Audi has revealed that its 2014 World Endurance Championship challenger incorporates a Formula 1-style second energy-recovery system.
Thermal energy recovered from the exhaust gases of the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s turbodiesel V6 engine will feed the same flywheel storage system that takes the kinetic energy retrieved from the front axle under braking.
It is understood that the technology is in line with the MGU-H (motor generator unit – heat) systems that will be used in Formula 1 from next season and will allow Audi to feed energy back to the turbocharger to combat drag.
An Audi press statement highlighting key technical details of the latest R18 e-tron quattro explained the system.
“The turbocharger of the internal combustion engine is linked to an electrical machine, which makes it possible to convert the thermal energy of the exhaust gas flow into electric energy, for instance, when the boost pressure limit has been reached,” it read. “When the car accelerates, the stored energy can either flow back to the MGU at the front axle or to the innovative electric turbocharger, depending on the operating strategy.”
Audi is referring to the two technologies as Energy Recovery System – Kinetic and ERS-Heat.
Porsche has also stated that its second hybrid system allowed under the new regulations also harness energy from exhaust gases. Toyota will use front and rear kinetic energy retrieval systems.
Audi also revealed that it will be unable to run the blown diffuser of this year’s R18 courtesy of the new regulations. Audi Sport has “redeveloped every single component” on the new car, the statement said, even though it retains the type number and look of its predecessor.
This follows changes in the chassis rules that reduce the overall width of the LMP1 cars by five percent or 10mm, mandate narrower front tires and stipulate a larger cockpit area.
The new Audi was conceived during 2012, with the design of the car beginning at the end of the year. Testing of the new R18 began in secret during the early in the autumn in Europe with Marco Bonanomi driving.
Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler are known to have taken part in this week’s Sebring test.