This is a well known fact that Audi selects the motoring categories and championships very consciously when it comes to racing in tournaments to test the latest technology they develop. It has a very close connection to production and hence has a huge relevance to technology for the customers who are considering buying a car from Audi. Audi R18 e-tron Quattro is the next generation of four wheel drive vehicles, which is also an LMP1 car whose rear axle is energized by the high performance, turbocharged diesel engine while the front axle is powered by a combination of two electric motors. Le Mans race is where it is going to be put to test. First at Spa-Fracorchamps in Belgium on 5th May 2012 where it will take the strain of a 6-hour race and then on the 16th-17th June 2012 it will be battling for the overall victory in the 24-hour race of Le Mans in France.
The fascinating thing here is the new system. The kinetic energy in the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro is recovered on its front axle in the braking phase. This is then fed into the flywheel accumulator before feeding it back again under acceleration above 120 kmph. All this while only the front axle is combined. The rear wheel continues to receive power transmitted to it from the V6 TDI which is producing 375 KW (510 hp). One can also say simply that one axle of the vehicle is powered by electric motor and the second conventionally.
Once tested there will be little room for doubt that it shall be victorious like its previous models in the race. This technology will come into the production of the road cars. With a combination of conventional and electrical prowess, this will help cutting the cost of fuel and should be economically viable, if not at the time of purchase then at least after a few thousand kilometers it shall return back the amount to its purchaser in the mode of savings done on the fuel.
The body of R18 e-tron Quattro is made of carbon fiber thus making it very lightweight. However, this may or may not be possible to apply on the road cars since this particular composite material is very expensive. This would prompt the company to use the other affordable lightweight material, and the closest metal should be aluminum. It is also being discussed that a prototype road car with this kind of technology should be a sedan or a sports car because an SUV or MUV with this technology could be very expensive for the lunch in the market. But we never know what the company will eventually come out in the market with.
Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich who drove the R18 e-tron Quattro to the stage at its world premiere show at Munich Airport this Wednesday. It went electrically and nearly in silence without making any sound.