Audi Sport has unveiled the 2016 avatar of their World Endurance Championship (WEC) contender car – the R18 LMP1. Audi has upgraded the diesel-powered racecar to the six mega joule (6MJ) category from the current 4MJ category and has been labelled as Audi’s most powerful yet fuel efficient endurance car yet.
The Le Mans Prototype racer has a modified diesel hybrid powertrain with a 4.0-litre V6 electrically turbocharged diesel engine running in sync with electric motors powering all four wheels. The energy recovery system now stores the energy in lithium ion batteries that perform better and also help to keep the weight in check.
Though the exact performance figures have not been disclosed as yet, as per the new regulations, the 6MJ diesel is at par with the 8MJ petrol racers – the category in which Audi’s rivals, Porsche and Toyota, are competing.
The 2016 car’s styling is more aggressive than ever before. The aero package has undergone a complete overhaul with the car looking more like a formula car with the streamlined nose and the front wing. The LMP1 now sports a red-black livery as against the red-silver colour scheme found on the current car.
The R18 LMP1 will commence testing soon and will compete against the likes of Porsche and Toyota for the 2016 FIA WEC championship and the famed Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. Audi had been dominating endurance racing for quite some time before Toyota took away the honours for the 2014 season while Porsche upped their ante to clinch the 2015 driver’s as well as the constructor championships.