The much-anticipated Audi
R15 TDI has finally be spotted for the first time during a secret test at the Vallelunga track in Spain. Audi has been keeping a tight lid on the R15 since announcing it last November. Aside from that announcement about running the new car
and Le Mans
this year, no other information has been provided. Unlike the Peugeot
908, the R15 retains the open top layout of its R10 and R8
predecessors. Aerodynamically, the R15 appears to be a big step forward from the R10 with a whole new front end look. The central portion of the nose is significantly wider and higher, closer to the look of a Formula One car. The rear body work has also been significantly changed relative to the R10, with much lower sides similar to the new Acura
ARX-02a that will also debut at Sebring.
Audi has confirmed the R15 will have a smaller, lighter diesel
engine than the R10 along with other technical innovations, but details are unknown at this time. One possibility is the incorporation of a hybrid
KERS setup to provide an on-demand power boost. Audi won't publicly show the R15 until it rolls off the transporter at Sebring next month.