Audi is indeed a high-performance car manufacturer, but hold your horses here a minute. Just because you are a diesel truck guy and they are a car company, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing some truly incredible things in diesel powerplant engineering that you should know about.
The revolutionary Audi diesel hybrid Audi R-18 e-tron car uses a diesel V6 engine to send power the wheels in the rear of the car, and that’s a fairly traditional setup. However, it gets power to the front wheels through a set of electric motors. This combination helps deliver a much higher level of performance, while also offering much greater traction overall.
The 4.0-liter diesel V6 features a 640 horsepower (estimated) flywheel accumulator system designed by Williams Hybrid Power, and a 228 hp (estimated) electric motor driving the front wheels with water-cooled integrated power electronics, providing the Audi R-18 e-tron race car with four wheel drive.
As a matter of fact, this diesel hybrid combination works so well that it has victories in the three most recent 24 Hours of LeMans race. If you are not familiar with this event, it has long been considered the ultimate test of a car and its powertrain. So winning this long-distance endurance race three times in a row was a huge statement about the long-term viability of a diesel hybrid system.
If you have never seen this car in action, well then, watch the video above of racer Randy Pobst flogging this 30 million dollar world famous prototype car during a test drive. Would you jump in the seat if you had a chance? Let us know what you think in the Comments section below!