2016 Audi R18 - prepared to be on the top
After losing the championship for two years in a row, trailing behind Toyota in 2014 and Porsche in 2015, Audi Motorsport is ready to be back at the top in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship and the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The most powerful Audi ever
This may be easy to say but it will be hard to achieve. The first step is to prepare a proper car and Audi has already presented its vehicle for the 2016 season. The New Audi R18 (without the ‘e-tron quattro’ in the name) is the most powerful and most efficient car Audi has ever built. The car which was revealed at the Audi Sport Finale event in Munich at the end of November is the fundamentally re-designed version of this year’s LMP1 prototype.
Li-ion batteries instead fly-wheel accumulator
It 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. And this is only what the PR company for Audi has revealed thus far. There is a lot more that can be understood by reading between the lines.
The main change is that the mechanical fly-wheel accumulator system of the previous version has been abandoned. In 2015, this system had the capacity of 700 KJ (kilojoules) and the R18’s energy otuput per round was 4MJ. With the lithium-ion battery, the car has been upgraded to the 6MJ hybrid sub-class, same as Porsche 919 Hybrid and Toyota TS040 Hybrid.
Only diesel prototype in WEC
Compared to its petrol-powered rivals from Porsche and Toyota, Audi will stay in the championship with the diesel engine. The engine itself is a 4.0 V6 TDI and will remain unchanged. The exact power of diesel unit and hybrid system wasn’t annouced, but certainly is much more than previous 840 hp (558 + 272).
The new R18 features significantly altered aerodynamics, including a raised nose similar to pre-2014 Formula One nose designs, air scoops above the front fenders, integrated mirrors and other body modifications.
Photos: Audi Media Center