Audiís head of powertrain development, Wolfgang Hatz has gone on record at the Paris Motor Show and explained that Audi is not interested in diluting the RS series of sports oriented vehicles. By dilution, he meant that no RS will be equipped with diesel or hybrid technologies as has been the case with AMG from Mercedes and M from BMW.
Mercedes Benz has offered a diesel model under its AMG label (in Europe at least) as well as a SUV, and BMWís usually stringent M Division is currently working on a pair of new SUV models and has even hinted at installing a hybrid energy-recovery system in its future models, but the guys at quattro Gmbh wonít have any of that when it comes to Audiís RS sports models.More...
Audiís head of powertrain development, Wolfgang Hatz, has revealed in his latest interview the future plans for the RS models and the shortcomings of expanding into the SUV, hybrid and diesel segments.
Speaking with MotorTrend at the recent Paris Motor Show, Hatz explained that a traditional petrol-electric hybrid system would simply add too much weight because of the required batteries. As for an energy-recovery system like the KERS being developed for F1, Hatz states that it wouldnít be worthwhile in a vehicle weighing three times as much as an F1 car. Furthermore, he adds that packaging it safely and conveniently in the engine compartment would be difficult.
Modern diesel engines, meanwhile, have shown that they can match their petrol equivalents when it comes to the performance stakes. Audiís own R10 Le Mans racer has a number of titles under its belt. But putting a big V10 or V12 diesel engine, like the one in the recently revealed R8 TDI concept, would only be applicable in something like a Q7 RS model. However, Hatz is ultimately against adding a tall and heavy SUV to the RS lineup. He also started that a diesel engine’s characteristics don’t fit very well with those of the target RS buyer.
Instead, he sees more dual-clutch transmissions making their way across the RS range in the near future. There will be two different designs - dry clutches for lighter low, torque applications, and wet clutches in heavier, higher torque vehicles.