Audi R18 e-tron wins Le Mans 24 HoursJune 22, 2012
Audi R18 e-tron quattro the first hybrid car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Audi has won Le Mans 2012 with its R18 e-tron quattro diesel hybrid . Audi has previously revolutionised Le Mans in 2006 by its first win with a diesel-engined car, now it has moved on the green motorsport game even further by winning for the first ever time with a four-wheel drive diesel-hybrid car.
Audi actually secured the top three places in the 80 th running of the race, with the R18 e-tron quattro in the two top spots, and the ‘conventional’ diesel R18 in third. This is the eleventh success in total for Audi at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Audi fielded four Audi R18 cars which ended up in positions one, two, three and five, after competing over a distance of 5,151 kilometres. The two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars have rear-wheel drive provided by the V6 diesel engine, and front-wheel drive from the electric hybrid system, and Audi says that it is already testing technology where the drive shaft is replaced by electric cables for use in production vehicles. The e-tron quattro also featured lightweight design, including new ultra-light transmission with a carbon fibre housing – another key issue in the area of both green cars and green motorsport.
British driver Allan McNish was one of the three drivers in the second-placed Audi R18 e-tron Quattro.
Toyota also entered a hybrid this year, but this vehicle featured a petrol-hybrid system with rear-wheel drive.
Nissan engines powered a number of vehicles at Le Mans this year including the experimental lightweight Deltawing, which unfortunately crashed out after being hit by one of the Toyotas.