Audi ready to return to the top at Le Mans

by • January 23, 2016 • FeatureComments (0)12478

The brand with the four rings will be entering the 2016 motorsport season with the most powerful and efficient race car Audi has ever built. Audi Sport has fundamentally re-designed the Audi R18 for the 2016 season and this is the third generation of the R18. The LMP1 race car that competes in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) features innovative aerodynamics, represents the next stage in lightweight design and has a modified hybrid system with lithium-ion batteries for energy storage, plus an efficiency-optimized TDI engine.

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Audi‘s racers have had E-Tron hybrid assistance technology for years, but this latest generation moves from a flywheel system to a more traditional lithium ion battery charging system, allowing them to move into the 6 Megajoule power outlet subcategory of LMP1. Though this is still far less than Toyota and Porsche‘s 8MJ racers, it should be enough to greatly increase the competitiveness of a program that had previously competed in the 4MJ subclass.

“With our new Audi R18, we’re setting a clear signal: Audi continues to put the pedal to the metal in motorsport, deliberately relying on TDI – the world’s most successful automotive efficiency technology – at Le Mans,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

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In the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) that will start at Silverstone (Great Britain) on April 17, Audi Sport Team Joest will be fielding two new Audi R18 cars. Audi and its group sister brand Porsche, have both agreed to each compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the WEC season’s pinnacle event, with only two instead of the most recent three cars.

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