Hybrid Vehicle in a Race
Audi has made history by being the first competitor to win the Le Mans race with a hybrid vehicle. The 24-hour race, held annually at Circuit de la Sarthe in the north of France, enjoyed its 80th anniversary on March 21st this year, so it was a particularly spectacular win.
4×4 hybrid the R18 e-tron Quattro
This victory for the all-wheel drive 4×4 hybrid the R18 e-tron Quattro is the 11th for Audi. All of Audi’s previous victories have been achieved with gasoline and diesel-powered models, but this year, the automotive giant chose to use a hybrid model to showcase its leading innovative and eco-friendly technology. Audi also entered two diesel vehicles, which took third and fifth places.
Speed and Low Noise
The R18 e-tron Quattro uses a V6 TDI diesel engine, along with an electric motor, which work together to provide power to the front wheels. This gave it an extra boost of torque and traction when taking corners at high-speeds, enabling it to shoot past all other competitors with a surprisingly low level of noise.
Toyota Hybrid TSO30
Audi wasn’t the only competitor to enter a hybrid vehicle into the event. Toyota entered two of its TS030 models, which were set to be the main competitors. However, problems occurred with both vehicles, and driver Anthony Davidson had to be taken to hospital after his car collided with a lapped vehicle, causing it to flip before hurtling into the crash barriers. Davidson suffered from two cracked vertebrae, but luckily was able to walk away from the accident.
Toyota’s other vehicle left on a less dramatic note after a collision with the Deltawing vehicle, which was an experimental product of collaboration between Nissan and Highcroft Racing. As a result, Nissan was also taken out of the event.
The Deltawing was powered by a 1.6 litre engine, much smaller than those used in most other models. The aim of this was to make the vehicle as lightweight as possible, therefore increasing speed and energy-efficiency. This could have made it a real competitor for Audi.
Audi e-tron System for all Cars
Consumers are familiar with Audi’s Quattro and TDI technology, as these are already available with their current road cars. According to Audi, plans are already in place to implement the e-tron system into future models for the public. There’s been talk of replacing drive shafts with electric cables and transferring the ultra-low weight technology to road cars. This will pass on huge benefits to consumers by considerably lowering fuel consumption and cutting running costs by extending tyre-life, as less wear and tear will occur.
Ninth Win for Audi
It wasn’t an easy victory for Audi, as each of its entries had some sort of accident or technical difficulty. However, it has secured its place as the dominant team with a third consecutive win. In fact, this is the ninth time that Audi has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2000.
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