The German manufacturer confirmed that the new car will continue to use diesel power – setting it apart from its petrol-powered Toyota and Porsche competitors – as part of a revamped 4-litre V6 engine.
It also revealed that the car will be entered into the 6MJ energy retrieval sub-class, up from 4MJ on this year’s model, which finished runner-up to Porsche in both teams’ and drivers’ competitions in the WEC.
Flywheel energy storage for the hybrid system has been abandoned in favour of a lithium-ion battery solution similar to that used by sister manufacturer Porsche.
The car also features heavily revised front bodywork in a bid to maximise aerodynamic performance.
“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 Le Mans,” said Audi motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.
Audi also confirmed unchanged driver line-ups for the WEC, while also announcing it will scale back from three cars to just two for the Le Mans 24 Hours – along with Porsche.