The new Audi R18 race car has debuted, set to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Fundamentally redesigned for the 2016 race season, the LMP1 race car features innovative aerodynamics and represents the next stage in lightweight design, according to Audi. Powering the new Audi R18 race car will be a diesel hybrid powertrain with an efficiently-optimized TDI engine and lithium-ion batteries for energy storage.
A pair of the new Audi R18 race cars will be fielded at Silverstone on April 17 with Audi Sport Team Joest at the helm. The German automaker also announced that “in the interest of maximum cost efficiency, Audi and its Group sister brand Porsche, have both agreed to each compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the WEC season’s pinnacle event, with only two instead of the most recent three cars.”
The company also revealed other motorsports plans for the 2016 season with its DTM driver lineup remaining unchanged. All eight drivers that were in the field for 2015 will be back behind the wheel next season although Adrien Tambay and Nico Müller are swapping teams.
“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 Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.