Audi’s Motorsport division has recently introduced the 2016 R18 model designed to tackle the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
We’ve already grown accustomed to writing about track only models but the reveal of a new Audi racer is always a special model, given their past track record. As such, the Ingolstadt based carmaker says its new R18 is a force to be reckoned with as it’s an all new design from the ground up and has remained almost untied to its predecessor. Due to the new FIA WEC regulations the German automaker had to focus on fuel efficiency as the new rules allow a reduction of ten megajoules per lap at Le Mans compared to last year’s edition – meaning the vehicle consumes ten percent less fuel than before. Audi is also switching its focus with the 1000-horsepower (736 kilowatts) hybrid system which makes use of a lithium-ion accumulator as the hybrid energy storage system instead of the flywheel energy storage system used from 2012 to 2015. This new MGU (Motor Generator Unit) at the front axle is generating energy by converting the rotary motion of the front wheels into electrical energy when the driver brakes. The regulations have also mandated the reduction of the amount of energy the MGU is supplying to 408 horsepower (300 kilowatts).
Audi has also reworked most of the aerodynamics, at the front using new or revised elements to direct airflow even more effectively to optimally approach the underfloor. At the back, the air goes through the diffuser and produces a “major portion of the downforce under the race car.” The new monocoque also has modified proportions and all the modifications together have made the R18 32.4 percent more fuel efficient than the first generation that appeared in 2011.