Few vehicles can match the efficiency and power of a combination diesel-electric hybrid. Audi has proved as much with a multitude of wins at the always-epic 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now one of the chief executives wants to unite the Audi motorsports and passenger car efforts with a diesel-electric supercar based heavily on the Le Mans champion.
Head of Audi R&D Wolfgang Durheimer was interviewed by AutoExpress. In the interview, he expressed his desire to more effectively link Audi’s racing efforts with its road cars. It is a great move, as Chevrolet has shown with its closely-followed Corvette Racing efforts in the American Le Mans Series.
To whit, an Audi diesel-electric supercar could offer in the realm of 700 horsepower with a KERS/flywheel-hybrid setup. Imagine a super-light carbon-fiber body, one that draws an unmistakable parallel to the Le Mans-winning Audi R18 e-tron hybrid race car. I could see millionaires lying up by the dozens to get a place in line for such a car.
Such a ride would be competing with the Porsche 918 hybrid and the Ferrari Enzo replacement that will boast a V12-hybrid setup, and it would likely be priced in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet the Audi would be the only diesel-electric supercar in the world, as long as you don’t count the concept-only Peugeot Onyx supercar.
Such a vehicle could step in for the Audi R8 e-tron all-electric supercar, which is rumored to be on the chopping block just months from its promised debut. Talk about a buzzkill. Even if Audi were to greenlight a diesel-electric supercar tomorrow, such a vehicle wouldn’t hit the streets until 2017 at the soonest.
But the potential is there, and Audi certainly has the racing cred to put their motorsports know-how to work on the road.