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Le Mans-Inspired Audi Hybrid Supercar Back On The Table?

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2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro

2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro

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Back in 2012, Audi’s then R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer let it be known that he wanted to develop a diesel-electric hybrid supercar to sit above the R8 in Audi’s performance lineup. The car would have borrowed technology from Audi’s hugely-successful R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans prototype—along with its styling—and would have targeted the latest generation of hybrid supercars like the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder.

A year later, Dürheimer was dismissed from his post at Audi and reassigned to the role of CEO of Bentley and Bugatti. And with him went any chance of a new hybrid supercar from Audi. Or at least that’s what we thought.  

Sweden’s Auto Motor and Sport, citing an inside source at the automaker, reports that a new supercar positioned above the R8 has been given the green light. To be called the R10, a prototype is said to have already been developed and test-driven by senior management.

The key to gaining approval, according to the report, was the ability to share the technology behind the car with other Volkswagen Group brands, namely, Bentley and Lamborghini. There’s a chance Porsche could even use the car’s architecture, expected to be a carbon fiber monocoque, for a supercar positioned between its 911 Turbo S and 918 Spyder.

There have been a few changes to Dürheimer’s original proposal, however. The new design calls for a gasoline engine instead of a diesel for the internal combustion component, and instead of a six-cylinder unit, as used in the R18 race car, a new 6.0-liter V-10 would be adopted.

The engine would feature the latest tech, including cylinder deactivation, direct fuel injection and turbocharging, and alone would be capable of delivering in excess of 800 horsepower. Add the electric component and you could be looking at an output of close to 1,000 horses. The engine is said to also be destined for future models from Bentley and Porsche.

Production of the alleged Audi R10 is slated to begin in 2016.

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