2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Gains New Livery, Engine Update

2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro 9 photos
Photo: Audi Motorsport
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Audi’s updated World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans fighter, the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro, has made its public debut in France, where it took to the streets of Le Mans with a fresh livery on its body.
Driven by multiple Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, the LMP1 race car began its short, six-mile (10-km) journey from the Saint-Julien du Mans cathedral in the city center and did a lap on the Circuit Bugatti before arriving at the iconic Le Mans track.

The R18’s new color scheme features four “symbolic” colors, according to Audi. The white asymmetrical pattern symbolizes the complexity of the vehicle’s powertrain, the silver “emphasizes the past success in racing”, while black stands for light-weight design. Finally, a unique shade of red was added to complete the livery.

"The reflective livery is particularly impressive at night and provides the spectators with an enhanced experience," explained Dirk van Braeckel, Audi’s design manager, motorsport and special projects. "Due to its longitudinal orientation the graphics express the speed that is so typical for Le Mans. Even the rims include a red segment. Due to the wheel rotation, it achieves a very dynamic effect."

Besides getting new looks, the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro also gained a new 4.0-liter V6 diesel engine. The mill replaces the 3.7-liter oil burner used last season. Additionally, the team revealed it has decided to compete in the class of up to two megajoules of recuperation energy at Le Mans.

"We opted for this concept following extensive testing," said Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich, head of Audi Motorsport. "In our opinion, it provides the optimum balance between efficient energy use, size, weight, energy conversion efficiency, responsiveness, drivability and a favorable operating strategy – combined with durability, which is the basic prerequisite for success at Le Mans."

The R18 e-tron quattro will join the official FIA WEC testing session at Le Castellet on March 28 and 29.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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