Audi commits to Le Mans, and it is from this eventful endurance race that they gain a lot of experience and incorporate them in their road cars. Although their updated LMP1 racer is still called the R18 e-Tron Quattro and still has a diesel engine inside, a lot has changed under the skin.
For starters, the LMP1 racer now looks more sinister with its matte black overall with dashes or red finish. They had also settled for a new set of laser headlights, similar to the technology used by BMW on their i8, which is optionally available.
Dubbed by Audi themselves as “the most complex race car ever built by Audi”, this new racer can still clock similarly fast lap times as they did in the past, but with 30-percent less fuel. And in endurance racing, that is considered as a huge advantage from the rivals.
Situated at the center of the car is the further developed V6 TDI diesel engine that sends all its power to the rear wheels, assisted by two hybrid systems. One is an electric turbocharger called the Energy Recovery System Heat (ERS-H), where it stores energy converted from heat. The second system powers the front axle and features the Energy Recovery System Kinetic (ERS-K), storing the kinetic energy. The car may look similar to last year’s version, but it is in fact 100mm narrower, 20mm higher and has a larger cockpit.
Audi’s R18 may be the reigning champion in Le Mans, but they would have to work hard as Toyota is sticking close to their tail, and Porsche would definitely give a strong challenge in 2014.