We’re seeing a large shift in the performance car landscape, with brands developing hybrid and electric performance cars that not only rival but flat out beat some of the more traditional sports cars on the market. Cars like the BMW i8, Porsche 918 Spyder and upcoming Mercedes-AMG hybrid hypercar are making big waves in the automotive world. However, despite that, Audi Sport won’t be jumping into this world and won’t be making a hybrid performance car.
Audi Sport is the company that develops all Audi RS models and the R8. The man behind Audi Sport is Stephan Winkelmann, formerly head of Lamborghini, and he claims that Audi Sport simply cannot compete in that game just yet.
“If it’s about ideas, we are full of them. If it’s about money, then we have to think twice. So I think the priority for us is to have a very good line-up. If we do it, we have to do it right. And if we have nothing new to say, then we will see. Maybe we will skip it.” Winkelmann recently told Top Gear.
Winkelmann knows that this is the direction in which car companies must go. Changing legislation, tighter fuel economy standards and increasing environmental crises are causing performance car companies to force the hybrid issue. But Winkelmann also realizes that the technology isn’t quite there yet. “We are in the middle of a revolution, and at the time being, whatever we do, we jump short. Today, hybrid cars are not giving you this range I might want, and they are limiting the performance of the car if you’re not putting a booster in. But the booster is not going to help you on the CO2 emissions. We have to see what is the right thing to do. I would love to have a light hybridization, light in terms of weight.”
Winkelmann mentions that Audi Sport will be developing several new models, including some SUVs. But he also mentions that he must be mindful of the investors.
“We will have more SUVs, for sure. But we might stop doing some other things, because being a small brand, it’s about giving the investors what they need, they have to be always thought about. And every euro or pound invested should be put in the right car.” And being that hybrids are very expensive to produce, pushing profit margins down, they aren’t the best cars to develop for investors.
We’ve already heard that Audi would be developing a BMW i8-fighting sports car. But this will likely not be an Audi Sport model and won’t wear an “RS” badge. So don’t expect a hybrid Audi RS model anytime soon.