Audi R18 e-tron quattro

Who ever thought we'd hear this said about a sports car: "If we made this a diesel hybrid it could be a hot-seller." Yeah. Never. Nevertheless, that's what Audi R&D chief Wolfgang Durheimer told Auto Express about a his idea for a supercar to sit above the R8 and bang carbon-fiber fenders with the McLaren P1, Ferrari F70 and Porsche 918.

Durheimer's quest, in his double life as not just R&D director but also Volkswagen's head of motorsport, is to create a more obvious and lucrative connection between an Audi road car and the automaker's 24 Hours of Le Mans victories with diesel-powered racers. It's pure speculation after that, but Auto Express distills particulars down to at least 700 horsepower and 737 foot-pounds of torque, terminal velocity beyond 200 mph, and construction using either a bespoke carbon fiber tub or the coming MSB platform planned for all mid- and rear-engined VW-Group models. Figure a 2017 due date at the earliest.

Durheimer said his team will soon to decide the top three priorities for the future. If this diesel hybrid supercar gets the nod, it would be the antipodean twin of another possible Audi that Durheimer spoke of to Autocar, a 235-mpg city car based on the A1.