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Audi Unveils World Endurance Championship Racer

By Paul Pajarillo , Nov 29, 2015 11:40 PM EST
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Audi has unveiled their 2016 LMP1 R18 World Endurance Championship Racing Car. The car will be going head-to-head with Porsche's 919 Hybrid at the Silverstone Circuit for WEC 2016 in April.

The 2015 World Endurance Championship finished with Porsche winning the Constructor's Championship event with the 919 Hybrid. Drivers of the car namely Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernard have won their Driver's Championship titles with the help of the 919.

Meanwhile, Audi's drivers were only five points behind from winning against Porsche. This lead to the carmaker's determination to climb back to the winning circle and has already made its race car for the 2016 World Endurance Championships public.

The new racing car will be competing at WEC's premier LMP1 hybrid class. Though the car is still categorized as an R18, it will be significantly modified and enhanced in comparison to last season's race car.

Audi assured that the 2016 R18 will be the most efficient and powerful race car the company has ever designed. Car modifications include new aerodynamics, next-generation lightweight materials, and enhanced hybrid systems. Specifically, the hybrid system will now be using lithium-ion battery packs for energy storage recaptured from the car's engine instead of a flywheel-based scheme. The car will also be powered by a 4.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine.

Audi confirms that its fellow Volkswagen Group brand Porsche will make an entry of two cars in round three for the Le Mans 24-Hour endurance race. With the new R18, the company is setting a clear signal to its WEC competitors. The German carmaker is putting the pedal to the metal in the motorsport industry relying on turbocharged direct injection diesel engines.

The 2016 R18's full specifications will most likely be unveiled before next year's prologue pre-season tests. The tests will take place on April 17 at the Silverstone Circuit in Towcester, Northamptonshire.

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