clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Audi's R18 e-tron Quattro becomes first hybrid to win Le Mans

New, 31 comments

Audi swept its way to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race this weekend, becoming the first team to win the event with a hybrid vehicle. The company's R18 e-tron Quattro

audi hybrid
audi hybrid

Audi swept its way to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race this weekend, becoming the first team to win the event with a hybrid vehicle. Drivers Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, and Benoit Treluyer took first place with an Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, followed by Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen, and Allan McNish, who also drove an e-tron Quattro. The event marked the 11th victory in 13 years for Audi, which completed the sweep when its non-hybrid Ultra finished third.

The e-tron Quattro, announced earlier this year, isn't a typical hybrid. The car's rear wheels are powered by a turbo-diesel V6 engine, with its front wheels controlled by an electric motor. Rather than load the vehicle with a large battery, Audi has instead connected its front-wheel motor to a flywheel system, which collects kinetic energy generated from braking and converts it into power.

The car's 1-2 finish certainly says volumes about Audi's engineering, though the e-tron wasn't the only hybrid in contention at this year's race. Toyota's TS030 hybrid was also in contention at Le Mans, though it was derailed Saturday by a major crash.