• May 6th 2011 at 7:58AM
  • 7
Audi trimaran concept by Stefanie Behringer – Click above for image gallery

While hybrid propulsion is becoming more and more common in cars – concept cars especially – the application on the water has remained somewhat more limited. Some larger motorboats might incorporate sideways electric thrusters to help with docking, but that's by and large the extent of it.

As you might have guessed, however, this is no ordinary motorboat. For starters,- it doesn't actually exist – it's a design exercise. One created by German grad student Stefanie Behringer with input from Audi's design department. It's designed around a trimaran form – that is, a boat with three hulls that optimizes stability without the drag in aquadynamics that goes with a wider hull. Which picks up where the R8-inspired catamaran (that's two hulls to you landlubbers) and the nautical theme of the Q7 Coastline concept left off and takes the idea even further.

Attached to the center hull are two narrow outriggers that each house an electric-powered jet ski. The personal watercraft can (at least, in theory) be deployed as toys or tenders, but when docked inside the the outriggers supplement the main engines for trolling (that is, maneuvering around the marina) at up to 8 knots (9.2 mph) or accelerating. Oh, and the main engines? A pair of (presumably marinized) V12 TDI turbo-diesels with 500 horsepower apiece. Combined with the pair of 100-hp electric jet drives, that makes for 1,200-hp of thrust, which, with the boat's slender shape, is estimated to be good for 40 knots (46 mph).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ehhh... Hybrids have been on the water for centuries... They're called sailboats with auxilary power... Go green, buy a sailboat... The original hybrid!
      • 4 Years Ago
      46mph? My father's 38' Fountain will do 75mph flat out with three 300hp Mercs... Something isn't adding up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, this is the first Audi in the last 5 years that doesn't look like a carbon copy of everything VW/Audi makes...It'd be nice if their cars had cues from this!
      • 4 Years Ago
      You know it would break down in the middle of an Atlantic crossing. VW/Audi reliability on the open water. Makes me shudder.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not much has changed in boat design in decades because it doesn't necessarily need to. Boats have had centuries of development, cars have not. I'm not sure of the advantage of a trimaran in this size of powerboat. A monohull would likely plane, minimizing the effect of drag. Trimarans sacrifice a lot of usable room. A catamaran makes a lot more sense, and if they're looking for efficiency, they should design a wave piercer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Electric power and water don't make a good combination.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Neither does oil and water, moron. Fishermen have been using 12v powered motors for trolling in lakes for years