For the second year in a row, Audi has grabbed the top spot at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and this time Audi crossed the finish line first in a hybrid! The Audi R18 e-ton quattro diesel hybrid dominated this year’s race. Audi entered four race cars in the race: two R18 e-tron hybrids and two R18s with a conventional diesel engine. At the end of the race the four Audi R18 race cars took the one, two, three and five positions.
“With the e-tron quattro in combination with ultra lightweight design, we put a completely new technology on the grid and immediately won with it – this cannot be taken for granted by any means, particularly here at Le Mans. This weekend again showed the type of things that can happen in this race and how important perfect preparation is,” commented Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi.
After 378 laps, last year’s winners Marcel Fässler (CH), André Lotterer (D) and Benoît Tréluyer (F) at the wheel of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro designated as car number “1” were again the front runners.
The R18 e-tron quattro diesel-hybrid race car is powered by a 510 horsepower 3.7L V6 diesel engine that powers the rear wheels, while the front wheels are electrically powered. The kinetic energy that is captured during braking is used to power the front wheels. The E-Tron Quattro project started in February 2010 and only 18 months passed from the initial conceptual ideas to the first test.
“I can only take my hat off to the entire squad of Audi Sport that worked extremely hard for a year to make this triumph possible. It was a very big challenge to develop a hybrid car in such a short time that is quick and able to hold up for 24 hours,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.