Audi doesn’t mind pushing the envelope a little further than most people would and has proven that with the release of a new Le Mans race car. The racer is called the R18 e-Tron hybrid quattro, a four-wheel driven diesel hybrid race car that’s set to compete at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in France on June 16 and 17, 2012.

Working under the same principles as that of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, the R18 e-Tron hybrid quattro uses kinetic energy that’s recovered whenever the car brakes, storing that energy in the flywheel accumulator as electricity before being sent back to the electric motors on the front wheels. The motors take car of the front of the vehicle, while the rear wheels get their power from the car’s 510-horsepower V6 TDI engine. The only difference between the aforementioned Porsche and the R18 e-Tron hybrid quattro is that the latter is considered a mild hybrid, using a petrol engine along with electricity.

Since the car uses a heavy hybrid system, Audi went and designed the race car’s gearbox using carbon fiber composite housing, alleviating some of the weight brought about by the complicated drivetrain.

Before it struts its wares in Le Mans, the car will be put through the paces on May 5th at the 6-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium where it will be raced by Allan McNish, Dindo Capello Tom Kristensen and Benoît Tréluyer, André Lotterer and Marcel Fässler.

UPDATE 06/07/2012: Audi has unveiled a cool promo video for their brand new R18 e-Tron that will compete at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race on Saturday, June 16th-17th 2012. The video presents Audi’s racing evolution, going from turbocharged direct injection (TFSI) up to turbo diesel (TDI) engines and the new e-tron.

  • 2012 Audi R18 e-Tron Hybrid Quattro
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What do you think?
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  (415) posted on 06.28.2012

Since you’re talking about this so-called “exotic car”, let me ask you. Why it’s exotic and how?

  (365) posted on 06.26.2012

I don’t mind its mid-class performing capability at all, if its appearance is too stunning.

  (409) posted on 06.25.2012

The E-Tron Hybrid is a good project under Audi. Since the Hybrid, car is considered a trend, I believe that Audi can handle it perfectly.

  (224) posted on 06.22.2012

Only its style is different, perhaps, but the performance is mediocre.

  (544) posted on 06.21.2012

I can say that the design of this Quattro is one of a kind, but its performances can be compared to other cars that performed the same way the other cars do.

  (194) posted on 06.20.2012

Aside from the powering, I like how it would result to a speedy performance.

  (683) posted on 06.18.2012

It’s out of this world design. Well, the exterior is not the story. The speed and specifications must.

  (831) posted on 06.15.2012

I think the electric-powering is better.

  (429) posted on 05.18.2012

I wish to view its performance with its driver displaying its run with full confidence.

  (442) posted on 05.17.2012

The fact that it is hybrid is advantageous to its sporty quality. Because it is powered dually, it has the option on which dynamic powering to use.

  (474) posted on 05.15.2012

Aside from its apparent exotic look, someone should also flaunt its performance capability; its power is something that definitely has to be seen by many!

  (466) posted on 05.13.2012

I think it’s great that Audi has made it hybrid. The choice for the engine shouldn’t be underestimated as its V6 TDI kind can exert 510 horsepower.

  (553) posted on 05.10.2012

Definitely, it’s efficient and dynamic as hybrids like this have this dual-powering system. Either of the two are high-performing.

  (474) posted on 05.9.2012

There’s nothing to criticize about it; I found out that whether it is on batteries or on an engine, it would be high-performing.

  (300) posted on 05.9.2012

This one needs a more dynamic battery as I find its engine a bit less powerful than the others.

  (559) posted on 05.8.2012

This car is a double win; I am presuming that if it runs on batteries, it will be efficient. And if it runs on an engine, it will be dynamic.

  (287) posted on 05.7.2012

Its engine and battery are definitely helpful for it to be this dynamic. Most of the time, it would be using its electric-powered feature, yeah? That’s why I think it needs to be developed further on that aspect.

  (630) posted on 05.7.2012

I was worried for a moment when I’ve come to know that this is a hybrid; usually, the electric-powered part isn’t dynamic. It’s a relief that its V6 TDI engine gives off 510 HP. Because of its power, it will be able to become speedier. The lightweight features will surely contribute too.

  (428) posted on 03.29.2012

If I’m the driver of this car, I’d stand tall and proud since I’m carrying an exotic automotive. Just imagine how it will stand out among the rest.

  (467) posted on 03.8.2012

This hybrid car is obviously exotic; its full shape and performance to be exact. I agree with mariamargaritta; this would truly be an eye-catcher.

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