Audi R18 E-tron Quattro Has Three Le Mans Wins on its Account

  • Audi R18 e-tron quattro

The Audi R18 e-tron quattro is a Prototype racing car which scored three wins at 24 Hours of Le Mans and won two titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Audi introduced the new R18 TDI Ultra in 2011 to meet new regulations and triumphed at Le Mans what was the beginning of the extremely successful period for the Ingolstadters. In 2012 the Audi R18 e-tron quattro was introduced and over the years earned its place in the history of motorsport.

Rinaldo Capello, Allan McNish, and Tom Kristensen standing in front of Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro

Rinaldo Capello, Allan McNish, and Tom Kristensen with Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro

First victory at Le Mans 24h

The Audi R18 e-tron quattro was lighter than its predecessor. One of the reasons why the new car had to be lighter was for the additional equipment required for the hybrid system. At the front of the chassis some changes also have been made to accommodate two electric motors which can be used only at the speed of over 120 km/h. The energy is stored in an electric flywheel that is mounted alongside the driver.

Le Mans 24h victory celebration

Audi drivers celebrate their victory at Le Mans 24h

The Audi e-tron quattro debuted at racing tracks at 2012 Spa 24 Hours and 2nd and 4th respectively. In its second race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro driven by Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler, and Benoit Treluyer triumphed ahead of another R18 e-tron quattro of Rinaldo Capello, Allan McNish, and Tom Kristensen. Later in the season Audi scored another two wins in the World Endurance Championship and Audi became the Manufacturers’ Championship title.

Developed 2013 version again was successful

Some development was done before the start of 2013 campaign. The main change was that the well-recognized exhaust was split. The aerodynamics also has been modified while for the Le Mans 24h completely new aero package with a special long tail was created. The 2013 Audi R18 e-tron has six automatic modes that are driver selectable on the steering wheel.

Audi R18 e-tron quattro front view

The 2013 spec Audi R18 E-tron Quattro

It was another successful season for the ’Four Rings’. The WEC Manufacturers’ title was defended after the Audi R18 e-tron quattro won 6 out of 8 races. The second consecutive victory at Le Mans 24h was scored, this time by Allan McNish, Loic Duval, and Tom Kristensen, while the second car finished 3rd.

Audi constructed a completely new machine under the same name

For the season of 2014, due to regulation changes, Audi had to build a completely new machine but the name remained the same. The aerodynamics have been heavily revised, as well as V6 TDI engine with an electric turbocharger. The new car also has an upgraded kinetic energy recovery system, exhaust heat recovery system, while the monocoque safety has been strengthened.

Audi R18 e-tron quattro racing sideview

The 2014 version of Audi R18 e-tron quattro was a completely new car under the same name

Third consecutive victory was scored at Le Mans, this time by Lotterer, Fassler, and Treluyer, while the car of Tom Kristensen, Lucas Di Grassi, and Marc Gene finished 2nd in the race. Audi lost its WEC crown to Toyota, so the new car with the same name wasn’t as successful as its original version.

The end of the Audi R18 era

Another revised version of Audi R18 e-tron quattro was used in 2015 and scored two wins. It has more power from 4.0 l V6 diesel engine and a significant increase in the hybrid system’s power output. That car in its last season scored two wins over the season while Audi for the second year in a row finished as a runner-up in the standings.

Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2015 racing in Shanghai

Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro, 2015 WEC Shanghai

The last race of Audi R18 e-tron quattro was the 6 Hours of Spa in 2016 and after that the new R18 was introduced. Surprisingly, that was the last year for Audi in the FIA WEC after Team Joest decided to not to participate in the series from 2017.

Video – Audi R18 E-tron Quattro on track

2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro technical specifications

ChassisCarbon-fibre composite and aluminum honeycomb monocoque with fully stressed engine
Length4.650 mm
Width2.000 mm
Height 1.030 mm
Weight 915 kg
Front suspensionDouble wishbones, push-rod actuated torsion bar springs and dampers
Rear suspensionDouble wishbones, pull-rod actuated torsion bar springs and dampers
Engine 1Audi TDI 120º V6, 3.700 cc, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Power510 bhp / 380 kW
Engine 2Electric motor, front, transversely mounted
Power101 bhp / 75 kW
Gearbox7-speed sequential semi-automatic
BrakesVentilated carbon ceramic discs, all-round,

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