|Type:||Direct injection turbocharged V10 diesel|
|Horsepower||More than 600 bhp|
|Torque||More than 1050 Nm|
|Battery||Lithium ion battery powering electrical and auxiliary systems|
|Body Type||Single seat endurance racing car, LMP1 class|
It can be stated with some gumption that Audi has been untouchable in the endurance racing world over the last several years with its R10 TDI LMP1 race car. Not content to let other automakers catch up on the technology and components found in the R10 TDI, Audi has developed its second-generation diesel enduro car, which made its debut to a record-setting win at Sebring yesterday.
When the R10 went through its first several years of Le Mans-class racing almost without losing a single race, other factory sponsored racing teams struggled to keep up with the most successful LMP1 car in history, or dropped out of the running entirely at a time when pouring millions into factory race teams is beyond the budget of most of the world's automakers.
The R15 TDI ups the ante in nearly every respect, with a brand-new V10 diesel motor outputting more than 600 bhp and, as to be expected, a tire-melting 1050 Nm of torque. Speaking volumes about Audi's increased drive toward maximum efficiency in its diesel and gasoline models, the R15 TDI actually loses 2 cylinders when compared with the previous generation V12 R10 TDI, which caused maximum confusion with its nomenclature.
In addition to completely new aerodynamics and a revised driveline, the Sebring winner R15 TDI features a lithium ion battery powering its electrical systems instead of a conventional battery. The car is not a hybrid; the lithium ion battery has nothing to do with propulsion. Due to its higher power density relative to weight, it has allowed Audi Sport engineers to free up weight for other more important purposes.
The R15 TDI LMP1 car, like Audi's race program as a whole, is not simply designed to prove racing supremacy at great development cost. Many technologies introduced on the R10 LMP1 car trickled down into Audi's production car product line. Expect the same from the R15. The real hope of enthusiasts, of course, is that some version of the new V10 diesel will make its way into roadgoing Audi R8 models. Fingers crossed, folks.
Audi R15 TDI: first “second” generation diesel racing sports car
- Audi launches new LMP1 racing sports car
- New TDI engine and many innovative approaches
- Race debut on March 21 at Sebring (USA)
INGOLSTADT, Germany, Mar 9, 2009 - AUDI AG is the world’s first automobile manufacturer to develop a “second” generation diesel racing sports car. Audi aims to underline its supremacy and consolidate its expertise in car technology once more at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans with the all-new Audi R15 TDI.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is particularly suited for this: Efficient and economical cars are especially required for the French endurance classic. Lightweight construction, environmentally friendly drive concepts and well-thought out aerodynamics are the focus of attention at Le Mans just as they are during the development of production cars. For this purpose the regulations intentionally give the engineers plenty of freedom.
Audi Sport fully exploited this creative freedom and put a new LMP1 race car on the track that differs significantly from all previous Le Mans sports cars. “The R15 TDI has many detailed technical solutions never seen before on a sports prototype,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “To a certain extent we followed entirely new routes.”
Highly efficient TDI engine
The heart of the R15 TDI is a newly developed V10 TDI engine producing more than 600 hp, with a maximum torque output in excess of 1,050 Newton meters and which reflects the latest version of the TDI Technology invented by Audi. The power unit is more compact and lighter than the twelve-cylinder engine used in the preceding R10 TDI model. The specific fuel consumption and associated CO2 emissions could also be reduced. Innovations in the turbo-charging and fuel injection areas simultaneously ensure improved engine response. The R15 TDI is also equipped with a new generation of even lighter diesel particle filters.
The new sports car’s aerodynamics, which play a particularly important role at Le Mans, are extremely refined. Like the DTM 2008 championship winning Audi A4, the airflow around and through the car was optimized with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics). Included among the many innovative detail solutions which can be spotted at first glance are a rear wing suspended from the top and a high nose.
Innovative vehicle electrical system concept
The vehicle electrical system in the Le Mans sports car is entirely new: A lithium- ion battery, as found in some hybrid vehicles, is used for the first time. It is lighter than the conventional battery and supplies a higher voltage.
The headlights fitted to the R15 TDI also benefit from the higher power. At Le Mans, Audi competes for the first time with a low beam unit comprised entirely of light emitting diodes, which represents the next generation of Audi LED technology for road cars.
Numerous innovative approaches are also hidden in the chassis and suspension of the diesel sports car. Due to the aerodynamic concept the front and rear suspension have been raised. Thanks to a longer wheelbase and the optimized vehicle weight the R15 TDI is significantly more agile than its predecessor.
Audi is the only automobile manufacturer to have won the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans with a diesel car. “With the R15 TDI we have created the base to be in a position to win also in 2009,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
The Audi R15 TDI celebrates its race debut in the 12-hour race in Sebring, Florida in the USA on March 21. Audi Sport Team Joest plans to field three cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13/14.
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