A Le Mans-inspired supercar to compete with the world’s best? We’re into it.
Audi's had tremendous success on the Le Mans racing circuit with their diesel-powered race cars, so it's not particularly surprising that they'd want to translate that oil-burning performance cred into street car sales. But what is a little unexpected is how they might go about it: Apparently, Audi is considering building a diesel-powered supercar capable of whupping the likes of the McLaren P1 and its ilk. Ilk like the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Ferrari "Italian Jesus Supercar" F70.
This word doesn't just some from some anonymous source deep within the depths of Audi HQ, either—it comes from Franciscus Van Meel, head of Audi's quattro gmbh performance division, and Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi's head of technical development. "There is definitely room for a super sports car above the R8," Durheimer said recently. "If we made this a diesel hybrid it could be a hot-seller...This year I watched Audi win Le Mans for the 11th time, and asked myself how do we leverage this diesel-hybrid technology to the road. This would deliver that transfer from track to road that I’m always looking for."
Van Meel was more specific. "If we make this car it will be the absolute best supercar, and completely different in concept to the R8," he said. "It will be very Vorsprung Durch Technik, very innovative." When asked if it would be better than, say, the McLaren P1—which McLaren promises will redefine how we think of supercar performance—Van Meel replied with a simple "Yes."
So what would a diesel Audi supercar bring to the table? Well, we're betting it'd pack at least 700 horsepower and, hell, 800+ lb-ft of torque to boot, probably run through the Bugatti Veyron's gearbox (since we can't think of many other car transmissions that can handle that kind of grunt). We're also guessing it'll have some of the wildest styling ever seen on a production car—it'll have to, if it's going to make the R8 look plebeian. And maybe it'll even get awesome highway fuel economy, too. [via Auto Express]
Pictured: Audi R8 TDI Le Mans Concept