Exclusive – Le Mans Winter Testing : The R18 at Sebring

James Boone was at Sebring to capture a glimpse of the R18, the all new Audi LeMans challenger.

This is a successor to the Audi R15 TDI. 550hp R18 is a turbocharged diesel engine but unlike its predecessor, it uses 3.7 liters engine in a V6 configuration, a smaller capacity compared to the R15. The cause of the reduction is the new regulations. Seems to be a trend nowadays to reduce, trim and cut. Not my cup of tea but sometimes it is necessary.

For the first time since 1999, Audi has now part ways from the traditional open cockpit. It is now following Peugeot’s path in design direction. Well we can’t blame them looking at how Peugeot’s closed cockpit concept were easily the faster machine at last year’s Le Mans 24 Hour.

Audi R18 featured full LED headlights, the first of its kind in LMP. Notice the design of the headlamp, it reads number 1. Cool stuffs from Audi, top marks to them.

As far as the looks are concerned, it is a love or hate thing. LMP is a unique machine unlike your normal supercars of today. Its purpose is to survive the grueling 24 hour races and to mount a serious challenge to Peugeot. The big question is, how will it fare against its toughest competition?

Editorial : Mu’az Zakaria
Photo : James Boone / Audi

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