up Golf.
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The future mid-engined Audi R4 went nowhere – primarily because Porsche required to keep the Boxster and Cayman. Audi and VW have since scholarly their session. The new sports car notion hence aims at a spacious but relatively conservative €25,000 to €45,000 (£20,000 to £35,000) assess scale.
The TT replacement is due to happen in 2013 – and it sounds like it’s departing to become the sports car it forever should have been. Going mid-engined would instantly silence critics who accuse the TT of being a reskinned overpriced Golf.
Audi would install the 180bhp 1.8-litre TFSI motor, a 2.0-litre story rated at 220bhp and a strong S-line paradigm good for some 280bhp, our sources recommend. Diesel TDI engines would also expected get the nod, with a thrifty 125bhp variant of the hottest 1.6-litre normal-rail derv, advantage 170 and 204bhp versions of the 2.0-litre.