Audi might be building a car different from anything in its history

Audi R8 V10AudiAudi R8.

The Audi R8 supercar could be about to get a baby brother.

According to German car magazine Auto Bild, Audi is said to be working on a mid-engined sports car to slot in to the market between the TT sports car and the R8 supercar. 

The sports car, tentatively referred to as the R6, is known within the company as PO455, Auto Bild reported. 

The R6 is also believed to be based on the Porsche’s new 718 Boxster and Boxster S

For Audi and Porsche’s parent company — VW Group — this is a move that makes sense on a several levels. 

Financially, the rumoured Audi sports car allows the company make greater use of the new 718 Boxster’s platform and turbocharged, flat four-cylinder engine which were developed at considerable cost by Porsche.

In addition, Audi is repositioning its high performance Audi Sport brand — which is responsible for the R8 and RS models — to become a performance badge with the recognition of Mercedes-AMG and BMW M. 

“We spent so much on the authenticity of Audi Sports and the racing of Audi Sport that we forgot to commercialize Audi Sport and take advantage of the success we’ve had,” Audi of America president Scott Keogh told Business Insider in January.

“Our competitors have done a smart job of putting more focus into turning out more M cars and AMGs.”

Porsche 718 BoxsterPorschePorsche 718 Boxster.

And as a branding exercise, an R6 also allows Audi to take advantage of the iconic stature of the R8 supercar which has skyrocketed in popularity due to its distinctive design and its role as Iron Man’s ride of choice. 

Exact specs on the R6 are scant. However, expect the Audi R6’s power output to fall between the TT’s 220 horsepower and the base R8 V10’s 540 ponies. The Porsche 718 Boxster is powered by a 2.0 litre, 300 horsepower, turbocharged, flat 4, while the high-end S variant is powered by a 2.5 litre, 350 horsepower, turbo, flat 4. 

Porsche declined to comment on the rumoured car. 

Representatives from Audi were not immediately available for comment. 

NOW WATCH: Watch car fanatics race souped-up Porsche 911s on a frozen lake in Sweden

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.