While details of Toyota’s all-new LMP1 car for 2016 have surfaced, Audi has remained quiet on the details of its next-generation model, although confirming its commitment to next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship.
The German manufacturer, which stepped up from the 2 to 4 MJ hybrid subclass this year with its updated R18 e-tron quattro, is targeting further gains, with rumors of a switch from a flywheel to battery storage-based system.
“We are in development of next year’s car for sure,” Head of Audi LMP1 Chris Reinke told Sportscar365. “It’s always a long-term thing. Our timeframes are much longer and we’re on long-term cycle plans and so on.
“When it comes to certain technologies, with at least one competitor confirming quite a lot of next year’s car, we’re not up to that.
“We’re still evaluating different technologies. At the end, we’ll stay with the tradition of not confirming the final package until the end of the year.”
Reinke said the basic parameters of the 2016 car have already been decided, but they still have a few duel scenarios that are being evaluated.
“At the moment we see increased competition here. We see a very tight field,” he said.
“We don’t have the privilege to ignore technology that might be of other performance, but at the same time, for Audi, it will always be as a priority one to have a relevant performance.
“If you throw those things into the basket, that’s somewhere where Audi will grow out of it.”
While it’s expected Audi will continue with a diesel powerplant, Reinke admitted their desire to move up to the 6 or 8 MJ hybrid subclass for 2016.
“Talk to any of the drivers and ask if them if they would like to have more power for next year and you get a clear answer,” Reinke said. “It has to be a goal for sure.”
Reinke is also in favor of extending the existing LMP1 regulations beyond next year instead of starting over with the FIA’s proposed set of new rules for 2017.
“At the moment, we have a set of regulations that work very well,” he said. “We have great competition here and a growing championship.
“On the other side, we’re also sensible regarding costs. We have to discuss if we [can] extend the period of technical regulations.
“We would like to discuss it if it would make sense for more than just us.”