Audi steps up to 6MJ hybrid class with 2016 R18 WEC racer

Audi will take a step up in hybrid energy with the all-new Audi R18 e-tron quattro World Endurance Championship contender it unveiled on Saturday evening

Audi steps up to 6MJ hybrid class with 2016 R18 WEC racer

The latest turbodiesel LMP1 racer to carry the R18 e-tron quattro name will race in the six megajoule hybrid sub-class next year rather than the 4MJ division in which it competed in 2015.

Audi has abandoned the flywheel energy storage or mechanical battery system used since the arrival of the first R18 hybrid in 2012 in favour of a lithium-ion battery, the same technology used by 2015 WEC champion Porsche.

The move to 6MJ should put the Audi on a par in terms of the Equivalence of Technology with petrol-powered rivals Porsche and Toyota, who will both race at 8MJ in 2016.

Christopher Reinke, head of LMP1 at Audi Sport, told Autosport: "Making the step to 6MJ is very important and puts another weapon in our hands."

The innovative energy-based LMP1 rules introduced for 2014 effectively equate a 6MJ turbodiesel with an 8MJ petrol car.

The new Audi runs a single, front-axle kinetic energy-retrieval system, although the manufacturer is refusing to confirm this.

It abandoned a turbo-driven system ahead of the launch of the 2014 version of the R18 and the weight disadvantage of a turbodiesel technology mitigates against the use of a rear KERS.

The latest Audi once again pushes the boundaries on aerodynamics, as can be seen from the first photographs of the car.

Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich said: "With our new Audi R18, we're setting a clear signal: Audi continues to put the pedal to the metal in motorsport, deliberately relying on TDI - the world's most successful automotive efficiency technology - at the Le Mans 24 Hours."

The new car ran for the first time at Paul Ricard with Filipe Albuquerque at the wheel earlier this month and will begin testing in earnest at Sebring in the US at the start of December.

shares
comments
Greaves adds Ligier ahead of World Endurance Championship return
Previous article

Greaves adds Ligier ahead of World Endurance Championship return

Next article

Porsche and Audi scale back Le Mans entries to two cars each

Porsche and Audi scale back Le Mans entries to two cars each
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021