Following its annual meeting in Germany, Audi released photos and more details of its all-new R15 TDI race car. After some spy shots and one official pic of the R15 being tested in unpainted carbon fiber, we can now see the new LMP1 car in its standard Audi livery of silver and red. Audi is billing the R15 as the first second-generation diesel racing sports car and the company has focused on creating a vehicle that can consistently beat its French challenger, the Peugeot 908 HDi.
When the R10 debuted it was the first diesel-powered Le Mans Prototype and reliability was put ahead of outright speed. This time around, Audi has optimized the aerodynamics, reduced the weight and built an all-new smaller, more efficient powertrain. The 5.5-liter V12 has been supplanted by a new V10. and although Audi hasn’t disclosed its displacement, the automaker admits it’s more compact, has a lower mass and features new smaller and lighter particulate filters.
While the car doesn’t use a hybrid KERS system, it does have a lithium ion battery for its electrical system. The advanced battery provides higher voltage with lower weight — always a boon in a race car. The R15 will make its racing debut March 21 at the 12 Hours of Sebring.