Audi Diesel Hybrid Racer Set For LeMans Debut

Racing improves the breed, or so the old saying goes, yet in Audi’s case it certainly rings true. Following on from victories at Le Mans with TFSI technology (2001) and then the first ever diesel powered sports endurance racer (2006), the Ingolstadt automaker is attempting to go one better this year with a diesel hybrid prototype.

The car, which should prove a worthy rival for Toyota’s gasoline hybrid, the TS030, is seen as a logical step, especially considering Audi Sport’s experience with oil-burning technology.

According to Audi’s head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, the concept of combining diesel and hybrid technology “is at least as ambitious and challenging as our [pure] diesel project was in its early stages.”

Although insiders say development and testing has so far yielded encouraging results, the plan for Audi’s new hybrid racers is to supplement rather than replace its existing “pure” diesel race cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The diesel hybrids are scheduled to make their racing debut at the notorious Spa Francorchamps circuit for this year’s 6-hour event on May 5. If all goes well, it should set the stage for a memorable performance at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16-17.

GreenCarReports


  • paulbb

    >> The car, which should prove a worthy rival for Toyota’s gasoline hybrid

    Well not really. To be a contender, things have to match price-wise and driving quality-wise so it is not really a contender. Until audi can sheild away the diesel grunt to acceptable levels its never going to be a rival. But wait! after all that, it needs to be priced like a hybrid, oops… audi you need to go back to the drawing board.

  • Achilles

    The club that runs Le Mans has ‘stacked the deck’ in favour of diesel engines by letting them be eighty five percent (!) larger than the equivalent turbocharged gasoline units, while keeping the minimum weight limits the same. So it will be amazing if the Toyota LMP1 wins, but Toyota will learn a lot and gain a moral victory if it finishes ahead of the other gasoline cars.

    Why the bias in favour of diesels? Chauvinism – a concept invented by the French. Result: filthy air in many of Europe’s cities, and medical consequences it will take a generation to unearth fully.

  • Achilles

    The club that runs Le Mans has ‘stacked the deck’ in favour of diesel engines by letting them be eighty five percent (!) larger than the equivalent turbocharged gasoline units, while keeping the minimum weight limits the same. So it will be amazing if the Toyota LMP1 wins, but Toyota will learn a lot and gain a moral victory if it finishes ahead of the other gasoline cars.

    Why the bias in favour of diesels? Chauvinism – a concept invented by the French. Result: filthy air in many of Europe’s cities, and medical consequences it will take a generation to unearth fully.