Audi has revealed that its new LMP1 race car, which will fight for honours in the Le Mans 24 Hours later this year, is to be known as the R18 e-tron quattro.
The car, a hybrid version of the successful R18, will debut at the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship in May before fighting for honours at Le Mans in June.
The R18 e-tron quattro features a system that stores energy under braking which is then transferred back to the circuit through the front wheels.
"Audi has always consciously selected championships and categories in racing that have a close relationship to production and therefore have technical relevance for the Audi customers,” Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, said. "quattro, TFSI and TDI are three excellent examples of how motorsport has stimulated production development. A similar tendency is apparent with the e-tron quattro: we test a completely new technology on the race track before it's introduced to the Audi production line.”
At Le Mans, Audi will field two of the new hybrid cars, with one being shared by Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer and one driven by Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.
Audi will also field two 2012-spec versions of the 'traditional' R18 – dubbed the R18 ultra. Loïc Duval, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas share one car, with Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis and Mike Rockenfeller in the second.