Audi goes hybrid and ultralight with R18 Le Mans racers

Audi goes hybrid and ultralight with R18 Le Mans racers

Generally, when we talk hybrids, we’re talking about a car that either powers itself on batteries at low speeds, only firing up the internal combustion engine when a little extra giddy-up is needed, or an electric car that turns the gas-powered piston pusher inside into a glorified power plant. Audi’s e-tron quattro is a little different, though. The R18 sports a four-wheel drive system that powers one axle with an electric motor, while the other gets its juice from a 510 hp V6. The e-tron quattro also has a sibling, the Audi R18 Ultra, which seeks to compensate for the added weight of a hybrid drive train by using extremely lightweight materials, like carbon fiber, wherever possible — including the gearbox. Both cars will be making their debut at the Le Mans 24 Hour on June 16th.