The R18 etron quattro is a diesel Hybrid LMP1 prototype racecar that competed at the Le Mans 24 hour race and in the World Endurance Championship. It began its life as simple the R18 TDI – a diesel-powered prototype racer, in 2011. As the rules of the series changed so to did the R18. The car evolved over time to incorporate hybrid technology in the form of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).
As indicated in the cars name (Quattro) the R18 features a 4-wheel drive system – the front wheels are powered by an electric motor while the rear wheels receive power from the diesel engine. This is a unique setup that automatically provides power to the optimal wheel as the car accelerates – functioning almost like a traction control system – making the car easier to drive, especially in long endurance races where the track conditions can change.
The R18, in its varied forms, won the Le Mans 24 Hour four times and the WEC title twice (2012 & 2013).