Word has it Audi is hard at work on a new diesel-electric supercar. Auto Express reports Wolfgang Durheimer, head of technical development for the company, is planning a road vehicle that will make the most of the lessons learned from the automaker's 24 Hours of Le Mans efforts. Durheimer says the supercar will be very different from the current R8 and will offer buyers state-of-the-art technology. Specifically, the as-yet-unnamed model will be able to best the current McLaren P1 around a race track. Details are, of course, scarce, though the company's recent past could point to what we can expect to see from such a machine.

The Audi R8 TDI LeMans Concept from the 2008 Detroit Auto Show promised the world an R8 with a V12 TDI diesel behind the front seats. With 500 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, the machine would undoubtedly have been a blast to drive, but Audi shuttered any thought of a production model a year later. Odds are a modern interpretation of that machine would feature a smaller displacement diesel engine paired with a hybrid system for additional thrust.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      I look forward to seeing this compete with the Jaguar C-X75.
      ClementZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      >best the McLaren P1 around a race track. How does Audi know this? Have they seen the P1 around a racetrack? But I'm not really sure what to think of. A V12 TDI supercar sounds really redundant to me, despite sounding completely bonkers.
      RC
      • 2 Years Ago
      I know these CEOs of Audi, Mercedes, VW and BMW have a hard-on diesel. But come on dudes, get with the times.
        smog
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RC
        obviously you never drove a tweaked up VW/Audi TDI. it's the funniest engine I ever had and the only one that lasted 400 000 miles putting out 360 lb.ft @ 1800 rpm out of a 1.9L engine and still give a true 50 mpg on the highway.
        wartzilla
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RC
        I think perhaps it's you who needs to get with the times.
          RC
          • 2 Years Ago
          @wartzilla
          And what times are does exactly? hydrocarbons are dying off. It's time the Germans embrace EVs and hybrids and stop pushing obsolete technology on us.
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      So they'll strap an electric engine over the axle that is not powered by the diesel engine, effectivelly creating a bi-engined car where the two units are just that. Two units as in any low-cost, low-tech pseudo-hybrid... Volt and Prius are more advanced.
        luigi.tony
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Myself
        The Acura RLX and NSX are going to use individual electric motors at the wheels on one end of the car, and the motor will power the wheels at the other end.
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please don't make it in the R8... make something longer, curvier, and more exotic.
      tmk
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is an incorrect use of diesel-electric, which really refers to the type of powerplant of a diesel-electric locomotive, in which there is no mechanical connection between ICE and drivetrain.
        Myself
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tmk
        Correct, diesel-electric means either-or, not both. However, Audi used through-the-road bimotored cars at Le Mans, not full hybrids.
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Myself
          Why did people vote you down for stating facts?
      edward.stallings
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess they will get the rules changed to make it competitive, like they did for the diesel. Neither diesels nor diesel-electrics could compete in a series that didn't restrict gasoline engines with restrictors or fuel efficiency regulations. Is there any racing that does not follow the socialist model of having rule makers pick the winners and losers? ok- top fuel drag racing, maybe.
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @edward.stallings
        We will find out in 2014 as they have removed all the silly restrictor plates and such. They will instead go by a maximum energy you can use per lap. Not sure how they came up with the formula as btu was clearly not strictly followed with each.
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      Engine must look ugly because that plastic cover looks way to good.
      skierpage
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Zach Bowman, NOT-Wolfgang Durheimer specifically did NOT say "Specifically, the as-yet-unnamed model will be able to best the current McLaren P1 around a race track." Go re-read your sources and stop wasting your time and ours paraphrasing them. What AutoExpress reported is 'When we asked him whether it will be better than the forthcoming McLaren P1 [Van Meel] simply replied, "yes."' Well, every baby looks beautiful to its parents. Also "the current McLaren P1"doesn't exist except as an early prototype. A design study competing with a prototype is just armchair fantasizing for car fans whose rabid "I'd get the Audi/McLaren!" counterfactual is actually an abbreviation for "I won't be getting *any* $500,000 car because I don't have the money".
      winc06
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seems to me that something like an A3 or A4 with the same performance envelope and 40+mpg would be the super car. They are numerous enough to make a difference.
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