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Audi Planning Diesel Hybrid Supercar With Le Mans Tech

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2014 Audi R8 first drive

2014 Audi R8 first drive

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Audi is said to be interested in developing a diesel-electric hypercar to compete with upcoming rivals from McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari.

The new model would sit above the current R8 supercar in Audi's range, giving the company a road-going platform on which to extol the virtues of its Le Mans-winning technology.

According to Auto Express, Audi is keen to provide customers with a direct link to its R18 e-Tron race car.

The diesel-hybrid R18 secured Audi's 11th victory in the famous race back in the summer, the team having previously won in non-hybrid diesels and gasoline racers.

While the rear wheels were powered by Audi's Le Mans-winning V-6 diesel engine, the front wheels of the e-Tron featured electric power--giving the race car unrivalled traction.

A road car would likely use very similar technology. Power is likely to be in the 700-horsepower bracket to compete with rivals, and a top speed of over 200 mph is expected.

Audi isn't worried about hypercar buyers shunning the diesel or hybrid powertrains, either.

"If we made this a diesel hybrid it could be a hot-seller. What always sells is performance - if it is quick, has low consumption and looks cool, I’m sure it would be a success," explained Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi's boss of technical development.

'Low consumption' could be a particularly interesting aspect of the car. Supercars aren't known for their gas-sipping qualities, but with a light body, aerodynamic profile and a diesel engine powering the car at higher speeds, it could prove to be vastly more economical than its competitors.

Unfortunately, that may not be for a while.

Audi has several other models to develop in the meantime, and the next-generation R8 is expected to arrive in 2015--so it could be 2017 before the Le Mans-inspired hypercar hits the streets.

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Comments (2)
  1. Typical. Audi was doing so well with the Audi E-Tron, and just trashed it as it was getting so close to production! Now there's a hybrid, which sounds great, but it has to use one of VW's diesels. I'm really sure VW doesn't want any electric vehicle to be mass produced, the only way you can get one is by stealing their electric Golfs. At least I hope Audi will stick with this one!
     
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    Bad stuff?

  2. Will it come with a manual transmission?
     
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    Bad stuff?

 

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