Based on the e-Tron, the new Audi R4 will be smaller than the sexy R8 supercar, but larger than the TT, and will headline an electric version above regular gas models. As part of the VW Group, the R4 will share architecture with the next-generation Porsche Boxster and Cayman, and both a coupe and a targa-top will be available.
As in the e-Tron, the electric R4 Tesla fighter will be powered by a lithium-ion battery pack with four electric motors, one for each wheel. In lieu of a traditional power plant, the 1,036-pound lithium-ion battery will be placed in the middle of the car. The entire e-Tron concept weighs just 3,527 pounds and delivers a range of about 150 miles on a full charge, specifications that could change slightly as the production model moves into the prototype stage.
Gas-powered R4s will offer the same engines currently offered in the TT, including the 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo that's standard in the European TT-RS, a model not available in the U.S. The American-spec TT tops out with the 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo TT-S, and it's not yet clear whether the 2.5-liter turbo will make it to the States or if we'll again make do with the smaller engine.
The Audi R4 is expected to enter the market in 2012.