Audi has taken the wraps off its 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship contender, confirming a step up to the 6MJ hybrid subclass and a switch to battery technology for the next-generation diesel-powered LMP1 car.
The German prototype, which has been more than a year-and-a-half in development, was revealed Saturday during the Audi Sport Finale in Munich, featuring a dramatic new aero package at the front and in other areas.
It marks a significant departure from the 2015 car, which utilized a flywheel hybrid and ran in the 4MJ subclass, compared to Toyota and Porsche, which competed in the 6 and 8MJ classes, respectively.
The 2016-spec Audi, however, remains with the same four-liter V6 turbodiesel engine.
“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 Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
Two cars will again take part in the entire WEC season with an unchanged driver lineup, although Audi revealed that it, along with Porsche, will not enter third cars for the 24 Hours of Le Mans due to cost-cutting measures.
Further technical details of the car have yet to be revealed, although it will be testing at Sebring for the first time next month.