Rumors of Audi’s plans to build a Le Mans-inspired supercar have been floating around for the past couple of months. Expected to be called the R20, speculation has run rampant on the technical details of the supercar.
While Audi has resisted from making any comments regarding what it plans on doing with the car, technical chief, Wolganf Durheimer, bared some refreshing news at the Geneva Motor Show. Talking to Autocar, Durheimer commented that the proposed supercar is currently under "production evaluation"
More importantly, Durheimer believes that development of the car will go far enough that we could see a prototype later this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
“We run product evaluation on different ideas, looking at market positioning, brand image, development cost and time to market,” Dürheimer said. “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,” he added.
Should the proposed R20 progress to the point that it could be green lighted for production, Audi believes that a lot of people would go nuts for the car, something the automaker is looking for as it tries to align its Le Mans program with a dedicated road car. Should that end up being the case, it’s likely that the R20 will carry some sort of a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, similar to what the automaker uses on its R18 Le Mans racer.
Ultimately, Durheimer believes that hybrid supercars are becoming an important aspect of a brand’s focus.
“The market for these cars is fairly limited, but they are so important for brand image and perception,” he said.
“I think we need to do this car and show clearly where racing goes.”
Sounds good to us.