Hybrid technology hardly came from performance-oriented beginnings. After all, the first mass-market hybrids' sole goal was to improve fuel economy and curb emissions.
While this remains their primary goal today, brilliant engineering minds have worked wonders in another area. Now, hybrid technology often finds a role in performance vehicles as well, to enhance their power.
Specifically, we're talking about the Audi RS 7 Performance, in which a hybrid variant has been confirmed for its 2019 redesign. Audi's head of design, Marc Lichte, confirmed to Evo that not only will Audi roll out a next-generation Audi RS 7 with a standard gasoline powertrain, but a hybrid version will arrive with—get ready for it—700 horsepower.
Said power will come from cousin Porsche, specifically its Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, which produces 680 hp from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine supplemented by an electric motor powered by 14-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
As for the non-hybrid Audi RS 7, it will reportedly be rated at 650 hp, up from 605 hp in the current car. The increased power will reportedly come from the same Porsche-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, minus the hybrid system. The non-hybrid Panamera Turbo makes 550 hp.
This isn't the first time we've heard about Audi dipping into Porsche's powertrain bin. Earlier this year, Audi revealed the 2019 A8 sedan—but, curiously, a new S8 was missing. Later reports indicated the next S8 will also feature an S8 Plus variant with that same hybrid setup from the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. It's unclear when we'll see the new S8 and S8 Plus, but the 2019 Audi A7 and its variants should be revealed sometime in 2018.