Audi revs R18 hybrid racecar for Le Mans

The infamous Le Mans race is particularly grueling for both race cars and drivers, as it runs for a full 24 hours with rest stops only permitted for refueling, driver changes and tire swaps.

The race poses a particular challenge for cars, as any component of the vehicle that is poorly engineered or prone to damage will surely come to the fore. 

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, Audi has chosen the French Le Mans (June 16-17) to test the mettle of its R18 e-tron quattro racecar.

The R18 is the first LMP1 car to employ an efficient TDI engine with a hybrid system and all-wheel drive.

The R18 also boasts a kinetic energy recovery system on the front axle that activates during the braking phase to generates electricity which is fed into a flywheel accumulator. The conventional engine is a TDI V6 producing 510 hp and powering the rear wheels, while the front wheels are driven by electric motors.