No Porsche Boxster rival for Audi
Over the past year, Audi sources have told Automotive News Europe and other publications that the premium brand was considering building a smaller version of its mid-engine R8 coupe that would be named the R4.
Last week an Audi spokesman said the automaker has no plans to build such an R4. “It was never in our product planning,” the spokesman said.
In February 2007, Audi sources told ANE that the R4 would go into production starting in 2010. It would have a sales target of 30,000 units a year.
German media reports say Porsche’s top executives are concerned about Audi developing cars that threaten Porsche sales.
Porsche is expected to take majority control of Audi parent Volkswagen group in the next three months.
Colin Couchman, a London-based automotive analyst at Global Insight, said increased competition between Audi and Porsche would not be a good strategic move over the long term.
“It’s best to keep the Audi and Porsche brands as separate as possible,” he said.
But Nick Margetts, an auto analyst at JATO Dynamics in Cologne, Germany, said an R4 would not have threatened Porsche sales.
Said Margetts: “Audi drivers are very different from Porsche drivers.”