Top Speed: 225 MPH
0-60: 2.8 Seconds
Horsepower: 540 @ 4600 RPM
Torque: 620 @ 3900 RPM
Transmission: 6 Speed Sequential
The R18 TDI succeeded the R15 TDI as Audi’s Le Mans Prototype weapon-of-choice in 2010/11. It represented the first coupe design since the manufacturer’s failed experiment with the R8C over a decade before, in a move prompted by new laws that slowed down pit stop times and negated the main advantage of an open cockpit. It was also new regulations that necessitated the R18’s prominent stabilization fin and smaller engine -- the 540 bhp produced by its 3.7-liter single-turbo V6 represented a 10% reduction compared to the output of its predecessor’s 5.5-liter twin-turbo V10. Other changes included an ultra-lightweight design, improved fuel-efficiency, an electronically-controlled gearbox, and its single-piece carbon monocoque that imbued the car with extra rigidity. Despite these changes -- some enforced by regulation, others inspired by evolution -- the one thing that remained constant was Audi’s domination of endurance racing. After a creditable third-place finish on its debut at the 2010 1000km of Spa, the R18 TDI then notched two impressive victories at the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans and at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012.
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