This morning I published a post about Toyota’s TV series with SPEED following their TS030 hybrid race car and its path to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But Toyota won’t be the only automakers with a hybrid racer at this year’s Le Mans. Audi is bringing its R18 e-tron quattro to compete in the world’s most famous endurance race, and they’ve launched their own marketing campaign promoting this evolution in race cars.
The Audi Quattro has a long and rich racing history, one that has helped propel Audi into the mainstream as a motorsports competitor. But what really put the German brand on the motorsports map was its R8 Le Mans racer, which has evolved into the R18 TDI. In fact, Audi has won all but two of the Le Mans Races since the year 2000, and they want to continue that winning streak with the R18 turbodiesel hybrid.
Audi’s new two-and-a-half minute commercial explains, in layman’s terms, how this “evolution” in racing technology works. While a turbodiesel V6 engine powers the rear-wheels, a KERS flywheel hybrid system absorbs energy otherwise lost in corner braking. The drivers can then use a boost button to use that extra power at the front wheels (though only in authorized zones) for a burst of speed.
Admittedly, Toyota is putting more marketing efforts into its return to Le Mans than is Audi. I think that is because Audi’s record speaks for itself. But hybrid technology is definitely a technology pioneered by Toyota…can Audi really beat the Japanese giant at its own game?