By Evan Williams

Audi wants an electric supercar, and the company would like to have it sooner rather than later.

The information comes from Peter Mertens, new to Audi and its head of technical development. Mertens told Car and Driver that "it is part of our plans." He added that he wants to have that supercar in a hurry too.

"The question is, 'Would I like to make it happen sooner?’ and the answer is, 'Yes, of course,'" he said.

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Assuming it happens, it wouldn't be Audi's first shot at an electric supercar. The brand debuted the R8 e-tron in 2009 to much fanfare. But then the electric car, based on the R8, was quickly and quietly dropped. No production models left Audi control. The second try, based on the second-generation R8 saw fewer than 100 built and sold. That car, launched in 2016 had 456 horsepower and 679 pounds-feet of torque.

Audi is now creating e-tron models that aren't just electrified versions of existing production cars. That makes it likely that a new super e-tron won't be R8 based, but will be its own vehicle. An 800-volt system, double the voltage of lesser e-trons and similar to what Porsche is putting in the Mission-E is possible. Mertens said "800-volt puts a significant extra cost on the bill. We need to evaluate whether customers will be prepared to pay that. In segments like super sports cars, it will be yes, no doubt about it."