We are on the cusp of a new era of automotive performance, with major automakers embracing a new mindset when it comes to hybrid vehicles. Rumors have been swirling that Audi wants to embrace hybrids with a new diesel-electric hypercar slotted above the Audi R8, and it seems to be all but confirmed for production…eventually.
Audi’s Le Mans-winning diesel race cars have dominated the World Endurance Championship for most of the past decade now. The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro race cars utilize a 3.7 liter V6 turbodiesel engine combined with a KERS-style hybrid system that allows for brief boosts of extra power. The new Audi hypercar, codenamed the R20, would likely utilize a similar system.
The Audi R20 diesel-electric hybrid would look a lot like the R18 e-tron quattro it would be based on, with a narrow canopy-like cockpit, stacked LED lights, and an active aerodynamics system. The Audi R20 would essentially be a road-going version of the championship-winning race car, and would be priced as such.
There seems to be an arms race brewing over hybrid performance cars. Audi has definitely fired a shot across the bow of the Porsche 918 Spyder, another contender in this increasingly competitive category. But what does this mean for Audi’s planned all-electric supercar, the R8 e-tron? Rumor has it this project is still in the works, though production may be scaled down…possibly to make way for the Audi R20 diesel-electric.
The question then is, would you rather have a pure electric supercar, or a diesel-electric hypercar? If it were up to us, we’d take one of each.
Source: Automobile Magazine