By Adam Tate, Managing Editor
Audi has pulled the wraps of its latest World Endurance Championship contender, the latest iteration in the long line of the venerable R18 series.
2016 marks the 6th year of the R18 and it is one of the most comprehensive redesigns Audi has developed to date. After a decade in a half of domination at Le Mans, losing last year to sister company and arch rivals, Porsche was a slap in the face for the crew at Ingolstadt. The fact that Porsche also beat them in the championship just poured salt into the wound.
To rectify the situation Audi has created their most fastest, most efficient R18 to yet. To do so they took a ground up approach, which included ditching the old Williams developed flywheel based hybrid system for a new battery unit that places them in the 6MJ subclass of the LMP1 division.
The team continues on with their tried and true 4.0 V6 turbo-diesel engine paired to the aforementioned hybrid system. Despite WEC rules cutting fuel flow rate for the top drawer prototypes this season, Audi brass brags that their car is so efficient that they have made up for the losses and the overall power unit still develops over 1,000 hp.
Audi will get to see how they stack up against their rivals at Porsche and Toyota soon, as the World Endurance Championship kicks off its season April 17th at Silverstone.