Audi Needs Porsche's Help for the R6

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Despite sharing the comfort of a corporate umbrella, it seems that two standoffish German luxury makes are now pushing the beds together.

According to the German publication Autobild (via Autoguide), Audi is tapping Porsche’s expertise to develop a new performance vehicle, designed to occupy the vast gap between the TT and R8 supercar.

Carrying the R6 moniker, which Audi trademarked in 2012 to made sure people kept their paws off it, the midrange sports car is being developed by a team that draws experience from both brands. The vehicle would ride atop a mid-engined Porsche Cayman/Boxster platform.

Developing a new platform for a single vehicle would be a costly affair for Audi, which explains the interest in Porsche.

Audi doesn’t want a badge-engineered knockoff, so there’s much speculation over what the end product would look like. Autobild assumes that all-wheel drive and an Audi engine will be needed to differentiate the R6 from its Porsche brethren, on a mechanical level, at least.

Porsche has announced a line of four-cylinder engines for its smaller offerings, but those are horizontally-opposed mills (flat fours), so there’s a question of whether an Audi engine could fit in a Boxster-based vehicle. Though the report mentions a turbocharged five-cylinder possibility, the dimensions of the vehicle will determine if the R6 — if built — becomes a fast five.

Slant Five, maybe?

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Apr 18, 2016

    "Autobild assumes that all-wheel drive and an Audi engine will be needed to differentiate the R6 from its Porsche brethren, on a mechanical level, at least." Really a bold proclamation there. I don't really think this model is necessary unless they're doing away with ye olde TT.

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    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Apr 19, 2016

      @ellomdian I think Porsche will always have a much easier time splitting segments by cost than Audi. People want the name and styling, so the Cayman and Boxster both make sense from a sales standpoint, even if both of them could be satisfied by one model in reality. Audi needs to consolidate, and kill the TT, replacing it with this higher margin model R6.

  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Apr 18, 2016

    On this episode of "When Automakers Make Decisions High On Crack Cocaine".... Instead of updating the Q5, fixing the god forsaken Q3, or speeding up the right sized/priced crossovers VW is literally DYING to get, they are pushing forward with a sports car nobody wants or is going to buy. JFC. Is the Phaeton II a go as well? Will this be built in the glass factory?

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    • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Apr 19, 2016

      @heavy handle It's still a complete waste of resources. Audi TT sold a whopping 1200 cars in the US last year and looks to be about on pace to sell 3000-4000 this year with the new model. How many R6s do they think they will move? A couple hundred? I said it before but the current TT should have been a midengine car. Would have made it an interesting proposition at its price point. Now they have the worst of both worlds.

  • Eyeflyistheeye Eyeflyistheeye on Apr 18, 2016

    Does anyone remember the 1980's when Porsche and Audi were usually sold together in US dealerships? Can't help but think that the afterglow from Porsche helped Audi do pretty well until the 5000 debacle and saved them once again when the hot new A4 came out in 1996.

    • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Apr 18, 2016

      There are still some Porsche Audi dealers here in CT like Hoffman in East Hartford.