Matthew Jones27 March 2014

Audi R18 e-tron takes to the streets

Watch this year’s Le Mans contender go for a little spin around Le Mans city centre

The 24 Hours of Le Mans isn't 'til June 14, but Audi's decided to start waving its gentleman vegetables already by driving its new R18 e-tron Quattro prototype through the eponymous town. On public roads...

Factory driver Tom Kristensen piloted Audi's LMP1 contender and his on-street saunter lasted an impressive six miles, starting at the cathedral in the city centre and ending, unsurprisingly, at the La Sarthe circuit.

Kristensen finished a shortened lap of the circuit in the car, which is wearing fresh white, silver and red livery as well as the new 4.0-liter diesel V6. If you swatted up on this year's car, you'll know that the engine's around 300cc larger than last season.

Thing is, while we're all for terrifying race cars on public roads, we did find ourselves watching the video, then asking, um, why?

Audi Sport tells us that it was so moved by the halcyon days of Le Mans, where competitors arrived in the city in the same cars they'd race in, it wanted to recreate it. Though we imagine they'd turn up a day or two early. Not three months...

Now watch, then get the full download on this year's incredible e-tron here.

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