Speculation continues as to the final nature of the diesel-hybrid Audi supercar said to arrive in 2016 or 2017. A previous report in Automobile had the halo coupe, based closely on the R18 etron quattro endurance racer, codenamed R20 and pegged to look like a Le Mans winner for the street with around 700 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque from a twin-turbo V6. Now Car and Driver has updated the gossip with a report that the car is internally called "Scorpion," and it will be even closer to the R18 than supposed.
CD says the heart of the car will use the R18 etron quattro's carbon fiber tub and its engine will be "taken directly" from the race car. That means a 3.7-liter V6 with a single turbo that, in ACO-spec restricted form, outputs 500 hp and 625 lb-ft – CD suspects production output could get to 600 hp – and drives the rear wheels, aided by hybrid motors driving the front wheels. And remember, at Le Mans the R18's hybrid motors can't kick in until they're above a certain speed in order to prevent Audi from getting an advantage coming out of slow corners. A street car wouldn't face that restriction.
The Scorpion would be a fulsome and undiluted example of the technologies Audi has created during its return to sports car racing. Its exterior design hasn't been finalized, with CD citing either the convoluted concept of "a retro take on the future of racing" or packaging that would adhere to the R18's looks. To make sure it is properly appreciated and sells well, production could be limited to the same 333 units as the R8 GT and A1 Quattro.