Audi could race a hydrogen-powered Le Mans car in the future, Autocar has learned - although the project is dependent on the technology edging closer to reality for production cars than is currently the case.
The confirmation that a hydrogen-powered Le Mans racer “could be possible” by Audi’s head of technical development, Stefan Knirsch, is the first hint of the project, and could pitch the firm against BMW at the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race, as both firms vie to establish credentials for leadership in hydrogen technology.
“If we wanted to demonstrate our capabilities that way we could do it,” said Knirsch. “But the first thing is that we must be certain that it has a production future. We don’t like to show things that are not leading to a production reality, and at the moment the lack of infrastructure leaves that uncertain.”
Audi’s continued participation in sports car racing and at Le Mans has been in question for several years, with the logic of racing against VW Group stablemate Porsche - which has won Le Mans for the past two years, as well as the World Endurance Championship in 2015 - uncertain.