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If you had any doubts that the words “diesel,” “hybrid,” and “awesome” could be used in the same sentence, take a look at the latest prototype race car from Audi.
The R18 e-tron quattro is the world’s first all-wheel-drive diesel hybrid endurance racer, and it is heading to LeMans this June.
Using electric motors attached to the front wheels, the winged and finned car recovers energy under braking and stores it in a flywheel accumulator. At speeds above 75 mph it sends the power back to the front wheels to assist the 510 hp turbocharged V6 diesel engine connected to the rear wheels, providing increased acceleration and fuel economy.
The defending champ will enter two of the cars in the 24 hour classic alongside a pair of its “conventional” diesel-powered R18 ultras, where they will face off against a gasoline-hybrid car fielded by Toyota. Audi diesels have won five of the last six LeMans titles.
The R18 e-tron quattro is scheduled to make its competition debut on May 5th at the Spa-Francorchamps 6 hour race in Belgium.