• Nov 28th 2008 at 12:42PM
  • 32
Click above for a hi-res gallery of the Audi R10 TDI

The Audi R10 TDI is dead. Long live the R15. That's the moniker given to the next-generation Le Mans prototype set to wear the interlocking rings. The car will make its race debut in March at the 12 Hours of Sebring, and by the time the 24 Hours of Le Mans rolls around in June, Audi will have three of the cars ready to defend the trophy won by the R10 earlier this year. Details on the new car are very limited at the moment. All that's known is that it'll have a smaller, lighter, more efficient TDI motor, will once again be a roadster, and is a more significant change than Audi undertook when it went from the R8 to the R10.

The car will be publicly revealed closer to the Sebring race. According to the ALMS website, Audi Motorsport honcho Wolfgang Ullrich was quoted as saying, "It was clear to us that we must develop a new car if we wanted to continue to be successful in Le Mans." We read that as code for, "Those Peugeots were f**king fast this year. Here's our answer." By the time the cars hit the grid at Circuit de la Sarthe, the hype's going to be at a fever pitch. Bring it. Thanks to Ashutosh for the tip!

[Source: ALMS]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Audi no thanks, Peugeot for the winners, Audi for the losers.
      Le Mans 24 h. 2009 Winner: PEUGEOT 908 HDI

      Audi sucks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Peugeot LOST LeMans24 in '07 & '08. Peugeot LOST at this years Sebring & PLM. They LOST the European LeMans Championship to...

        ... let me think...

        Oh YEAH!!!

        A-U-D-I. Audi are the losers??? Wake the F*CK up
        • 6 Years Ago

        Audi will lose like the past three years, oh wait. Peugeot does not have the reliability or driver experience audi does. Audi wins again!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Did you, by any chance, work for John McCain's campaign?
        • 6 Years Ago
        McCain rally? Not quite. He was in charge of the Palin/Limbaugh "pep" rallies.

        He was also going to pardon Alaskan turkeys as well but as you saw in video, didn't too good of job there either.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dumb question. How much faster is a F1 car than a Le Mans car?
        • 6 Years Ago
        At Silverstone Heikki Kovalainen's Pole Lap was 1:21.049 compared to 1:30.359 for the #8 Pug in LMS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think so.
        • 6 Years Ago
        F1 cars are MUCH lighter & are sprint cars (2 hour races) not endurance. Rules would be geared for durability not sheer HP.

        At races where the IndyCar Series ran with ALMS the P1 cars were about as fast as the lighter IRL Dallara Honda powered cars. At times the P1 cars were faster
      • 6 Years Ago
      They must be going aluminum or a light alloy block.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Read the new ACO rules... open cockpits were NOT banned... & V10's & V12's were dropped so if Audi has a new car coming, it would be developing stuff based on those new rules... (so I would agree with you on the V8 based diesel).
        • 6 Years Ago
        The 5.5 TDI V12 is an all-aluminium block with light alloy head.

        What they really need is a higher fuel rail pressure.
        Somewhere near 2600+ bar (38000 psi), that way they can still get enough torque without clogging the particulate filters.
        They needed a new car anyway, open cockpits aren't allowed anymore in about 2 seasons time.

        I think the R15 TDI will have a 3.7 liter V8 twin-turbo diesel with direct drive piezo-injectors.
        • 6 Years Ago
        DC: The ACO released the new rules this week... try motorsport.com or any other sports car website. SPEEDtv.com had a story on it as well... I'm not making stuff up. Even the writers said the rules are confusing. Check 'em out.

        The manufacturers asked to have an option in LMP1. WTF would Audi Sport spend serious $$$ developing an open top R15 if it will be ILLEGAL in 2010???
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's not if, but when open cockpits will be banned.
        Some day the ACO will have to give up postponing the mandatory closed cockpit homologation.

        The problem with the R10 TDI is it's length, which is a side-effect
        of having such a long engine.
        Unlike the 3.6 liter V8 from the R8, the 5.5 liter V12 is almost
        double the length because of the wide-gear X-trac transmission.

        A smaller engine would allow a smaller transmission, which also means
        a shorter and lighter car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Pyronick: Changes are always expected SOME DAY (especially in racing regs...) Closed cockpits will gain no advantage until the next rule changes... 2011at the earliest.

        With the world economy in a down period & racing organizations looking to save money (to attract or KEEP manufacturers) out right bans of specific types of cars are highly unlikely. That is one of the reasons the ACO backed off on revolutionary rule changes & just passed evolutionary ones.

        Most car companies expect to dominate with a chassis for only a few seasons. Look at the IMSA history. The "stock" Porsche 962 started losing to modified 962s Nissan GTPs then beat the 962s. Then Jaguar came into dominance... then Gurney's AAR Toyotas. Look at the years all those cars dominated WITH OUT a re-design or update.

        Sure the Audi R8 lasted longer but it had no direct competitor. The R10 looks like it lasted 2 seasons (if the R15 does indeed debut at Sebring '09)
        • 6 Years Ago
        The R8 was just plain a better car. It wasn't oversized/over heavy for starters. Take away the gas tank downsizes, boost restrictions and intake restrictor changes the R8 endured over its lifetime, and the R10 couldn't even keep up with the R8.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Says who?

        Closed tops will be mandatory for LMP1.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The better question is, why the heck are they developing a "roadster" version when closed-top LMP1 cars will be the mandate in 2010?

      I just hope they thought this out and will make the R15 easy to convert to hardtop because so far, someone dropped the ball if they didn't think of it.

      Either way, sounds exciting and I cannot wait until they bring it out!

      GO AUDI!
        • 6 Years Ago
        DC: Sure it did... New rules will feature MINIMAL CHANGES. Plus there are more articles on other sports car sites. The economy is another huge factor.

        Plus their are benefits & disadvantages to closed cockpit cars... & the manufacturers discussed this with the ACO

        As for the 2-3 year life span comment... what steveo said... he's spot on!
        • 6 Years Ago
        The R10 only ran 3 full seasons so a 2-3 year lifespan for the R15 isn't really that much of a leap.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That article really doesn't adress the closed vs open top question.

        I did do some of my own research, and it seems that 2010 isn't going to be the year. However, nothing has been set in stone, but rather pushed back to 2011 or 2012 for closed tops to come in.

        The rules will be there, just not yet. Still, a 2-3 year run for a whole new car? Doesn't make much sense. Make it closed-top and be done with it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What?!?! When did this happen?

        Link me to the source if you could.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sweet cant wait to see it in Sebring, the R10 sounded so cool lol, thats the best thing about ALMS, all the different sounds! Screw NASCAR!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. I went to my first ALMS race at this years Petite LeMans and after a few hours I could close my eyes and tell what kind of car was coming by simply by the sound it made.

        I would like to see Peugeot be able to bring some cars over here and run the full ALMS schedule to see what they could do against Audi, Acura, and Porsche over a full season.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No I'm talking about the sound of straight cut gears and spooling turbos :)

      • 6 Years Ago
      Time for another R8 concept? :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's good to see Audi actually decide to follow the rules instead of get them redefined.

      The R10 was ridiculously large and heavy and instead of working on that problem, they convinced the ACO to make the minimum weight in LMP1 higher.

      Perhaps with these changes, Audi can compete with the LMP2 cars better under the IMSA (ALMS) rules.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You have your facts BACKWARDS... ALMS did not follow ACO rules in regards to P1 & P2.

        ALMS decided that four RS Spyders & three Acura ARX1's gave the fans more excitement that two Audi R10's. They altered the rules so P2 class cars were more equal with P1

        Don't believe me... FACTS (& results) don't lie!!! I'm sure you watched LeMans 24. P2 class cars were no threat to Audi, Peugeot, or ANY P1 car.

        Acura wasn't at LeMans... put TWO well funded RS Spyders were entered. This is the same for the European LeMans Series. No P2 overall victories.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hmm? What you talking about.

        You took my statements incorrectly. I am referring to how Audi built the R10, then had the ACO modify the rules to make it more competitive. This is true. They raised the minimum weight in LMP1 to just below what the R10 weighed, it previously was over a fifty pounds lower.

        And in the first year the R10 was in ALMS, where it was subject to ACO rules, there was no competition at all. It is completely ridiculous that ACO would change the rules to make a new car more dominant, but that's what they did.

        ALMS got bored of this and then changed the IMSA rules to make the LMP2s faster.
      • 6 Years Ago
      this is exactly the kind of exciting racing needed to stimulate breakthroughs in diesel technology. i can hardly wait for the road cars that come from this in the next 5-10 years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, this is audi, so you don't need to, unlike most the tech trickles down in a matter of a year or so, as evidenced by quattro, than FSI, and now the V12 in the Q7 diesel which exists as a direct result of the engineering which went into the R10. So, no need to wait, if you can afford it, you can drive that car now.
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