Audi R18 e-tron Sports New TDI Engine; New Hybrid System

Audi revealed a few more technical details about its 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid racecar.

Announced earlier this week, the 2014-generation Audi R18 e-tron quattro is described by Audi as the most complex race car ever built by the company; at first glance, the new hybrid sports car appears like a continuous further development of the World Championship winning car and Le Mans winner of the past two years.

Because of the new Technical Regulations, a large number of principal definitions, which concern the powertrain, body dimensions, safety and aerodynamics, were changed. With the new R18, Audi Sport said it has opted for a similar concept as in the past – albeit with innovative detailed solutions and an additional hybrid system.

The key details revealed are as follow:

  • A further developed V6 TDI mid-engine powers the rear wheels;
  • A e-tron quattro hybrid system is located on the front axle (ERS-K – Energy Recovery System Kinetic, a system to store kinetic energy)
  • Optimized flywheel energy storage system
  • Hybrid system with an electric turbocharger in the internal combustion engine (ERS-H – Energy Recovery System Heat, a system that stores energy converted from heat)

The company believes never before has a race car been powered by technology as complex as the one used in Audi’s new LMP1 sports car.

The TDI engine remains a time-tested and important element of the overall concept. The further developed V6 TDI unit of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro contributes crucially to the car’s compliance with the new regulations as it has to do with up to 30 percent less fuel than its predecessor.

Audi explained in addition to the internal combustion engine, the powertrain concept, for the first time, features the integration of two hybrid systems. As in the past, a Motor-Generator-Unit (MGU), during braking events, recovers kinetic energy at the front axle, which flows into a flywheel energy storage system. For the first time, the turbocharger of the internal combustion engine is linked to an electrical machine, which makes it possible to convert the thermal energy of the exhaust gas flow into electric energy – for instance when the boost pressure limit has been reached. This energy also flows into the flywheel energy storage system. When the car accelerates, the stored energy can either flow back to the MGU at the front axle or to the innovative electric turbocharger, depending on the operating strategy.