Known as an innovator in racing, Audi isn’t being bashful about showing off its new hybrid diesel electric R18 e-Tron race car.
Having already proven itself at the 6 Hours of Spa, the video below offers in-car footage of the car running on a track, offers impressions from several Audi factory drivers and answers questions about how the car performs under pressure.
Given that this is the first year where it will compete, Audi’s drivers knew little more about how the new drivetrain would perform than a spectator might. That uncertainty comes out of the diesel-electric combination and how the two power systems individually power a single axle. In the front, the R18 e-Tron uses electric power, while a traditional fuel-burning motor turns the rear wheels. Driver Allan Mcnish, for example, said he expected to have to fight with the wheel a lot in corners, but found the steering to be exceptionally smooth.
“Audi has always consciously selected championships and categories in racing that have a close relationship to production and therefore have technical relevance for the Audi customers,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.