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 OT: Audi R18

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ChernaudiKStewfan
Kristen's Ninja


Posts : 30
Join date : 2010-12-07
Age : 30
Location : Mansfield, Ohio, USA

PostSubject: OT: Audi R18   Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:20 pm

I know that I'm new here, but if anyone's visited my profile, you'll know that I'm a guy and that I'm interested in cars and auto racing. So I know that I'll be a bit of an outcast for posting this.

However, I feel that it's important because it involves a form of auto racing that has real relevance to road going cars and, to an lesser extent, the enviroment.

Tomorrow, the Audi R18 Le Mans racing car will be unveiled to the public. Very little is known about it, with the fact that is has a closed cockpit (previous Audi racing cars, namely the R8, R10 and R15) were open cockpit cars, making this a notable departure from the past. Also, its believed to have, like the R10 and R15, a diesel engine powering it. I know that in the US, mostly due to GM's faulty diesel passenger car engines that diesel's credibility took a hit as far as being used for anything aside from powering large pick up trucks and tractor trailers.

However, in Europe, over 50% of cars are diesel powered. And the Audi R10 TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection, the name that Audi and Volkswagen Group use to market their diesel technology) was the first racing car to win a professional motor race (the 12 Hours of Sebring) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, both in 2006. And in June of 2010, the Audi R15 TDI won Audi's 9th 24 Hours of Le Mans win, and in doing so, shattered the long standing distance and average speed records for the event set in 1971, and the recalibrated record looks set to stand for years to come.

However, there's a slight chance that the new Audi racer may be powered by a turbocharged gasoline direct injected engine using Audi's FSI direct fuel injection technology, which itself owes much to the older TDI pump injector system. Audi used this first in late 2000 on the R8, and Audi won Le Mans with the technology every year from 2001 (it's racing debut) until the diesel powered R10 took over in 2006, including Bentley's Le Mans win in 2003.

As for road car relevance, Audi is about the only company to widely market diesel engines in the US, fostered by the R10's and R15's racing successes. The Audi A3 TDI hatchback was named World Green Car of the Year in 2010, and the A3 as a result has had a major sales resurgance, and has lead to Audi of America having problems keeping up with demand for the Q7 SUV since the TDI diesel engine offering came on line in 2009.

Granted, Audi won't race the R18 extensively in the US next year in the American Le Mans Series, as sponsorship issues have mothballed those plans (and Audi wanted to run an updated R15 in most ALMS races, saving the R18 for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup rounds, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans). I wouldn't rule out the R18 coming to America full time in 2012 if financial issues can be resolved, as Audi desires to run in the ALMS with the R18.

Additionally, the R18 might also spawn a hybrid variant for 2012 as well when regulations get sorted out for those cars, as Audi is starting to launch hybrid cars as well.

Audi generally participates in racing series where advanced technology is a highlight, as opposed to simple enterainment. NASCAR, for example, has had ratings declines over the past few years due to some fans' perceptions of, among other thins, such as NASCAR management, the need to re-introduce production relevance into the cars.

I know that this topic probably won't draw a lot of interest here, but I do think that a discussion about what people look for in cars and how racing can benefit the breed is interesting. And I'll know more about the car come tomorrow when it's launched.

And one more, slightly Kristen topic-ish point. No paps here for sure, as no spy photos have surfaced in spite of the car testing, unlike Peugeot, who go papped out a couple of months ago testing their 908 successor, the 90X.

I hope that some here may take an interest. If not, well, this is a Kristen Stewart forum, and there's plenty for me to talk about Smile

EDIT: Here's the Audi press release on the R18, and it indeed features many unique details, such as a V6 TDI diesel engine which supposidly has its turbocharges mounted within the cylinder banks, a closed cockpit, right hand drive (a first for a non-Bentley Le Mans project for Audi Sport) and all-LED headlights. Audi Sport PR and photos:

http://www.fourtitude.com/news/publish/Motorsport_News/article_6474.shtml
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