2006-2008 Audi R10

Images copyright Antonio PannulloBob Chapman @ Autosport Image,
Pete Lyons, Photos @ Vector Trust, Pat Michl, and Michael J. Fuller

Text copyright Michael J. Fuller
Wheels Down Winter Test, February 2006Much has been made about the Audi R10's diesel power plant.  The technical task that Audi has undertaken should not be underestimated and it is such an endeavor that only a well honed (and well funded) manufacturer can tackle.  But Audi's design methodology is such that it is counter intuitive to a successful program.  The English/Italian paradigm for chassis manufacturing typically has engineering and manufacturing all under one roof with the usual utilization of out side auto parts suppliers as needed.  Audi Sport does things a little differently starting with the fact that they do not have any chassis manufacturing capability in and of themselves.  All design work for the R10 is done at Audi Sport though Audi routinely subcontracts some design and drafting duties to an in-house consultancy called BTZ.  The R10's aerodynamics were first developed at Audi Sport in CFD, fleshed out in Fondtech's scale wind tunnel in Italy, and then finally fine-tuned in full scale at the Audi Wind Tunnel Centre back in Germany.  Italian race car manufacturer Dallara builds the R10’s monocoques and additional suppliers located throughout Europe provide everything from related ECU components to bodywork, granted all of which has been designed to Audi Sport specification and from Audi Sport CAD/CAM files to allow for direct fit auto parts.  The car is then assembled at Ingolstadt.

This methodology is nothing new to Audi as it was in place throughout the R8 years.  That it has been successfully applied to the R10 (a car that is arguably a percentage fold more complicated) is a testament to the methodology though also perhaps to Audi's budget expenditure.

Audi obviously took a risk heading down the diesel route, the technical challenge is immense but then it comes with many readily obvious performance advantages over gasoline-powered competitors, so their decision to go diesel certainly doesn't give them many sleepless nights inasmuch as once the technical hurdles are cleared (and given their 2006 debut Sebring win one must say one large one has been).  Can too much be made of the car's diesel engine?  No, it is brave in concept and well executed and for now has breathed a bit of fresh air into sportscar racing's relevance to the world.

Audi R10 cutaway by Antonio Pannullo
Click on each image below...
2006 Audi R10 Specifications
Designer: Aerodynamics: Vincent Bichon
Chassis:  Wolfgang Appel
Engine:  Ulrich Baretzky
Layout: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Monocoque: Carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque
Engine: Audi diesel 5.5 liter, 90░ V12 twin turbo-charged engine, 4 valves per cylinder, DOHC, 2 Garrett turbo chargers, 2 x 39.9 mm engine-air intake restrictors (defined by regulations) and maximum turbo pressure of 2.94 bar absolute, diesel direct injection TDI, stressed aluminum crankshaft case
Engine management: Bosch MS14
Engine lubrication: Dry sump, Shell Racing Oil
Horsepower: 650+ hp
Torque: 811+ lb-ft.
Gearbox: 5-speed pneumatically-actuated sequential race gearbox, partner X-trac
Clutch: Ceramic clutch
Differential: Viscous-mechanical locking differential
Driveshafts: Constant velocity tripod plunge-joint driveshafts
Steering: Electronically controlled power steering (rack and pinion)
Suspension: Front:  Upper and lower A-arms, pushrod to monocoque mounted torsion bar and rocker arm actuated primary damper.
Rear: Upper and lower A-arms, pushrod to bellhousing mounted torsion bar and rocker arm actuated primary damper.  Third spring.
Brakes: Dual-circuit hydraulic braking system, mono-block light-alloy brake calipers, front and rear ventilated carbon brake discs, driver adjustable infinitely variable brake-balance
Wheels: O.Z., forged magnesium,
Front: 13 x 18 inch
Rear: 14.5 x 18 inch
Tires: Michelin radial
Front: 33/68-18
Rear: 37/71-18
Length: 4650 mm (assumed)
Width: 2000 mm
Height: 1030 mm
Wheelbase: 2980 mm (calculated)
Front Overhang: 920 mm (estimated based on calculated wheelbase and assumed rear overhang)
Rear Overhang: 750 mm (assumed)
Weights: 935 kgs (Sebring '06)
Tank capacity: 81 liters ('07)
90 liters ('06)
ęCopyright 2008, Michael J. Fuller