Despite its hot shot looks, the Audi TT has never quite lived up to its look of power and speed, but that’s about to change. The TT replacement model is due to appear in 2013 and if the guy’s over at CAR are to be believed, the TT is about to be replaced with something that it always should have been, a proper sports car.
The TT replacement will feature a mid-engine layout and many believe that by doing so Audi will silent its critics who accuse the TT of being a reskinned overpriced Golf. It could also work wonders in terms of price positioning and brand image and judging from the renderings, the R3 would complement the R8 very well.
The R3’s engine line up will include a 180bhp 1.8-liter TFSI motor, a 2-liter version that’s good for some 220bhp, and a brawny S-Line model that could churn out some 280bhp. The recent push by environmentalist lobbying for greener cars and the volatility of global oil prices could also see diesel TDI engines getting the nod from top management. Our sources suggest that a frugal 125bhp variant of the latest 1.6-liter common-rail derv could make its way to the R3’s engine bay, and following it could be 170 and 204bhp versions of Audi’s 2-liter diesel engines.
To keep things fun, safe and easy to drive, Audi may fit the R3 with its Quattro four-wheel-drive system which would also work as a useful marketing instrument but on the contrary, it would add weight and could result in frictional losses. And the fact that the Quattro system is not absolute necessary in terms of vehicle dynamics could just see the idea being ditched.
Though Audi may deny this and the design of the R3 may suggest otherwise, but the fact that all of the potential powerplants for the R3 are four cylinder models could mean that Porsche already has some influence in the VW group. See, by keeping the R3 a strictly four-cylinder model, Porsche’s sales of its Boxster and Cayman would not be affected as customers would not be torn between a Audi and a Porsche. Five years is a long time and a lot may change by then, we’ll just have to wait and see. More on this as we find out.