• Jan 12th 2010 at 3:29PM
  • 45
Audi e-tron Detroit Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you're wondering what the likelihood of Audi building a production version of its new e-tron Detroit Concept Car (yes, that's really its official designation), our sources at Audi indicate that a version of the coupe is likely to go into serial production as the oft-rumored R4.

The German automaker is apparently looking to design a smaller modular platform leveraging the expertise it used to develop the front-engine sedan platform that underpins the new A8 and forthcoming A7, among others. The new mid-engine architecture will likely find homes in a number of Volkswagen Group properties, including a production version of the Concept BlueSport, and perhaps even the next-generation Porsche Boxster/Cayman.

While the e-tron show car is a battery-powered electric vehicle, the production model is likely to be available with either an electric motor or conventional internal-combustion four-cylinder variants.

Given the fact that VW intimated last year that a production BlueSport could be produced at around $25,000, we're anticipating that the Audi R4 will slot in under the TT in the low-$30,000 range, as the 2010 TT presently starts at $37,800.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      "and perhaps even the next-generation Porsche Boxster/Cayman. "

      Audi R4 coupe and convertible... $30-40K YES, please.

      VW convertible or hard-top-convertible, $25k-32K, sounds great!

      Porsche Boxster/Cayman with a transverse vertical inline engine, and offset/bent transaxle.... NO WAY IN HELL.

      Porsche deserves better, especially for the price point that is higher than $40K. Porsche deserves, and has pioneered, and earned the boxer/longitudinal drivetrain layout that is superior in geometry and room for robust componentry.

      Porsche doesn't race FWD econoboxes for a reason. They don't even race such layouts converted to mid-engine location in the chassis.

      If Porsche does that... the 986 and 987 Porsches will become instant classics, and the last true mid-engined sports cars with Porsche credibility.

      I would buy a less expensive VW or Audi as a Miata competitor, or slightly more. No way would I aspire and save for a transverse inline Porsche. I will aspire and save for a proper symmetrical driveline, boxer-powered Porsche. That is another price point, and a whole other set of expectations, against the likes of BMW. Lotus pulls it off... but Porsche doesn't need to join Lotus with the transverse drivetrains.

      No wonder purists were skeptical of the 924, and 914 before that... a transverse inline Porsche would be even moreso. At least 924/944/968 and 928 were all longitudinal, and rear-transaxle balanced, for being front engined cars at odds with Porsche tradition at the time. At least 914 was boxer powered and longitudinal, even though the looks did it no favors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You don't have to worry that this platform will replace the cayman/boxster. I currently saw an article about a porsche version of the bluesport on a german blog, but that one would be a spiritual sucessor to the 356 (porsche is developing a flat four engine for that)
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is worthless
      • 5 Years Ago
      Priced in the low 30s?!!! W-o-w
      • 5 Years Ago
      "our sources at Audi indicate that a version of the coupe is likely to go into serial production as the oft-rumored R4."

      Your source. My source. Everyone's source. Good news.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car looks so hot. I. want. now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The R4 should replace the TT. It was never a true sports car. If matched the right drivetrain this could be great car audi. Midengined 5 cylinder turbo with a 6speed manual and quattro awd (none of that haldex crap). Sign me up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Slot in UNDER the TT? That would be pretty sweet...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well... the TT convertible is fashionable. Sort of like a handbag.

        (That's all that comes to mind.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        yup, there's no reason to keep the tt around.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just replacing the TT would be even sweeter.

        Really, does the TT hold appeal that an R4 that looks like this pictured car doesn't?

        A mid engined car would have the performance and handling advantage over a front engined car, as well. Frankly TT is over-priced for what it is, anyway.

        The only loss might be of the vestigial rear seats... and I am not sure a whole lot of TT owners will miss them, other than maybe the insurance premium change to a 2-seater class. The TT isn't exactly a family truckster as it is, and an A5 will still be in the lineup for folks who do want 2+2 seating.

        A 2-seat R4 might actually be less redundant than TT is, and just as stylish, or likely moreso, which is TT's purpose... to be the sleek little Audi sporty car. An R4 would likely be sleeker, sportier, and in most cases, better, and likely cheaper, and thus sell better than a more expensive front-biased car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No need for the TT to disappear. It will appeal to different group of people.

        However, to justify the existence of both cars, R4 will be have become more hardcore driving machine rather than the fashionable TT (as Mike mentioned)

        • 5 Years Ago
        Autoblog is wrong. No possible way this car will be less than the current TT...

        Especially considering it has the 'R' designation. So since the TT, even the base model is over 30k this would have to come in around high 20ks??? Riiiiiiiiight.....

        Dont kid yourself, this Audi will cost $50k+ easy. Even the current A5 can pull 50k and it doesn't compare to this concept.

        The R4 will be Audi's Boxster, not Audi's Scirocco...

        • 5 Years Ago
        ^ Correct, Rob.

        The "R" designation is something Audi gives to a product that says "Oh, you thought we couldn't build a serious sports car? Eat this." No way it's cheaper than the TT, unless they really strip it down (which they won't).

        While I don't disagree that some of these design cues will make thier way to many future Audis, I still see the upcoming R4 a replacement for the TT (which aren't selling AT ALL right now); a two-seat, mid engine, awd pocket rocket priced in the $40 to $50k range, competing with the Z4.
      • 5 Years Ago
      priced in the low 30s, they won't be able to make enough of these things.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly. Audi would have to lose about 30k to sell this car for only 30k. No possible way an 'R4' is going to go for Honda Accord Coupe pricing. Not a chance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah... AB is really grasping a straws here. The upcoming R4 will share a platform with the upcoming Boxster, and REPLACE the TT. Thus offering a serious performance car instead of a girly sports coupe. I don't see Audi using a front engine design, either.

        What I DO see is a drop-dead gorgeous syling excercise that could be adapted to be the next A5/S5... ;-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I knew it! now officially sign me up on the waiting list
        • 5 Years Ago
        oh and please, please, please, stick the tt-rs 5 cylinder engine in this thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They fixed those crazy headlights!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like to see this with an engine in it...
      • 5 Years Ago
      rearmirror-camera-display-thing is epic ugly as butt.
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