AMG’s R&D Boss, Thomas Weber, just recently commented that AMG might be forced to go the way of the hybrid by 2020. Due to restricting C02 regulations, melting ice-caps and rising oil prices, it’s getting more and more difficult for automakers to create high-performance gas-guzzling sports cars. Weber stated that, in the current market, a hybrid AMG car simply would not work. The idea of such a car would not sell in today’s market. But in five years, people might change their tune, or be forced to.
It isn’t an unheard of idea in today’s world, a hybrid sports car. Porsche’s 918, McLaren’s P1 and Ferrari’s LaFerrari all prove that the highest performing supercars can be powered by hybrid technology. In fact, they must, in order to accomplish the level of mind-bending torque, as electric motors are required for such a feat of performance. And cars like the BMW i8 have already proved that (somewhat) affordable hybrid sports cars can be excellent. There’s also pressure from the lower end, as cars like the e-Golf, Audi A3 Sportback e-tron and BMW i3 are proving that hybrids and EVs can be fun. And Tesla is proving that EVs can be just as luxurious as anything else on the market. So it won’t be too long that hybrid performance cars, like AMGs, BMW Ms and Audi S and RS models, will be widely accepted and desired.
So if Mercedes-Benz and AMG are thinking about going green, should Audi and Quattro GmbH? I think it makes quite a bit of good sense. Audi’s slogan is Vorsprung Durch Technik after all, which means Advancement Through Technology. So if Audi were to create a hybrid RS model, it would just be more advancement through technology. In fact, I think it would be a good idea for Audi to do it before Mercedes and BMW, get a head start on what i an inevitable future.
Audi already has the means to do so. With the A3 Sportback e-tron, it could easily use a version of the 2.0 liter TFSI engine powering the new B9 A4 paired to a more powerful electric motor and create a sort of hybrid S3 Sportback e-tron. This would create a hybrid hot hatch to take on the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus ST. There’s also the Audi R8 e-tron, which is a full EV version of Audi’s most powerful and fastest supercar. While this already sends a message that Audi can put down some serious performance using batteries instead of gasoline, creating a more affordable hybrid or EV performance car would send a message to the masses that Audi is serious about this sort of technology for the future of performance.
It might not be popular at first, but I think the people with open minds who buy into the idea early will eventually start a snowball effect. Cars like the Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 have already started the trend, showing people that going green doesn’t mean going slow. So Audi can capitalize on this newfound desire for high-performance green technology and get a head start on AMG and BMW’s M. What do you think, would you like to see an Audi RS e-tron model sometime soon?