Legislation will force future Audi performance cars into using hybrid power.
The head of Quattro has admitted that Audi’s fastest models will be forced into hybrid power as the low-emission legislation is put into force within a generation. Heinz Hollerweger, the managing director of Quattro has emphasised that the entire range of Audi RS models will need some level of electric power to achieve the EU’s sub-100g/km CO2 target by 2021.
Hollerweger is confident that none of the cars within the RS range would struggle to meet the 65mpg target. “I don’t think it will be difficult but when we reduce below 100/km, we have to add some form of electrification. The question is, in which way?”
A handful of RS models might sneak in a full life cycle before 2020 due to the timing of the Audi model rollouts but others will need to be pre-engineered to accommodate hybrid power in their modernisations. The Audi Q5, the Q7, the A3, the A4, the A6, the A7 and the TT will be those amongst the next full generations that will be pre-engineered. Whilst the Audi R8 will continue as a V10.
Practical financial considerations will also need considering with Audi still to give the green light to the next RS3 generation. Due to the well-received S3, Hollerweger is pushing for a saloon version of the five-door Audi RS3 Sportback that has already had the go-ahead.
Any production RS3 will receive a detuned, production version of the absurdly potent 518bhp, five-cylinder turbo engine from the Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro concept that Audi debuted at Wothersee earlier this year.
Hollerweger identified that they have “tried to expand the five-cylinder power to what is technically possible, but this is a bit too much for series production. A production version would be more than 260kw (349bhp)” adding that “there are no technical reasons why there couldn’t be a five-cylinder hybrid”.
Audi’s top-spec models will be modified in order to reduce the environmental footprint. The next RS4 will be changed from a naturally aspirated b8 to a twin-turbo V6, although the next-generation RS6 and RS6 will retain V8 power.
Hollerweger implied that different types of electric enhancement are being considered for different models stating that “superconductors could be an interesting alternative for us because the weight is much lower but the costs are much higher”.
Earlier this year, Audi demonstrated the electric turbocharges in the A6 TDI which is expected to be have a production version by 2016 and is more likely to have a widespread adoption. Hollerweger concluded that “this could be one form of electrification. You get high torque at low revs and blow up the mechanical turbo more. It’s a logical development”.
Story via AutoExpress