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 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.
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.
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.
If someone asked me to name Audi’s most successful race cars 20 years ago, my answer would’ve been simple: the Auto Unions of the 1930s and the Quattro rally car. Come 2015 and things are a bit more complicated, as Audi has become a dominant force in the endurance racing scene since 1999. It all started with the R8R and the R8 LMP, before Audi switched to diesel power with the R10 TDI and the R15 TDI. In 2011, the Germans introduced the R18, also motivated by a turbodiesel engine, but this time around paired to an electric motor. The R18 alone won 15 major endurance events in 2014,including four 24 Hours of Le Mans races, taking Audi’s Le Mans tally to 13 and making it the second-most successful manufacturer after Porsche. With the 2015 World Endurance Championship right around the corner, Audi is launching a revised version of the R18 that aims to take the nameplate’s success to a new level.
As with each revision, the R18 received a reworked body with improved aerodynamics, a more powerful hybrid drivetrain, a less thirsty diesel powerplant, and new technology inside and out. The 2015 R18’s official track debut is set for April 12th at the 6 Hours of Silverstone race, but, until then, let’s have a closer look at what Audi had to share about its latest endurance track car.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro.
The Audi TT’s history with motorsport began in 2000, two years after the first-generation coupe was introduced. The TT debuted in Germany’s DTM series (German Touring Car Championship) and spent no less than four years fighting against race-spec versions of the Mercedes-Benz CLK and the Opel Astra. The Audi TT met success for the first and only time in 2002, when Laurent Aiello clinched the driver’s championship. Audi, however, failed to win the constructor’s championship that year. During its lifetime, the TT was also raced in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge and the SCCA World Challenge race series. As we venture into the 2015 model year, Audi is launching yet another race program for the TT, this time in the form of a single-make series.
The new sport will run alongside the DTM championship starting 2015, with all competitors to drive the new Audi Sport TT Cup. The latter is essentially a beefed-up TT coupe boasting an aerodynamic body kit similar to the R8 LMS Ultra’s and a race-spec interior. The drivertrain, on the other hand, is sourced from the road-going TTS model in an attempt to reduce development and building costs. Read on for the full details on Audi’s brand-new, entry-level race car.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport TT Cup.
As with most iterations of the Audi R18 race car, this year’s e-tron quattro machine has just received a number of updates ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The endurance event is scheduled to take place in mid-June in France.
Unlike the version used throughout the 2014 World Endurance Championship, the Le Mans racer’s body has been optimized for minimal aerodynamic drag, an essential property on Circuit de la Sarthe — an unusual track that consists of several long straights and high-speed turns.
The Le Mans body might not differ much at a first glance, but a closer look reveals the Germans have altered the fenders, which now have opening on the inside instead of at the top, and elongated the body at the rear, with the wing no longer hanging above the diffuser. Lastly, the exhaust configuration has also been changed and the tail pipes are now located above the diffuser, instead of exiting to the right and left of the huge central fin.
Through these updates, the R18 e-tron quattro will be capable of higher speeds, and aim for faster laps and average race speed. Last year, factory driver Andre Lotterer achieved an average speed of 150.37 mph on his fastest lap.
Audi will field three teams in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race with the goal of winning its fifth consecutive even and the 12th title since 2000.
The powertrain of the R18 e-tron quattro in Le Mans configuration remains unchanged, with a revised, V-6, diesel engine motivating the rear wheels and with an e-tron quattro hybrid system spinning the front axle.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans.
The inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship is set to open its season this weekend at Montalegre, Portugal, and just ahead of the start of this new series, one team has already dropped teasers on the car it plans to use for the year. EKS is competing in the World RX Championship and its got a driver in Mattias who has won just about everything he’s competed in. More importantly, Ekström and EKS are preparing a hellacious race car in the name of the EKS Audi S1 Supercar.
The car itself is based on the Audi S1, except that this one has been modified and customized for the sole purpose of turning it into a powerful race car. Preparations to turn the EKS S1 Supercar into a full-fledged racer are already underway, and the early returns are nothing short of incredible. One of the details that has been divulged about the S1 is its powertrain, which comes in the form of a 2.0-liter turbo four with 600 horsepower, all-wheel drive and a 0-to-60-mph time of 1.9 seconds.
Ekström will be debuting the S1 Supercar in time for the World RX stage of Great Britain, the second race of the World RX season. The Swedish driver is going to compete against an impressive lineup of drivers that include Tanner Foust, Ken Block, and Jacques Villeneuve. But with a car like the EKS S1 Supercar at his disposal, we’re confident that Ekström and EKS will field a competitive team in the first season of the World RX Championship.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S1 Supercar By EKS.
The competitiveness of the Audi R8 LMS ultra in GT world championships lends itself to the widely known belief that the car is as good a racer you can get. That competitiveness is expected to continue in the 2014 season, specifically at the Nurburgring 24 Hours where as many as eight R8 LMS ultra cars are tipped to compete.
Ahead of the actual 24-hour race this coming June, the R8 LMS ultra was put through the paces over the weekend in qualification for the endurance race. While it failed to upend the BMW Z4’s dominance, don’t expect for one second that the R8 LMS ultra won’t be a contender when the real race at the "Green Hell" commences this coming June.
All in all, five teams will be fielding the R8 LMS ultra at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, with some notable drivers in the mix, including Le Mans winners Frank Biela, Marcel Fässler, Stéphane Ortelli, and Marco Werner. These four drivers have accounted for 11 wins at the ’Ring, and will be complemented by former GT1 World Champions Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock, defending FIA GT Champion Laurens Vanthoo, and three-time Porsche Supercup Champion René Rast.
That’s as good a lineup to drive the R8 LMS ultra at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. It’s going to face some stiff challenges, especially with the BMW Z4 and the defending-champion Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in the fold. But don’t expect the R8 LMS ultra to just sit idle and let the rest get the spoils. The racer is tipped and ready to make some waves when the endurance race kicks off this coming June.
Click past the jump to read more about Audi R8 LMS ultra.
This year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is finally just around the corner after being canceled because of the Waldo Canyon wildfire in Colorado Springs. With the race taking place in the next week - August 12th to be exact - Audi is now announcing their presence at the climb with a teaser image of their competition vehicle, the RS5.
All we have for now is this teaser image revealed by Audi on their Facebook page, but details surrounding the racer should be revealed next week when it begins its ascent. Audi previously announced that Walter Rohl would return to Pikes Peak as the driver of the the original Sport Quattro S1 he raced to victory a quarter of a century ago. They even released a video of the car’s preparations, meaning Audi could have two vehicles competing.
More details on this Audi RS5 Pikes Peak will be unveiled next week, so stay tuned!
UPDATE 08/10/2012: After delivering the first teaser image the other day, Audi has now unveiled the first official images of the RS5 which will climb Pikes Peak next week. These images also come with the announcement that Audi will team up with Ducati at Pikes Peak to celebrate their common heritage at this iconic mountain.
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.
Audi’s auto racing influence is felt in a number of racing series all over the world. And while they don’t count themselves as part of the Formula One grid, the German automaker’s presence in the touring car series is unmistakable.
For the 2012 season, Audi is bringing a pretty snazzy race-tuned sports car to Italy’s version of touring car racing, called the Superstars Series. Similar to the UK’s British Touring Car Championship, the Superstars Series is made up of a grid that features a plethora of automakers, Audi being one of them.
Looking to return to past glory that saw them cop the 2007 Driver’s title and the 2008 Drivers and Constructors titles, Audi will be bringing a race-tuned model of the Audi RS5 back to the series. This model has been carefully fitted with an aggressive aerodynamic body - the intimidating grilles are a sight to behold - and a V8-powered engine that produces a mighty 450 horsepower.
All in all, three RS5 models will comprise the 2012 Superstars Series grid, including one from German tuner MTM, one from Audi Sport Italia, and one from Swedish team KMS.
The early 1980s saw the introduction of a more economical Audi model for the masses. Its Type 81/85 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1980 and displayed a complementary shape to its more expensive sibling, the Quattro. Audi continued to produce the 80 series cars until 1988 with nearly 8,000 being made. Audi’s design of a smaller and more affordable car had also spawned to a new genre of racing. The company had a factory team that was owned by Peter Seikel. He recently had an Audi 80 GT in the United States and one lucky builder was able to get a closer look.
The Audi 80 GT was never officially produced and sold by the company, but did race in the European Touring Car Series. Peter’s car is in great condition and that allowed for measurements and information to be gathered from it in great detail. The car to be restored was another GT that was originally owned by Peter Aschenbrenner, who had raced it in IMSA and Trans Am events. Since its glory days the car had been sitting in disrepair just waiting for someone to show it a little love.
More details on the Audi 80 GT after the jump.