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Published on July 8th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Audi Automotive Technology Transfer: From Motorsport to Production Car

Audi is active in motorsport in order to accelerate technical progress. Numerous interesting examples provide compelling proof that the technology developed for motorsports have found their way into an Audi showroom car.
quattro In 1980, the quattro marked the beginning of the Audi brand’s successful motorsport history and rise to the level of a technology trendsetter. Since then, Audi has built more than five million vehicles with quattro drive. The more power­ful models in particular are no longer thinkable without permanent quattro all-wheel drive.

Matrix LED headlights Audi is regarded as a pioneer in LED technology. Currently, the R18 e-tron quattro, thanks to Matrix-Beam, has a cornering light function in its full LED headlights. Additional functions are possible in road traffic. The new technology will be making its debut in road cars within the foreseeable future.
Aerodynamics Maximum aerodynamic efficiency is a common aim of production and motorsport development. The production side takes up many ideas from the sport. The enclosed underfloor of the Audi A8 is just one ­example.

Torsen differential and hollow shaft In 1985, Audi was the first automobile manufacturer to test a Torsen differential in rallying. Two years later, the invention made its way into large-scale production, initially in the Audi 80/90 and later in all quattro models.
S tronic The “S tronic” transmission in which two clutches allow the driver to use an engaged gear and pre-select a second one celebrated its debut in 1985, in the Audi Sport quattro S1.
Electrification In 2009, the Audi R15 TDI was the first Le Mans sports car to be equipped with a lithium-ion battery of the type used in hybrid electric vehicles and thus a forerunner of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
Safety Since 2001 Audi’s sports prototypes have been equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system. Such systems can be ordered for production models as well.
TFSI The combination of turbo charging and direct injection is standard at Audi today. TFSI technology celebrated its debut with a victory of the Audi R8 at the 2001 Le Mans 24 Hours.
ultra-lightweight design Lightweight design is a core topic in motorsport and an Audi core competence. Audi started to gather experience with aluminum in rallying and has been increasing its expertise in CFRP with sports prototypes since 1999.

Emissions reduction Particularly by fielding TDI technology at Le Mans Audi has been introducing new trends in reducing exhaust and noise emissions since 2006. The related know-how has already been transferred to TDI production engines.
Assistance systems Be it push-button engine starts or various dynamics programs for suspension, engine and transmission control: motor­sport initially sparked their development.
TDI Power Audi is the inventor of the TDI engine. Since 2006 motorsport has been assisting Audi in its continuing development of TDI technology: to control increasingly high injection and ignition pressures, for example.
Material technology Be it aluminum, magnesium or composites – motorsport is often a pioneer for production when it comes to using new types of materials.
Digital rear-view mirror The Audi R18 e-tron quattro has a digital rear-view mirror with a camera and an AMOLED display. This technology is currently being tested at Audi for future use in production applications.

e-tron quattro In the R18 e-tron quattro, Audi is testing a new type of four-wheel drive system in which one of the axles is electrically driven. Audi is testing such technologies in production-based test models as well.

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