Audi will test 510hp diesel-hybrid powered ‘long-tail’ R18 e-tron quattro racer at Spa in Belgium

Audi R18 e-tron

Last year, Audi ran two versions of its R18 e-tron quattro racecars: one more aerodynamic than the other. This year, though, Audi will be testing a third variant it’s calling the “long-tail,” which has been optimized for high-speed Le Mans tracks.

The idea of the long-tail is not to see which version goes around the entire circuit fastest but rather which performs best in differing sections of the raceway. Audi will take that information and tweak the cars it intends to enter in the Le Mans 24 Hour.

But what is underneath the long-tail, carbon fiber body? Believe it or not, it’s a hybrid diesel car.

Audi’s R18 e-tron quattro is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 turbocharged TDI diesel engine, which produces 510 horsepower and upwards of 626 pound-feet of torque. Additionally, the specially built racecars feature an electric flywheel and a water-cooled motor generator unit in the front axle. In the middle of the system is a sequential, electronically activated six-speed transmission.

Distinctively, the cars are rear-wheel drive up until around 75mph. Then, the electric unit kicks in, which powers the front wheels for improved traction and power delivery. Although it’s not a traditionally quattro system that customers might find underneath the Audi models at their local dealership, systems like that of the R18 might someday soon make their way into production cars.

If you have a chance to watch the Spa race somewhere, we recommend you do. Audi has quite a competition going on with the Toyota team right now. Audi R18 e-tron quattro driver, André Lotterer, considers the Spa track his ‘home’ so it should be an exciting showdown.

We’ll bring you more about the long-tail R18 after the race is done so check back for a deeper dive into its distinctive long body design and unusual drive systems.

Features

Will high-res radar make tomorrow’s cars safer?

Modern cars have sensors designed to make driving safer. The problem? They don’t work well. A combination of radar, lidar, and cameras is a solution, but we aren’t there yet.
Cars

Audi’s subscription service lets you roll in style without commitment

Audi expanded its mobility options by launching a car subscription service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For $1,395, buyers can choose from five models (including the Q7, the Q5, and the A4) and swap cars twice a month.
Cars

Amazon Alexa can now hitch a ride in any car with Echo Auto

At its massive hardware event, Amazon unveiled Echo Auto, a dashboard-mounted device that adds Alexa to any car. It's one of myriad ways Amazon is trying to integrate Alexa with cars.
Cars

Volkswagen built a 210-mph Jetta, and broke a land-speed record with it

A modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/BGC class. Boasting a 600-horsepower engine, the Jetta hit 210 mph on the salt.
Cars

Audi is finally taking the wraps off its Tesla-fighting e-tron electric SUV

The 2019 Audi e-tron is an electric SUV aimed at the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz EQC. It's Audi's first mass-market electric car, but will it make a good first impression?
Cars

Exclusive: Faulty radars are compromising Nissan’s emergency braking system

Faulty radar modules are causing the automatic emergency braking system in select 2018 Nissan vehicles to turn off. AEB is designed to alert a driver of proximity to the car ahead, and apply the brakes when the driver can't.
Product Review

With the XT4, Cadillac's tech game goes from frustrating to first class

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the American luxury brand’s first small SUV, slotting under the XT5. Aimed at younger buyers, the XT4 is intended to be a nurturing product — something to introduce new customers and lead to future Cadillac…
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.
Cars

Tesla says dash cam feature using car’s built-in cameras is coming soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising the next version of Autopilot, which is expected imminently, will include a dash cam feature that uses the car's built-in cameras. It's a feature many Tesla drivers have long been asking for.
Cars

Aced it! Tesla’s Model 3 earns a five-star crash-test rating

The results are in and they're great: the rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 has aced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's different crash tests and earned a five-star safety rating.
Cars

Stop the madness! Here's how to fix those squeaky brakes

Few noises are worse than the sound of squeaky brakes. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about fixing the issue without giving up your weekend or investing a small fortune. Here's what you need to know.
Cars

Get your camera out: Mercedes-AMG Project One supercar tests on public roads

The Mercedes-AMG Project One is a hybrid supercar incorporating genuine Formula One racing DNA. The $2.7 million Project One is entering its final stage of development, including public-road testing.
Cars

At Bonneville, a 210-mph Volkswagen Jetta is nothing unusual

The Bonneville Salt Flats are the ultimate temple of speed. Follow along as Volkswagen attempts to set a record with a modified economy car, and see what makes Bonneville so special.