Rumors of an R18 Hybrid have been floating around for awhile now, but it wasn’t until today that we had confirmation that the cars testing at Sebring were of the new Hybrid variety. In addition to the hybrid components, the car is also rumored to have an entirely new monocoque that is aimed to provide improved visibility.
Audi Sport is to run a hybrid LMP1 at Le Mans in 2012, whilst precise details of the project are still unclear it is known to utilise a flywheel hybrid powertrain. English firm Flybrid Systems are thought to be the suppliers of the technology, as it already has knowledge of running a system at Le Mans (with Hope Racing’s ORECA).
You can see very clearly that the R18H and R18 from this season have several subtle design differences. Audi hasn’t come out and announced their plans yet but the fact that they are now testing out in the open like this lends us to think that we will be hearing official word soon. Once thing is certain, Audi is preparing very hard for the FIA World Endurance Championship for 2012 and we couldn’t be more excited!
To make this a bit easier we have paired together a few pictures comparing the 2011 R18 and 2012 R18 Hybrid.