Audi's technical boss has confirmed proposals for a Le Mans-inspired hypercar are underway, with an update due at the Frankfurt motor show

Audi is poised to outline its plans to launch a Le Mans-inspired road car at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

Speaking to Autocar at the Geneva motor show, Audi technical chief Wolfgang Dürheimer said that the proposed Audi hypercar was in the “product evaluation” stage of its development, but he hinted that the car was looking good to be followed through to production.

“We run product evaluation on different ideas, looking at market positioning, brand image, development cost and time to market,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer. “Once this is done we will have a clear decision on what happens next. I would expect an update on this project in September at Frankfurt.

“It is still alive and I’m pushing for it.”

Dürheimer is keen to closely align the Le Mans programme with a road car as it “can have a tremendous boost for brand kudos” and people “would go crazy for it”. 

The Audi hypercar is likely to have a radical diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, to link it to the set-up in the Le Mans car.

He wouldn’t be drawn on the exact capacity of the powertrain or the platform for the car, but said that all the technology already existed within Audi and the firm would not have to develop anything bespoke from scratch. A plug-in hybrid is likely, however, as Audi continues to push the technology.

Dürheimer said that there was still room for another car maker to create a hypercar, following the launch of the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder, but he hinted the volumes would be tiny.

“The market for these cars is fairly limited, but they are so important for brand image and perception,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer. “For these cars, these should be the main focuses.

“I think we need to do this car and show clearly where racing goes.”

Dürheimer added that hybrid technology would be accepted if these new breed of hypercars prove that the technology can make the cars go faster.

“I am convinced that if a hybrid can cut lap times and increase performance then this will be a breakthrough,” he said. “You might think a race car is a long way from a road application, but the hybrid technology in racing has been transferred to the road cars already.”

 

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Comments
7

5 March 2013

Certainly in this color scheme!

Peter Cavellini.

5 March 2013

The R8 TDI was a great idea, but the engine was too big for the car (it ate into the cabin space!). It was based on the then current V12 TDI LeMans wiining engine. Now they Use a V6 TDI in LeMans, they could do an R8 TDI with that engine, would be pretty cheap n easy to do.

R32

5 March 2013

Audi doesn't have the brand cachet or prestige to build and sell a true "hypercar" in the same mould as the P1, 918 or LaFerrari.  Durheimer should wake up and realise he's no longer running Bentley and Bugatti.

5 March 2013

Sure, go ahead and build it!  We've already got the 918, let's also build a Bentley hypercar leveraging their Le Mans heritage!  And a hyper Lambo with a production run even longer than 3!  And a Scirocco Hennesey Venom-a-like!  And SEAT and Skoda hypercars at lower price points to cover the entire hypercar market!

6 March 2013

As hard as I try I just can't get over the name LaFerrari Biggrin sounds like a cheap italian whore...

 

...following the launch of the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder...

lol Biggrin

TBC

7 March 2013

and there was me thinking that VAG owned Bugatti, Lamborghini & Porsche for that sort of thing...........

A $1,000,000 Audi? How many takers.............

11 March 2013

Same bloke that was pushing hard for the Bentley SUV, wasn't it...? “It is still alive and I’m pushing for it.”  Of course they listen to their customers and it may need a slight restyle and.... oops, I've suddenly gone sideways.

But neverzeless, like zee Bentley SUV, fur ze Audi it “can have a tremendous boost for brand kudos” and people “would go crazy for it”.....

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