Audi’s 2009 Le Mans challenger will turn its wheels in anger for the first time at the Sebring 12-hours on March 21st
, and Audi has revealed a few more details about its new R15 in advance of the race.
Power comes from a newly developed V10 TDI engine making over 600bhp with more than 775 lb ft of torque. The engine is unsurprisingly more compact and lighter than the diesel V12 used in last year’s R10, and Audi says innovations to the turbo and fuel injection systems have simultaneously improved engine response while improving economy – and emissions.
The new car has a longer wheelbase and is lighter, so should be significantly more agile, says the company, a fact that star British driver Allan McNish will be putting to the test in Florida.
Allan McNish will drive R15 at Sebring
Aerodynamic advances are said to most obviously include the raised nose, and a rear wing suspended from the top. The racer’s electrical system also features a couple of innovations, including a lithium-ion battery similar to that found in many hybrid vehicles. Benefits include lighter weight and the ability to supply higher voltage, says Audi. The R15 is also the first racer with low-beam headlamps comprised entirely of LEDs, an increasingly recognised Audi ‘trademark’.
Nishy will pilot one of two R15s competing at Sebring, before returning to Le Mans with the three car Audi Sport Team Joest in June.