Audi has just introduced the new R18 e-tron Quattro, an updated version of last year’s vehicle which will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The R18 e-tron Quattro will compete in the 4-megajoule class and features a twofold quantity of hybrid energy, revised aerodynamics as well as a lot of detailed work.
If you take a closer look to the previous model, you will see that the new R18 e-tron Quattro features an updated design, although its basic structure is closely akin to its predecessor. The new look includes a new way of conducting airflow around and through the front end, larger air inlets in the front wheel arches as well as redesigned headlights which feature Matrix LED technology combined with Audi Laserlight.
Audi says that it adopted the monocoque from the previous model, while the hood with the front wing and wheel arches feature a new design. The German carmaker doubled the amount of energy from 2 to 4 megajoule per race lap at Le Mans.
For those who don’t know, the vehicle recovers energy during braking and the system uses it to power the front axle on acceleration. The electrical machine used to perform this task delivers more than 272 hp (200 kW), a significant increase compared to last year.
Moreover, the capacity of the energy storage system was also increased as the encapsulated flywheel energy storage system that sits in the cockpit alongside the driver can store up to 700 kilojoule of energy (17 percent more than in 2014).
The upgrades didn’t add to much weight to the vehicle, as the new R18 e-tron Quattro weighs just 870 kg. Due to the sporting regulations, the fuel-energy amount needs to be reduced if the engineers opt for higher hybrid output.
This means that the R18 e-tron Quattro needs to use 2.5 percent less diesel fuel per lap than in 2014. And speaking of diesel fuel, the 4.0-liter V6 TDI engine was also updated and now delivers 558 hp (410 kW).
Still, the power delivered by the hybrid engine was restricted due to the improved hybrid output. The new regulations also say that only five engines per race car may be used during the entire season. [source: Audi]