2012 Audi R18 ultra Pilots: M. Rockenfeller, O. Jarvis, M. Bonanomi Team: Audi Sport North America Race: 3rd place overall (LMP1 class) at Le Mans in 2012 Spark - S3703 (resin)
The Audi R18 was the successor to the R15 of 2009. It was Audi’s first closed-cockpit Le Mans prototype since the R8C of 1999. In 2011 Audi won t Le Mans with the R18 TDI, and the Ultra is the evolution of that car. Though the ultra looks very similar to the 2011 TDI, it’s quite lighter. Audi made innumerous improvements to the body, engine, suspension and gearbox. So the big difference between them is the weight reduction. Weighing only 900 kg, the ultra (from “ultra lightweight”) was at the time Audi’s lightest LMP1 car ever. The chassis, a carbon-fiber composite aluminum honeycomb monocoque, built by Dallara. The engine however however was an in-house Audi product. The engine was a turbocharged diesel V6 with 3700 cm³ of displacement, DOHC and 24 valves, that produced 510 hp.
Car #4 (chassis #205) was Audi Sport North America’s solo car at La Sarthe in 2012. It came in 3rd place overall, behind two R18 e-Tron quattros, the hybrid version of the ultra. There were a total of four R18 in the race that year (two ultra and two e-Tron quattros). However, it’s hard to tell them apart because they all look too much the same.
In 1:43, as expected from Spark, the model is terrific. In fact, the only thing I could complain about (which is not Spark’s fault) is the boring homogeneous liveries. I truly understand the concept of team colors, and the idea is fine, really. But somebody should tell Audi that there are more colors out there other than white, black, silver and red . If you have only one of them it’s fine. But if you’re like me and want to get other versions of the car, varied liveries would be ideal.