Audi to launch a Le Mans-inspired hypercar at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 11, 2013

Audi is expected to provide updates about its project to build a Le Mans-inspired road car at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. Audi technical chief Wolfgang Dürheimer told Autocar at the Geneva motor show that the Audi hypercar being proposed was presently in the “product evaluation” stage.

However, he dropped hints that the car may receive approval to enter production. Wolfgang Dürheimer said that the company is evaluating the product by looking at market positioning, brand image, development cost and time to market. He explained that when this is finished, it will be better able to decide what will take place next.

This means that an update is likely to be announced at Frankfurt this September. Dürheimer wants to align the Le Mans programme with a road car because it represents a boost to the brand image and it will attract so many consumers. It’s believed that the Audi hypercar will be powered by a radical diesel-electric hybrid powertrain so that it can be connected to the Le Mans car’s set-up.

He declined to talk about the powertrain’s capacity or the car’s platform but he divulged that Audi already has this technology. It’s believed that there will be a plug-in hybrid as Audi continues to support this technology.

Dürheimer said that the company has enough room to build a hypercar, which comes after the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder had been launched. However, he implied that it will have low volumes. Dürheimer added that there is a “fairly limited” market for these vehicles but because of their capability of improving perception and brand image, the company will have to focus on them

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