The recently unveiled Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the first hybrid Le Mans racer by the German firm, is equipped by an innovative and ultra-lightweight electric flywheel from Williams Hybrid Power. The system will provide 150kW of power and has a top rotor speed of 45,000 rpm.
The introduction of hybrid systems in this seasons’ FIA World Endurance Championship, including the prestigious 24 hours race of Le Mans, brings a new element of innovation in efficiency to top-flight endurance racing. The first real outing of the Audi equipped hybrid system is scheduled during the weekend of 5 May when the 2012 WEC starts at Spa-Francorchamps.
Ian Foley, Managing Director of Williams Hybrid Power commented: “To be chosen as a supplier by Audi, the most successful brand in Le Mans’ recent history, is testament to the progress made by Williams Hybrid Power in its relatively short existence. Audi has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans a total of ten times since the year 2000 and we are incredibly proud and honoured to have been chosen to work with them and to have our hard work and technology recognised in this way. Such a high-level motorsport application represents the ultimate proving ground for our electric flywheel technology. This same technology can be used in everyday applications to save fuel and reduce emissions, for instance in city buses, that also require large power flows for short periods of time.”