Le Mans champions at the Audi museum mobile
14 Le Mans racing cars are the new showpieces on the paternoster in the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt. 13 times the brand with the four rings finished at the top of the podium in France, in the world’s most famous endurance race. The special exhibition can be seen in the museum now for a full year.
With the R8R, Audi entered the Le Mans 24-hour race for the first time in 1999. As a newcomer to the event, the premium brand placed its trust in a V8 biturbo engine with 3.6-liter displacement, finishing third and fourth. Audi Tradition is presenting the R8R on the paternoster along with 13 further Le Mans racing cars with the four rings. Their chain of victories remained practically unbroken from 2000 to 2014. Only in 2003 (when the brand did not enter a works team) and in 2009 (3rd place) was the winner not an Audi.
The paternoster moves the racing cars through the four levels of the Audi museum mobile, presenting the viewer with the history of the four rings at Le Mans and the evolutionary steps of the sports cars. One milestone, for example, is FSI technology with turbocharging, which was successfully employed in the Audi R8 in 2001. The gasoline direct injection system reduced fuel consumption and was introduced into series production models soon after. In 2006, the Audi R10 TDI was a technical revolution: the first Le Mans winner with a diesel engine. Four years later, the Audi R15 TDI beat the 39-year-old distance record. The record set by the R15 TDI in 2010 still holds firm today.
Also on show at the Audi museum mobile is the R18 TDI from 2011. The rules for this season stipulated that the engine displacement had to be reduced from 5.5 to 3.7 liters. The closed sports car consumed considerably less than its predecessor and crossed the line first thanks to its optimized aerodynamics. One year later, the four rings were represented in France by the first hybrid sports car: the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The exhibition organizers are displaying the champion from 2012 and its victorious successors from 2013 and 2014.