Audi is currently developing a comprehensive electric range to cope with proposals from Tesla, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and other premium manufacturers over the next decade. In parallel, it is studying the viability of some of its current thermal models, which will disappear due to overlap with others.
One of the vehicles whose future was most in jeopardy at the time was that of the TT sports car, an iconic model for the German brand. However, recently Bram Schot, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Audi, confirmed to the media that the TT will have a replacement in the same price range … with the surprise that it will be a new 100% electric model.
Following this announcement, speculation surrounding this new car soared. In the process of rationalizing its range, Audi has announced the disappearance of the A3 Cabrio and the possible discontinuation of the A5 Coupé and A5 Cabrio, so the new model would not only have to take the place of the TT but also that of the rest of sports models from the manufacturer of the four rings (except the R8 supercar, which will be transformed into an all-electric model in its next-generation).
Thus, Audi may decide to resume the “Quattro” project: at the beginning of the decade, the German brand had planned the launch of a sports car located by size between the TT and R8 inspired by the aesthetics of the Audi Quattro and Sport Quattro from the 1980s (these models were the sporty versions of the Audi GT Coupé, and they shone with their light in rally racing).
At the time, Audi came to launch a series of prototypes that advanced the lines of this vehicle: the e-Tron Detroit Concept (2010), the Concept Quattro (2010), the Sport Quattro Concept (2013), and the Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept (2014); the first being completely electric. However, finally, Audi decided to cancel the launch of this vehicle, which was already known to the press as R4.
Now, the project could get a second chance thanks to the electrical strategy of the Volkswagen group. Like the TT uses the MQB platform of the A3 instead of the more advanced MLB of the A4, the new R4 e-Tron could make use of the MEB platform of the Volkswagen ID.3 to reduce costs (not in vain, the vehicle will start some “modest” 40,000 euros).
The R4 e-Tron would be placed by size between the TT (4.19 meters) and A5 Coupé (4.67 meters), combining the compact dimensions of the first with the spacious four-seater cabin of the second, since the MEB platform allows optimization of the interior space. In addition, Audi may also decide to release a Cabrio variant, which would make it one of the few convertible electric cars on the market.
Initially, four versions should be offered: R4 e-Tron 40 (62 kWh battery, 204 hp power, rear-wheel drive), R4 e-Tron 45 (83 kWh battery, about 250 hp power, rear-wheel drive), R4 e-Tron S (83 kWh battery, 306 hp power, Quattro all-wheel drive), and R4 e-Tron RS (83 kWh battery, more than 400 hp power, Quattro all-wheel drive). These versions would replace the current TT 40 TFSI, TT 45 TFSI, TTS, and TTRS. Its arrival on the market could take place in the year 2023.