The first hybrid racecar to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans was voted by an Automobile Club del’Ouest (ACO) jury to be one of the most important Le Mans racecars of all time. Through the intelligent combination of a conventionally poweredrear axle with an electrically powered front axle the Audi R18 is transformed into an e-tron quattro – the first Audi racecar which is now powered exclusively by a combustion engine.
The system located in the front of the car comprises of two driveshafts and a Motor Generator Unit (MGU) together which planetary gearbox, which retrieves its own energy from the electric flywheel accumulator mounted alongside the driver in the cockpit. The energy is recuperated and stored during braking. In the process, the front wheels drivethe Motor Generator Unit. This accelerated electrically a carbon-fibre flywheel, which runs in a high vacuum.
Once the corner is taken and the driver accelerates again, the system delivers the energy to the front axle – but as the race regulation state, however, only above a speed of 120 kmph.