Sebastian Grams, managing director of Audi Sport, is hopeful that the electrified future will “be no less amazing” than the Audi RS models of today.
Grams has been head of Audi Sport for nearly two years, taking on his role at a crucial time as the high performance brand starts to build on the success of the Audi RS E-Tron GT.
Autocar spoke to Grams at the launch of the last R8, the GT RWD, about learning from current high performance EVs and what the F1 deal means for Audi.
Does combustion still have a role to play for Audi Sport, especially with regard to run-out specials like the Audi R8 GT RWD?
What you see today is pure, pure fuel combustion [in the Audi R8 GT RWD and Audi TT RS Iconic Edition]. But we are on our way to electrification with a clear plan. By 2030, we will have 100% of partially or full electric cars.
What does this mean? You have a time in between. So in the time between, where we have new models which are coming, combustion engines play a role to make a hybrid powertrain agile and fun.
But an ‘element of electrification’ still means a combustion engine…
We are going in the direction of performance plug-in hybrid systems. This is what we are going for and I can tell you, this will be no less amazing than what you're driving today. I personally believe that you will also have more opportunities to design the driving performance to be even cooler for the customer.
So what kind of modes do you have? You see it here with the drift mode [in the Audi R8 GT] - you can play with these things that are coming more from the electrical side, and also in combination with the e-motors on board. It will be fun.
Do you think there’s a way to do that without adding too much weight?
This is the major question, I guess for all high performance manufacturers. But yes, we can do that.