Geneva 2013: Audi sends R20 hypercar plans into production proposal stage

Audi R8 TDI

Late last year, we reported on rumors floating around that Audi was considering building a hypercar that would rank above its current supercar, the R8 (pictured).

Tentatively called the R20, Audi’s hypercar would have a hybrid, all-wheel-drive drivetrain and could be released in 2016 to mark the company’s achievement of hitting 1.5-million global vehicle sales, which Audi says it’s on track to accomplish.

Autocar is reporting this week that Audi technical chief, Wolfgang Dürheimer, has acknowledged that such a hypercar is in the production consideration stages.

The all-new Audi hypercar would be inspired by its Le Mans racecar with a plug-in hybrid diesel powertrain. Audi is invested heavily in plug-in hybrid technology.

The drivetrain that would propel the hypercar, according to Dürheimer in an Autocar interview, already exists within the corporation. Adapting existing technology for a new hypercar would bring research and design costs down significantly, making the project even more realistic.

Supercars and hypercars are very important for today’s automakers from a hype and branding standpoint. Audi made a name for itself when it first introduced the R8 supercar in 2006. Audi hopes a hypercar would have the same – if not larger – effect.

An additional benefit to an Audi plug-in hybrid hypercar would be to demonstrate to the global car-buying public that such a drivetrain is proven. If it’s good enough to propel a hypercar over 200 miles per hour, it’s good enough for your family sedan.

Although Audi would only build a few of the hypercars, as the market for such a vehicle is relatively slim, we can’t wait for them to do so. We absolutely love Audi’s offerings and have long been eager to see the German brand take on the likes of Ferrari, with its newly introduced LaFerrari supercar, and the recently unveiled McLaren P1.

Both of those hypercars, it’s worth mentioning, are hybrid-powered.

Dürheimer indicated that production plans for an Audi hypercar could come as soon as this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show. Keep checking back in, as we are sure to learn more as the Frankfurt date draws near.

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.
Cars

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.
Cars

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Cars

Lincoln revives its coolest-ever design feature for limited-edition Continental

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.