Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |   |  Audi Relying On Lightweight Tech For 2011 Le Mans - Web Exclusive
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Audi Relying On Lightweight Tech For 2011 Le Mans - Web Exclusive

With only seven weeks to go before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the new Audi R18 TDI will be relying on its lightweight technology to win the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans this year.

Apr 21, 2011

To emphasize this fact, even the livery of the three Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI cars is dominated by carbon fiber. The car carrying the number “1” after winning last year’s race is even painted in carbon black to highlight the material.

“Carbon fiber is ideally suited to lightweight design and construction,” explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. “We deliberately made the material and our lightweight technology visible for Le Mans.

“Lightweight design is a very important factor at Le Mans because a light car is also more efficient. This year, it is of even greater significance since the regulations stipulate smaller engines producing less power – for the Audi R18 TDI this means over 540hp. And although there is a minimum weight of 900kg for LMP1 cars, the target is to produce a car weighing significantly less in order to optimize the weight distribution with the help of ballast and to lower the center of gravity as much as possible.”

The carbon monocoque was produced in a single-piece, for which a highly complex manufacturing process was developed. The same applies to the bodywork, which was lightened 40kg between the first and second versions.

The V6 TDI engine in the R18 TDI is about 25 percent lighter than the previous V10 TDI.

The new six-speed gearbox also has a large amount of carbon-fiber composite material, and the complete LED headlights help to save further weight. It was also possible to omit the electric cooling of the LED in the headlights commonly found in production cars.

Because the gearshift is activated electrically rather than pneumatically, the R18 TDI no longer requires a pneumatic system. Optimized airflow through the cockpit should also make air-conditioning redundant.

“The Audi R18 TDI is equipped with many innovative solutions,” said Ullrich. “It was built to regulations specifically targeting future technologies – and with the background enabling these technologies to be introduced into road going cars in the future. This is what makes sport prototypes so interesting for Audi. That we will now see the first impact of Audi ultra lightweight technology at Le Mans demonstrates just how motorsport and production development go hand in hand.”

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

A small yet imperative part of one of the most impressive car collections we've ever come across.
Chad BurdetteMar 15, 2019
Preview the May 2019 issue of Super Street - with a 1,600HP R35 GT-R; 1JZ S15 Silvia; ADVAN-liveried, 420hp RX-3; and much more!
Bob HernandezMar 15, 2019
The RealTime Collection Hall outside of Milwaukee, Wisc. is North America’s largest privately held display of vintage Hondas and Acuras, at last count exhibiting some 45 different models from over the brand’s half century-plus Stateside
Bob HernandezMar 14, 2019
Bayou-bound in the fullest-size SUV to date from the German automaker.
Benjamin HuntingMar 14, 2019
Turbocharged 3S-GTE and a rally-capable AWD architecture? It's the Celica your early-'90s inner fanboy always wanted.
Aaron BonkMar 13, 2019
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP