Photos of the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro have surfaced from a private test at Sebring International Raceway.
Only a week after the World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain, the World Championship-winning squad was back in action, putting its R18 successor through a series of endurance tests on the 3.7-mile airfield circuit in Sebring, Fla.
At first sight, the R18 does not look much different than the 2013 car. However, it faced a series of changes to suit the technical regulations for 2014, with a focus on efficiency.
Physically, Audi decided to go with a more streamlined shape, as well as a new rear-wing complex. The menacing headlights were also altered.
“We’ve reached a crucial stage in this project,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “After building the first prototype, testing on various racetracks is now taking center-stage.”
During its test at Sebring, the team was “mainly focused” on the complex hybrid drive systems, fuel mileage and working toward an efficiency-optimized total package for next season.
The car is expected to be launched officially on Dec. 18, where the team’s driver lineup will also be confirmed.
Audi captured its second straight WEC drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles this year, in addition to winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the 12th time. However, the German outfit will face stiff competition in 2014 as Toyota continues to improve and Porsche returns to LMP1 competition.Audi, Audi R18, Sports Cars