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Audi Reportedly Working on an R6 to Live Between TT and R8

Audi’s version of the Porsche Boxster has had more false sightings than Slenderman.

German Magazine Auto Bild reports that Audi is working on a mid-engined sports car called the R6 to occupy the performance vale between the TT and R8. Audi isn’t doing this because the marketplace has demonstrated clear desire for another impractical two-seater. It’s not doing this because it wants to be considered a more exciting brand to those who don’t have the R8’s $164,150 lined up in a Luxembourg account. It’s doing this because parent company Volkswagen Group wants more help recouping its development costs for the Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman duo.

The R6 – ostensibly codenamed PO455, signifying genuine production intent – will be Ingolstadt’s version of the Porsche twins, with either a turbocharged four- or six-cylinder amidships and Quattro all-wheel drive sending twist to all four wheels. Predicted to enter the retail stream in coupe and convertible forms in 2018 at slightly lower prices than the Stuttgart siblings, we’re a long way from any reliable output numbers. Juggling the numbers anyway, at the moment the Audi TT has 220 horsepower and the Audi R8 V-10 has 540 hp; however, the turbo four-cylinder in the TTS has 292 hp and there is a V6 R8 on the way, so we’re probably looking at a power number that starts with a 3. The twin-turbo V6 in the S4 makes for a sound conceptual option, but at 333 hp it’s got 33 more stallions than the Porsches, and that would lead to pistols at dawn.

We’ve likely wasted too much time on this exercise already, though, since just this kind of Audi has been a rumor for at least nine years. In 2007 it was called the R4 and was due in 2011. In 2008 we were going to get an R4 and an R6. In 2011 it was back to the R4 alone – it was going to compete with Jaguar’s C-X16 concept, which led to the F-Type – plus an e-tron Spyder. And in 2013 it was maybe R4 or R5, spoken of in the same breaths with the eternal unicorn VW BlueSport Roadster.

The villagers only gave the little boy who cried wolf just two chances before they cut bait. Nine years later whenever someone screams “R6!” we’re still racing outside to turn dumb circles in an empty alley and whimper, “But I thought… this time….”

If we have any glimmer of hope that this time the signals are real, Audi recently moved Stefan Winklemann from his position as CEO of Lamborghini to CEO of Quattro GmbH, Audi’s version of Mercedes’ AMG division. His job is to get Quattro caught up to its AMG and M Division rivals both in sales and prestige, and there’s a chance that could include an R6. A microscopic iota of a chance, but still a chance.