Having lost both the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race to Porsche in 2015 — the latter for the first time in six years — Audi has developed a new iteration of its successful R18 e-tron. Launched at the Audi Sport Finale at the Audi Training Center in Munich in late November, the race car has now been spotted while being tested at the Sebring Raceway in the United States.
The R18’s appearance at Sebring is a bit awkward given that the venue isn’t part of the World Endurance Championship, but Audi is probably using the track’s complex configuration to further tune the hybrid’s chassis. It’s important to note that the Germans are very familiar with the circuit, with several Audi R8– powered taking part in the 12 Hours of Sebring on a regular basis.
Testing is likely to occur until March 2016, so chances are that we will see the R18 on other race tracks in Europe and Asia as well. This year’s WEC season debuts on April 17th with the 6 Hours of Silverstone and ends on November 19th with the 6 Hours of Bahrain. This years calendar will include one new event, the 6 Hours of Mexico City, taking the total number of races to nine. The highlight of the season, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is scheduled to take place on June 18th and 19th.
Hit “play” to watch the new Audi R18, which employs a new design and uses an updated hybrid drivetrain, in action at Sebring Raceway.