7 Mar 2013

Audi to make a road car based on Le Mans racers

Audi's R&D boss has been talking about his intention for the company to make a road car based on the Le Mans racers, the most recent of which is the R18 TDI

Audi's new R&D boss, Dr Wolfgang Durheimer, has said he would like Audi to make a road car based on one of it's Le Man race cars.  Dr Durheimer said: "In my opinion it deserves to get a street-legal application.  

We already have everything in-house at Audi. The market for supersports cars is fairly limited, but in terms of brand image, perception and worldwide interest something like this attracts people like us."

Dr Durheimer took over the role in September 2012 (from Porsche) and his first job was to review all projects being worked on.  He has 6,000 engineers at his disposal and a huge budget.  He also oversaw Porsche's development of the 918 Spyder.

His justification for making a road going Le Mans race car is based on solid foundations.  He says: "On the track it has the potential to reduce lap times and increase performance.  That is not that far away from a road application. 

When racing cars are running under yellow flags they have to employ different strategies to save fuel, the same as in street cars. Then when it is clear again they can use their maximum performance. One gives you good fuel consumption; the other gives you performance."

We will find out in September whether Dr Durheimer manages to persuade the Audi board to make a Le Mans racer for the road.