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Old 12-11-2010, 08:20 PM   #1
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Arrow Audi R18 Le Mans prototype unveiled with full roof, epic LEDs


Right on schedule, Audi has pulled the sheets off its next-generation Le Mans prototype. As had been rumored before the unveil, the R18 has abandoned the open-top design of its forefathers – the R8, R10 and R15 Plus – for a closed canopy to improve aerodynamics and reduce driver fatigue. The company hasn’t worked with a clamshell since 1999, and we’re guessing is has more than a little to do with Peugeot’s 2009 Le Mans win. That victory is the only wrinkle in the Audi’s domination of the world’s most difficult motorsports race, and it’s no small coincidence that work on the R18 began in mid 2009.

The R18 gets its grunt from a 3.7-liter TDI V6 engine, and while Audi isn’t saying exactly how much horsepower or torque the oil-burner produces, we have to guess that the figures are nothing to sneeze at. Behind the engine is a new six-speed transmission, though the innovations aren’t simply chained to the drivetrain. Audi used a single-piece construction carbon fiber monocoque to keep weight down and increase stiffness, and those epic all-LED headlights are the first make their way to Le Mans.

While Audi is planning to campaign a total of three R18 racers at the 2011 Le Mans race this summer, the vehicle’s first appearance will be at the six hours of Spa on April 24





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Old 12-11-2010, 08:21 PM   #2
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I want to have sex with this car right now!!!!!!!
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:34 PM   #3
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**** Audi, I hope they fail again and burn in hell.

There was some debate among the experts concerning the possibility that Audi and Peugeot would switch to gasoline power considering the rule changes so the engine choice is the biggest news to me. Go Peugeot!
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miata News Poster View Post

bla bla bla

More...
"more" doesn't give us more. Lying bot.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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There's a type in this article! completely ruined it for me
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aug View Post
There's a type in this article! completely ruined it for me
A type what?

C
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Old 12-12-2010, 12:08 AM   #7
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I want LED headlights
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Old 12-12-2010, 12:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscar View Post
A type what?

C
A typo.

Quote:
...LED headlights are the first TO make their way to Le Mans.
Lol at typoing a typo response
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:26 AM   #9
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Is anyone else reminded of the Gumpert Apollo when looking at this?


This picture is WAY cooler...



and I was wondering when the dorsal fin was going to make it's way outside of F1...



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Old 12-13-2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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Visibility looks like a real bitch at the a-pillar.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
Is anyone else reminded of the Gumpert Apollo when looking at this?


This picture is WAY cooler...

It sort of reminds me of the Batmobile. Maybe just because it's all black. But shift the cockpit a little to the rear (that doesn't sound dirty at all ) and add a giant turbine and you'd be getting close. The Batmobile probably had some pretty effective aero for its day.

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Old 12-13-2010, 01:01 PM   #12
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That is a super sexy car. Awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
Visibility looks like a real bitch at the a-pillar.
No kidding. Coming from motorcycle racing I hate a-pillars.

Judging by that dorsal fin, and the way it ties into the rear wing, it looks like it could have an F-duct. It is pretty narrow in the back however so maybe not.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:40 PM   #13
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I noticed that too. See that little curved piece at the end? Looks like it might be pointing right at the wing...that'd be cool. Audi isn't even in F1. Somebody's paying attention in class.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:57 PM   #14
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The dorsal fin is now required in the new rules.

This should answer a few questions from here:
http://www.mulsannescorner.com/newsnov10.html
Whoa, lots of learning in here:
Quote:

It's been said elsewhere that Audi began using aluminum front diffusers on the R15 and that this practice had been continued on the R18. The reasoning was given that as a race wore on, the carbon diffusers were deteriorating, getting damaged, and front aero performance subsequently dropped off. Supposedly the car was very front aero sensitive. At first this didn't pass the sniff test at all. But with the R18 in all carbon, it is easy to differentiate between differing materials without a layer of paint covering it all up and indeed something is going on there. Posing a question, we get an answer. Yes, the front diffusers are made from a combination of machined aluminum with carbon skins (we can see at very least the top has a carbon skin, but the leading edge clearly appears to be aluminum and so too the mid section connecting joint). But the reason is actually quite simple and nothing to do with the durability of carbon, aluminum is particularly soft after all, especially in thin sections. With the diffuser's leading edge clearly aluminum, one can imagine the material is actually less than ideal from a durability standpoint; carbon at least has some elasticity.

Instead it's done because of very short lead times for aluminum and little tooling investment. In the end, Audi found that the cost of a carbon front diffuser was no different than the cost of an aluminum one. Weight or weight distribution wasn't an issue. That seems a little counterintuitive at first when everything on a race car appears to be scrutinized heavily for strength to weight and indeed it typically is. And one can imagine an aluminum front diffuser being heavier than an all-carbon version. But it's added weight in an area where Audi was already looking to put ballast (indeed, on most F1 cars the front wing is used as an area to place ballast--it's the lowest/furthest forward part of the car after all). But the big benefit was the ability to generate multiple variations and have them made very quickly for testing. To make a carbon part first requires a pattern to be machined. A mold is then laid up off that pattern, and then the part is laid up out of the mold. The process is labor intensive and time consuming and all your tooling is worthless if you decide to try another diffuser shape. Thus Audi saw aluminum as a way to actually reduce costs and decrease turnaround times.
but wait, there's more (and this is why I love this website):
Quote:

Speaking of wind tunnels, Audi included this shot of the R18 undergoing full scale testing at Ingolstadt's Audi Wind Tunnel Center. What was interesting was not what was going on through the window, but what was behind the screens. At full resolution, you can clearly read the data off the computer monitors.
The data shows the drag coefficient, front coefficient of lift (.cl), and rear coefficient of lift. This would be .8486, -1.7965, and -1.5873 respectively. Initially we thought these were raw coefficients, but in hind site it appears they are CdX figures: that's the coefficient of drag (or lift, replace the 'd' with 'l') multiplied by the reference area. Thus the data needs solving for the raw coefficients to make better sense for us (well, for me really). Therefore we get a coefficient of drag (.cd) of .471 and a total coefficient of lift (.cl) of -1.8798. Assuming a frontal area of 1.8 m^2, that translates to 934 lbs drag and 3727 lbs. downforce for a L/D of 3.99:1. The balance is a very front biased 53% front. But let's also mention that given the nature of the Audi tunnel, spinning wheels, partial rolling belt, it doesn't have the ingredients to produce an accurate ground simulation and the numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt in that respect. Especially the balance.

Obviously this is one of two things: either a complete PR gaff or a deliberate release of information. If deliberate, then clearly designed for misinformation. It's hard enough to inquire about aerodynamics data from decades old race cars that have no relevance to current regulations or trends, thus there's little reason for Audi to release this information at this time.
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