If we are to believe a report from Britain's Car magazine, Audi is planning to introduce a mid-engined sports car called the R5. Said to be positioned between the more mainstream TT and the flagship R8, the R5 is believed to be based on the VW Group's forthcoming MiMo (as in "MittelMotor") mid-engine sports car platform, which will also be used on future Porsche and VW models.
The same inside sources imply that the R5 will be available in both coupe and convertible forms, with styling cues borrowed from Audi's E-tron and E-tron Spyder concepts.
The R5 is said to measure only 3.9 meters (153.5 inches) in length, or roughly the same as a Lotus Exige. Being super-compact in dimensions means that weight should be kept low, and that is a definite advantage. The entire history of Lotus is based on this concept, with considerable success.
The 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged mill, sourced from the TT-RS, would most likely be the range-topper. With somewhere around 350 hp (261 kW) on tap, it would surely deliver "the goods" in a lightweight sports car. Smaller displacement inline-fours such as the 2.0-liter TSI, should also be in the mix.
I wouldn't exclude a hybrid variant either, as "green" sports cars are becoming increasingly popular these days.
We still have a long way to go until we hear something official about the R5, but we'll keep an eye open for any developments.
By Csaba Daradics