After sending shivers down the spine of other Le Mans teams by revealing their new R18 race car, Audi is now scaring them half to death by announcing details of the monstrous machine. They say they’ve redeveloped every single component in the new model to comply with 2014 regulations.
Does this mean other contenders will have a fighting chance? Not likely. The 2014 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro race car follows the same recipe that’s brought home countless wins over the past decade. And there is no reason why it shouldn’t work this time round. No one else has come up with a more successful car.
The new car features revised powertrain, body dimensions, safety and aerodynamics, while relying on a diesel-hybrid system that has proven its worth before. It consists of a new version of the mid-mounted V6 TDI engine that powers the rear wheels, and e-tron quattro hybrid system at the front axle. The 2014 model boasts optimised flywheel energy storage system, and super clever energy recovery system that make great use of heat and kinetic energy. The new R18 has to do with up to 30 percent less fuel than its immediate predecessor.
These amazing technologies not only result in race-winning performance for Audi, they will also help with the development of future hybrid and electric production cars.
New aerodynamic changes mean the 2014 R18 is 10 centimeter slimmer than its predecessor and 20 millimeters higher. The wheels are slimmer as well, which reduces aerodynamic drag. Thanks to their advanced design, the new, smaller parts can produce the same amounts of downforce as the big, less efficient ones.
In terms of safety, the new monocoque is reinforced by additional layers of fabric, which means it can resist higher loads. Also, for the first time, wheel tethers are prescribed. They connect the outer assemblies of the front wheel suspensions with the monocoque and the ones of the rear suspensions with the chassis structure.
2014 Audi R18 e-tron will make its racing debut at Silverstone 6-Hour race on April 20, 2014.