2009 Audi R15 TDI test car
Ixo - LMM 182 (diecast)
The R15 TDI, developed to take the place of the all-conquering R10 TDI, was first unveiled in the end of 2008. Like the R10 when it came to substitute the R8, the R15 had some big shoes to fill. However, the R15 is reportedly a bigger leap in technical innovation than the R10 was to the R8. From a distance the R15 looks a lot like the R10, but both cars are very different. The most important difference between the two is the engine, with a new V12 unit replacing the previous V10 turbo-diesel engine. Though displacing the same 5500 cm³ and now pushing 590 hp (less than what the older V10 produced), the new engine is shorter and lighter and was placed more to the middle of the car.
With the better weight distribution the R15 became more agile than its predecessor, and it’s also more fuel efficient. The R15 counts with a sequential and pneumatically actuated 5-gear transmission by an XTrac gearbox. And because of the new engine the engineering team at Ingolstadt needed new ideas to keep aerodynamics and downforce in an optimum level. With that, the car got a totally new aerodynamic “package”.
The car was basically race-ready in the beginning of 2009. In February 10th, at Vallelunga, Audi officially tested the car for the first time. That was the shake-down for the 12 Hours of Sebring later on March 21st. And looks like Audi got it right, because the car won at Sebring. Later on, however, at La Sarthe, it only managed third place, with Peugeot’s 908 taking the first and 2nd places. So, after getting my 956K test car I started looking at test cars. And here is another test car – I knew it was a bad idea to get that 956K. As has been the norm with their recent releases, this R15 looks the part. Ixo did a VERY good job in replicating the real deal. With that, another model with a terrific value for the money, specially taking into account it’s a quite affordable one.