For almost a year, we've been hearing rumors from a variety of sources that Audi planned to build a mid-engine sports car that would utilize the Porsche Boxster's underpinnings after the Stuttgart crew takes a majority stake in Audi's parent company, Volkswagen. By most accounts, including a leaked product outline, the so-called Audi R4 was on its way to production by 2010. But according to Automotive News, the plans have been dashed due to Porsche executives who worry that the R4 could steal sales away from their beloved Boxster.
AN quotes an Audi spokesperson as saying that, "It was never in our product planning." While some industry insiders maintain that it's best to keep the VW/Porsche alliance separate, Nick Margetts, from the automotive analysis firm JATO Dynamics, maintains that the R4 never would have threatened Boxster sales. Margetts says that, "Audi drivers are very different from Porsche drivers," and we tend to agree.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]