Back in June, Audi avenged their loss to Peugeot in the 2009 24 Hours Of Le Mans with a record breaking performance from their R15 Plus prototype cars. This sounds all well and good, but Peugeot's 908 HDi cars had actually done better than the Audis in qualifying, and the Audi victory could be credited in a large part to Peugeot technical problems. Clearly, Audi has to step up their game if they want to stay on top. The R18 is how they plan to do just that.
The R18 is the first Audi LMP car to have a closed cockpit since the 1999 R8C, although Audi does have some more recent closed cockpit design experience from the 2003 Bentley Speed 8 cars. Rule changes will call for a smaller engine than the one found in the R15 Plus, so the R18 has a 3.7-liter V6, and it will obviously be a diesel again. The R18 is also probably one of the best looking racecars ever made, and those LED headlights are a nice touch.