Porsche of late is doing everything to remain in the news. Crystal balls are still trying to glean what Porsche plans to do with Lamborghini and Bugatti, which have thrived under Audi's watch. Now the brand, for which there is no substitute, has struck a deal with Audi to develop an entry level sports car called the R4 as well as the next Boxster and Cayman. The R-car will be the lowest rung in an "R" lineup that will hop even numbers from R4 to R10.
The R-cars will be geared not to compete with Porsche models: the R4 will ride below the Boxster and use turboed 4- and 5-cylinder engines. The R6 sandwiched by the 911 and Boxster, the second generation R8 to come in coupe and roadster versions, and an R10 supercar based on Audi's perennial Le Mans conqueror.
What will each party get? Audi gets Porsche engineering, Porsche gets aluminum spaceframes, diesel tech, DSG for all torque ratings, and they both get massive R&D savings. Both the R4 and the Boxster will then benefit from each company's pool of goodies, like night vision, heads-up display, brake energy recuperation, MagnaRide from Audi, and PDC from Porsche. The only thing left to decide is the timing: the Panamera drops in 2009, and Audi wants the R4 in showrooms in 2010. Stay tuned for a lot of in-house wrangling and a slew of hot new sports cars.
[Source: Car Magazine via eGM Car Tech]