• Apr 6th 2006 at 8:02AM
  • 5

UK pub Auto Express is claiming that Audi has plans to bring out a sports coupe smaller than the TT (a new model of which Audi unveils later today). While many of Ingolstadt's  production offerings have been known for their high performance capabilities, light weight has rarely figured as part of their charm. But that may be about to change.

Audi is reportedly co-developing a Lotus Elise fighter with Austrian motorcycle concern KTM. The program evidently originated among the two-wheeled specialists‘ planners and was pitched to both Volkswagen and Audi, with the former turning down the opportunity to lavish its attention on the coming GX3 trike.

Auto Express is predicting a curb weight of under 750kg (1,650 lbs), 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds, and 50 mpg. In what would be a remarkable about-face on Quattro technology, Audi is reportedly considering going rear-wheel drive.

A concept is expected to be shown by year’s end.

Q: If it reaches showrooms, the bantamweight Audi will likely be a thriller. But given the company's linkages to Porsche, will the model clash with the Cayman?

[Source: AutoExpress, Tower Hobbies]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      "In what would be a remarkable about-face on Quattro technology, Audi is reportedly considering going rear-wheel drive."

      They're probably going to RWD to hold down weight or cost or both.

      "But given the company's linkages to Porsche, will the model clash with the Cayman?"

      Oh lets hope so. The Cayman is Porsche's attempt to make a car better than the Boxster, but deliberately inferior to the 911. Maybe some competition will make them step up their game.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If I remember correctly, the Eos is the new hard top convertible coupe coming out, while the Concept R (or whatever it's called)is VW's mid engined car that's coming out some time in the future. This seems like a plausible move on Audi's part, they'll probably be able to use some bits from the Concept R, perhaps a lite weight version of the chassis. It doesn't say that Audi's trying to price cut the Elise, so it may be in the same price range. If so, it would be reasonable to make both cars, because they wouldn't compete at the same price point, and wouldn't fill the same niche. The Concept R sounds like a Miata/Solstice fighter, a fun tossable daily driver, while the Audi would be a (obviously) Elise fighter, a more track day, weekend toy kind of vehicle.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I can't see any competition for the Cayman either. The TT is not even a competition for the Cayman, so why should a car below the TT compete with the Porsche?!

      I'd like to see an Elise competitor for a lower price and with some added reliability, though. The question is, though, if this car would take sales away from VW's Eos, as the two concepts sound pretty similar (although the Eos is fwd, I think).
      • 9 Years Ago
      Audi has been very good at moving both upscale and downscale from it small sedan roots (model 90 and earlier). It now has a commanding product line that (at least in North America) attracts a good demographic when compared to its larger brother VW. Compare for instance the basically defunct Phoeton with the A8L- or the Tourag with the pending Q7. VW had created such great branding in the 60's 70's and 80's that its very difficult to break. Meanwhile Audi has been able to be stealth in its market capture (A4, A6, A8 as examples). However, globalization means new markets (not just geographical) and that means assembiling the parts on the shelf in different ways. A sub TT, thats rear wheel drive only... hmmmm not my cup of tea but they can pull components from everything else and sell a few units... good for Audi. By having such depth in the Audi line- overall product quality is high for every model. Building something to compete with an Lotus to me means it leaks and has a bad electrical system (sorry). Side note: my local Indian Casino is giving away this Lotus. Lotus must be going after the over 60 sendentary crowd to build US brand loyalty. This is certainly not the Audi brand loyalist- maybe Pontiac!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Does the Cayman compete directly with the Elise? Not really, the Cayman bases at $58.9 whereas the Elise bases at $42.99. The Elise has a little 4 cylinder and the Cayman has a mid-size 6. I think if Audi was thinking about competing with the Cayman they would have to use the TT to do this.

      This sounds more like a extra light weight, stripped driver's car. I would assume they would use a modified [blown] version of their 2.0. IMHO, not real competition for the Cayman