Audi aims to three-peat its success in motorsport with new R18 e-tron quattro

Article by Anita Panait, on December 13, 2013

Audi is targeting a three-peat at the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) as well as another resounding success in the Le Mans 24 Hours next year -- boasting a Le Mans prototype that has been redeveloped from scratch. While the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro seems like a continued development of the World Championship winning car and Le Mans winner of the past two years, it is almost an entirely new vehicle -- aside from the name.

This is because Audi Sport factually redeveloped every single component of the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro due to new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect next year. The basic elements of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s new configuration were defined in 2012 while the design of all the single components commenced later that year.  Audi rolled out the new LMP1 sports car in the early fall of 2013, followed by track tests of the latest R18.

The new Technical Regulations contain redefined powertrain, body dimensions, safety and aerodynamics -- all of which were taken into account in the new R18. Audi Sport endowed the new R18 with an improved V6 TDI mid-engine, powering its rear wheels. The e-tron quattro hybrid system -- an Energy Recovery System Kinetic (ERS-K) -- was suited at the front axle.

The new R18 also boasts of optimized flywheel energy storage system. Also, a hybrid system with an electric turbocharger (ERS-H – Energy Recovery System Heat, a system that stores energy converted from heat -- was placed in the internal combustion engine.  Under the new rules, new LMP1 sports car now has a 10-cm slimmer body, which means that the front of the R18 becomes mathematically smaller, offering an aerodynamic advantage.

The bodywork accommodates slimmer wheels, which, in turn, reduces aerodynamic drag. However, the rules also resulted to some innovations that do not provide any aerodynamic advantage. For instance, at 1,050 mm, the race car has to be 20 mm higher than before. It also has to have larger cockpit dimensions -- leading to less favorable aerodynamics.  Likewise, the lower overall width of the car leads to a slimmer underfloor.

The new LMP1 sports car now features an entirely different shape in the area of the cutouts for the front wheels, which means that area that can produce downforce becomes smaller. The rules, however, allow for the use of a flap instead of a diffuser -- providing aerodynamic advantages and lower costs. [source: Audi]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

It has been nearly eight years since Toyota entered a new era of sports cars when it officially unveiled the production version of the Toyota 86 – also known as...
by - February 27, 2019
The new Audi TT RS – yes, the top version of the German carmaker’s facelifted TT model series – is now officially here. If you could remember, the range-topping TT...
by - February 18, 2019
Nearly half a year ago when McLaren Automotive unveiled the McLaren 600LT Coupe, the British carmaker is now introducing a version that lets its passengers enjoy the thrill of an...
by - January 25, 2019
German carmaker Volkswagen is now making the latest evolution of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI -- the new Golf GTI TCR. First unveiled as a concept at the annual GTI...
by - January 24, 2019
It has been three and a half years since BMW unveiled the sixth generation of the BMW 7 Series. Thus, it is really about to give the 7 Series a...
by - January 17, 2019