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Taken from Pistonheads.com







Audi has revealed its latest Le Mans challenger, the R18, at the firm's HQ in Ingolstadt - and this time its contender is a coupe.

Rule changes for the 2011 Le Mans mean Audi has moved to a closed-cockpit design after more than a decade using roofless prototype cars.

Audi is sticking to turbodiesel power, despite the fact that the regulations have changed, reducing the maximum allowable capacity from 5.5 litres to 3.7 litres.

The reduction in capacity also means the R18 will be powered by six cylinders, rather than the V10 that propelled its Le Mans-winning R15-Plus predecessor.

According to Audi's motorsport boss, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, the company wasn't keen to switch to a fixed-roof car, but the new regulations made it the only sensible option.

"The rules mean you have to have a roof to be competitive," he said. "Driver changes are always easier with open cars, but the changes have taken that away. The smaller-capacity engines also make aerodynamic efficiency more important."

Other notable features of the R18's design include an F1-esque fin running down the car's central spine (a la the Peugeot 908's latest addition), and striking LED headlights, which include a (dare we say 'gauche'? - yes, we do) set of daytime running lights that for the shape of a number '1'.

The R15-plus isn't dead yet, though - it will compete in the Sebring 12 hours early next year, while the R18 will not make its race debut until Spa in May, before heading to Le Mans.
 

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Le Mans 24hr has pretty much been dominated by Audi for the past 10years lol
only Peugeot come close. Shame cos i really like the Aston Martin and Bentley cars but cos they are petrol not Diesel then dont really stand a chance anymore
 

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Going down to just 3.7 is going to make this super competitive. Audi has produced a number of sub-4 litre engines such as found in their Q7 w/ 3.8 litre so this will be interesting for both Peugot and Audi.

Thankfully, they've had a little experience in closed cockpit before via the Bentley LMP racer a few years back when Audi "let" them win. :D
 

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dude. i love the lights. lol. Audi and the damn spotlights. =D

And yes... spam... mmmm good for the heart. WTF! c'mon moddddders. :]
 
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