It’s the most powerful Audi R18 ever and the diesel-electric hybrid race car is now set for a showdown with its competitors.
Audi claims that this will be the world’s most efficient and powerful racing car ever built. The announcement in Munich comes after Audi was left trailing in the prestigious Le Mans 24 hours event this year and the team also lost its FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) crown to Porsche.
Now the brand with four-rings says it will enter motorsport’s 2016 season with the most efficient and powerful hybrid car yet designed. Audi is effectively throwing down the gauntlet to its rivals with a fundamentally redesigned and engineered new car for the 2016 season.
The R18 e-tron quattro features innovative aerodynamics
Audi is not revealing too many details of its new race car but says the R18 e-tron quattro features innovative aerodynamics, an efficient V6 TDI engine and a modified hybrid powertrain that uses lithium-ion batteries for energy storage rather than the flywheel system that was used previously.
Indeed, the new model is an intriguing prospect for motorsport fans since the 2015 car had a 4.0 litre V6 diesel unit producing 558bhp which was coupled to a 272bhp electric motor; this diesel engine has now, says Audi, been made more efficient. The latest car is also much lighter than the 2015 model which weighed in at 870kg.
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi’s head of motorsport, said: “We are sending a clear signal with the new Audi R18 – Audi continues putting the pedal to the metal in motorsport and relies on the world’s most successful automotive efficiency technology.
“The R18 is a major step and we are expecting a lot from it in the WEC and at Le Mans.”
Dr Ullrich signalled that he was expecting Le Mans racing glory to return to the firm in 2016 and motorsport fans will be keenly awaiting the first WEC event at the UK’s Silverstone track on April 17, where Audi, as well as Porsche, will be fielding two cars rather than the three cars they raced this year.
Audi is putting out two R18 cars
Audi is putting out two R18 cars and the team consists of the same eight drivers who made the line-up in 2015. The team racked up 10 victories in 18 races and while there are no specifics revealed yet, fans should expect the new R18 to have its front axle featuring more powerful electric components.
The Audi R18 features a new headlight design and fans of the previous car will appreciate that its aerodynamics appear to have been modified around the front wheel arches.
More details about the impressive R18 will be revealed by Audi nearer to the season beginning but the new vehicle represents the team’s move from the 2MJ subclass they were in for the 2014 season, the 4MJ class this year and the 2016 season will see them in the 6MJ.
Until the season begins, motorsport fans have the prospect of the new cars from Porsche and Toyota to be unveiled.
This is a guest post courtesy of Jason Falls from Show Plates Direct, the number 1 car show plates replacement company.