Audi Reveals E-Tron FE05, Preps for Upcoming Formula E Season
2018 Audi RS 5 DTM
Any fan of touring car racing has undoubtedly heard of the DTM series, but for those of you out there still drawing a blank, I’ll start things off with a little background info. The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, or DTM for short, is Germany’s premier touring car race series, often pitting the big three German makes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz against one another on circuits around Europe. Audi Sport had a very impressive performance during the 2017 season, snagging a slew of titles and achieving its “most successful results of all time,” according to the team. However, the 2018 season is now upon us, and with it, a variety of regulation changes shake up the competitive landscape. So, how did Audi adapt to the revisions compared to Merc and BMW? Read on to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS 5 DTM.
2018 Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo
Launched in 2013, the Vision Gran Turismo program gave mainstream automakers to develop wild concept cars for the Gran Turismo 6 and Gran Turismo Sport video games. No fewer than 26 virtual vehicles were created by more than 20 carmakers until 2018, with the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Aston Martin, Toyota, Chevrolet, Lexus, and Bugatti having joined the ranks. Come 2018 and Audi launched its first concept car for the Gran Turismo Sport video game. But unlike the competition, the Audi e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo is a fully functional vehicle.
While most Vision Gran Turismo concepts were developed exclusively for the pixelated world of Gran Turismo, some were built as full-scale models, and only a small fraction had an actual drivetrain. But none of them were able to function as actual race cars outside the video game. Audi is the first to deploy its Vision Gran Turismo car to real-world racetracks, as the fully-electric vehicle will be used as a taxi during Formula E events.
One of the first manufacturers to enter Formula E with a factory-backed team, Audi is now the first carmaker to offer its customers and guests the opportunity to experience Formula E’s city circuits as passengers in the e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo. This will happen starting April 14, when Formula E goes to Rome, Italy, for the seventh race of the 2017-2018 season. There’s no specific information as to how you can sign up for a ride, but a Vision Gran Turismo concept that actually works in the real world is a might big accomplishment.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo.
Audi Raises the Bar to Heights Unseen as it Unveils its New Formula E Car, the e-Tron FE05
A daring idea back in the early 2010s, the Formula E championship for all-electric single-seaters became a reality in 2014 when the first season commenced. Audi is one of the few automakers that battled for the win in all four seasons up until now, and it’s getting ready for the next championship with a second-generation race car. It’s called the E-tron FE05, and it was just unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
The fifth season for Formula E is upon us, and Audi Sport is ready to dish out some electric-bred hell on the track. In preparation for the fifth season, Audi has prepared its second-gen racer with a new livery that is just downright hard to look away from. Check out Audi’s latest twitter post below along with some higher-resolution images in the gallery at the bottom.
Audi Steps Up To Formula E With E-Tron FE04
The high-tech slab of open-wheel speed machine you see before you is the Audi E-Tron FE04, the Four Ring brand’s very first all electric race car. The FE04 just made its big debut in Neuburg, Germany, and will be used in Audi’s re-doubled efforts in the all-electric Formula E race series. That makes Audi the first German brand to enter the Formula E fray with a full factory-backed effort. Audi says the FE04 will be used as a test bed for new and upcoming technology that will eventually trickle down to its production vehicles, raising hopes that battery motivation alone will be enough to whet the appetites of future Audi performance enthusiasts.
“Following quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many other innovations, our single-seater race car is a portent of our product offensive in the field of electric mobility that we are ringing in with the Audi e-tron in 2018,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development at Audi AG. The brand says it’s planning on offering as many as 20 new battery-assisted models, including both hybrids and all-electric models, by the year 2025. While the FE04 will use a spec chassis, per regulations, the FE04 is still an opportunity for Audi to develop it’s know-how with a new electric motor, transmission, and some suspension bits, as well as the software needed to run it all. Look for the FE04 to make its competition debut in Hong Kong this coming December, with pre-season testing taking place in Spain.
Continue reading for the full story.
Audi To Pull Out Of WEC After 2016 Season
The possibility was floated last week, but now Rupert Stadler — Chairman of the Board of Management over at Audi — has made it official. After one of the most dominant runs in endurance racing history, Audi is pulling out of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the conclusion of the current 2016 season. This means a lot of things for a lot of people, but the gist of it is this: the German automaker will no longer compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It really is the end of an era, and it was a dominant one at that. In the 18 years that Audi competed in Le Mans prototype racing, it won the most prestigious endurance race 13 times. Just as impressive, is the fact that it secured a total of 106 wins out of 185 races it contested, setting numerous records along the way, inducing the first to win with a TDI engine in 2006 and the first to win with a hybrid engine in 2012. Audi’s dominance in endurance racing was also felt in the US as the team secured nine consecutive American Le Mans Series titles, a run that extended from 2000 to 2008.
And just like that, the German automaker’s tenure in the WEC is over, all thanks to the massive cuts parent company Volkswagen has had to deal with since the diesel emissions scandal broke.
To be fair, Audi’s withdrawal from the WEC doesn’t spell the company’s complete separation from competitive racing. It’s still going to be involved in Formula E with a fully-factory backed team after spending past seasons working with Audi tuner ABT Sportsline and component builder Schaeffler. On top of that, it’s still going to compete in the DTM until further notice, and a decision on its participation in the World Rallycross Championship has yet to be made. So, in the meantime, that too will continue.
But, as far as Le Mans and the WEC are concerned, it’s time we prepare for a future without one of the most dominant outfits in the series.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Audi RS3 LMS Comes Track Ready with 330 Horsepower on Tap
Audi is offering a fresh racing car for apex-oriented customers with the new track-ready RS3 LMS, transforming the updated four-door sedan into a bona fide competition vehicle. The RS3 LMS joins the Audi R8 LMS in the automaker’s lineup of out-of-the-box grid stars.
The Audi R8 LMS was first introduced in 2009, offering privateers a chance to rocket around in genuine GT3 style at events like the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. However GT3 racing is expensive, and as an alternative, the RS3 LMS arrives primed and ready for the TCR International Series, which is considered a more cost-effective entry to the world of touring car racing.
Drawing on experience gained in such high-profile series as the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Germany’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the RS3 is outfitted with all the usual go-faster goodies. The suspension was massively upgraded, while large wheels and enormous brakes were fitted in the corners. The fenders were hugely flared, and new aero keeps it planted.
Inside, it’s all business, all the time, with a back-to-basics layout, carbon-fiber steering wheel, and digital instrumentation.
Behind the polished rings on the grille, you’ll find a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI engine that’s turbocharged to 330 horsepower. Acceleration looks like 4.5 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standstill, while top speed is rated at roughly 150 mph. Interestingly, that’s quite a bit slower than the road-going RS3, which uses a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine to make 400 horsepower and hit 62 mph in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 174 mph.
But don’t worry – this thing will still melt your face in the corners, and as such, it needs to be safe. That means it’s got an FIA-spec fuel tank, safety cell, PS3 safety seat, FIA-approved window nets, and a rescue hatch in the roof.
Continue reading for the full story.
Audi Incorporating Formula E Into a Factory-Backed Program for 2017-2018 Season
Formula E is starting to take off in popularity rankings. Sure, electric cars don’t exactly have the soul you find in cars internal combustion engines, but it’s still downright invigorating to watch. If you still don’t believe that Formula E will be around for long, Audi Sport’s next move should put any reluctance in your heart to rest. Audi Sport has had a relationship with Formula E team ABT Schaeffler since the 2014-2015 season, offering up a factory driver and its infrastructure in Neuburg. For the 2016 – 2017 season the relations ship between ABT and Audi Sport will strengthen even more as Audi Sport will be providing financial and technical support. In turn, Audi Sport gets to display the four rings on the sides and rear winds of the ABT Schaeffler FE02 effective immediately.
That’s not all, though, along with this announcement, Audi has announced that it is planning to incorporate Formula E into a factory-backed motorsport program for the 2017-2018 season. This should come as no surprise as electric mobility is a key factor in Audi’s future plans, with its first all-electric vehicle to come in the form of an SUV in 2018. Obviously, there’s no better place to root your electrification plans than Formula E racing.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, the Head of Audi Motorsport, said, “Audi has consistently been using motorsport to test and develop new technologies further for subsequent use in production. With Quattro drive, we revolutionised rally racing and subsequently set standards in circuit racing as well. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi was the first manufacturer to have achieved victories with a TFSI engine, a TDI, and a hybrid race car, so writing motorsport history on several occasions. Now we intend to repeat this in fully electric racing. Formula E with its races being held in the hearts of major cities is an ideal stage for this purpose and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport a logical partner for us.”
Keep reading for the rest of the story.
2016 IMSA Northeast Grand Prix - Race Report
Lime Rock Park in Connecticut was again the host of the Northeast Grand Prix which gathered three of the four IMSA Weathertech Sportscar classes within the premises of the 1.4-mile circuit, and saw Corvette Racing reach some incredible milestones. Under scorching heat, the intense traffic made for contact aplenty, with prototypes and GTs scraping on a track that lacks the endless asphalt run-offs of modern “Tilkedromes” – and thank God it does!
The quickest overall lap time of the qualifying session was set by CORE Autosport’s Colin Braun, the No. 54 ORECA lapping Lime Rock in just 48:824 seconds, a slim margin of 0.016 seconds separating Braun’s time from Robert Alon’s best effort, the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsport car starting second. Kyle Marcelli was third quickest, a tenth off pole, sharing row two of Saturday’s grid with the No. 7 Starworks Motorsport entry. Peter Baron’s other car was at the bottom end of the top five, but had high hopes for race day as van der Zande and Popow had won two of the previous three rounds.
BMW’s Dirk Werner battled for pole with Ford’s Richard Westbrook, the latter sneaking through to post the quickest lap time and take the pole. The Briton’s 50:748 was less than a tenth quicker than the best that Werner could do. The second row of the GT-LM grid was in the 50-second bracket as well, with Tommy Milner starting from third alongside Toni Vilander. Dirk Mueller qualified sixth, two tenths back from Magnussen on seventh. Porsche was again at the back of the pack, the two 991 GTEs starting eight and tenth, although this time the gap from first to last was well under a second.
Change Racing’s Spencer Pumpelly stormed to pole thanks to a blistering 53:148, just 0.030 seconds quicker than Andrew Davis who locked a front-row position in the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsport Audi. The sister Stevenson Audi was third while Alessandro Balzan was fourth in the championship-leading Scuderia Corsa car.
Audi To Host 24 Hours Of Le Forza Online Endurance Race
The Le Mans 24 Hours will be the talk of the motor racing world as the 86th instalment of the iconic endurance race kicks off this weekend in France. But a continent away in the U.S., a different kind of endurance race will also take place, one that will be hosted by Audi of America in partnership with Forza MotorSport 6. The event will take place in San Francisco and it has been billed as a 24-hour virtual race featuring 12 teams of professional gamers and the finalists from Audi’s own 24 Hours of Le Forza Contest.
While it may not have the same authenticity as actually competing in Le Mans, the Audi 24 Hours of Le Forza will pit these teams against one another in a 24-hour online endurance race on Forza 6. Contestants will even be dressed in full racing suits and helmets, and will drive near-replicas of the real race cars with the same shifts and similar weather conditions as what is expected in Le Mans.
The online endurance race will be live-streamed on Twitch, the social media platform that has become the go-to app for live streaming online gaming events.
The team who ends up winning the Audi 24 Hours of Le Forza will get more than just bragging rights for their accomplishment. A trip to Sonoma, California awaits every member of the team where they will get the chance to participate in a real-world Audi sports car experience. The second- and third- place teams will also receive awards, with the runner ups getting a trip to Austin, Texas to attend the 2016 Lone Star Le Mans race and the third-place group all receiving an Xbox One and a copy of Forza 6.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Audi Takes Win At Spa-Francorchamps In WEC
The second round of the 2016 WEC season was held over the weekend, playing out on the fast, twisting elevation changes of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The 6-hour endurance race saw carnage across the field, with numerous technical problems plaguing each of the hybrid LMP1 competitors, only a third of which managed to finish. In the end, it was the No. 8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro driven by Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, and Oliver Jarvis that clinched the win, handing the Four Rings its 106th LMP victory since the 2000 season.
However, the road to victory wasn’t exactly smooth, as each of the top three manufacturers swapped the lead position throughout the race. First in front was Porsche, headed by the No. 1 919 Hybrid driven by defending World Champions Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley, and Timo Bernhard. Unfortunately, multiple tire punctures and gearbox issues ended up sidelining the No. 1 Porsche for the majority of the race, while the No. 2 car experienced issues with its hybrid system, resulting in a loss of power.
Toyota took advantage of Porsche’s problems, with the No. 5 TS050 sliding its way to the front, holding the position for much of the race. However, engine issues eventually forced the No. 5 Toyota to run solely on electric power, while the No. 6 Toyota was forced to retire outright, also due to engine problems.
That handed Audi the lead, but the R18s had problems of their own. The No. 7 car was the hardest hit of the two, falling out of the running after damaging its underfloor on a curb, subsequently pitting for repairs that cost nearly 15 minutes. Overheating issues and a drive-through penalty later compounded the lengthy stop.
Comparatively speaking, the No. 8 car got away clean, finishing two laps ahead at the checkered despite requiring a new rear deck during the race’s singular safety car period.
Continue reading for the full story.
Audi Loses Silverstone Pole Position; Plans To Appeal FIA Decision
The first race of the 2016 FIA WEC season kicked off this weekend with 6 Hours of Silverstone. Two free practice sessions were held on Friday, April 15th, and qualifying took place on April 16th. At first, it looked like Audi was starting the 2016 season out very well, despite some questionable track conditions during the qualifying rounds. The No. 7 car, driven by Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, and Benoit Treluyer, posted the fastest qualifying time with 1m 53.204s. The No. 7 car, driven by Di Grassi, Duval, and Jarvis came in at a close second, posting a time of 1m 53.308s.
After posting the best qualifying times in the pack, both Audi R18s were more than prepared for Sunday’s race. The No. 8 car, however, was only able to complete 69 laps – earning it a position at the bottom of the list. The No. 7 car came out on top, completing 194 laps in 6:01’06.963 and securing Team Joest’s first win of the season – or so everyone thought. If you look at the results of the race here, you’ll see that the No. 7 car is actually in the very bottom spot. So, what happened?
As it turns out, the results of the season opener remain provisional at this time, but for good reason. The Technical Delegate inspected the No. 7 car and found that the thickness of the front skid block doesn’t comply with current standards – according to article 3.5.6 a3 of the LMP1 Technical Regulations manual. As such, the No. 7 car, who was initially in first place, has been excluded. Team Joest has appealed the decision, so if the appeal is approved, the No. 7 car will find itself at the top again, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. If the appeal is denied, the first win of the season will go to Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Mark Lieb, who drove a Porsche 919 Hybrid and completed 194 laps in 6:01’53.028.
Continue reading to learn more about the story.
2016 Audi R18
Until the 1980s, Audi wasn’t an important name in motorsport, with its most successful race cars having been built in the 1930s when the brand was part of Auto Union. Things changed dramatically when the Quattro was introduced in 1980, spawning models that went on to dominate the rally scene and the Pikes Peak hill climb. After laying low in the 1990s, Ingolstadt decided to tackle prototype racing and created a series of vehicles that went on to dominate the competition, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its most important racer, the R18, hit the motorsport scene in 2011 and went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row before being defeated by the Porsche 919 Hybrid in 2015. For 2016, Audi has redesigned the R18 from the ground up.
Launched at the Audi Sport Finale at the Audi Training Center in Munich, the R18 is a significant departure from its predecessor. The LMP1 prototype features not only new aerodynamics, but a modified hybrid system and an optimized TDI engine as well.
“With our new Audi R18, we’re setting a clear signal: Audi continues to put the pedal to the metal in motorsport, deliberately relying on TDI – the world’s most successful automotive efficiency technology – at Le Mans,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport.
Long story short, the TDI powertrain has become more powerful while requiring less fuel. For 2016, Audi is switching to a higher hybrid energy class, so to compensate for the need to process even more energy, the hybrid system now relies on a lithium-ion accumulator as opposed to the flywheel energy storage system that was used from 2012 to 2015 and has redesigned the cars motor generator unit. So, with that said, let’s dive on in and look at what is going on with the 2016 Audi R18.
Updated 03/22/2016: Audi dropped the final specifications figures on its brand new R18 race car that will race in competitions like FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Audi R18.
After first entering the GT3 fray with the R8 LMS in 2009 and following it up with the slightly improved R8 LMS Plus a few years later, Audi is recommitting to its GT3 customer-racing program with the all-new 2016 R8 LMS. Based on the redesigned 2016 R8 road car, this thing looks positively ferocious.
Though GT3 cars are intended to be factory-supported customer race cars, and are for the most part, the class has become the stage for a global proxy battle between an unprecedented number of major manufacturers. BMW, Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, Mercedes-AMG, Lexus, Porsche, Lamborghini, Nissan and McLaren are all major players, and most either recently introduced new GT3 cars or have new ones on the way.
Despite all that competition, the first-generation R8 LMS excelled in the class, collecting 26 GT3 Championship wins and 23 titles in other international classes. It won seven 24-hour races, including two wins in the torturous Nürburgring 24. With 130 cars sold to customer teams worldwide, it’s arguably the most successful and popular GT3 car in the world. So, the new one has a lot to live up to.
And we won’t have to wait long to see if it will. Entries during the 2015 season have already been confirmed for the Nürburgring 24 in May and the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in July, with more likely to come. We can also expect to see it racing on our shores, possibly in the Pirelli World Challenge series and in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship after the GTD class fully embraces the FIA’s global GT3 specifications in 2016.
Updated 09/09/2015: The new Audi R8 LMS can now be ordered by customers, and the first deliveries will be made by the end of the year. Audi’s GT3 sports car is priced at 359,000 euros (plus VAT) - $400,000 at the current exchange rates, with a starter and parts package increasing the total price up to 398,000 euros (plus VAT) - $444,000 at the current exchange rates.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Audi R8 LMS.
Audi’s latest GT3 race car might be a mere 10 weeks old, but it’s already bringing top-podium finishes. The recent 24-hour-long battle at the ‘Ring saw major German automakers like Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes vie for the checkered in a nail-biter where the lead swapped hands a total of 35 times, a new record for the 45-year-old event. But in the end, it was the #28 R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team WRT that took top honors.
Piloting the racer was Christopher Mies, Nico Muller, Edward Sandstrom, and Laurens Vanthoor. Taking second was the #25 BMW Z4 GT3, which completed the race 40 seconds behind the Audi, with the #44 Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R coming in third one lap down. The pole-sitting #26 Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 and #5 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 rounded out the top five finishes.
“This was a weekend of thrilling racing, as well as an intense and nerve-wracking one,” said Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Sincere congratulations to our winners who never lost their cool even in the face of some minor irregularities, and held up to the pressure.”
As the race wore into its second and third hours, rain began to fall, followed by heavier showers at the five-hour mark. Over 30 cars were forced to retire, falling victim to mechanical issues, on-track collisions and adverse conditions, but the #28 R8 persevered, even overcoming a flash fire in the pits during a refuel with just four hours left on the clock.
“The whole squad of Audi Sport customer racing is happy to see the new R8 LMS instantly delivering on our promise of it being a competitive, attractive and reliable race car our customers can look forward to starting this fall,” said Liebchen.
Continue reading for the full story.
It’s been less than two months since the second-generation Audi R8 LMS debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and the German race car has already scored its first victory. The R8 LMS triumphed in the VLN endurance race that took place this weekend at the Nurburgring, after Christopher Mies and Nico Mulled drove the No. 10 Audi Sport Team WRT to a clear victory in the LMS’ third race. Mies and Muller were followed across the finish line by teammates Pierre Kaffer and Laurens Vanthoor, who also gave the R8 LMS’ first double this season.
Mies and Muller initially took the lead after 10 laps and battled with a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to stay on top. The duo began to increase its lead from lap 18 onward and completed the four-hour race with a 1:27-minute advantage over the second-placed R8 LMS. It was Audi Sport Team WRT’s first victory on the Nurburgring-Nordschleife.
"The new Audi R8 LMS was easy to drive in both wet and dry conditions. We have also made progress on the suspension setup. This was the key to victory today," said Christopher Mies at the end of the race.
While Mies was "absolutely delighted" with the car, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, Romolo Liebchen, was rather cautious, stating the R8 LMS still needs honing before the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. "This was a test race. We discovered several things on which we must work to be perfectly prepared for the 24-hour race, because we can expect strong competition," he added.
Continue reading to learn more about Audi’s latest victory.
One look at this outlandish wagon is all you need to realize its owner is not normal. The exterior bristles with carbon fiber, asserting itself with jet-fighter-like aerodynamics, while the extended wheel arches hug enormous wheels over a lowered-stance that suggests a very firm suspension. Hidden by the stickered bodywork is a turbocharged powerplant pumping out close to 1,000 horsepower. But despite all these sacrifices to the deities of speed and performance, the owner claims this RS6 is a daily driver, perfect for a run to the ski slopes.
That’s because the owner is blogger, product designer, pro skier and certified car nut Jon Olsson. Olsson has done some pretty outlandish stuff when it comes to automobiles, with notable acts of insanity including the modification of a Lamborghini Gallardo LP540 for snow shuttle duty and the sliding of the Ultima GTR-based Rebellion R2K up a powder-packed mountain.
With a history like his, it should come as no surprise that Olsson is a fan of high-performance, AWD Audis. “I have always loved the crazy wide body style of the DTM cars and its been a dream to build a similar car for the road, but I also need a car that has enough space to carry all my ski gear to the slopes, so the decision was made to see what we could do with an Audi RS6,” Olsson states in his blog.
The result is a unique example of what the best tuners in the world are capable of when given permission ( and the budget) to break free from convention.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Audi RS6 DTM By Jon Olsson.