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Audi Mulls New Supercar Based On Diesel Hybrid Le Mans Racer

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Audi R18 e-tron quattro

Audi R18 e-tron quattro

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Audi has hinted at the launch of a diesel-powered supercar for the good part of a decade, with things really heating up when the company unveiled its R8 V12 TDI concept car in 2008. However, plans for a diesel-powered R8 were eventually abandoned, even though Audi would continue to develop high-performance diesel engines for its successful line of Le Mans prototypes.

Those race cars have dominated endurance racing over the years, and with the inclusion of ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive, ‘e-tron’ electric assistance and ‘ultra’ lightweight construction technology, Audi’s latest Le Mans prototype, the R18 e-tron quattro, has become virtually unstoppable.

Naturally, Audi wants to transfer that dominance to the showroom, and what better way is there than by launching a supercar utilizing the same race-winning technology.

According to a new report, that’s exactly what Audi is considering doing. The new supercar, a possible R10, would top Audi’s range and target the likes of upcoming hybrid supercars such as the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 and Ferrari Enzo replacement.

“There is definitely room for a super sports car above the R8,” Audi’s new R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer revealed to Auto Express. “If we made this a diesel hybrid it could be a hot-seller.”

Dürheimer will be meeting with company bosses soon to discuss future plans, which also call for a new lightweight version of the next-generation TT as well as a city car capable of delivering a fuel economy of higher than 200 mpg.

If built, the new supercar would feature a diesel hybrid powertrain, just like the R18 e-tron quattro LMP1. The car could also feature a unique carbon fiber chassis, though Audi may simply use the platform being developed for the next-generation R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo replacement.

Some performance stats being discussed are an output of 700 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque, 0-60 times of less than 3.0 seconds and a top speed of more than 200 mph.

As the project is yet to be even given the green light, it’s too early to talk release dates. However, don’t expect anything before 2017.

On the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, a mid-mounted V-6 TDI diesel engine producing 510 horsepower transmits power to the rear wheels. A pair of electric motors transmits power to the front wheels, making the vehicle all-wheel drive. These electric motors rely on electrical energy recovered during braking. Both the diesel engine and electric motors complement each other, though both can work independently.

2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 race car

2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 race car

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