All change for Audi's LMP1 R18 racer
One of the benefits of having a successful racing car for any of the top luxury brands is the extra publicity, which is usually converted into success in showrooms around the world. Mercedes is benefiting in this way and Audi is determined to be a winner in this year's World Endurance Championship.
The only carbon parts left in the R18 e-tron quattro from last year's challenge are the monocoque and the casing for the gearbox. The new car has evolved from last year's Le Mans 24 Hours victor, with the German luxury car manufacturer continuing to develop and tweak the design. According to LMP1 chief Christopher Reinke, the company has "dug deep into areas of development that showed potential". Mr Reinke added: "Every bit of carbon except for the monocoque and the gearbox casing is new. The structural spine of the car is the same, so it is an evolutionary step that builds on the potential that we saw last year. I honestly believe - and it is more than a hope - that we have addressed thoroughly the weaknesses of the car and therefore we will be much stronger generally."
The new car looks a lot different to the old model, with a new nose and a long tail at the back to satisfy new regulations. The car is currently running through a series of tests in readiness for the new season. In 2014 the car ran in the 2MJ class; however, Audi is planning to move up a class for 2015.