Audi’s latest racing car roars on to the track later this month (15-16 June) when the German prestige car manufacturer bids to win the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours for a third consecutive year.
Three Audi R8 sports racing cars will be on the grid for the annual round-the-clock "classic". The winning car at Le Mans this year will need to clock up around 3,500 miles at an average speed of over 130mph.
Britain’s Johnny Herbert drives one of the 220mph hi-tech Audis featuring the latest FSI (petrol direct injection) technology on its 3.6-litre twin-turbo V8 engine which is limited to 610bhp.
FSI offers improved fuel consumption, an increase in power at low revs and also a better throttle response - advantages that will enhance Audi’s road-going production cars. Indeed, an Audi A2 1.6 FSI will be available in Britain in September.
And while Audi’s latest motorsport challenger to carry the company’s Four Ring emblem bristles with modern day technology, British company Crosthwaite & Gardiner has recreated the very first racing car to appear with the famous Four Ring badge identifying the amalgamation of Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer which encompassed Auto Union in 1932.
The pioneering, weight-saving aluminium-bodied 1934 Auto Union A-type, was also a radical design in its day. The engine was sited behind the driver and ahead of the rear wheels and was capable of achieving over 170mph courtesy of its powerful V16 engine.
An Auto Union A-type incredibly averaged nearly 135mph over 125-miles on the Avus track in Berlin almost 70 years ago. The Crosthwaite & Gardiner recreated Auto Union, modelled on the 1934 German Grand Prix winning car, is the only one of its type in the world and is on display in Brussels.Published 5 June 2002