Last year, we heard the first details on a possible Audi diesel-electric supercar. It was supposed to be offered with a diesel engine combined with an electric motor for a total output of around 700 horsepower and at least 737 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in the 3-second range.
But as this sounded just too good to be true, new reports suggest that Audi dropped the idea of offering such a supercar. Instead, it appears that Audi’s focus is squarely on the production version of the Sport Quattro concept set to be unveiled in Frankfurt.
The model was rumored to be named Scorpion or R20 and was supposedly based on the R18 racecar. From the sounds of it, Audi has already prepared several design concepts for the new supercar, but now it has "bigger and more pressing issues to tackle."
This decision made a few Audi people very unhappy, but it’s not a big surprise to us, considering that electric technology is still in its early stages, as the company announced that another electric vehicle, the R8 e-tron, wouldn’t make it to production.
Click past the jump to read more about the R8 V12 TDI - the concept that supposedly inspired the Scorpion.
A few months ago, we first learned that Audi was planning a new supercar inspired by the automaker’s very successful LeMans racecar, the R18, and that it would feature a hybrid powertrain. Initial rumors suggested the model could be named R20,. New rumors are now pointing toward the new supercar being called the R10, which makes more sense to us, considering it will sit right above the upcoming second-generation R8. With this new rumor comes an all-new rendering for you to enjoy (above).
The R10 is rumored to combine a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine driving the rear wheels with a pair of electric motors driving the front wheels. The total output will be in the 600-horsepower area.
Ok, so how we designed our rendering? We started with an R8 and increased the proportions to make it more hypercar-ish. The front is enhanced with design elements from the e-tron Concept and quattro Concept, while the A-pillars are inspired by the R18 racecar.
Why do we think this car will really happen? Because Audi spent lots of money on the R8 E-tron that won’t make it to production because of the current market situation and all the things they have learned designing it need to be used somewhere.
However, don’t expect to hit up your local Audi dealer for one next year, as the R10 is currently in the product-evaluation stage and likely won’t arrive until 2016 or 2017.
Click past the jump to read more on the Audi R10 and its history
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.
When Audi announced the R8 E-tron has been dropped we were pretty disappointed, to say the least. But, to our surprise, it looks like Audi hasn’t entirely dropped the idea of offering a hybrid supercar because new rumors seem to suggest that in the next three years we will see a street-legal version of the German automaker’s very successful LeMans race car, the R18.
The new model will be called the R20 and will be offered with the trademark full-length tailfin of an R18 LeMans racer. In order to help distinguish itself as an Audi model, the R20 will be equipped with a downsized, single-frame grille; stacked LED headlights; ventilated front and rear wings; and an adjustable rear spoiler. The best part is that the next R20 will likewise be offered with gulling doors, which will offer access to a highly equipped interior. It will offer a multi-functional black panel center display, active-contour seats with integrated four-point belts and tons of other technology features.
Under the hood, Audi will combine a 550-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine with two electric motors that will drive the front wheels. The R20 will also be equipped with brake energy recuperation, high-speed coasting, and a broader start-stop application.
The new Audi R20 will be unveiled in 2015 at the Pebble Beach event. Production will begin in the spring of 2016 and there will be only 100-250 units offered.
UPDATE 3/29/2013: Rumor has it that the model once known as the R20 will actually be called the R10. And with a new name comes an all-new rendering based off of design cues from the R8 and the R18 racecar.