Audi is paying close attention to the sports car market and could introduce new models to fill the gaps in its lineup. The new models will, for the most part, be derived from the TT, but speculation about a sub-R8 sports car is also getting attention.
Automobile is reporting that the German automaker is once again considering the addition of an ‘R5’ model to slot between the TT and the R8, with styling inspired by the brand’s halo car. The move would also move the TT down market to compete more direct with vehicles like the Nissan 370Z.
Production of such a model depends on if the sports car market continues to grow in the more affordable category, thereby encouraging Audi to make the fourth-generation TT a lower-cost option. This would also leave room for Audi to add new variants of the TT, including an entry-level, four-seater TTC and the high-riding TTQ crossover.
Related: 2016 Audi TT/TTS First Drive
Should Audi greenlight the R5, it would get a mid-mounted 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder engine and Quattro all-wheel drive. The best indication we have of how it will look comes from the 2010 Audi E-Tron concept, which was both smaller and lighter than the R8.
Depending on its power and driving dynamics, the R5 will likely rival the Porsche Cayman and Lotus Evora within the midrange sports car category. Presently, Audi’s 2016 TT-S sits just below that performance benchmark with 292 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque while the last TT-RS comfortably rivaled the Cayman S with 335hp and 332 lb-ft of torque.
Audi will produce the fourth-generation TT in 2021 so enthusiasts are tasked with scooping up as many affordable sports cars as possible to convince Audi to make the R5 a reality.