|Category||Le Mans LMP1 Prototype|
|Chassis||Carbon-fibre composite and honeycomb monocoque|
|Suspension (front)||Double wishbones, push-rod actuated torsion bar springs and dampers|
|Suspension (rear)||Double wishbones, push-rod actuated torsion bar springs and dampers|
|Engine||3.7 litre V6 TDI 120º|
|Power||540 hp @ N/A rpm|
N/A lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm
|Transmission||XTrac 6 speed Sequential|
|Fuel||Direct Fuel Injection|
|Debut||2011 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps|
|Designer||Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)|
The Audi R18 TDI, is a Le Mans Prototype (LMP) racing car built Audi AG. It is the successor to the Audi R15 TDI. Like its predecessor, the R18 uses a TDI turbocharged diesel engine but with a reduced capacity of 3.7 litres and in a V6 configuration. For the first time since the 1999 R8C, Audi's Le Mans prototype uses a closed cockpit design. The R18 is also the first racing car from Audi to feature hybrid power.
As per the new rules for Le Mans in 2011 the car features a stabilisation fin on the engine cover and has a new 6-speed gearbox. The new gearbox is electrically controlled instead of pneumatically controlled, saving weight by eliminating the pneumatic system. Despite the capacity reduction, the 3.7L V6 is claimed to develop more than 397 kilowatts (532 bhp) of power. This is less than the outgoing R15, but the V6 engine's fuel consumption will more than likely be lower than that of the outgoing V10 engine on the R15. The new engine has a single Garrett TR30R VGT turbocharger, as opposed to the twin TR30R configuration of both the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP and the previous Audi R15 TDI.The R18's V6 engine exhausts inwards between the cylinder banks, where the turbocharger is placed. This is called a 'hot side inside' configuration and is opposed to the traditional configuration with each cylinder bank of a V engine exhausting outwards to their respective turbochargers.
The Audi R18 is the first ever LMP car to race with full LED headlights, in this case in the shape of the number "1." Unlike other coupé competitors in its class, the chassis on the R18 is not composed of two halves but rather a single-piece construction for improved rigidity. The R18 has an engine cooling duct above the cockpit roof as well as redesigned rear wheel arches to channel more air to the rear wing. Like the Acura ARX-02a, Audi has chosen to install bigger and wider tyres at the front for increased contact patch. Further changes include a lower rear wing, aluminium splitters and a small duct on the front of the car for improved driver comfort within the cockpit. The 2011 ACO regulations have limited the R18's fuel tank to 65 litres.
For 2012, Audi introduced an evolution of the original car called the R18 ultra. In addition to the changes required by the regulations (reduced air intake restrictor and 60 litre fuel tank) the car was completely reworked to reduce weight. These changes included a new carbon-fiber composite gearbox housing and changes to the one piece monocoque making the ultra the lightest Le Mans prototype that Audi Sport has ever built.
R18 e-tron quattro
The R18 e-tron quattro is a hybrid version of the R18 ultra, utilising a Williams Hybrid Power designed flywheel accumulator system for energy storage which delivers 500 kJ to the front wheels via an electric motor, giving the car four (quattro) wheel drive. The system, as per the regulations, is only available at speeds above 120 km/h (75 mph). The car is fitted with a smaller 58 litre fuel tank.
The e-tron has six automatic modes that are driver selectable on the steering wheel. The modes manage engine mapping, short bursts accelerating from corners, quattro four wheel drive, wet weather, etc. Allan McNish said "I don't have to press a button ... It does it automatically ... It is like traction control."
2014-spec R18 e-tron quattro
Changes from 2013 R18 e-tron quattro include the introduction of blue laser beam backlights with a yellow phosphor crystal lens complementing the LED headlights, a revised V6 TDI engine with an electric turbocharger, upgrades to the flywheel accumulator system and an exhaust heat recovery system. The system captures the thermal energy from the exhaust and can add power to either the turbocharger or the flywheel accumulator system. Audi later opted not to race with the second Energy Retrieval System, which is known as a Motor Generator Unit-Heat [MGU-H] in F1, because it did not result in the performance gain engineers had hoped for and was therefore considered an unnecessary risk to take. The aerodynamics have been heavily revised in accordance with the new rules: the width is reduced by 10 cm, the height is increased by 20 mm and there is a new set of front wings. However, the exhaust-blown diffuser on the 2013 model has been banned and removed. The safety monocoque has been strengthened with additional fabric. Wheel tethers and extra crash structures are also added to the car. Finally, there are numerous smaller upgrades to vision and ergonomics to improve drivability.
2015-spec R18 e-tron quattro
In comparison to the 2014 car the 2015 R18 e-tron quattro's aerodynamics have been significantly improved and the turbocharged 4.0L V6 diesel engine now produces more power while using less fuel. The flywheel accumulator system's capacity has been increased from 500KJ to 700KJ as the 2015 Audi's energy output per round has been increased from 2MJ to 4MJ. Changes also include a significant increase of the hybrid system's power output.
On November 29, 2015, Audi Sport debuted the redesigned R18 that the team plans to race in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season. The new R18 features significantly altered aerodynamics, including a raised nose similar to pre-2014 Formula One nose designs, air scoops above the front fenders, integrated mirrors, and other body modifications. The KERS for the 2016 R18 has also been changed from a flywheel system to a lithium-ion battery, and has been upgraded to the 6MJ class from the 4MJ class. The engine remains the same 4.0L turbodiesel V6. Audi has dropped the e-tron quattro name badge for the 2016 season.
Audi plans to race two R18s all across the 2016 WEC season. As of June 9th 2016, Audi has won both WEC events (in Silverstone and Spa Francorchamps); however an irregularity concerning the underbody of the winning car at Silverstone resulted in the winning car being outlawed; Audi decided not to dispute this decision.
Complete Racing Results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)
|Audi Sport Team Joest||1||4||Ret||3||2||Ret||3|
|Audi Sport North America||3||3||Ret|
† - Result includes points scored by the Audi R15 TDI plus, which finished 4th and 5th in Round 1.
|Audi Sport Team Joest||1||16||2||1||1||2||1||2||3|
|Audi Sport North America||4||3||3|
|Audi Sport Team Joest||1||2||1||5||1||3||26||1||2|
|Audi Sport Team Joest||1||Ret||2||2||2||5||5||5||3|
|Audi Sport Team Joest||7||1||1||3||3||2||3||3||2|
|Audi Sport Team Joest||7||EX||5||4|
* Season in progress
Notes and references
|This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Audi R18. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|
Please include any external sites that were used in collaborating this data, including manufacturer sites, in this section.
News and References
- Audi R18 Le Mans Prototype Slams The Roof
- Audi R18 Le Mans prototype unveiled with full roof, epic LEDs
- McNish comments on Audi R18 TDI
- Audi Unveils New Hardtop R18 Le Mans Racer
Enthusiast Sites and Discussion Forums