2012 Audi R4 rendering
Don't get too excited just yet, as Audi hasn't made anything official on the car, but the R4 sports coupe may be less dead than we'd feared. Reports out of the U.K. say Audi has actually given the car the official green light.
Previous reports out of Germany had placed the R4 on the shelf due to potential sales cannibaliztion of Porsche's Boxster and Cayman, a situation the VW Group brands want to avoid. At the same time, it left a considerable hole in Audi's portfolio, with not much to bridge the gap from the decidedly more pedestrian A5/S5 and the R8.
Now, things have turned back around according to Autocar. Whether this rumor is to be merged with talk of the renewed interest in a shared roadster platform or viewed as a separate decision, is not yet clear. The R4 had previously been pegged as a more serious performer than the entry-level roadster to be shared among the VW Group. It has also been previewed as a coupe.
Regardless of whether it's part of the same plan or not, the R4 is expected to feature Boxster-level performance and to share some of its underpinnings with the Porsche as well, with a differentiated rear-end configuration to make it unique.
Best of all, talk of a five-cylinder turbo version backing 350 horsepower sounds an awful lot like the Quattro concept from last year's Paris Auto Show. The Quattro had been rumored to get a production run and a name change to R4 as well, so the whole project may come together with the potent Quattro-inspired coupe topping the coming R4 range.
At this point, however, it's all speculative, so hold out for a concept and some form of official confirmation before you start breaking open your piggy banks.