Audi will be bringing a new LMP1 race car to the track for the 2014 season and though it still sports the R18 e-tron quattro name, the technology is completely new.
According to Audi, the new R18 e-tron quattro “has been redeveloped from scratch,” as the team looks to achieve the hat-trick in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and another successful run at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Due to the new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect next year, Audi redeveloped every single component on its race car. The 2014 edition of the R18 e-tron quattro features a further-developed V6 TDI mid-engine that powers the rear wheels while the e-tron quattro hybrid system is at the front axle. The flywheel has been optimized for energy storage while the hybrid system features an electric turbocharger in the internal combustion engine – the Energy Recovery System Heat (ERS-H), a system that stores energy converted from heat. These changes to the race car allows the R18 e-tron quattro to use up to 30 percent less fuel than its predecessor.
The R18 e-tron quattro will be making its race debut in the six-hour race at Silverstone on April 20, 2014.
“The next Audi R18 e-tron quattro represents a completely new generation of Le Mans prototypes,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “The principles of the LMP1 regulations have fundamentally changed. The idea behind this is to achieve similarly fast lap times as in the past with considerably less energy. Making more out of less: a forward-thinking approach.”
GALLERY: 2014 Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro
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