[Autohome Race] Recently, Audi Sport conducted a test on their 2012 LMP1 race car at the Sebring circuit in the United States. According to foreign media speculation, the new car may be named R18 Hybrid, but unlike the “electric” kinetic energy recovery system of Peugeot and Toyota Motorsports, Audi may adopt a “mechanical flywheel” kinetic energy recovery system.

The purpose of applying the kinetic energy recovery system to the racing car is to provide additional instantaneous power. Compared with the “electric” kinetic energy recovery system, the “mechanical flywheel” kinetic energy recovery system uses only gear sets, carbon fiber flywheels, and a small amount of electronic control equipment to achieve the original required Battery packs, motors, gear sets, and complex electronic control equipment have the same functions as complex mechanisms, and the mechanical structure will have more advantages in reliability, durability, and easy maintenance.

We know that the Audi hero R18 TDI, who won the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours in France, uses a 3.7-liter displacement V6 single-turbo diesel engine, which has a lighter design than the previous V10 engine used in the Audi R15 TDI. The weight is reduced by about 25%, and the power output can still reach as much as 540 horsepower.

Although the power parameters of the R18 Hybrid currently under test have not been announced in detail, according to the new “equivalent rule”, in order to balance the performance gap between gasoline racing and diesel racing, the performance of diesel racing will be weakened again ( A performance balance has been carried out in 2011), so Audi’s choice of hybrid technology is more like a short-term compromise of the regulation and a new path.

At the same time, we can see from the test pictures released by Audi that the overall frame structure of the new car is basically the same as the 2011 R18 race car, but there are changes in many details in the design. Foreign media analysis of the 2012 racing car has improved the cockpit and improved the previously criticized vision problem. In addition, the positions of the nose cone and front suspension have also been changed.