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New Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro has an Electric Turbo!

Snapshot: This year's Audi R18 E-tron Quattro features a secondary hybrid system consisting of an electric turbo and a KERS system

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The car's name is Audi R18 E-tron Quattro and its very clear from the images here, it's a mean looking thing! One look at those red day time running lamps and you can't help but think if the Germans have lost their innate 'Germanness'.

Anyhow, this is the latest batmobile from Audi which will compete in the LMP1 class of the 2014 World Endurance Championship. The body work suggests that the car is hiding a 16 cylinder engine with 4 turbos and a KERS system. Well no actually. You'd be surprised to know that it's diesel in a V6 layout powering the rear wheels. The front wheels are powered by Audi's E-tron Hybrid system, thereby constituting the 'Quattro' all wheel drive system.

The R18 also features a secondary hybrid system which has a, wait for it, electric turbocharger. Yes, you read that correct, an electric turbo fitted to it's V6. Don't know how but Audi's mad scientists have found a way to link the electric turbo to the engine and convert the waste heat generated when the engine reaches its boost limit to electric power. This power is then stored and fed back into either the turbo or the hybrid system powering the front wheels.

There are a few changes to the body of the new car as compared to last year's R18, due to the change in series regulations. The car is narrower but taller overall and the front end is granished with a new wing as part of a new WEC regulation. Obviously, there is more front-end downforce and a reduction in cost for Audi. Like Formula One, the WEC has also banned the so-called blown diffuser, which in principle forces exhaust gases over the diffuser, creating downforce. 

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