Autocar writer, Bernd Ostmann, has become the first journalist in the world to drive the 602bhp V10 Audi Le Mans.

The Lamborghini Gallardo based supercar is still a one-off concept car at the moment but full production versions are likely to appear in 2006.

All the signs are that the final version will prove more than a match for the supercar establishment too. Driving the mid-engined 5.0-litre Audi, Ostmann described it as having ‘true agility and responsiveness, feeling compellingly quick and stable’.

The Le Mans' dramatic, aggressive looks are carried through to the cabin too. The mix of materials –aluminium, leather and soft-touch plastics ‘give it a highly advanced, clinical look’ according to Ostmann. It could also give clues to the cabins of future, more humdrum models.

The concept, first shown at the Frankfurt motor show last month, was inspired by Audi’s three Le Mans wins in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Even though this concept has a spec sheet to rival the Ferrari Enzo and Mercedes SLR McLaren, the final production version is likely to have the Ferrari 360 and Porsche 911 Turbo in its sights. Company insiders claim that it could be sold with a variety of powerplants, ranging from a normally aspirated V6, up to a twin turbo V10 used in the concept car.

Read the full story in this week’s Autocar

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