Audi has revealed its new prototype Le Mans race car, dubbed R18.
Power comes courtesy of Audi’s 3.7-litre V6 TDI unit - a smaller than usual engine, thanks to changes prescribed for Le Mans in 2011.
Another new development is the six-speed transmission in the R18 which has been specifically modified for use with the smaller engine.
The prototype race car also features a closed shell for enhanced aerodynamics, a design last used by the team in 1999. According to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport: “In the future, aerodynamic efficiency will be even more important at Le Mans than it was in the past.”
Weight has been saved by the company too, thanks to its single-piece construction carbonfibre monocoque. Its front end also features headlights, which are the first to completely consist of LEDs.
Three R18s will be raced at the 2011 Le Mans race this summer, with its first appearance at Spa in April.