World Endurance Championship

2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans car – first pictures

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    Audi have revealed the car they will race at Le Mans.

    Here are the first pictures of the 2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro:

    Audi R18


    Audi R18


    Audi R18 e-tron quattro


    Audi R18 e-tron quattro


    Audi R18 e-tron quattro


    Audi R18 e-tron quattro


    Audi R18 e-tron quattro


    Details from Audi’s press release:

    Motor sport is used yet again by AUDI AG to pioneer new technology: the brand with the four ring’s new Le Mans race car is the world’s first LMP1 car to combine a highly-efficient TDI with a hybrid system.

    Quattro drive also celebrates its comeback to the race track with the prototype – in a entirely new form.

    Audi R18 e-tron quattro is the name of the new Le Mans prototype that makes its race debut on May 5 in the 6-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) and fights for overall victory at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans (France) on June 16/17.

    Audi unites two technologies in a fascinating way to create a new type of drive, which is also already being tested for future use in production cars: e-tron quattro.

    Hiding behind this description is the next generation four-wheel drive with which Audi combines the advantages of the proven quattro drive with the potential of electromobility. To this end one vehicle axle is powered conventionally, the second by electric motors.

    “Audi has always consciously selected championships and categories in racing that have a close relationship to production and therefore have technical relevance for the Audi customers,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, who personally drove the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro onto the stage on Wednesday evening during its world premiere in the Audi Training Center at Munich airport – electrically and almost silent.

    “Quattro, TFSI and TDI are three excellent examples of how motorsport has stimulated production development. A similar tendency is apparent with the e-tron quattro: we test a completely new technology on the race track before it’s introduced to the Audi production line.”

    On the Audi R18 e-tron quattro kinetic energy is recovered on the front axle during the braking phase. It is fed as electric into a flywheel accumulator before being retrieved under acceleration again above a speed of 120 km/h.

    During this procedure only the front axle is integrated. The V6 TDI power plant producing 375 kW (510 hp) continues to transmit its power to the rear wheels. Both systems complement each other to create the new drive principle e-tron quattro.


    I think that looks great! There aren’t too many exciting hybrid cars around but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing this at Le Mans.


    Some serrrrrrrrrious lines on that. Bet that shifts!


    Eurgh. Nice to see the classic livery make a return, but not on this. It seriously doesn’t suit it. The R18 needs more dark colours, particularly on the nose, to make it look more stealthy and emphasise the brutality while reducing the ugliness of the front end. This livery masks the beautiful lines of the car from the cockpit back as well, which looked great in silver before. Also, the fin needs to be a different colour to the rest of the car, as on lasst years cars.

    This was perfect:

    Joel Holland

    @matt90 Agree, last year’s car looked stunning in its livery. This is a case of cool car, cool paintjob but a poor end result.


    Looks great, like the colours but I think I prefere last years livery.

    The real shame is that Audi probably wont have any stiff competition.


    wow..I”M a FERRARI tifoso since I was maybe 5 yr old I’m from Italy and it’s common believe that ferrari is the most beautyful car in the Planet and maybe ever more…but THIS….THIS AUDI has just take the spot as the most beautiful car i ever see… wow


    @S.J.M With no heavy competition, at least it gives them a chance to innovate and try other things they wouldn’t have if Peugeot were still in it.

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