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Audi's Le Mans car for the road

By Glenn Butler, 07 Mar 2013 News

Audi, Le Mans, R18, Etron, Hybird, race car, road, wheels, future, 2013, Geneva, Motor, Show

Audi wants a supercar to tackle Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and McLaren for supercar bragging rights.

Audi wants a supercar to tackle Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and McLaren for supercar bragging rights.

Talking to Wheels magazine at the Geneva Auto Salon, Audi boardmember and development chief Dr Wolfgang Durheimer outlined the brand's dreams to build a "street legal Le Mans car".

Audi has won the world's premiere endurance event an incredible 11 times in the last 13 years, a domination it is keen to turn into dollars. And it's not interested in coming second on the road either.

“I think if we do an ‘R’ e-tron quattro from the Le Mans car we could compete with these cars,” he said. "It would be a derivative of the R18 e-tron quattro that did the 2012 victory in Le Mans, as a street-legal car, with hybrid, high-tech, extremely fast, diesel-driven race engine, limited volume.”

Dr Durheimer said environmental sustainability would play an important role if such a car were to reach production -- ironic given he was largely responsible for cancelling Audi's R8 e-tron electric supercar project.

“I think we will have passion, emotions and high performance also in our mind in 10 years from now and 100 years from now, because it is human sport to find out who is the fastest … we need to do this in a sustainable way, not to waste energy, but also to save energy and think about the next generation that comes [after] us to find a world still in good condition.

"But," he said, "we will not stop racing and we will not stop finding out who is the fastest 0-100.”

Dr Durheimer wouldn't be drawn on the car's potential name, except to say it would have close ties to the racing car.

“If the Le Mans car for street-legal use comes it would not be an R8 or R9. R8 is a platform in the model line and the race car doesn’t have anything to do with it. It would be derived from the race car."

“It’s looking cool, it’s high performance, it’s the thing for car aficionados and this will not change in the future,” he said.

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