The Audi R18 is a Le Mans Prototype (LMP) racing car constructed by the German car manufacturer Audi AG. It is the successor to the Audi R15 TDI. Like its predecessor, the R18 uses a TDI turbocharged diesel engine but with a reduced capacity of 3.7 litres and in a V6 configuration. For the first time since the 1999 R8C, Audi's Le Mans prototype uses a closed cockpit design. The R18 is also the first racing car from Audi to feature hybrid power.
The Audi R18 at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
|Category||LMP1 (Audi R18 TDI) LMP1-H (Audi R18 e-tron quattro)|
|Predecessor||Audi R15 TDI|
|Chassis||Carbon fibre and Aluminum monocoque, CFC rear crash structure|
|Suspension (front)||Independent double-wishbone push rod system|
|Suspension (rear)||Independent double-wishbone pull rod system|
|Length||4,650 mm (183 in)|
|Width||2,000 mm (79 in)|
1,900 mm (75 in) (2014, 2015)
|Height||1,030 mm (41 in)|
1,050 mm (41 in) (2014, 2015)
|Engine||Audi RP series TDI 2011-2013: 3.7 L (226 cu in)|
2014-2016: 4.0 L (244 cu in) V6 turbodiesel, mid-engined, longitudinally mounted
|Transmission||TDI: 6-speed, sequential semi-automatic|
e-tron-quattro: 6-speed sequential semi-automatic limited-slip rear differential
|Weight||900 kilograms (2,000 lb)|
2013: 915 kilograms (2,017 lb)
2014: 875 kilograms (1,929 lb)
|Lubricants||Castrol EDGE Turbo Diesel|
|Notable entrants|| Audi Sport Team Joest|
Audi Sport North America
|Debut||2011 1000 km Spa|
|Constructors' Championships||2 (2012 FIA WEC, 2013 FIA WEC)|
|Drivers' Championships||2 (2012 FIA WEC, 2013 FIA WEC)|
Although Audi have previously given each new developed model of endurance racing car a distinct model number, the head of Audi Sport, Wolfgang Ullrich, suggested the R18 designation for Audi endurance racing cars could be used for the foreseeable future as a result of rival car manufacturer Renault already holding trademarks for car model names R19 through to R35. There have been five further evolutions of R18 since the original spec introduced in 2011, the latest is the 2016 spec which competed in the 2016 World Endurance Championship.
- 1 2011: R18 TDI Ultra
- 2 2012: R18 ultra and R18 e-tron quattro
- 3 2013-spec R18 e-tron quattro
- 4 2014-spec R18 e-tron quattro
- 5 2015-spec R18 e-tron quattro
- 6 2016-spec R18
- 7 Racing history
- 8 Results summary
- 9 Marketing
- 10 References
- 11 External links
2011: R18 TDI UltraEdit
As the new rules for Le Mans in 2011 the car features a stabilisation fin on the engine cover and has a new six-speed gearbox. The new gearbox is electrically controlled instead of pneumatically controlled, saving weight by eliminating the pneumatic system. Despite the capacity reduction, the 3.7L V6 is claimed to develop more than 397 kilowatts (532 bhp) of power. This is less than the outgoing R15, but the V6 engine's fuel consumption will more than likely be lower than that of the outgoing V10 engine on the R15. The new engine has a single Garrett (Honeywell Turbo Technologies) TR30R VGT turbocharger, as opposed to the twin TR30R configuration of both the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP and the previous Audi R15 TDI. The R18's V6 engine exhausts inwards between the cylinder banks, where the turbocharger is placed. This is called a 'hot valley' configuration and is opposed to the traditional configuration with each cylinder bank of a V engine exhausting outwards to their respective turbochargers.
Unlike other coupé competitors in its class, the chassis on the R18 is not composed of two halves but rather is of single-piece construction for improved rigidity. The R18 has an engine cooling duct above the cockpit roof as well as redesigned rear wheel arches to channel more air to the rear wing. Like the Acura ARX-02a, Audi has chosen to install taller and wider tyres at the front for increased contact patch. Further changes include a lower rear wing, aluminium splitters and a small duct on the front of the car for improved driver comfort within the cockpit. The 2011 ACO regulations have limited the R18's fuel tank to 65 litres.
2012: R18 ultra and R18 e-tron quattroEdit
For 2012, Audi introduced an evolution of the original car called the R18 ultra and R18 e-tron quattro which won Le Mans. Both the Ultra and e-tron quattro R18 were run at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to the changes required by the regulations (reduced air intake restrictor and 60 litre fuel tank) the car was completely reworked to reduce weight. These changes included Xtrac sequential electrically activated 6-speed racing gearbox with gearbox housing made of new carbon-fiber composite with titanium inserts, carbon clutch, changes to the carbon-fiber composite aluminum honeycomb monocoque built by Dallara, Single Garrett (Honeywell Turbo Technologies) turbocharger with boost pressure limited to 280 kPa absolute, Bosch MS24 engine management, 1 x 45.8 mm diameter air restrictor, OZ magnesium forged wheels, Michelin Radial 360/710R18 front and 370/710R18 rear tires.
2013-spec R18 e-tron quattroEdit
The R18 e-tron quattro is a hybrid version of the R18 ultra, with a 500 kJ flywheel accumulator system designed by Williams Hybrid Power, two 101 PS (74 kW; 100 hp) Bosch Motor Generator Units driving the front wheels with water-cooled integrated power electronics, providing the car with four wheel drive (quattro), and a smaller 58-litre fuel tank. The quattro system, as per the regulations, is available only at speeds above 120 km/h (75 mph).
The e-tron has six automatic modes that are driver selectable on the steering wheel. The modes manage engine mapping, short bursts accelerating from corners, quattro four wheel drive, wet weather, etc. Allan McNish said "I don't have to press a button ... It does it automatically ... It is like traction control."
2014-spec R18 e-tron quattroEdit
Changes from 2013 R18 e-tron quattro include the introduction of blue laser beam backlights with a yellow phosphor crystal lens complementing the LED headlights, a revised V6 TDI engine with an electric turbocharger, upgrades to the flywheel accumulator system and an exhaust heat recovery system. The system captures the thermal energy from the exhaust and can add power to either the turbocharger or the flywheel accumulator system. Audi later opted not to race with the second Energy Retrieval System, which is known as a Motor Generator Unit-Heat [MGU-H] in F1, because it did not result in the performance gain engineers had hoped for and was therefore considered an unnecessary risk to take. The aerodynamics have been heavily revised in accordance with the new rules: the width is reduced by 10 cm, the height is increased by 20 mm and there is a new set of front wings. However, the exhaust-blown diffuser on the 2013 model has been banned and removed. The safety monocoque has been strengthened with additional fabric. Wheel tethers and extra crash structures are also added to the car. Finally, there are numerous smaller upgrades to vision and ergonomics to improve drivability.
2015-spec R18 e-tron quattroEdit
In comparison to the 2014 car the 2015 R18 e-tron quattro's aerodynamics have been significantly improved and the turbocharged 4.0L V6 diesel engine now produces more power while using less fuel. The flywheel accumulator system's capacity has been increased from 500KJ to 700KJ as the 2015 Audi's energy output per round has been increased from 2MJ to 4MJ. Changes also include a significant increase of the hybrid system's power output.
On November 29, 2015, Audi Sport debuted the redesigned R18 that the team planned to race in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season. The new R18 featured significantly altered aerodynamics, including a raised nose similar to pre-2014 Formula One nose designs, air scoops above the front fenders, integrated mirrors, and other body modifications. The KERS for the 2016 R18 has also been changed from a flywheel system to a lithium-ion battery, and has been upgraded to the 6MJ class from the 4MJ class to improve boosting. The engine remained with the same 4.0L turbodiesel V6. Audi dropped the e-tron quattro name badge for the 2016 season.
Audi raced two R18s all across the 2016 WEC season. They finished first at Silverstone; however an irregularity concerning the underbody of the winning car resulted in post-race disqualification; Audi decided not to dispute this decision. They won at Spa-Francorchamps and Bahrain, and finished third at Le Mans. They finished second in the Manufacturers' Championship.
This article needs to be updated.December 2013)(
The R18 TDI, which was unveiled at a launch in Ingolstadt on 10 December 2010, has made its race debut at the 1000 km Spa round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in May, finishing 3rd. It was scheduled to be raced at Le Mans 24-hour, the Imola 6 Hours, Silverstone 6 Hours, Petit Le Mans, and China 6 Hour races later in the year.
Due to developmental and logistic reasons the R18 did not enter the 2011 12 Hours of Sebring. Instead, Audi opted for two Audi R15 Plus models, which ran in the 2010 configuration with balance of performance adjustments; the two cars finished 4th and 5th, behind an Oreca 2010-spec Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, a Highcroft Racing HPD ARX-01e and a factory Peugeot Sport 2011-spec 908. However, two evolved R18s (chassis numbers 101 and 102) were put to the test during the four days of testing in Sebring, together with an R15 TDI as a reference vehicle, after the 12-hour race.
In the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans, Allan McNish (car #3) and Mike Rockenfeller's (#1) cars were involved in heavy high speed collisions with slower Ferraris. Both drivers could leave their car without serious injuries despite both cars being completely destroyed. However the remaining Audi R18 (#2 of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer) went on to win the race by 13.854 seconds. This was the 11th win in the past 13 years for Audi.
Audi competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). For the 2012 12 Hours of Sebring, they entered three 2011 R18s; the #2 of McNish, Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello took the overall victory with 325 laps completed, marking Audi's tenth victory at Sebring. The victory also marked Kristensen's sixth Sebring win, and as a three-driver team, the third (2006 and 2009). The #3 car of Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Loïc Duval finished 2nd four laps behind (321); the two ran much of the race in the same lap until the latter stages when the #3 car fell behind pace of the #2 and made contact with another car, causing a lengthy final pit stop for nose repair (besides the refuel). The #1 of the 2011 Le Mans-winning team finished 16th overall and 5th among WEC LMP1 competitors (310); the car was less reliable than the other two, marred by a gearbox issue midway in the race.
Both the Ultra and e-tron Quattro made their racing débuts at the 2012 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps as part of a four-car Audi entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The #3 car of Romain Dumas, Loïc Duval and Marc Gené gave the Ultra victory over the e-tron Quattro. Audi finished 1-2-3-4 in the race. Audi had entered a four car line-up for Le Mans. The e-tron Quattro finished first and second with the Ultra finishing in third and fifth. The leading car covered 5151.8 km, making 33 pit stops.
The 2013 season would see Audi utilize the hybrid system completely; retiring the non-hybrid turbodiesel R18 Ultra. The #1 car would be piloted by André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer, and Marcel Fässler. The #2 entry would be raced by Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, and Loïc Duval. Round 1 was the 6 hours of Silverstone. Despite a disappointing qualifying attempt for both entries, with the number #2 starting 3rd behind the two rival 2012-spec Toyota TS030 Hybrids and the number #1 starting 5th behind a privateer Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60, the race would yield better results, and rather quickly. The #2 led the race with the #1 behind it by the end of the first hour. The #1 would leapfrog the #2 after the end of hour three, bit eventually would regain the lead again by the end of hour five, thanks to a solid stint by McNish and the lack of hybrid drive in the #1 car. The #2 car would win the race after batting with its sister car throughout the race, winning an entire lap over Toyota.
The addition of a third entry was prepared by Audi prior to the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The #3 car would be driven by the Spaniard Marc Gené, Oliver Jarvis, and young Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi. The car would be only eligible to earn manufacturer points in Le Mans. Audi determined to use this car for its Le Mans effort, using the race at Spa as a test bed for both the #3 car and team. A damp practice session would be dominated by the e-tron quattro's and would continue into the dry qualifying session, with cars #1, #3, and #2 (in that order) qualifying a second within each other taking the first three spots. They were a second over a duo of Toyota TS030 Hybrid cars, one being 2013-spec and the other 2012. The race would show Audi's strong pace, but it was neutralized by Toyota's better fuel consumption in its 2013-spec car, making for a very tight race for Audi. However a mechanical problem in the closest challenging Toyota provided Audi with an easy 1-2-3 finish as the race concluded, with the #1 winning in Belgium.
Entering Le Mans, with victories at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, Audi had a 20-point advantage over Toyota, winning races off of sheer pace. The Le Mans test was dominated by Audi in the order of car #2, #3, and #1. The same result was repeated in the qualifying sessions, with the #2 car setting a time of a 3 minutes and 22.349 seconds. During the race, besides a brief overtake of the lead by Toyota by virtue of a pit stop, Audi stood in control of the entire race and #2 took the 24 hour classic's honors, with the other car, #3 finishing third, extending their championship lead.
The 6 hours of Sao Paulo was next on the calendar, and Audi once again showed its pace and just edged its rival Toyota by two tenths. The race was dominated and won by the #1 car, who regained the lead from the end of the second hour until the end of the race after losing the lead briefly in the first hour to Rebellion. The #2 car finished in second place three laps behind the sister car.
The championship would move north to Austin, site of the 6 hours of the Circuit of the Americas. Dominant runs in practice and qualifying would place the Le Mans winning #2 crew on pole position ahead of its sister car the #1, which followed behind three tenths off the pace. The race would prove to be a worthy challenge for Audi by their rivals Toyota. By the end of hour 1, the #2 car sat in second place behind the lone Toyota machine and the #1 car in fourth behind the Rebellion Racing entry, one lap down from the lead. However, during hour two until the end of three, the #2 car regained the lead, being followed closely by the Toyota in second. At the end of hour 4, the #2 would slip back to second, but would eventually battle back to win the race, twenty-three seconds ahead of their rival Toyota.
The 6 hours of Fuji in the 2013 season would be the shortest race in FIA WEC history. Despite Audi qualifying the #1 car on pole and #2 car in fourth position, the race would only last eight total green flag laps, which started under safety car due to heavy rain. The Audi #1 would pit for service in response to the weather, and in turn Toyota passed it and led until the race was stopped and called. However, the #2 car would finish third.
The championship would then visit China for the 6 hours of Shanghai. The practice sessions would be very competitive, and although the Audi prototypes lead both practices, they where being closely matched for pace by Toyota. In qualifying, the #1 car would settle for second and the #2 for fourth respectively. The race would play out as the tale of two halves, with #1 and #2 both by the end of the third hour being one lap down to the leader. However, by the end of hour five, the #1 made back a lap and found itself 30 seconds off the lead. The #1 car's pace would pay off at the end and resulted in a fifteen second victory over the second place Toyota TS030 hybrid.
The season would conclude with the 6 hours of Bahrain, and Audi would not dominate as they did for the majority of the season. The #1 car started the race in third and the #2 in fourth. The #1 would finish second place and the #2 would retire due to mechanical issues. Despite the result, Audi would still win the manufacturer's title by sixty-four and a half points.  The season for Audi's R18 e-tron quattro would be defined as a season that Audi won as a result of fast race pace and good consistency.
Audi would evolve the R18 e-tron quattro into an entirely new and different looking car from its revised 2013 predecessor to adapt to the changes that the new LMP1 regulations (for hybrids) presented. A larger 4.0 L engine (producing over 540 BHP) would power the rear of the car and one MGU hybrid system (producing over 230 HP) would operate in the front axle of the car. A flywheel capable of storing over 600 KJ of energy would be inside the car as well. A ERS-K (to store kinetic energy) and ERS-H (to store energy generated from heat) would also be included within the platform of the electric turbocharged engine. As for the aerodynamics, Audi switched the chassis constructor from Dallara to YCOM. The car became smaller in width and taller in height. The newly built monocoque was made bigger and more layered on the outside for safety purposes; to withstand higher loads during a collision. Wheel tethers (two per wheel) were prescribed by the regulations for safety purposes, attached to the outer wheel suspensions. The front two wheels had tethers attached to the monocoque and the rear wheels to the chassis structure. 
Audi chose to run the car numbers of #1, #2, and #3 (for Spa-francorchamps and Le Mans only) after winning the 2013 FIA WEC manufacturers championship. The #1 car would be run by Tom Kristensen, Lucas Di Grassi, and Loïc Duval. Marc Gené would replace Duval in the third round of the championship only. The #2 would be run by André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer, and Marcel Fässler. A third entry would be prepared for the third and fourth rounds of Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans. The #3 car would be run by Marco Bonanomi, Filipe Albuquerque, and Oliver Jarvis.
Silverstone was the first race on the 2014 calendar, and in addition to the competition presented by Toyota and their brand new car, the TS040 Hybrid, and Audi's sister company Porsche returned to prototype racing with the 919 Hybrid prototype racer. For practice one, Audi respectively sat in second and fourth, but by the second practice session the #1 and #2 car led the entire field, with the #1 ahead of the #2 by four tenths flat and the #2 ahead of the nearest competitor by five tenths. However by the end of qualifying practice the #1 and #2 where in the same places that they finished by the end of the first practice, the #1 in second and the #2 in fourth. The rainy weather would play a significant role in the result of the race, and it did not favor Audi. Di Grassi's #1 lost traction and crashed in the first hour while leading the race at Woodcote, resulting in suspension damage that would be terminal to the #1 car's chances of finishing the race. That left the #2 Audi to survive the remaining five hours, in fourth place, one lap down behind two Toyotas and a Porsche in that order. By the end of hour two, the #2 Audi had slipped behind the Rebellion Racing, entry three laps down. The car would pass the Rebellion by the end of hour three. By the end of hour 4, the #2 would be completely out of the race after Benoît Tréluyer crashed the car into the wall and trapped it in the gravel. Both cars would finish non-classified and would gain no points in the event. In addition to the disappointing start to the season of earning no points, the cars were damaged so terribly, that new cars would have to be completely re-built.
At Spa-Francorchamps, the first practice session had the #1 leading the field, #2 in fourth place, and #3 in seventh. In the next session, the #2 would be the best of the cars in third place. Qualifying would be a little more difficult. The #2 was the only car that started inside the top three in third position, about a second off the pace of the leading Porsche. Car number #2 qualified sixth and car #3 qualified seventh. The race got underway under clear conditions and during the first hour it was very close amongst Audi and its rivals Toyota and Porsche. By the end of the first hour, the #2 and #1 stood in the middle of the LMP1 fray, third and fourth respectively, with the #3 car hanging onto sixth position. During hour two, rivals Toyota leaped two positions to take fourth and third away from the Audis. The #1 car also passed the #2. By the end of hour two cars #1, #2, and #3 stood in positions fourth, fifth, and sixth. By the end of hour four, the #1 was the only car on the lead lap in second place, while #3 was in fifth and #2 in sixth third one lap down. By the end of the race, #1 claimed second place. #2 came in fifth one lap down and #3 brought it home in sixth two laps down.
Results in bold indicate pole position. Results in italics indicate fastest lap.
|Audi Sport Team Joest||1||4||Ret||3||2||Ret||3|
|Audi Sport North America||3||3||Ret|
† - Result includes points scored by the Audi R15 TDI plus, which finished 4th and 5th in Round 1.
|Audi Sport Team Joest||1||16||2||1||1||2||1||2||3|
|Audi Sport North America||4||3||3|
|Audi Sport Team Joest||1||2||1||5||1||3||26||1||2|
|Audi Sport Team Joest||1||Ret||2||2||2||5||5||5||3|
|Audi Sport Team Joest||7||1||1||3||3||2||3||3||2|
|Audi Sport Team Joest||7||EX||5||4||3||2||6||Ret||6||2|
- "Audi and Peugeot Battle at 12 Hours of Sebring". TurboByGarrett.com. Garrett by Honeywell. 21 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-04-22. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- Honeywell Turbo Technologies. "Honeywell Turbo Technologies » Honeywell Turbo Technologies Boosts Audi to Le Mans Victory". honeywell.com.
- "2012 Technical Regulations for Prototype" (pdf). FIA. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- "Audi R18 ultra". Audi. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Honeywell Turbo Technologies. "Honeywell Turbo Technologies » Honeywell Turbos Boost 14th Consecutive Victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans". honeywell.com.
- SEAS. "Audi R18 e-tron Quattro Flywheel KERS Hybrid System". formula1-dictionary.net.
- Simon Strang. "Spinning the (fly)wheel: Audi's quest for hybrid history". autosport.com. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- "10 Things You Need to Know About Audi's R18 e-tron Quattro Le Mans Racer". caranddriver.com.
- "The next Audi R18 e-tron quattro: new technology for the World Champions". ACO. ACO. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
- Audi Communication (24 January 2015). "Audi MediaServices - Audi R18 e-tron quattro with laser light". audi-mediaservices.com.
- Brandon Turkus. "Audi debuts all-new R18 E-Tron Quattro with novel secondary hybrid system". Autoblog.
- "Audi abandons F1-style hybrid system on 2014 R18 WEC challenger".
- Alanis King (29 November 2015). "The New Audi R18 Is Here And Its Livery Is Just As Mean As The Car".
- Turner, Kevin (10 December 2010). "Audi reveals new R18 coupe". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Kevin Turner (2011-03-25). "Audi tests next R18 evolution". Autosport. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- "Audi captures 11th title at 24 Hours of Le Mans". usatoday.com. USA Today. 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
- "Audi Sport Team Joest one-two victory at Sebring". Joest Racing. 2012-02-29.
- "Audi Wins Classic 60th Anniversary Race at Sebring". American Le Mans Series. 2012-03-17.
- "Audi 1-2-3-4 victory at Spa on premiere". ACO. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- "The 80th 24 hours of Le Mans in numbers". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Audi brings the quattro back to the race track". Joest Racing. 2012-02-29.[permanent dead link]
- "Audi to field two R18 e-tron quattros in Bahrain". 2012-09-20. Archived from the original on 2012-10-27. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- "FIA WEC - Timing Results". fiawec.alkamelsystems.com. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
- "Cars > Museum > JOEST RACING". www.joest-racing.de. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
- Andrew Cotton. "Audi R18 (2014)". Racecar Engineering. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
- "Audi R18 e-tron quattro Stars in New Audi RS 6 TV Commercial "Perfect Fit"". Fourtitude.com.
- "Audi R18 e-tron quattro featured in new RS 6 TV commercial". Motorsport.com.
- Endurance 2014 : La nouvelle Audi R18 e-tron quattro a été présentée au Mans, TF1, 25 March 2014.