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Automobile Magazine has filed an intel report from Georg Kacher on the plan for a proposed Audi supercar positioned well above the R8. The idea of such a car is most credited to new Audi development boss Wolfgang Duerheimer and it is said to have come from inspiration during his attendance at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The idea is simple enough even if the technology is not. Audi could add a supercar of Porsche 918 stature positioned well above the R8, and one that very directly pulls from the brand’s successes at Le Mans. Previous rumor stories about such a car make it much more exotic than even the R8 GT and much more stylistically inspired by the cars Audi actually races at Le Mans – LMP shape, long shark fin, etc.
Automobile’s talented concept artist Radovan Varicak has made a group of very interesting renders of what such a vehicle might look like. In our opinion, these are the best images yet by an artist attempting to capture the idea of such a car in pixels. The renders seem to use Carrera GT images, with supercar proportions and mated with a shortened take on Audi’s grille, R18 gullwing style doors, large vertical headlight structures, a single multi-segment high-intensity windshield wiper, and even LMP-looking aerodynamics that might even act as an air brake. Since most LMPs look the same, we’re particularly impressed with Varicak’s attempt to make the car look unmistakably like part of the Audi family.
Worth noting: There is a whole collection of renders. We’ve included just one in the re-telling of this story. See more HERE: AutomobileMag.com
Kacher hints that the interior will be equally aggressive. Much of the instrumentation would be based around a multifunctional black-panel display. It would also feature active contour seats, four-point seat belts and camera-based surround view.
As for drivetrain, Kacher’s sources suggest the car could hold very close to the spirit of the R18 with power coming from a V6 TDI hybrid setup. Rather than a flybrid driving the front wheels, we’d expect to see more of a battery-run reverse setup of Audi’s upcoming e-quattro system that would allow for very tailorable torque vectoring. The story suggests 550 hp from the engine an extra 150 hp from the electric motors delivered on-demand much like an Audi Le Mans driver can do today.
Kacher estimates that the car might debut at Pebble Beach in 2015 – an event with plenty of potential customers and during a year Audi is set to hit its 1.5 million vehicle sales target. Produciton could come by 2015 with a run as few as 100-250 units.
There’s no line in the story about architecture, but it will be interesting to watch. With cars like the upcoming Porsche 918, the Bugatti Veyron and the Lamborghini Aventador already established within the group, Audi would have no shortage of corporate siblings with which to share some of its components. Our understanding of the upcoming MSB architecture is that it could house such a vehicle, but this is all conjecture on our part at this point.
Automobile’s story refers to the car as R20 and we’ve no doubt that’s what it’s being referred to internally if that’s what Kacher is calling it. That said, we’d wonder if Audi would go for a name both well above its own nomenclature family (20 much higher than 8) or affixing the name of a racecar that doesn’t yet exist. Likely the next Audi LMP could be named R20 and there may be some benefit to naming the car after the then-current racer. Others have suggested R10 as that’s much closer to the existing Audi family of models numerically, but we’d suggest R18. By then that car will be retired and it is already one of the most storied cars Audi has ever fielded, first winning the brand’s most hard fought win ever at Le Mans and then winning as the first hybrid the following year. That this proposed car would possibly mirror the V6 TDI hybrid configuration of the R18 e-tron hybrid or leave open the idea of a less complex rear-wheel drive R18 ultra without the hybrid system makes the use of the name even more compelling in our opinion.
See more renders and read more details about this car after the jump at AutomobileMag.com.