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Audi Exec Boasts About Performance Of Potential Diesel Hybrid Supercar

 
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Audi R18 e-tron quattro

Audi R18 e-tron quattro

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Just a few weeks ago news broke that Audi was considering launching a new supercar positioned above its R8, which would utilize an advanced diesel-electric hybrid powertrain based on the setup in the race-winning R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans prototype.

News of the potential supercar was first made known by none other than Wolfgang Dürheimer, the former head of Bentley and Bugatti and now R&D chief at Audi.

Now, a second senior executive at Audi has revealed some details on the project.

Speaking with Auto Express, the boss of the Audi quattro performance division, Franciscus Van Meel, revealed that if Audi were to build a new supercar, it would be completely different to the R8 and it would be better than even the upcoming McLaren P1.

Of course, with the McLaren’s final specs  yet to be revealed, the comments of the Audi exec can’t be taken too seriously.

The key thing to take away is that we now have further confirmation that Audi is at least considering building a new supercar. And as boss of Audi quattro, Franciscus Van Meel would be the man in charge of building the new car.

While it’s still too early to talk specs, to be able to keep up with the likes of the McLaren P1, as well as confirmed hybrid supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari Enzo replacement, the Audi would need to develop at least 700 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque.

Audi’s diesel-electric hybrid technology has already been proven on the race track, where it helped the automaker secure its eleventh title at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier in the year. It’s evident Audi would like to transfer that success to the road in a more direct fashion.

2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 race car

2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 race car

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The technology itself, dubbed e-tron quattro, is essentially a ‘through-the-road’ hybrid system, where a diesel engine is used to power the rear wheels and a pair of electric motors, working independently, spins the front wheels. The electric motors are powered by lithium-ion batteries topped-up by recovered braking energy. A similar setup is set to debut in Acura’s next-generation NSX, albeit with a gasoline engine rather than diesel.

Adding credence to the possibility that Audi may end up launching a new supercar is recent news that the company has dropped plans to sell the R8 e-tron electric car. With a claimed 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds and top speed of just 125 mph, and probably a range of around 100 miles, the R8 e-tron was never going to be a serious performance model, let alone a suitable flagship for Audi.

The good news is that It looks like Audi has gone back to the drawing board is planning something much more substantial.

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