The electric hypercar segment is about to be transformed with the arrival of the highly anticipated Aston Martin Valkyrie and Mercedes-Benz Project One, two cars powered by F1 hybrid tech that have the potential to cross the 1,000 horsepower barrier. Both cars are due to launch in 2018, but they could be facing a new contender. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Audi revealed to Autocar that it is considering launching a hypercar to rival the Valkyrie and Project One.
Audi’s electric hypercar is reportedly at an early development stage and will launch towards the end of the decade if it’s given the green light. At this point, Audi will be committed to having three electric cars on sale, starting with the Audi Q6 e-tron SUV, first shown as the Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept, next autumn. “I am looking forward to what’s possible in terms of new technology,” said Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler talking about the possibility of Audi developing a Mercedes Project One rival. “There are some interesting ideas there, especially if you look to our interest in Formula E and electromobility.”
What isn’t clear is whether Audi’s hypercar will be an all-electric car or have a hybrid powertrain, but his emphasis on Formula E and electromobility hints at the former. If so, this would make it a potential rival to McLaren’s planned electric hypercar. Audi’s previous attempts at producing a performance orientated electric car haven’t been successful, however. Production for the Audi R8 e-tron electric supercar was ceased just 19 months after it went on sale, and Audi’s plans to build a diesel-electric Audi hypercar linked to its success in Le Mans were also scrapped in 2014.“We looked at doing a car using Le Mans technology but stepped back, as it was clear there was more to come in terms of performance in the future,” Stadler said commenting on the scrapped diesel-electric hypercar.