Audi announced today its plans on entering the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 12-13 and they will be competing with an evolution of the R15 TDI diesel race sports car.
To keep it in line and make it a little bit more competitive, Audi tweaked the R15 TDI’s body shape in addition to giving it a modified cooling and fuel tank system. The V10 TDI engine gets smaller air restrictors yet still delivers a staggering 590 horsepower.
According to Dr. Wolgang Ullrich, head of Audi’s Motorsport division, Audi is more inclined to participate in Le Mans - compared to F1 - because the technologies behind making a competitive race car in this racing category is relevant to what they research on in Formula One.
"At Le Mans, efficiency is of paramount importance – and today, more than ever before, it is a key deliverable of production vehicles as well and it is one of Audi’s special strengths, " he said.
Updated 04/06/2010: Audi unveiled today new details on the R15 TDi race car that will compete at this year’s 24-hour race at Le Mans. The car features a new radical design that features more red. In addition, large areas of the Le Mans race sports car that is internally designated as "R15 plus" will be kept in a purist black carbon-fiber look. The Audi R15 TDI sporting its new design will make its debut at the Le Castellet 8 Hours on April 11.
Press release after the jump.
Audi loves its oil burner racers and for a good reason. The diesel powered R10 car has given Audi three consecutive wins at Le Mans. Now we’re starting to get information on the R10 replacement, the R15.
Audi didn’t just lobb off a few cylinders from its passenger cars, but also from its racers. The R10 used a turbo V12, and the R15 has a turbo V10 that makes "more than 600 hp." Audi says the real benefit of the engine is that its more compact and lighter than its predecessor.
We could bore you with all the aerodynamic details, and all the small tweaks the super-brain engineers over at Audi used to make the R15 a competitor, but it’s a lot to digest. We’ll wait and see how the car competes at Sebring on March 21 and Le Mans in June before we get all tech heavy on this car. Those who want to know all the details now can read the press release after the jump.