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Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro Diesel Hybrid: With a lot of drive and little mass according to LeMans

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Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro Diesel Hybrid
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W eil for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the recuperation and thus also the energy output takes place on the front axle, the R18 becomes an all-wheel drive, but according to the regulations only at speeds above 120 km /h. This means that the actual traction advantage is kept within manageable limits.

Audi R18 as a hybrid and lightweight version

Head of Audi sports Wolfgang Ullrich insists that the sports department has been using flywheel mass storage as an efficiency technology since 2008 Eye, but it is more likely and more plausible that the publicity-heavy appearance of the Porsche GT hybrid gave the decisive hint. This is also supported by the fact that the new technology was first tested at Audi in a GT3-R8. However, there are also other good reasons for the choice: Audi sees the flywheel mass storage as a trump card in terms of reliability, because the number of 4,000 recuperations is expected for the duration of the Le Mans race - which would correspond to nine charging and discharging processes per race lap.

While heavy and slow batteries were never an option at Audi, leading Audi engineers are taking the supercapacitor solution - with which Toyota is competing at Le Mans - seriously, but have doubts as to whether the Japanese will have problems with this technology Will come over the distance. The flywheel accumulator has already proven its stability in the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, albeit under completely different conditions. The arrangement of the electric machines, rotor and control electronics in the LMP1 car is fundamentally different, but the mechanical components are identical and are considered bullet-proof - an advantage in Le Mans. In addition, the cooling requirement with the flybrid system from Williams is lower than with the battery or supercap technology.

Audi R18 weighs less 900 kilograms

In Le Mans, two cars will be fitted with the new technology, two more cars will compete without an efficiency system. That doubles the chances of arrival and victory. Numerous details of the monocoque had to be modified in order to integrate the almost 100 kilo heavy system into the packaging. Essentially the area of ​​the front axle and the passenger side (front left) have been changed. The greatest effort was to integrate the hybrid system, to stay below the 900 kilo mark - and also with ballast weightto be able to play in the vote. “The hybrid system only makes sense in a weight-neutral form, otherwise the effects will fizzle out,” says Ullrich.

Since the predecessor R18 TDI was already underweight of over 50 kilos, the engineers had to save “only” 85 kilos. This was achieved, among other things, by a gear housing made of CFRP, which, as a load-bearing part, also has to absorb the forces of the suspensions. Weight was also saved in the manufacture of the monocoque and carbon outer skin. 'It was a hell of a job,' says Head of Sport Ullrich, 'because if you want to reduce weight to this extent, you have to pick up almost every single component and work on it.' Audi will use the hybrid system, like Toyota, to increase performance, and not to reduce consumption.

The reason is firstly that relatively little energy (500 Kj) can be stored at the moment in order to prevent manufacturers from waging an expensive technology war over this to instigate the lightest hybrid system. On the other hand, the regulations currently do not provide for any limitation on the amount of energy supplied from outside. Hybrid is still add-on power.

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