Audi launched their brand new R18 sports car, which is going to compete in the World Endurance Championship and the prestigious Le Mans race.
Audi was beaten by Porsche at both Le Mans and WEC series, and thus has decided to make huge changes on their 2016 car.
The German manufacturer has run with Flywheel technology since 2012, but now they have changed to Lithium-Ion technology. That will apparently give a better balance in the car, since a rotating Flywheel will give a certain amount of unbalance, as well as it wasn’t the most effective hybrid technology available.
The new technology means that Audi will go from the 4MJ to the 6MJ class. In numbers they explain that the hybrid system can deliver MORE than 350 kW (476bhp), but the rules at Le Mans limit the cars to 300 kW (408bhp) pr lap, because ACO wasn’t about to slow down cars and raise the lap times again. If there will be any real effect or the development curve is so steep that these limitations are outdone, will be shown in June for the big race.
They will continue with the V6 engine technology, but since they change to the 6MJ category, they will have a smaller diesel tank in the car. That will give a reduction of around 3 per cent in horse power. But with the engine development, Audi has managed to save 10% of fuel compared to 2015! Even with this, the car will produce more than 514 bhp.
In total the Diesel and hybrid power units will produce MORE than 1000bhp – the exact numbers are not released by Audi.
Other than the engine and the hybrid parts, there has been made big gains on the aerodynamic among other things. In fact there are so big changes on the car, that basically only the model number R18 which remains the same as last year’s car.
The driver’s line up in the 2 cars will still be Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fässler in car number 7, and Lucas di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval in car number 8.
Car number 7 will be the only one present at the WEC Prologue this Friday and Saturday.