Not only Audi focuses on reaching highest reliability, exceptional sportiness is intended to define the image of the make in the future. Main target is situated about 30km away from the headqaurters at Igolstadt and is called München [Mewnchen] by native tongues. Yes, you guess, it's Munich, the home town of BMW. The new RS4's high revving V8 is one example that hints to the geographically close target.
Regarding high-end sports coupes, Audi's strategy is a little bit different as the territory for uncompromising sports cars is being reserved for the Italian sister brand Lamborghini. That is why Ingolstadt has opted for another policy. The Gallardo-based sports car R9 won't perform the same power although it is going to get its V10 motor. 50 hp less than the 500 of the Lambo should be enough to keep the Audi out of the Italian conservation area.
Also modifications in matters of suspension are destined to make the R9 a car of another personality. Being more comfortable and less noisy than the Gallardo, it will rather be a Porsche 911 competitor than an rival of the racy M6. By the way, the next TT's evolution is deemed to be made to attack the new Boxster coupe named Cayman directly.
In terms of power, the R9 V10 won't be competitive to BMW's coupe's top model but Audi wants to focus also on buyers who prefer the softer versions of the Six. That's why the RS4's V8 engine is planed to drive a less powerful alternative. On the other hand, the Quattro GmbH's revvy 8-pot motor is a real high-performance engine and thus not quite perfect for a comfortable GT. Also, its power of 420hp is very close to the 450 of the V10 model.
This contradictions urge Ingolstadt to tame the high-tech V8 monster motor for the R9. Less power to the benefit of comfortable manners without neglecting decent rev spread is aim of the modifications. By roughly 400hp - presumingly a few horses less - it's going to be positioned in between the 645i and the M6 as well as it suggests itself as a 911 option, by performance. Not by price, as this rate could be one that will worry Zuffenhausen, possibly.
Audi says some features of the Le Mans concept won't go into production but doesn't give details away. The interior was very much racing-focused and such things won't be found in the production car for sure. Another issue is the LED head lamps. Although Ingolstadt is very keen on being the first to offer them, it doesn't appear likely at the moment that this technology is ready till the sports car's launch which is planned for early 2007. Also, the silver vertical side panels could be something lacking on the road version.
In terms of specifications, the Audi R9 won't set new standards and it's actually equiped only with engines of limited power. Nonetheless, Ingolstadt's engineers are strongly suspected to make something perfect and the sports car's appearance will certainly attract some more attentions than the 6-series does since it's flatter and maybe, a tad cooler thus.
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