A mega-performance supercar seems to be the price of admission to the top luxury automaker club these days - and Audi wants a membership card.
Fortunately for the balance sheet of parent company Volkswagen, there's a cousin car that can help.
Audi will begin building the R9 in late 2006 in Neckarsulm, Germany, says Chairman Martin Winterkorn. The R9 will borrow the platform used for the Gallardo from sister company Lamborghini.
The Gallardo's 5.0-liter V-10 engine also will be used, but the output will be scaled back from 500 hp to about 450 hp, in an effort to put a little distance between the two models.
Styling will be based on Audi's Le Mans Quattro concept, which was shown at the 2003 Frankfurt auto show.
Company sources say Audi will build 3,000 to 5,000 cars a year.