TG meets the mighty Audi R18 e-tron
Up close in testing with this year’s Le Mans pretender
Posted: 11 Jun 2014
Audi has also changed their diesel V6’s engine capacity to 4.0-litres. That’s more than last year, but is more fuel efficient across the rev range and works in conjunction with the new hybrid system.
What this means is that the three big LMP1 powerhouses – Audi, Porsche and Toyota – will be running three completely different engine configurations. Toyota’s TS040 is sticking with a petrol-powered, naturally aspirated 3.4-litre V8 and 8MJ four-wheel drive hybrid system. Porsche’s 919 has gone for a tiny 2.0-litre turbo-four-cylinder and 8MJ set up. Audi (with good cause, given its recent record), maintains that diesels are the way forward.
Which one will work best with the new hybrid systems? Nobody knows, which will make this year fascinating at the top of the LMP1 class. But Tom Kristensen believes his new car is a strong contender.
“There’s a huge difference in the agility with the new car and the new hybrid system feels much better,” Tom says after testing the car at Sebring the previous week. “This, as well as the combination of the narrow tyre, means you feel more feedback through the steering wheel in slower corners and the whole car is more nimble and very good at coming out corners.”