Audi uses motorsport to develop technology for the road – since 1980. The four-wheel drive in the first Audi quattro was gradually introduced into all the Audi production line models. For 16 years now, Audi has also developed groundbreaking technologies at Le Mans which are relevant for the end user.
Example 1: FSI technology debuted at Le Mans in 2001. The Audi R8 LMP racecar won the four endurance classics in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005. The petrol direct injection allows more precise throttle response and reduces fuel consumption. Since Audi introduced this technology into production, it has helped to reduce CO2 emissions a million fold in road traffic.
Example 2: TDI technology was Audi’s next pioneering achievement at Le Mans. The brand became the first manufacturer to win the 24-hour race with diesel power. Audi has driven the combination of dynamic and economy to its peak through technical development. The combustion process becomes ever more efficient, also thanks to the increasing injection pressures. The injectors used in motorsport currently operate at a pressure of 3,000 bar.
Example 3: The hybrid drive e-tron quattro debuted at Le Mans in 2012. Audi won the 24-hour race three times in succession with this technology. The energy recuperation helps the LMP racecar achieve even greater efficiency. Between 2006 and 2014, Audi reduced the TDI engine’s fuel consumption by 38 per cent at Le Mans, while the lap times today are significantly better than then. In 2014, the first e-tron production model, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron*, made its debut.
Example 4: The light technology does not only make racing easier. Matrix LED headlights have illuminated the way for the drivers at Le Mans since 2012. The Audi Laserlight was added in 2014. These herald a bright future which improve the active safety and also help the brand’s customers in road traffic. Production cars are now equipped with both technologies.