In 1986, the Porsche 959 gave consumers a sneak preview at the types of technology cars of the future would contain. Things like all-wheel drive and twin turbochargers were ushered in by the 959, technology which is commonplace on road cars of today. Much like the 959, the Porsche’s new 918 also hints at technology that will trickle down into more affordable applications in the future, mainly its use of electric motors to provide additional performance.
It shouldn’t be surprising then that Audi’s entire high-performance RS lineup will use electric assistance by 2021, according to Auto Express. Managing director of quattro, Heinz Hollerweger, said Europe’s strict sub-100g/km CO2 emissions target set for 2021 means all high-performance models will have to use some from electric power.
Auto Express notes the timing of Audi’s model introductions means some current RS models will be able to go through an entire life cycle unaltered before accommodating electric drive, while others will have to be pre-engineered to accommodate electric drive. These models include the next-generation Q5 and Q7 SUVs, the A3, A4 and A6, the A7 and the TT. The R8 will continue as a V10 model, however the next-generation model will likely be electrically-assisted.
Audi is also preparing to introduce the next-generation RS3. Hollerweger said the car’s five-cylinder turbocharged engine will produce “more than 349 horsepower” and while it won’t be introduced as a hybrid, the car will be pre-engineered to be compatible with electric power. Electrically-assisted turbochargers are another avenue the automaker is exploring to improve efficiency and may employ the technology on its next-generation RS4, which will use a new twin-turbo V6 engine.