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Motorsport and Production
Rotating mass storage device
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Editorial by Michael Dick Return of quattro Audi R8 e-tron and R18 e-tron quattro The quattro story Hybrid concept Interview with Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich Allan McNish on the Audi R18 e-tron quattro VTG technology ultra lightweight technology The ten Le Mans victories Hybrid technology in production Audi A1 e-tron test drive Digital rear-view mirror Technology transfer Masthead
Michael Dick There are concrete connections between the modern sports prototypes and production.
to build on “Vorsprung durch Technik” as the genetic core of our brand. Therefore, our employees are intensively working on tomorrow’s complex challenges each and every day. We also bank on motorsport in our eﬀorts of developing optimal products for our customers. Audi Sport has been integrated into AUDI AG’s Technical Development for more than 30 years. Today, both sides of the house beneﬁt from each other’s ﬁndings. The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro and its sister model, the Audi R18 ultra, embody the future like no other race cars. The e-tron quattro is the ﬁrst diesel hybrid sports car in history. And ultra lightweight technology has been pursued in both models more rigorously than in the past. Numerous technical solutions, methods, and materials as well, deliver concrete beneﬁts to the production side of the house. Our new rear-view mirror featuring AMOLED technology is a ﬁtting example of technology transfer. We were able to pass this development on to Audi Sport before possibly producing it later Michael Dick Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Technical Development Kindest regards With its youngest generation of LMP sports prototypes Audi is aiming to achieve its eleventh victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours and its ﬁrst title win in the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). After the ﬁrst World Rally Championship title with quattro all-wheel drive (1982), the ﬁrst victory of a TFSI engine at Le Mans (2001) and the ﬁrst TDI success (2006) this will give our brand the chance to go down in history yet again and to become the hybrid pioneer in motorsport.
he future in focus – at Audi, we like to take this literally for the development of our cars. Our aim is to continue
for road vehicles. At Le Mans, this mirror will help improve active safety for the drivers. So we are testing it in the most extreme conditions. In road traﬃc, such a mirror may be contributing to active safety in the future as well.
Four’s back on track
Return of the quattro Since 1980, Audi has been causing a sensation with quattro four-wheel drive – in production and in motorsport. A meeting of the first and the youngest quattro model from Audi Sport.
Like grandfather and grandson: The first Audi quattro (right) and the Audi R18 e-tron quattro (left)
Back then and today, Audi’s concepts in motorsport have relevance for production vehicles as well.
compared with each other in earnest. Yet they have more in common under the symbol of the four rings than meets the eye. Venturing into a new age – that is what the beginning of the all-wheel drive era rung in by Audi in motorsport in 1981 was. The legendary four-wheel drive guaranteed new, unrivaled traction on rally gravel tracks and the impressive and international name “quattro” (the Italian word for the number four) evolved into the symbol for highly advanced technology in modern highperformance sports cars. More than three million customers to date have opted for the version with four driven wheels when buying an Audi. quattro all-wheel
he picture almost looks like a joke. A high-on-the-road rally vehicle and a modern LMP sports car can hardly be
drive prevailed on rally tracks, won four world champion’s titles, conquered Pikes Peak in Colorado and then continued its winning streak in circuit racing – in the DTM and worldwide in many super touring car championships, among others – until it was banned from racing. At the end of 1997, a factory-fielded Audi A4 quattro did its final laps on a race track before the FIA prohibited all-wheel drive. The technology was too commanding, the rivals did not stand enough of a chance. In 2012, quattro all-wheel drive is returning to the world of racing, albeit only as a “parttime quattro” for the time being. Today, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro is as much a pioneer as the Audi quattro rally car was in its day. This year will see a diesel hybrid sports car with four driven wheels compete at Le Mans for the first time. While in 1980 permanent all-wheel drive was a special feature of production vehicles and a novelty in the rally car, e-tron quattro today stands for the road to the future. A V6 TDI power-plant with an output of more than 375 kW (510 hp) acts on the rear axle while the front axle is driven by electric power.
The complex system between the front wheels makes it possible to recover energy during braking events that is returned when the car accelerates. Up to two times 75 kilowatts of output, equating to 204 hp, is then sent to the front wheels for a short time. For comparison: The 2.1-liter five-cylinder turbo engine of the 1981 Audi quattro produced an overall output of just 237 kW, in other words 320 hp. And that made it the most powerful vehicle in its day. Both models purposefully pursue the path of technical innovation, both venture into unknown territory in their motorsport discipline, both stand for challenge in its purest form. When the depicted rally car with chassis number 85 AO 900011 was assembled in August 1981 there were many observers who harbored doubts about all-wheel drive being the best solution. Only a few years later, all renowned competitors switched to four driven wheels. Now the modern hybrid sports car wants to prove in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) that the electrification of the drive system with energy recuperation is a particularly innovative and efficient solution. Whereas both axles of the 1981 Audi quattro were still connected by a drive shaft Audi has made an immense effort to perfect the control strategies between the conventional rear-wheel drive of the R18 e-tron quattro and the electrified front axle. Back then and today, Audi’s concepts in motorsport have relevance for production vehicles as well. So, when the first Audi with e-tron quattro drive is ready for volume production one day customers can be proud of benefiting from technologies that were also tested in motorsport – in keeping with a cherished Audi tradition that spans more than the past three decades. ◆
Perfect quartet: The four drive shafts of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro symbolize quattro
Flashback: 31 years separate the first all-wheel drive rally model and the youngest sports prototype from Audi
Audi R8 e-tron and R18 e-tron quattro Two outstanding Audi projects prove how perfectly electrified drive systems and sportiness harmonize with each other.
The Audi R8 e-tron is a particularly fascinating project. As early as in 2012, the high-performance sports car will be the first all-electric Audi model to hit the road in a small series. It is produced at quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm which has a wealth of experience in making exclusive sports cars. At the same time, Audi is venturing into new territory in motorsport. Following the successful pioneering feats with quattro all-wheel drive in rally and circuit racing and the brand’s winning of the 2006 Le Mans 24 Hours with the first diesel sports car, the R10 TDI, the time has come for the next step. The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro is the first diesel hybrid sports car to run at the world’s most famous endurance race and at the same time marks the return of quattro allwheel drive to motor racing. As different as production and race sports cars are by nature, both stand for top performances in their respective categories. The R8 e-tron will deliver a maximum output of 230 kW (313 hp), allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 200 km/h. The model thus belongs to the top league of electric sports cars. Its structure is geared to the requirements of the new technology in every respect. The large liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery and power electronics are located right behind the passenger compartment.
in urban traffic or short ranges. In other words: sacrifice. With Audi, though, no consumer has to make any sacrifices, as a wide range of concepts for individual purposes are in the pipeline. Audi is preparing for a future in which customer demands will develop in very different ways with respect to electric vehicles. In addition to the specific aspects of the markets, the intended purpose of a vehicle will play a major role in this context. An all-electric passenger car will only be suitable for shorter distances up to about 200 kilometers for the mid-term future. A model with a range extender makes medium distances possible. Long distances of 500 kilometers and more will be the domain of hybrid drives, either as conventional or plug-in hybrid systems.
nto the future with electricity – all too long, this idea was associated with smallest vehicle concepts, slow-go with the flow
Optimization in the wind tunnel: Sophisticated aerodynamics support the R8 e-tron’s intelligent energy management and range
quattro GmbH produces the Audi R8 e-tron at the external facility of the Neckarsulm plant in HeilbronnBiberach
The 550-kilogram drive battery consists of numerous connected single cells with high energy density. It stores 53 kilowatt hours of energy of which 42.4 kilowatt hours are usable – enough for a range of about 250 kilometers according to the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC). Recharging of a completely depleted battery with 230-V current takes between six and eight hours, and around two and a half hours with power current. By means of recuperation the battery is also recharged on the road during braking and deceleration periods. The driver can select the desired degree of energy recovery using paddles in the steering wheel. Energy recovery – this is a connecting element between the Audi R8 e-tron and the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. Although the sports car is of a basically different construction to meet the requirements of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) the central idea of the electrified drive includes recuperation.
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The Audi R8 e-tron is Audi’s first model featuring an all-electric drive system and will be launched for the road in a smallvolume series.
The future of mobility will be shaped by different technologies and energy sources being used side by side for many more years to come.
Insights: A mechanic in the process of installing the MGU in the chassis of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro (above). A warning light indicates the operating condition of the electrical system (below)
Up to now, the high kinetic energy generated in braking events has been converted into thermal energy – and was thus lost. In the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, though, two drive shafts transmit the rotary motion of the front wheels to a motor-generator-unit (MGU). The system is programmed so that the kinetic energy that is generated when the driver brakes to enter a corner is converted into electric energy, like it would in the case of a dyno. This energy then drives a rotating mass storage device at a speed of up to 45,000 revolutions. The storage device may deliver a maximum of 0.5 megajoules of energy. Furthermore, the regulations
prescribe special zones on each race track in which energy may be used. After cornering, the storage device electrically provides its energy again to the MGU which drives the front wheels. The system can shortly supply up to 150 kW (204 PS) to the front wheels. By contrast, the rear axle of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro is driven by a very compact V6 TDI engine. It delivers over 375 kW (510 hp) although the regulations limit displacement to a mere 3.7 liters, prescribe an air restrictor and a maximum charge pressure of 2,800 millibar. The interlinking
Nomen est omen: The Audi R18 e-tron quattro is the first diesel hybrid sports car for Le Mans
of these two different types of drive systems for the front and rear axles of the R18 e-tron quattro is particularly complex and challenging in terms of electronics. Whether all-electric or as a hybrid – the R8 e-tron and the R18 e-tron quattro are equally fascinating, forward-thinking and brimming with high technology and innovative solutions. Yet they are not the only cars to point the way toward the future. In racing, Audi is simultaneously competing with the conventionally powered R18 ultra whereas in production various concepts exist in parallel. The future of mobility will be shaped by different technologies and energy sources being used side by side for many more years to come. With its hybrid and e-tron models, as well as with the TDI and TFSI engines plus the new fuels Audi is perfectly poised for the future. Customers will be able to choose from a wide range of drive technologies. Audi will offer the best solution to anyone anywhere. ◆
15 Purpose-designed cockpit: The Audi R18 e-tron quattro offers the driver plenty of controls to change settings
The quattro story 1980 was the year in which all-wheel quattro drive’s march of triumph began in motorsport and in production. There is hardly another technology that has made such a strong and lasting impact.
1984 plus Hannu Mikkola’s 1983 and Stig Blomqvist’s 1984 wins of the drivers’ world championships no longer left any room for doubt. The
Two legends: The two-time World Rally Champion Walter Röhrl and quattro
remarkable to this day. Only a few technological innovations have ever caused the kind of paradigm shift that quattro drive has. The four-wheel steering concept favored by some competitors, for instance, never had the potential to do so. Quite the opposite is true. Those who wanted to follow Audi had to introduce all-wheel drive too. Audi’s highly efficient and compact solution of using a hollow transmission shaft was considered a stroke of genius. It allowed the transmission to be installed in an extremely small assembly space while making a permanent all-wheel drive system possible and minimizing friction losses compared with rivaling solutions by omitting other power take-offs. While competitors were still looking for answers Audi was ready to take the next step as early as at the end of 1982. The Audi quattro, designed and marketed as a luxury vehicle, continued to be reserved to an exclusive clientele. In parallel, Audi started offering allwheel drive in other model ranges. The Audi 80 quattro was the first “little brother” of the famous quattro. All model ranges of Audi’s portfolio at that time were progressively made available to customers with optional quattro. The premiere of the Audi A1 quattro that is limited to 333 units means that this is the case again today – each model range now includes quattro versions. A brand that claims “Vorsprung durch Technik” has to provide proof of this claim and continually advance in its development. Audi thought up new solutions for its all-wheel drive system at breathtaking speed. How closely motorsport and production were interlinked even back then is demonstrated by a topic that has remained intriguing to this day – differential technology. To achieve better handling with the Audi Sport quattro S1 in rallying Audi Sport used a Torsen differential in 1985. A year later, Audi was the first automobile manufacturer to offer this technology to its customers for splitting power between the front and rear axles. Four permanently driven wheels in passenger cars, particularly in sporty high-performance vehicles, were not available on the market in those days. Until Audi, in March of 1980, surprised the automotive community with the Audi quattro. At the Geneva Motor Show, a dynamic coupe boasting strength of character and unusual technology celebrated its debut. A 147 kW (200 hp) five-cylinder turbo engine, permanent all-wheel drive with three differentials and independent suspensions at the front and rear – this was Audi’s admission ticket to the class of high-end automobiles, albeit with a concept that was unique in this segment. Audi’s quattro proved its powerful performance and high vehicle-dynamics safety reserves not only in comparison tests run by thrilled automotive journalists. At the beginning of 1981, Audi used the breakthrough technology for the first time in rallying as well. Manufacturers’ world champion’s titles in 1982 and
in underlying beliefs or theory. Two driven wheels, that was the standard in passenger vehicles back in 1980. And four-wheel drive? It existed almost exclusively in rugged off-road vehicles, long before the dawning of the SUV age.
aradigm shift: A wonderful word that academics in various disciplines like to use. It denotes a radical change
This differential opened up completely new options compared to the bevel-gear center differential used up to that time. Torque could be transferred in a continuously variable process to the axle with the higher traction.
The youngest “small” quattro: The Audi A1 quattro that delivers 188 kW (256hp) is limited to 333 units
After initial successes, Audi started offering quattro all-wheel drive for all model ranges early on.
The first “small” quattro: Following the success of Audi quattro the brand made all-wheel drive available as an option in additional model ranges – in this case for the Audi 80 quattro
New developments such as the Torsen differential substantially improved active safety in road traffic.
The greatest challenge: Super touring cars like the Audi A4 STW only delivered around 300 hp. Yet allwheel drive paid off even in this race car
Another advantage was the fact that the Torsen solution produced its locking effect only under load. As soon as the driver “lifted” the lock was released. This meant that the anti-locking braking system, ABS, always remained effective when it was needed. This had not been possible before when the differential lock was engaged in the bevel-gear differential. The new development substantially improved active safety in road traffic. To show how safe and advanced quattro all-wheel drive was Audi developed an unusual campaign. A production Audi 100 CS quattro, merely complemented by a few additional safety systems, drove up a ski jump in Finland. The commercial acquired cult status with lasting effects to this day. Like the mid-sized sedan climbing up the ski jump with consummate ease, Audi Sport risked the next challenging step. That quattro had advantages on unpaved ground in rallying was obvious. On the tarmac of circuit racing, though, the parameters of physical friction are different – enhancing the chances for cars with two-wheel drive. The debut was therefore all the more impressive. In 1988, the Audi 200 quattro immediately won the TRANS-AM Championship in the United States. In 1990 and 1991, the brand with the four rings secured the DTM title with the Audi V8 quattro. The high
engine output of these race cars could be transferred with particular effectiveness to four driven wheels. Conversely, the lower the engine’s output, the more difficult it becomes to fully use all the advantages of four-wheel drive. When Audi Sport in 1993 initially turned to super touring car racing with the 80 quattro this was exactly the situation it encountered. With a mere 220 kW (300 hp) of engine output the advantages of all-wheel drives were questionable. Audi, though, was not put off by such doubts and continued to purposefully bank on the technology that had brought the brand high international acclaim. quattro was a guarantor of success yet again – as long as Audi was given the chance to be successful. Around the globe, the Audi A4 quattro won many national titles and the 1995 Touring Car World Cup. A season later, the touring car crowned its career by taking seven titles in a single year – five championships in Europe, one in South Africa and one in Australia. Competitors had to admit defeat with their all-wheel drive systems – not a single all-wheel drive rival managed to equal Audi’s achievements in super touring car racing. The downside of this dominance was that the regulations started to impose progressively
Unforgotten: The drive up the ski jump became a world-famous commercial
A drive with brains.
Audi purposefully continued to develop the technology of quattro all-wheel drive. A major initial step was the Torsen differential that used the effects of worm gears and enabled various locking actions. The sport differential (right) is conducive to achieving high levels of vehicle dynamics. When used as a rear-axle differential the speed of the outside wheel is increased by means of overlapping steps (power flow shown in yellow). This has a beneficial effect on turn-in behavior while cornering. Cars equipped with the sport differential perform as if they were running on rails.
The Torsen differential opened up new options in 1986
S for spirit: Models like the Audi S6 stand for refined sportiness
quattro all-wheel drive has always been combined with selected vehicle concepts as well.
S-pecially pleasant: The spectacular Audi Sport quattro S1 rally model initiated the S model line
higher amounts of ballast on the A4 quattro – up to the point of making the car chanceless. In 1997, the FIA ultimately enforced a ban on four-wheel drive in circuit racing – not only to the disappointment of the many fans that Audi had won worldwide with quattro motorsport programs. The nineties saw an accelerated evolution of quattro technology in production vehicles without Audi having the opportunity to roll out comparable parallel developments in motorsport. The hydraulic multi-plate clutch, for example, made its debut in 1998 in the Audi TT quattro and in the A3 with quattro drive. Through hydraulic pressure variation in the clutch the power distribution to the front and rear axles can be influenced. The self-locking center differential in the second-generation Audi RS 4 in 2005 was another major step. The system, designed as a planetary gear-set, remained true to purely mechanical principles but marked a major step forward compared with the Torsen differential. As Audi’s first mid-engine vehicle, the Audi R8 launched a year later has enjoyed a special position in the model line-up. The degree of viscosity of the oil in a viscous coupling controls the power that is applied to the front axle. For enhanced vehicle dynamics, Audi introduced the sport differential in the dynamic S4 sedan for the first time at the end of 2008. It allows a specific application of torque levels to the outside wheel in cornering situations and thus counteracts under- or oversteering tendencies. The crown gear center differential represents the most recent further development. Exactly 30 years after quattro’s debut, this differential allows wheel-selective torque control for brake management. The new system makes cornering maneuvers even more precise and dynamic. Alongside these technological advances Audi has always managed to combine all-wheel drive with selected vehicle concepts, for instance in concept cars like the Avus quattro, the quattro Spyder or the quattro concept. The exclusive, sporty S and RS models are fascinating as well. In 1990, Audi launched its first S model – the S2 Coupé with the power of a performance car and refined style initiated a new, successful line. The S models have always been technological pioneers and continue a nomenclature that had its origins in the legendary 1985 Sport quattro S1 in rallying. The RS models with their powerful engines form the dynamic spearhead of the Audi model line-up. In them quattro GmbH, a subsidiary of AUDI AG, presents vehicles of purposefully sporty character. quattro drive is standard equipment for production cars in
this line-up as well. Audi is currently offering the TT RS as Coupé and Roadster versions, the RS 3 Sportback, the RS 4 Avant and the RS 5 Coupé. Whether as entry-level or top-performance models: In the first three decades, more than 3.7 million customers have so far opted for a version fitted with quattro all-wheel drive. In the future, an all-new drive concept will be available to them in the e-tron quattro. In the case of this parallel hybrid, the four-wheel drive system is partially electrified as one axle is driven strictly by electric power, thus combining sportiness and efficiency in exhilarating unity . The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro features a similar principle. New parallels between motorsport and production are thus created in a way the world has not seen for a long time. ◆
Fascinating concepts: The quattro Spyder model is just one of many examples of one-of-a-kind quattro cars
The specialist: Power flow in the Audi R8 is from the rear to the front. A viscous coupling is used for torque splitting
Hybrid concept A compact, cylindrical unit at the front axle is a central component of the hybrid drive used in the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP sports car.
Visible message: quattro all-wheel drive is back in motorsport – this time in combination with e-tron
Concept view: Audi has integrated the hybrid system at the front axle into the monocoque in a particularly compact way
in racing, and packaging an additional front-wheel drive plus a hybrid system in a sports car is no mean feat either. With a width of two meters and a length of 4.65 meters, the race car has large exterior dimensions but under the striking body shell there is a monocoque construction which in motorsport has been classically optimized for totally different aspects than the integration of a front drive axle or the incorporation of a hybrid system. Even a separate low-temperature cooling circuit had to be installed to cool the MGU. Under full load, individual cables can heat up to 80 to 90 degrees centigrade. The cooling circuit also made it necessary to involve the aerodynamicists. Consequently, the achievements of the engineering teams are particularly impressive. For example, because the complete drive unit is installed inside the carbon fiber structure for optimal protection. Or because the forward length of the monocoque is longer compared with the predecessor model. This shortens the crash structure in front of it, which still has to successfully pass all crash tests though. Or because of the extreme proximity to the driver, which requires special The car is based on a sophisticated concept. Whereas the rear axle is driven by a V6 TDI engine the front axle performs a dual function. For one, it helps recover energy and for the other this stored energy is returned to the axle during acceleration events. “After the TDI phase had begun, we soon started to think about the hybridization of a Le Mans sports prototype when it was foreseeable that the regulations would open up this option,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “After evaluating the various concepts, we quickly recognized the opportunity to bring quattro allwheel drive back to motorsport in a technologically new version. Unfortunately, it had been banned from circuit racing in FIA series since 1998.” Yet what sounds like a simple return has been one of the biggest tasks ever tackled in the history of Audi Sport. In the concept design phase there was no in-house experience available with hybrid drive systems protection measures. Or because of weight, as in
by orange-colored insulation that is mounted at the front end of the of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro embodies a technological revolution. An electrically driven front axle in an LMP sports car is a novelty. Audi is competing at Le Mans with the first diesel hybrid sports car in history.
t looks simple yet exudes an air of mystery. The bright, lustrous motor generator unit (MGU) with its cables shrouded
Audi is competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours with the ﬁrst diesel hybrid LMP sports car in history.
To guarantee a thrilling competition the guardians of the regulations saw a need to balance the performance capabilities of the differing concepts.
motorsport every gram counts. Or because of the perfor mance capabilities. Never before has such a small and light-weight system recovered so much energy. Energy recuperation takes advantage of a physical phenomenon. The momentum a vehicle has when traveling at high speed is lost if it is simply decelerated by braking. During the braking event the kinetic energy is converted into thermal energy, which is released to the environment and thus totally useless. Now a phenomenon comes into play that every bicycle rider is familiar with. As soon as the dyno is switched on the bicycle slows down and pedaling becomes more difficult. In the case of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the MGU performs this function. It is activated when the brakes are applied and transforms the rotary motion of the front wheels that is transmitted to the inside of the MGU by two drive shafts into electric power. Compared with a bicycle, the amounts of energy involved in this case are enormous. They are used to electrically drive a rotating mass storage. The rotor sits – armorclad – in a high vacuum next to the driver in the cockpit
Attention: A warning indicates the charge state of the high-voltage system
and operates at a speed of up to 45,000 revolutions, which is nine to ten times the rate at which the crankshaft of a diesel engine rotates. After cornering, this energy is available again to power the electric motors of the MGU. They now transfer torque to the front wheels and help accelerate the vehicle. Up to 150 kW (204 hp) of short-term power can be supplied to the front axle.
Ambassador of the future: The Audi R18 e-tron quattro visualizes the innovative hybrid drive with its progressive exterior
Such outputs suggest that the Audi R18 e-tron quattro could be significantly faster than its conventionally powered “brother,” the Audi R18 ultra. To avoid this and to guarantee a thrilling competition, the guardians of the regulations saw a need to balance the field in terms of performance. The regulations use several levers to achieve this. The fuel tank capacity has been reduced by two liters compared with the conventionally powered R18 ultra, the maximum amount of energy that can be used after recuperation is limited to 0.5 megajoules, and the number of braking zones is defined for each track.
Between two such zones the specified amount of energy must not be exceeded. For the Le Mans 24 Hours, seven braking zones have been established. In addition to diesel and diesel hybrid sports cars, the field of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and thus at Le Mans, includes gasoline and gasoline hybrid developments. Can a balance between such different concepts be achieved? “The ACO and the FIA are faced with a really difficult task when it comes to ratings,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “The larger the number of different technologies involved, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile all of them.” ◆
Fully integrated: A well-shielded flywheel in the cockpit serves as an energy storage device in the hybrid system
Interview with Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich The Head of Audi Motorsport explains how the most futuristic LMP sports car to date benefits the brand’s customers.
Good thing in a small package: Never before has a sports car been lighter, of a more compact design and technological complexity than the 2012 generation of the Audi R18. The R18 e-tron quattro is the world’s first diesel hybrid sports car
step – the first diesel hybrid sports car. What is the aim? Dr. Ullrich We’re dealing with a completely new topic at Audi Sport – the electrification of the drive system. Our colleagues in production development are intensively working on this as well. This marks the beginning of a new era for the sports prototypes – and, as always, Audi is a pioneer right from the beginning and thus a trendsetter. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro has a complex hybrid drive. At the same time, you’re putting the R18 ultra on the grid, a conventionally powered sister model. Why? Dr. Ullrich The answer is very simple. The TDI invented by Audi is still the most efficient engine in the world. We’ve also been demonstrating this at Le Mans since 2006. It’s not a matter of chance that
r. Ullrich, in LMP sports prototype major racing Audi has ventured the next technological
turbo diesel engines have been unbeaten there for six years now despite the fact that the regulations have been progressively restricting the capabilities of the diesel vehicles. We’re convinced that there’s a lot more potential in the TDI. Especially with respect to downsizing we’re gathering valuable findings in motorsport that are very useful for the production side of the house. That’s why Audi, in motorsport as well as in production, is not strictly banking on hybrids but on the simultaneous further development of the conventional drive. The combination of TDI and hybrid is no doubt particularly attractive and promising though. And that’s exactly what the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro stands for. With the rotating mass storage device you’re pursuing a different strategy for energy storage than Audi is for its hybrid production vehicles. Why? Dr. Ullrich The decision in favor of a flywheel storage device was driven by requirements that are specific to racing. The energy density of a storage system and the conditions for charging and extraction suggested this decision. That’s why a battery system is currently out of the question with our ultra lightweight design. But I can safely say that the things we’re testing with flywheel storage are interesting for production as well. The combination of different systems will have to be considered for various applications in the future.
“From TDI technology and hybridization through to the AMOLED rear-view mirror, there are manifold benefits to our customers.”
You’re entering into new territory with hybridization. To what extent were you able to make use of the know-how available in Audi’s development department? Dr. Ullrich Hybrid technology is very complex indeed. Yet a brand that claims “Vorsprung durch Technik” will always try and find a solution of its own. At Audi Sport, we’ve been benefiting from the resources of AUDI AG’s Technical Development yet again. Right from the beginning of this project we were working closely with our colleagues from the production side where concepts are being developed that are tested for use in future production vehicles. They worked out a solution of driving one axle by an internal combustion engine and the other one by an electric motor, defining a new quattro drive – the e-tron quattro. This is the strategy we’re pursuing in motorsport as well. Did you ever consider having such a new technology developed externally like other teams in racing have? Dr. Ullrich Of course, as in many other areas of motorsport, we’ve been cooperating with partners with respect to engineering individual components – such as with WHP for the rotating storage device or with our long-standing partner Bosch for the motor generator unit MGU. Yet all these assemblies have been specifically developed to our standards. Never before has such a system been integrated into the monocoque of a sports car. When it came to interlinking the single systems we felt that we had to control this ourselves. This is a very difficult and complex task but I’m convinced that it’s the right approach. We need strong, capable partners but the responsibility for the overall system rests with us. Audi Sport has made a lot of breakthrough projects reality, from the first rally winner with all-wheel drive, the Audi quattro, through to the first diesel sports prototype, the Le Mans winning Audi R10 TDI. How do you assess the effort that has been invested in the R18 e-tron quattro and R18 ultra models? Dr. Ullrich When you look at the timeline for this project then the e-tron quattro with very complex technical content and plenty of new territory Will the customers of the Audi brand profit from this year’s LMP sports car generation too? Dr. Ullrich At Audi, there has been a connecting link between motorsport and production for many years. “Vorsprung durch Technik” that we offer to our customers’ benefit in their road vehicles has often been motivated by and initially implemented in motorsport. It is, in a manner of speaking, a guideline that has always provided us with orientation in our motorsport activities. This differentiates us from many other brands. Motorsport at Audi is a motivator to drive technologies to the extreme in competition, to bring them to success there and to then make everything that has been learned in the process to our colleagues in production for their development activities. From this, technologies for use in road-going vehicles can be developed, which give our Audi customers clear advantages compared with all competitors. From TDI technology or the findings gained from hybridization through to the AMOLED rear-view mirror, there are manifold benefits to our customers. ◆
33 Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich has been at the helm of Audi Sport since 1993. During this period Audi has achieved numerous super touring car titles, six DTM championship wins and all of its ten Le Mans victories
was no doubt one of the most challenging projects we’ve ever had. At the same time, we should remember that the R18 ultra as the lightest sports car ever built by Audi Sport created the prerequisites for hybridization in the first place. The overall complexity of this project is very high.
Allan McNish on the Audi R18 e-tron quattro Audi factory driver Allan McNish has experienced many new vehicle premieres in his career. Before taking the wheel of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro for the first time, the Scotsman was particularly eager to see what this new car would be like.
that may not be exceeded according to the regulations. Once this energy has been used up we completely rely on the TDI drive again,” explains McNish. “While the effect during braking is minimal you can of course
Beware of turn: The electric drive of the e-tron quattro is used only in certain situations
clearly feel the additional boost of around 200 HP when accelerating. The R18 e-tron quattro suddenly becomes much faster. And this is exactly what counts because as drivers we always want to move forward as quickly as possible.” As only a very limited amount of energy – 0.5 megajoules – may be fed to the front axle again the driver feels the effect only for a very short time. Compared with other pioneering feats achieved by Audi, such as permanent all-wheel drive, TFSI gasoline direct injection or the TDI engines boasting particularly high torque and efficiency, the effect is impressive on the one hand but on the other, due to the regulations and the amount of energy that is basically recovered, its duration is drastically limited. Audi decided to design an e-tron quattro and to feed the energy to the front axle. “On exiting tight corners we’re not allowed to use the front axle for power transmission initially. Only from 120 km/h on, the regulations permit the power to be fed to the front. Once the boost sets in there’s a balance effect in the car,” says McNish. “Personally, I really enjoy it when the combustion engine drives the rear axle and the electric ow do new technologies feel? On switching from the TFSI engine to the TDI power-plant in The way in which Allan McNish sums up his experience shows how he assesses the role of the R18 e-tron quattro in his career: “When I was a young racer I was only thinking about driving and winning, without having spent a single thought on the fact that I might also be driving technologies forward on track. motor the front.”
2006, Allan McNish immediately celebrated victory at the Sebring premiere. Now, the Scotsman experienced the racing debut of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. “Before driving the Audi R18 e-tron quattro for the first time I didn’t know what to expect,” the Audi factory driver freely admits. “You’re used to a particular driving style after so many years. All of Audi’s LMP sports cars have had rear-wheel drive so far. Now, the front axle suddenly comes into play in the drive system. So I asked myself, ‘What does this mean for us drivers of the R18 e-tron quattro?’” In this car, the front wheels feed the kinetic energy of the race car that is generated during braking events into a system, the motor generator unit (MGU). It converts this kinetic energy into electric power which in turn drives a flywheel system. “You can feel how the system operates,” says the two-time Le Mans winner. “On approaching a corner you get the impression that the brakes are even a bit more effective.” While this effect may be minimal the real surprise comes later: “When turning in, the system has no effects. But when you accelerate again you can immediately feel how the electrical energy drives the front wheels.” This effect is a dream for any racer but in this particular case the dream is over in a flash, as a strict time limit has been imposed on it. “Boosting results in additional acceleration. Unfortunately, there’s a maximum of energy
Part-time quattro: The R18 e-tron quattro is only allowed to feed back a limited amount of energy
But when I joined Audi I learned that racing is part of the brand. The company is heavily shaped by technology. You can feel the constant desire to improve – both in racing and in production. We saw that with quattro in rallying, with FSI direct injection in the R8 at Le Mans, with TDI and now with e-tron quattro. These technologies were thought up by people who constantly want to improve their products. I’m thankful that we’re part of this as racers. New technologies like these can help us win even more races.” ◆
Notable effect: Allan McNish is pleasantly surprised with the good-natured operation of the system
“Audi is heavily shaped by technology. You can feel the constant desire to improve – both in racing and in production.”
VTG technology The V6 TDI diesel engine of the Audi R18 is an extremely compact module that combines a wealth of innovations in what is truly a total work of technological art.
When it comes to downsizing, motorsport is proving its usefulness to production development yet again.
32 percent. To achieve an output of more than 375 kW (510 hp) despite this reduction (aka downsizing in engine designers’ lingo) each piston now has to deliver higher performance. “The performance of the piston areas and the cylinders has considerably increased,” explains Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Development at Audi Sport. “To
Ulrich Baretzky is in charge of engine development at Audi Sport and has designed the concepts for all of Audi’s Le Mans winning engines
achieve such increases we’re operating with much higher pressures and temperatures in the engine than in the past.” Both are hot topics in volume production at the moment as well. Motorsport is proving its usefulness for road-going products yet again. The project required the engine developers at Audi Sport to venture into unknown territory. The charging concept used in the Audi R18 has been a particularly well-kept secret until now. The engineers designed a central mono turbo system in the inside V of the engine. In combination with the inboard exhaust manifolds it makes particularly efficient use of the laws of physics. A single, large turbine increases overall efficiency, as gap losses are significantly reduced. The consolidation of the entire exhaust gas flow in a single turbine leads to higher turbine performance and more uniform loading by exhaust gas surges. In the extremely short pipes of the exhaust system clearly less thermal energy is lost. This increases performance plus the turbine’s exhaust gas temperature due to the higher energy content of the exhaust gas and makes the required capacity available on the compressor side where around 2,000 cubic meters of air per hour must be compressed for efficient combustions. The mono turbocharger thus has to put through a similar amount of charge air for over 375 kW (510 hp) as was previously the case in the V10 TDI for 404 kW (550 hp). The unique design of this charger was kept under wraps up to now. The exhaust manifolds located on the inside of the compact V6 engine let the exhaust gas flow radially into the charger from both sides.
such a small number of cylinders. And never before has an engine like this V6 with its flat cylinder bank angle of merely 120 degrees been as compactly concealed by other large assemblies. The power-plant harbors a well-kept secret: the mono turbocharger with a variable turbine geometry (VTG) and innovative channeling of the gas flow. Only this combination makes a V6 TDI for Le Mans feasible in the first place. But let us look at one thing after the other. To prevent the race cars at Le Mans from becoming too fast – organizer ACO uses a lap time of 3m 30s for rating purposes – the designers are slowed in their efforts time and again. The most recent step: The 5.5 liters of displacement that were still available to the Le Mans winning Audi R15 TDI in 2010 have shrunk to an upper limit of 3.7 liters in 2011, equating to a loss of
t sits at the rear of the Audi R18 quite inconspicuously – the V6 TDI engine. No Audi LMP sports car before 2011 has had
Red-hot passion: The pressures in the V6 TDI are high and temperatures can reach up to 1,050 degrees centigrade
The compressor side is of a very similar design. The charger aspirates air in axial direction from a central intake. After compression, the air exits again on two sides. The variable turbine geometry (VTG) of
The secret has been unveiled: The mono turbocharger with innovative gas flow and VTG technology
the turbocharger has provided another key to this technological breakthrough. It makes it possible to channel the exhaust gas flow in a way so that the turbine can continuously be adjusted to varying operating conditions such as load changes. “Without it, the entire concept of a compact downsized engine with an inboard single turbocharger would have been inconceivable,” explains Ulrich Baretzky. “The response of a single, large charger would without VTG would be far too low. Thanks to the variable geometry we have resolved this issue.” And the drivers continually benefit from these achievements. When during a shifting event, which lasts around 30 milliseconds without operating the clutch, injection is reduced there is a risk of charge pressure loss. However, thanks to sophisticated electronic shifting strategies and a sensitive actuator, Audi’s VTG system provides the required quick response. “Even the Le Mans organizer ACO was amazed,” says Baretzy with a smile. “The ACO’s technical stewards could hardly believe it when they were reading the engine data and couldn’t find any indications of charge pressure having dropped during shifting events.” ◆
ultra lightweight technology Iron alloys such as steel are still the most commonly used materials in automotive engineering. Yet motorsport is already pointing the way toward the future. Composites have long become the backbone of all sports prototypes. In the Audi R18 every gram counts, as the extremely light door shows that is held by Chris Reinke, Technical Project Manager LMP at Audi Sport.
What looks like the artistic abstraction of a rhinocerus is a lightweight component used to attach the rear wing
In the case of small parts the few grams literally count that would typically play more of a role in homeopathic practice rather than in racing.
One could almost get the impression that engineers at Audi Sport enjoy playing with form. Yet right the opposite is true. Every shape, material, structure and the highly complex milling lines do not serve the purposes of aesthetics but those of uncompromising functionality. The work of the engineers follows a central axiom. Durability for endurance races like the Le Mans 24 Hours is not a mere wish but an essential prerequisite. An element of this objective is the challenge to design a car that is as light as possible. Yet a look at the regulations reveals that an LMP sports car such as the Audi R18 has to tip the scales at least at 900 kilograms. So why make a car lighter? Particularly when considering the fact that Audi’s sports cars generally weigh less than the minimum of 900 kilograms to begin with and have to be filled with ballast again to comply with the minimum weight requirement. The name of the game here is to create some latitude that allows the weight to be placed in such a way that it can be
component that is reminiscent of a rhino and another one sporting the style of a bottle opener:
When installed, the “rhino” joins the carbon fiber components of the rear wing mount with the wing
The delicately milled aluminum component that looks a bit like a bottle opener is the plate for the rocker mounts in the suspension
used to the greatest advantage. Particularly low, for instance, in order to lower the center of gravity. Or in specific relation to the length of the vehicle and its wheelbase in order to achieve a favorable distribution of mass to the two axles. Quite similarly as the engineers in Audi’s Technical Development division, the race car designers are tasked to save every gram. In production vehicles, Audi has long turned the weight spiral around. The new A3 weighs up to 80 kilograms less than the comparable predecessor models. In racing, there are currently two major challenges. Diesel engines such as the innovative and highly efficient Audi TDI engine have to withstand much higher mechanical loads and, due to the technical principle behind them, are heavier than comparable gasoline engines. The second novelty: The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro is considered as a milestone, as it is the first diesel hybrid sports car at Le Mans with all-wheel drive. The electrified drive module on the front axle costs weight too, as such a system simply did not exist in any of the previous sports prototypes. “The only chance to become around ten percent lighter lies in designing every single part with
lighter weight,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. As a result, carefully crafted parts like the “rhino” or the “bottle opener” are created. In their case, the few grams that normally tend to play more of a role in the practice of homeopathy rather than in racing are crucial. They are made of metal which, for certain applications, still provides advantages over other materials. Yet there is another material that has practically been traveling down victory lane. Like hardly any other material, CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastics) stands for light-weight construction. The fabric that is based on carbon is a dream for the aerospace industry, for race car constructors and, increasingly, for the automotive industry as well. Some bodywork panels of the Audi R8 Spyder, for instance, are made of this plastic material, as are the front fenders of the Audi RS 3 Sportback.
Of course, since Audi’s sports car pro ject was launched in 1999 major component assemblies of all LMP prototypes have been made of CFRP. So, in which new areas can carbon be used? In the R18 e-tron quattro and the R18 ultra, Audi is relying on a transmission housing made of the black material for the first time. “At the rear end, the weight saved is highly valuable due to the engine’s weight,” explains Dr. Ullrich. “With the new carbon fiber transmission housing we achieved the biggest single innovation step compared with the predecessor model.” Something like this has never existed in an LMP sports car before. The special aspect that differentiates this design from a single seater in which this technology is already used is that the fully structural transmission has to bear a much higher base load of 900 kilograms. In addition, it holds up to endurance distances of several thousand kilometers straight. And with more than 850 Newton meters the engine torque that acts on the transmission in the R18 clearly exceeds the corresponding torque level in a Formula One car. All force induction points made of metal have been fully integrated into the transmission.
A new feature of the sports prototype is the structural transmission housing made of CFRP
Off limits: ideally, the drivers should only support themselves within the marked area
Easy to understand: ultra lightweight technology is a core Audi message in racing and production
The highly integrative hybrid system of the R18 e-tron quattro is another example of lightweight technology. The shared housing of the MGU (motor generator unit) for two electric motors, two planetary transmissions and two converters at the front axle is extremely compact and the hybrid system control unit which is integrated with the existing engine control unit is another clever solution that makes the car lighter. No other system exhibits such a favorable ratio between its own weight and the stored amount of energy.
“Compromises in terms of safety, though, are totally out of the question in the search for weight savings,” stresses Dr. Ullrich. The high-strength one-piece carbon fiber monocoque of the Audi R18 TDI helped Allan McNish and Mike Rockenfeller survive two serious accidents at Le Mans unharmed last year. The surprises tend to be found in the smallest details though. The wishbones, for example, shine as if they were chrome-plated. In reality, these stainless steel parts produced in a complex process are electropolished to protect them against chemical reactions with oxygen. Whereas these components are hidden in the suspension, observant race spectators have a chance of catching a glimpse of a piece of lightweight construction after all. Four red triangles mark a field below the cockpit doors. “This is the only area in which our drivers should support themselves when getting in and out of the car,” explains Dr. Ullrich. Outside these areas even carbon fiber, the “magic material,” would yield. The drivers have to make another contribution to weight savings, albeit not by being required to go on a diet to lose weight now. But they do have to make some adjustments. The content of the drinking bottle that was seldom fully consumed in the past has been reduced by about half a liter – for weight reasons. After all, not a single gram has the privilege of not being looked at when victories are at stake. ◆
No compromises: in the impact test, the safety cell of the R18 demonstrates its strength. The crash nose absorbs the energy 47
and for the road
Serial winners on track
The ten Le Mans victories Audi purposefully uses the Le Mans 24 Hours as a test lab for new technologies. Ten Le Mans victories perfectly confirm this idea.
2000: Debut victory
Sport developed a new prototype, the R8. The new design won on its Le Mans debut with Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Tom Kristensen. It featured significant changes compared with its predecessor, the Audi R8R, not only in terms of aerodynamics. In addition to the radiators – now located close to the engine instead of at the front – they included the pneumatically operated gearshift and a lower basic weight. With that, Audi Sport Team Joest managed an impressive one-two-three result at La Sarthe.
Mans 24 Hours for the first time in 1999. the 2000 season, Audi
2001: Direct connection
factory drivers came to particularly value this direct connection between the driver, the gas pedal and the engines at Le Mans in 2001. The endurance classic went down in history as a wet race and the new engine in the Audi R8 considerably helped its drivers in such difficult conditions. For the second time in succession, Biela/Kristensen/Pirro won ahead of another R8. Gasoline direct injection was introduced in production vehicles at Audi shortly afterward.
ever before had the driver’s commands been executed so swiftly, purposefully and with predictable characteristics as they were in the case of the new V8 TFSI engine. The Audi
marking a special event in history as Le Mans silver, designed to be a challenge trophy, becomes a permanent possession of the victorious team only in such an exceptional case, according to the statutes. In addition to the impeccable team performance, the updated Audi R8 had its part in this success. Modified aerodynamics at the rear further improved flow around the rear wing.
et again it was Audi Sport Team Joest, the R8, plus Biela, Pirro and Kristensen running in front – thus
That a race car can celebrate five victories at a competition as tough as the Le Mans 24 Hours is hardly conceivable. The eternally young R8 managed this feat nonetheless – despite more stringent conditions.
2004: Big in Japan
tled for overall victory for the first time. Team Goh of the Japanese owner Kazumichi Goh was not only “big in Japan” but acquired worldwide acclaim by also clinching overall victory at Le Mans. Seiji Ara, Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen won the classic in France in the white-red R8 fielded by the Japanese team – and in more difficult conditions than before. Quick-change transmissions were no longer permitted in the Audi R8. The air restrictors had been reduced from 32.4 to 30.7 millimeters as early as in 2003, causing output to drop from 449 kW (610 hp) to 404 kW (550 hp). The British team Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx with Jamie Davies/Johnny Herbert/Guy Smith finished as the runners-up and ADT Champion Racing from the USA took third place with JJ Lehto/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner.
he time had come: Since 2001, Audi customer teams had been relying on the R8 as well. In 2004, they bat-
2005: Victorious quintet
24 Hours was hardly conceivable. The R8 managed to do so nonetheless – despite the conditions having been tightened yet again. The air restrictors of the prototype were reduced to 29.9 millimeters and output lowered to 382 kW (520 hp). The sports car also had to put an additional hundredweight on the scales (950 instead of 900 kilograms). Yet its reliability and solid handling plus the performances of JJ Lehto, Tom Kristensen and Marco Werner gave ADT Champion Racing victory with a twolap advantage.
hat a modern-day race car could celebrate five victories at a competition as tough as the Le Mans
2006: Diesel debut
2003, and in June 2004, the decision for the project was made. In 2004 and 2005, the engineers carefully approached the subject with modified V8 TDI production engines and May 2005 saw the aluminum V12 TDI in operation for the first time. At the 2006 Le Mans race, Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner entered their names in the Le Mans history books as the first overall winners powered by diesel. After quattro in rally racing and TFSI gasoline direct injection, Audi was running at the very front with TDI technology – now in motorsport as well.
or the first time, an automobile manufacturer competed with a diesel sports car at Le Mans. Audi had taken the risk and designed the impressive R10 TDI. Initial concept studies had begun in
using a diesel sports car. The fuel tank capacity of the diesel vehicles was reduced by nine to 81 liters in 2007 in order to improve the chances of the gasoline engines. Yet only Audi and Peugeot claimed podium finishes. After a thrilling battle, Biela and Emanuele Pirro celebrated their respective fifth Le Mans victories and Marco Werner his third consecutive one. Similarities in the design of the V12 TDI used in the race car and in the new Audi Q7 V12 TDI proved the close proximity between sport and production at Audi.
n its second year of competing with the R10 TDI Audi received a serious rival: Peugeot returned to Le Mans – now also
The R18 TDI with the compact, downsized V6 TDI engine, the ultramodern full LED headlights and ultra lightweight technology provided valuable findings from which the development engineers of Audi’s production vehicles benefit as well.
2008: Epic duel
third year, the R10 TDI had to fiercely defend itself against the Peugeot 908. Rainy weather with constantly changing intensity made the work of the strategists at the pit wall dramatically more difficult while the driver trio had to maintain utmost concentration through to the finish. In the end, merely 4m 31s separated the winning Italian-Danish-Scottish team from their pursuers in the Lion vehicle. For Tom Kristensen, this marked as much as his eighth win – nobody else had been equally successful up to then. The fans at La Sarthe experienced the factory-fielded twelve-cylinder sports car for the last time.
indo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish performed a herculean feat at Le Mans. In its
2010: Reliably in front
sports car shone with the ten-cylinder TDI in the “plus” evolution by delivering extreme reliability. With a series of engine failures, rival Peugeot paid far too high a price for better lap times. The three young Audi racers Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller celebrated their first triumph at La Sarthe. At the finish, Audi revealed that it had clinched the success with VTG turbocharger technology.
he Audi R15 TDI radically differed from its predecessor, the R10 TDI. In the 2010 season, the open
2011: Close call
R18 TDI was brimming with innovative details. From the compact downsized 3.7-liter V6 TDI engine and the modern full LED headlights through to ultra lightweight design, the R18 TDI provided valuable findings from which the development engineers of Audi’s production vehicles benefited as well. Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer won Le Mans with guidance from race engineer Leena Gade. With that, the 2011 line-up of Audi sports car drivers had each celebrated at least one Le Mans victory in their careers.
011 saw a closed LMP sports car from Audi running at Le Mans for the first time again since 1999. The
Hybrid technology in production Audi is intensively working on future mobility in which the electrification of drive technology plays an important role. With respect to hybrid electric vehicles, customers meanwhile have the choice between three models.
powered by a 1.9-liter TDI unit with 66 kW (90 hp) and a water-cooled electric motor with 21 kW (29 hp) supplied with energy from a lead gel battery at the rear. Both sources powered the front wheels. Like the two concepts before it, the production duo followed the pioneering plug-in-concept– its battery could be charged from a socket. In addition, its electric motor was able to recuperate energy during n hybrid technology, Audi looks back on more than two decades of experience. The first generation of the Audi duo – a techdeceleration. In electric operating mode, the duo reached a speed of 80 km/h, with TDI power a top speed of 170 km/h. The concept was ahead of its time – too far ahead for the market. Hybrid drives are meanwhile available in several Audi production models. Since 2011, Audi customers have been able to purchase models with electrified drive systems – initially available in the Q5 hybrid quattro and meanwhile in the A6 hybrid and the A8 hybrid as well. With the Q5 hybrid quattro, Audi has set a milestone. The performance SUV is the world’s first full hybrid vehicle in its segment using modern lithiumion batteries. Designed as a parallel hybrid, it combines the performance of a six-cylinder with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder power-plant. Propulsion is provided by a 2.0 TFSI engine with 155 kW (211 hp) and an electric motor delivering up to 40 kW of output and 210 Nm of torque. The total system output is 180 kW (245 hp), allowing the Q5 hybrid quattro to achieve remarkable performance. It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds and achieves a top speed of 225 km/h. At a constant speed of 60 km/h, it covers a distance of up to three kilometers in purely electric mode. Its top speed of 100 km/h in electric mode sets benchmarks as well. Average consumption amounts to only 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers, equating to CO2 emissions of 159 grams per kilometer. Power is transmitted by a significantly modified eight-speed tiptronic transmission that does not require a torque converter. The converter’s function is performed by an electric motor that is combined with a multi-plate clutch. It connects and disconnects the
nology concept based on an Audi 100 Avant – made its debut as early as in 1989. A five-cylinder gasoline engine powered the front wheels and a selectable electric motor with an output of 9 kW (12 hp) the rear wheels. Nickelcadmium batteries were used for energy storage. Two years later, another duo variant based on an Audi 100 Avant quattro followed. In 1997, Audi was the first European automobile manufacturer to produce a hybrid vehicle in a small series – the Audi duo based on the A4 Avant. It was
Meeting between generations: In 1989, the Audi duo (below) was the brand’s first hybrid vehicle; today, the A6 hybrid (above) is one of several production models featuring electrified drive 56
High voltage battery module Power electronics
Battery cooling module
Electric air conditioning compressor
High voltage wiring harness
The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro is the world’s first full hybrid in its segment using modern lithium-ion batteries.
e-motor and the TFSI engine. A lithium-ion battery system that weighs only 36.7 kilograms is used as the energy storage device. The battery provides a rated energy of 1.3 kWh and output of 39 kW. A complex twoway air cooling design keeps it within the suitable temperature window. Audi’s two other vehicles with electrified drive, the A6 hybrid and the A8 hybrid, use the same parallel hybrid concept as the Q5 hybrid quattro, albeit differing from it in one respect, as power is applied to the front wheels in their case. The two large sedans achieve 180 kW (245 hp) of system output as well and their consumption is clearly below 7.0 liters per 100 kilometers. These models make Audi the first premium manufacturer to concurrently offer full hybrids with lithium ion technology in the B, C and D segments. ◆
In 2011, the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro was the first model of Audi’s most recent hybrid generation. The schematic illustration above shows the drive system in the Audi A6 hybrid
Test drive of the Audi A1 e-tron Tom Kristensen is already familiar with electrified drive from racing in his Audi R18 e-tron quattro. But how does Audi’s e-tron technology perform in everyday driving? A self-test at Le Mans.
eight times to date, which makes him the lone record holder, and has been there every year since 1997. This year, for the first time, he is not moving around the track exclusively powered by an internal combustion engine, as his Audi R18 e-tron quattro is equipped with an electrified front axle. But what is it like to drive an all-electric vehicle in Le Mans? At the beginning of a self-test at the historic location, the Audi factory driver is obviously charged with (nervous) energy. “I’m a bit excited. It goes without saying that I’m dying to find out how good this technology feels in road traffic,” he reveals. It is so fit for everyday driving that Audi began to use 20 Audi A1 e-tron cars in a fleet test in Munich in September 2011. It is a car like this that Tom Kristensen sits in to electrically explore Le Mans. At first, the A1 e-tron gives the same impression as any other A1 – except perhaps for its e-tron graphics on the outside. But
t’s not easy to surprise Tom Kristensen with something new at Le Mans. The Dane has won the 24-hour race as many as
“I’m a bit excited.It goes without saying that I’m dying to find out how good this technology feels in road traffic.”
then the Dane pushes the start button. “This is definitely different. Instead of letting you hear the starter and the engine, the Audi A1 e-tron just produces a soft whirring sound,” he marvels. He moves the shifter to “D” and without the slightest sound the Audi immediately filters into the traffic on the roads around the circuit. The car dynamically whirs down Avenue Georges Durand toward the center of the city. Only soft tire noise is noticeable, wind noise does not occur yet at all at this speed. “That’s unusual but fun and I like it,” admits Kristensen. He e asily follows the pace of urban traffic and is amazed when he pushes the accelerator pedal once in racer’s style at a green light. “The car really accelerates well. It’s impressive to feel the torque these electric motors develop.” Up to 240 Newton meters act on the front wheels. Audi has attached great value to making these cars fit for everyday purposes. The electric motor drives the front wheels with a maximum output of 75 kW (102 hp). Constant output amounts to 45 kW (61 hp). The system is supplied by a lithium-ion battery that sits in front of the rear axle and has a capacity of 12 kilowatt hours. For comparison: The regulations permit an output of only 0.139 kWh in the electrical drive system of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP race car. This means that the A1 e-tron’s energy storage is 86 times higher – a slightly unusual relation of magnitude. Yet while the race car is simultaneously powered by a TDI internal combustion engine on the rear axle the A1 e-tron exclusively uses electricity for locally emission-free propulsion.
“There’s a charging station over there,” says a pleased Tom Kristensen after having spotted one of only two filling stations for electric vehicles currently available in Le Mans. But here – not far from the Place de la République where Technical Scrutineering takes place in the Le Mans week – the Dane does not have to think about recharging the battery yet to continue his urban adventure. The A1 e-tron has an all-electric range of 50 kilometers. And even then it does not have to be plugged in for recharging. It is equipped with a range extender that charges the battery. The single-disk Wankel engine with 254 cubic centimeters of displacement sits at the rear underneath the trunk floor, quietly rotating without any vibrations. With an output of 15 kW (20 hp) it even allows driving through the countryside, with a range of up to 250 kilometers. The Audi A1 e-tron is always propelled by an all-electric drive – there is no mechanical connection whatsoever between the range extender and the driven front wheels. The patrons at the café in front of the Saint-Julien cathedral are amazed as well when the eight-time Le Mans winner drives by in his
electric car. Is that really Tom Kristensen? And the car runs strictly on electric power? “This is truly a clever solution,” Kristensen says, analyzing the concept for major population centers over a cappuccino. “It perfectly covers all your essential driving needs in and around the city.” Back at the race track the small Audi has long won the heart of the eight-time Le Mans winner. “I’d love to just keep it and commute between the track and the hotel during the whole Le Mans week. I’ve seldom moved in city traffic with as little stress as this time,” he says. The A1 e-tron even has sporting talents. In July 2011, Audi participated in the 2nd Silvretta E-Auto Rallye Montafon, celebrating overall victory with the A1 e-tron in the total field of 32 electric vehicles. This is a feat which even the Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen highly respects. ◆
Two symbols of time: The Saint-Julien cathedral in Le Mans stands for the Medieval Age, the A1 e-tron for the future
Electrified: Tom Kristensen tests the Audi A1 e-tron in Le Mans before tackling the 24-hour race in the R18 e-tron quattro
in the sky
Digital rear-view mirror Thanks to a digital rear-view mirror the Audi factory drivers catch a glimpse of the future in terms of active safety too.
materials in this type of display are self-luminous and thus no longer require backlighting. Consequently, AMOLEDs are much thinner and lighter than conventional displays. In addition, they exhibit extremely high contrast, very good color and switching times of just a few milliseconds, irrespective of temperatures. Therefore, the Audi achieves an absolutely fluid image flow in real-time transmission even at 330 km/h. As the new screens can be freely programmed, Audi uses them to display other data as well. Additional information such as the gear currently engaged or slip level of the tires plus individual warning lights have been integrated into the central instrument.
with an unobstructed rearward view. With it, active safety in racing is improved yet again. At the same time, motorsport at Audi serves as a forerunner of a forwardthinking topic in production development. Up to now, Audi’s sports car drivers watched the on-track action behind them in rear-view mirrors. At high speed, though, there was not much for the racers to see. The inevitable vibrations made the rearward view impossible. Since its debut at the WEC round at Spa in early May a tiny rearward camera on the roof of the sports car has been capturing the action on the track. It transmits its signals to a new type of screen. Instead of an LCD display with LED backlighting an active matrix OLED display (AMOLED) is now used. The organic
lear vision thanks to technology – in the Audi R18, a new, digital rear-view mirror provides the drivers
Helping to clinch victory: In the spray of the WEC round at Spa, Loïc Duval and his team-mates Romain Dumas and Marc Gené benefited from the new AMOLED screen
Rearward view: A camera system is integrated on the roof behind the antennas
The weather-neutral functionality of the system is another major advantage. In the case of conventional outside mirrors the field of vision is severely impaired by the spray occurring in rain. For the digital solution, Audi has worked out various day and night driving modes. Even when a rival approaches with high beam headlights the image resolution is superb and not just a glaring light spot. “We’ve previously achieved major
effects not only with basic concepts but also through detailed innovations,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich with obvious delight about the plus in active safety. “The introduction of a tire pressure warning system in the Audi R8 in the 2001 season is just one case in point. Our drivers came to highly value the digital rear-view mirror right on its debut at Spa.” Dr. Ullrich expressly recognizes the support from AUDI AG’s Technical Development (TE): “With respect to the screen and the programming we greatly benefited from the work of our colleagues. I’m sure that we’ll be able to return valuable findings to them, from packaging the system into a very small space and the aerodynamic effects of the camera through to energy consumption. The intensity of the demands in motorsport, such as at the Le Mans 24 Hours, will cause a system like this to mature at an accelerated pace.” ◆
The new AMOLED screen in the cockpit delivers compelling image quality
Even at 330 km/h, the system achieves an absolutely fluid sequence of image.
From motorsport to production
Technology transfer Audi is active in motorsport in order to accelerate technical progress. Numerous interesting examples provide compelling proof points.
cessful motorsport history and rise to the level of a technology trendsetter. Since then, Audi has built more than three million vehicles with quattro drive. The more power ful models in particular are no longer thinkable without permanent quattro all-wheel drive.
n 1980, the quattro marked the beginning of the Audi brand’s suc-
Torsen diﬀerential and hollow shaft
use an engaged gear and pre-select a second one celebrated its debut in 1985, in the Audi Sport quattro S1.
years later, the invention made its way into large-scale production, initially in the Audi 80/90 and later in all quattro models.
n 1985, Audi was the ﬁrst automobile manufacturer to test a Torsen diﬀerential in rallying. Two
he “S tronic” transmission in which two clutches allow the driver to
ogy celebrated its debut with a victory of the Audi R8 at the 2001 Le Mans 24 Hours.
he combination of turbo charging and direct injection is standard at Audi today. TFSI technol-
petence. Audi started to gather experience with aluminum in rallying and has been increasing its expertise in CFRP with sports prototypes since 1999.
ightweight design is a core topic in motorsport and an Audi core com-
continuing development of TDI technology: to control increasingly high injection and ignition pressures, for example.
a pioneer for production when it comes to using new types of materials.
udi is the inventor of the TDI engine. Since 2006 motorsport has been assisting Audi in its
e it aluminum, magnesium or composites – motorsport is often
as well. In 2006, the Audi R10 TDI was the ﬁrst race car with LED daytime driving light. The Audi R18 TDI that was victorious at Le Mans in 2011 was the ﬁrst Le Mans prototype with full LED headlights.
and motorsport development. The production side takes up many ideas from the sport. The enclosed underﬂoor of the Audi A8 is just one example.
udi is regarded as a pioneer of LED technology, driving its development forward in motorsport
aximum aerodynamic eﬃciency is a common aim of production
tery of the type used in hybrid electric vehicles and thus a forerunner of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
pressure monitoring system. Such systems can be ordered for production models as well.
n 2009, the Audi R15 TDI was the ﬁrst Le Mans sports car to be equipped with a lithium-ion bat-
ince 2001 Audi’s sports prototypes have been equipped with a tire
ing exhaust and noise emissions since 2006. The related know-how has already been transferred to TDI production engines.
suspension, engine and transmission control: motorsport initially sparked their development.
articularly by ﬁelding TDI technology at Le Mans Audi has been introducing new trends in reduc-
e it push-button engine starts or various dynamics programs for
TDI engine of the current Audi R18 only has 3.7 liters of cubic capacity.
in which one of the axles is electrically driven. This technology is also being developed for use in future production models.
udi replaces displacement by turbo charging – not only in the case of its TFSI engines. The V6
n the R18 e-tron quattro, Audi is testing a new form of all-wheel drive
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Digital Digitalrear-view rear-viewm
Motorsport and Production e-tron quattro
Mono Mono turbocharge turbocharge Aerodynamics Aerodynamics WEC WEC TDI TDI AMOLED AMOLED display display