Making its first appearance in a rather unusual way, the new R18 e-tron quattro race care by Audi was seen burning the rubber on public roads and not on a race track. All set for the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro did its initial kilometers in public traffic and driving it was Tom Kristensen, record holder of the Le Mans 24 hours with 9 victories to date.
In the company of photographers and TV cameras, the new Audi LMP1 race car completed a close to 10 km run through city traffic in Western France and the special event was broadcasted live on the internet. The new ten km distance covered city roads and a lap of the Circuit Bugatti.
Apart from the special entry that the new race car made, Audi also surprised everybody with a new livery. New for 2014, while the body of the car is still in black with red details, Audi has used a new color scheme of silver, white, red and black stands. The silver color has been used as the base and emphasizes Audi’s racing success. The second color, which is white, stands for the hybrid drivetrain. Black has been used for the front and rear wings, on the fenders and sides as it contrasts well with white. Last but not the least, red implies Audi’s performance expertise.
On the technical front, the displacement of the V6 TDI engine has been pushed to 4 liters from the previous 3.7 liters to further optimize fuel efficiency. At the 2014 Le Mans, Audi will be competing in the class of 2 MJ (megajoules) of recuperation energy. The energy is stored in a flywheel energy storage system and is delivered to the front axle through a MGU (motor generator unit).
The first official testing of the new R18 e-tron quattro will take place on March 28 and 29 at Le Castellet, France.