Exciting news surrounds the world of motorsport this week. Not only is the final F1 test underway in Barcelona before the beginning of the highly anticipated new season on March 18th, but Audi, yesterday, announced that they will run a four strong team at this year’s intense 24 Hours of Le Mans. The exciting news about this, however, is that Audi have paired themselves with a historic and iconic name – yes, that’s right, the “Quattro” is back!
The Audi Quattro was a legendary competitor in the 1980s World Rally Championships. It won two championship titles and a total of 23 rallies. It was an icon and a legend and it re-wrote the rule book for the world of rallying. The Quattro was also a popular choice on the road thanks to Audi’s reasonable prices and exciting performance statistics. It was also relatively easy to arrange motor insurance during a time when costs were simply cheaper!
Le Mans Tech
The new Le Mans Quattro will be, understandably, different. For a start the cars will involve a lot of clever electronics as they will be hybrid endurance machines. The e-tron Quattro system will work by recovering energy generated by the front axle during braking. This energy is then transmitted into the flywheel accumulator and the energy is then released as electrical power to drive the front wheels when accelerating. This extra electronic power kicks in at 120km/h.
This is, therefore, a very technical and complex system and Audi have, like the original Quattro, created something no-one else has been able to yet. The technology does not exist in any production car and has never been tested in motorsport before. This is therefore an astonishing achievement by Audi Motorsport when considering that the project only began in February 2010 and they were able to test the first model just 18 months later. That’s some turnaround on such an innovative project!
In terms of raw power, the e-tron Quattro will have a 500bhp V6 TDi engine positioned directly behind the brave pilot in order to drive the rear wheels.
The e-tron Quattro will compete for the first time on May 5th in a six hour race at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. A fitting location for the newest addition to the legendary Quattro name.