2013 R18 e-Tron quattro #2
Pilots: A. McNish, L. Duval, T. Kristensen
Team: Audi Sport / Joest Racing
Race: 1st place (LMP1 class) at Le Mans in 2013
Spark - 43LM13 (resin)
The R18, introduced in 2011, was a total success at La Sarthe. The car was fast and reliable, and Audi had a natural born winner. But for 2012 ACO changed the rules – basically increased air intake restrictor size and decreased fuel tank to 60 liters. With the new rules, the car was totally reworked, and the result was the R18 ultra. However, counting on future rule changes, Audi also introduced a second version: the R18 e-Tron quattro. The e-Tron quattro was the hybrid version of the R18, with a diesel engine and electric motors. It was the first hybrid car introduced to FIA’s World Endurance Championship. The hybrid was basically the same ultra (same chassis) but with a different power system and minor adaptations.
The e-Tron used the same turbo-diesel 3700 cm³ V6 of the ultra, that transmitted 510 hp to the rear wheels. But when the car is at speed it becomes an all-wheel drive. The pilot then gets an extra 100 hp boost from two electric motors that power the front wheels. An electric flywheel accumulator powered these motors, recuperating energy during deceleration. However the all-wheel drive can only engage if the car is over 120 km/h, as per ACO’s rules. At Le Mans both e-Trons came in first and second, while the ultras came in third and fifth places. With the good results, for 2013 Audi retired the ultra and used only the e-Tron.
Audi revised the e-Tron quattro for 2013, upgrading the aerodynamics and using a longer rear section. This #2 came in first place, and it was Tom “Mr. Le Mans” Kristensen’s last win at La Sarthe. A great model by Spark, but once again victim of the boring livery plague. Well, to be honest this is the least boring of my R18s.