This year’s R18 e-tron Quattro’s were fast. Next year’s promises to be even faster! [fimg=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/Audi_R18_quattro_e-tron.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Dec. 19, 2012 The 2012 FIA WEC Manufacturer and individual racing title holder at rest which it rarely is! It was actually the sister #1 car but they are so equivalent it really does not matter Three updated Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid race cars will take to the track to defend the title. Audi and its R18 e-tron Quattro continues to charge ahead too with its 2012 title defense of the FIA World Championship (WEC). The granddaddy of them all, Le Mans Along with the overall FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) defense for 2013, Audi Sport Team Joest will be fielding two updated Audi R18 e-tron quattro turbo diesel hybrid race cars plus a third for the FIA WEC 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in April in preps for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours following in June. At Le Mans and in the WEC, Audi will for the first time be exclusively running hybrid technology that was first introduced in 2012. The flywheel energy storage system is becoming even more powerful without any substantial increase in weight and size. According to Audi, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro exterior will hardly change from this year’s winning cars although numerous technical innovations are being added to compete with the likes of Toyota’s TS030 turbo charged gasoline fueled hybrid that was quite literally walking away from the Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s late in the FIA WEC season this year. In a parallel, Audi is working on the successor car for the new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect beginning in 2014. The Audi driver lineup for the WEC and Le Mans in 2013 consists of the current World Champions Marcel Fässler (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Germany) and Benoît Tréluyer (France) plus new signing Lucas di Grassi (Brazil), Loïc Duval (France), Marc Gené (Spain), Oliver Jarvis (Great Britain), Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland). [fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/Audi_e-tron_quattro_in_Bahrain.jpg[/fimg] 2012 R18 e-tron quattro’s in action This year’s sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Bahrain saw Audi take 1 and 2 with the remarkable R18 e-tron quattro. US Racing With the 24-hour race at Daytona and an intensified commitment in the GRAND-AM Series, Audi is returning to US ready for action. With record sales and strong growth in the US market, the racing activities are a natural progression supporting the sales trends. An entry of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro in the 12-hour race at Sebring (Florida) on March 16 is in the planning stages even now. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport: The Audi R18 e-tron quattro is a menacing FIA WEC LMP1 beast! According to Audi, this may not have to be a final farewell. In 2014, the GRAND-AM Series and the American Le Mans Series will merge to form a new North American Sports Car Championship that might be of interest to Audi. US fans will have another opportunity in 2013 to watch the Audi R18 e-tron in action as the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will visit Austin (Texas) on September 22. Having visited this track during its construction while attending the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu short lead earlier this year, it is going to be a hell of a track for a heck of a race. Maybe we’ll find a way to cover it live someway somehow?