Audi unveils the new R18 e-tron quattro
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