Hybrid Car is Winner at Le Mans
June 19, 2012
Audi made history by winning the classic race in a diesel-hybrid car for the first time. A hybrid car uses two types of technology for energy; Audi also adopted an electric flywheel system devised by the Williams F1 team to help power the car.
Just the Facts:
- Hybrid cars worldwide may have just gained a huge dose of credibility, thanks to the success this weekend of exotic new hybrid racecars from Audi and Toyota at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
- It was the first victory for a hybrid racing car in 80 editions of the famous endurance race and a first in major auto racing competition.
- Two gasoline-electric hybrid Toyotas provided Audi’s stiffest competition.
LE MANS, France — Hybrid cars worldwide may have just gained a huge dose of credibility, thanks to the success this weekend of exotic new hybrid racecars from Audi and Toyota at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Audi R18 E-tron Quattro notched the first-ever victory for a hybrid racer in a major motorsports event. Audi’s chief competition came from a second hybrid design, the Toyota TS030.
A pair of R18 E-tron Quattros finished 1-2, while the two TS030s, after challenging Audi in qualifying and the early stages of the race, both were knocked out, one following a crash with the revolutionary Nissan Deltawing.
While Audi is reaping accolades for achieving its 11th victory in the last 13 races at Le Mans, consumers may be more intrigued by the technology that underpins the R18 E-tron Quattro — an all-wheel-drive racecar that is clearly tied to the German automaker’s E-tron hybrid concepts and future E-tron production cars.
The ties between the TS030 hybrid racecar and Toyota’s rapidly expanding Prius family of hybrid vehicles are a little more tenuous, although Toyota has long since secured a firm reputation as the world’s leading purveyor of gasoline-electric cars.
The TS030 is a gasoline-electric hybrid, while the RS18 E-tron Quattro is a diesel-electric hybrid — a technology that is just beginning to emerge in a handful of production cars in Europe.