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Smokescreen! Audi welcomes Porsche back to Le Mans with new video

Audi and Porsche may both be part of the Volkswagen Group, but they have a fierce motorsport rivalry.

At the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche will return to the top LMP1 category after over a decade to challenge Audi, the most dominant marque of the modern era.

To celebrate this impending clash of titans, the four-ringed brand produced a video welcoming Porsche back to Le Mans. It involves plenty of tire smoke.

In addition to that display of chest thumping, there’s a scene where the diesel-powered Audi R18 e-tron quattro flies past Porsche’s first diesel vehicle – a tractor.

Bravado aside, the Audi-Porsche rivalry should make this year’s Le Mans race one of the most exciting in years.

Both brands will field hybrids, but each will use a different powertrain configuration.

Audi will stick with its turbodiesel V6 and kinetic energy recovery system, which can send electric power to the front axle for temporary all-wheel drive.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid will use a gasoline V4 and two energy recovery systems. One will recover heat energy from the exhaust gases, while the other will use a generator to recover kinetic energy. It’s also capable to using that energy to power the front wheels under certain conditions.

Each car is backed by formidable history. Porsche has more Le Mans overall wins than any manufacturer, but Audi has dominated there for more than a decade. Of course, there’s also the possibility that Toyota’s TS040 Hybrid will spoil the race for the Germans.

The 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off June 14. Check out our Countdown to Le Mans for more updates.

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