Audi un­veils the new R18 e-tron quat­tro

Shepparton News - Shepparton Car Weekly - - SHEPPARTON CAR WEEKLY -

Audi be­gan the 2014 World En­durance Cham­pi­onship sea­son with a spec­tac­u­lar ap­pear­ance by the new Audi R18 e-tron quat­tro. In­stead of start­ing at Le Mans race track in Western France, Audi fac­tory driver Tom Kris­tensen, with nine vic­to­ries un­der his belt at the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, drove the diesel hy­brid sports car from the Saint-Julien du Mans cathe­dral in the city cen­tre to the fa­mous race track.

Ac­com­pa­nied by TV cam­eras and pho­tog­ra­phers, and fea­tured in a live world­wide broad­cast on the in­ter­net, Audi’s new LMP1 race car com­pleted the al­most 10 km dis­tance through the city in a mo­tor­cade, did a lap on the Cir­cuit Bu­gatti and ar­rived at the race track.

Aside from the un­usual drive that brought back mem­o­ries of a Le Mans era from the dis­tant past when the driv­ers would ar­rive in their own race cars, Audi sur­prised the pub­lic with a new liv­ery of the Le Mans car.

While the body of the new R18 e-tron quat­tro was still black with red de­tails when the car made its world de­but in De­cem­ber, a strik­ing new colour scheme now catches the eye. The new white, sil­ver, red and black colour scheme of­fers fresh, ex­pres­sive graph­ics.

Audi de­sign man­ager mo­tor­sport and spe­cial projects Dirk van Braeckel said spe­cial char­ac­ter­is­tics in­cluded the re­flect­ing sur­faces of the el­e­ments that were par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive at night.

“Due to its lon­gi­tu­di­nal ori­en­ta­tion the graph­ics ex­press the speed that is so typ­i­cal for Le Mans. Even the rims in­clude a red seg­ment. With the wheel ro­ta­tions, it achieves a very dy­namic ef­fect,” Mr van Braeckel said.

The Audi R18 e-tron quat­tro’s V6 TDI power plant’s cu­bic ca­pac­ity has been in­creased from 3.7 to 4 litres in or­der to fur­ther op­ti­mise the al­ready very ef­fi­cient en­gine.

Af­ter test­ing var­i­ous en­ergy re­cov­ery sys­tems, Audi de­cided to com­pete in the class of up to two mega­joules of re­cu­per­a­tion en­ergy at Le Mans. The en­ergy ex­clu­sively flows through a mo­tor gen­er­a­tor unit at the front axle and is stored in a fly­wheel en­ergy stor­age sys­tem.

Head of Audi Mo­tor­sport Wolf­gang Ull­rich said fol­low­ing ex­ten­sive test­ing, the con­cept was cho­sen to pro­vide the op­ti­mum bal­ance be­tween ef­fi­cient en­ergy use, size, weight, en­ergy con­ver­sion ef­fi­ciency, re­spon­sive­ness, drive­abil­ity and a favourable op­er­at­ing strat­egy – com­bined with dura­bil­ity, which is the ba­sic pre­req­ui­site for suc­cess at Le Mans.

For a full run­down on Audi and their ve­hi­cles call into the Audi Cen­tre Shep­par­ton, 325 Mid­land High­way, or phone Toby on 5822 5811.

The new white, sil­ver, red and black colour scheme of­fers fresh, eye catch­ing ex­pres­sive graph­ics

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