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November/December 2013
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All news content copyright Michael J. Fuller, unless otherwise noted

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12.27.13

>>A
housekeeping note.  Over the past few months I've been pretty bad about updating the Resume Board. This morning I've gone through my email and have added all the new requests.  However, while pretty confident I have all listed, if not, please contact me if you aren't seeing your resume/updated resume.

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Porsche LMP 200012.24.13

>>B
ut it is always surprising what comes out of the woodwork...and while Porsche has adamantly denied the existence of the LMP1 2000, apparently in 2003 the German magazine Sport Auto ran this image of the LMP1 2000's rear end.  I've held on to it for a couple of years now (thankyou Markus Eberhardt) and only stumbled back across it.

The stressed V10 bolts to a bespoke cast metallic gearbox/bellhousing/oil tank.  The rear suspension hangs off, and mounts to, the gearbox.  Pushrod to bellcrank operated spring damper.  Pretty status-quo for the era, but don't forget we're talking 13+ years ago...

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Porsche LMP 200012.22.13

>>I
t still suprises me that after all these years Porsche has never released images of their still-born LMP1 from back in 2000.   I mean it's been 13 years already.  So whenever shots like these roll in, I'm happier than hell to post them.  The ultimate source for the shots are a forum located here.
Porsche LMP 2000These are the first clear images of the car's rear end.  The most interesting items are the structures that form the outer diffuser walls.  The reverse undercut forms a sharp horizontal edge that was probably useful in shedding off a beneficial vortice that could interact with the rest of the underfloor.

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Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 201412.18.13 *updated 12.22.13

>>A
nother spy shot came down the pipe and it gives us an additional angle of that front wing vortex generator.  It certainly appears to extend below the reference plane, doesn't it (to the regulations!  Not sure if that's even legal...)?  It could be an optical illusion given the image height and angle, also considering the chamferred floors.  Regardless of where it actually ends in Z, how much of an influence on the overall underfloor performance could a device like this have?

Further inspection of the regulations reveals Article 3.5.4 which plainly states, "All parts of bodywork visible from the underside must be situated more than 10 mm above the reference surface."  However...reading further, the ACO has defined volumes around the front wheels, 400 mm either side of the wheel center line in length, 300 mm tall (measured from the bottom of the reference plane), and 500 mm wide (with the inner face of the width being at least 450 mm within the car's centerline) that are described as "free."  The exact wording is, "In order to permit wheel and suspension part movements (suspension travel and steering) and the passage of brake scoops, the volume around the front wheels is free."  

So, what defines free?  Could a turning vane be incorporated into the front brake duct assembly, or even mounted in the vicinity but within the defined box, and projected downwards to the reference plane?  Our best guess is yes...but it sure looks like it goes below the reference plane, doesn't it?
Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 2014And a shot from tonight's rollout, again emphasizing the vortex generator's apparent depth relative to the bottom of the car.  Note the other vortex generating devices; the outer splitter foot and the diveplanes.  Final note, Ulrich's foot (1).

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Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 201412.14.13

>>
Following up on their release of the single front shot on December 8 (below) and the release of spy shots on Autosport.com on December 11, Audi have released a further series of images as well as a high resolution video.  So suddenly there's a ton of imagery to have a poke and prod.

Looking down on the new 2014 R18 it can now be confirmed how much slimmer the nose is (1).  Presumably the narrow design is driven by the desire to enhance airflow to the front wing.  

We can also have a better look at the revised-for-2014 mandatory front Big Honking Holes (2).  2014 regulations mandate that the trailing edge of the hole aligns with the wheel center line thus they are slid further forward on the fender than previously.  The rears (3) aren't affected in the same manner and instead must be positioned centered on the rear wheel centerline as last year.

The rear brake ducts are still found in the elongated leading edge of the rear fenders (4)

The cascading/shutter elements are back on the nose with no less than four (5, 6, 7, 8) elements either side of the car centerline, allowing the car's front wing, which is situated underneath these elements, better air flow.

The engine exhausts are located either side of the car centerline (9) and the rear wing has reverted to the 2014-legal extruded section (10).
Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 2014In side elevation, courtesy of the studio video Audi released, a couple of items become apparent.  We get a better view of the front diveplanes/flow conditioners (1) with their flat entry and raised trailing edge.  Also, there is a new wheel well extraction vent in the trailing edge of the front pontoon fender (2).  Note the cutout in the inner face of the vent (3); this is in direct reflection of the mandatory driver visibility template for 2014.   The side board gurney (4) now extends the length of the wheelbase.  The Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 2014rear wing is now extending back out beyond the bodywork, thus to the max 750 rear overhang, and so no more "Longtail" for now.  So far, the most interesting item I've noted is the flattened duct (I christen thee: "Platypus Duct," going along with the whole 2014 R18 platypus theme) located just past the driver (6), detail at right.  Presumably its function is to cool the various voodoo Hybrid bits?  Or is it simply the flap (with an intake vent) to cover the fuel flow meter equipment?
Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 2014It is very interesting to note that the trailing edge of the Audi's cockpit appears to be to the full regulated heights and that Audi has not taken advantage of legality blisters or steps such as seen on the Porsche and Dome P2 (and previously seen on the Dome P1 and Toyota).  Recall that the front roll over hoop now has to be 950 mm tall with the rear 935 mm tall.  But the regulations also state that the front hoop's 950 mm height has to be maintained for 300 mm in the X dimension (front view) and that the rear the 935 mm height must be maintained for 400 mm in X.  And this is what gives the center portion of the cockpit a decidedly elongated/extruded  look (certainly compared to last year's car).
  Dome S103 P2
The element of interpretation regards whether or not that X dimension has to be constant and the presumption is that localized legality blisters (or similar device) to the vertical height but separated by the regulated X dimension would be legal, thus allowing the surrounding bodywork to be to a reduced height.  The presumed benefit being a slightly tighter cockpit trailing edge and better airflow to the rear wing.  Thus with Audi siding with a very conservative interpretation makes one wonder if the ACO has nixed the more liberal (and the one with previous precedent) interpretation.
Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 2014I'm very fortunate that these spy shots hit my in box anonymously.  Looking at the rear of the Audi we see the exhausts (1) poking out either side of the car centerline.  Interestingly, the entire trailing edge, with the TE gurney following suit, tucks down (2) as it moves outboard.  And while it could very well be nothing, there appears to be some segregation of the air flow exiting the engine (3--note it's on both sides of the car).  Note also the thickened trailing edge (4) of the underfloor, presumably a gurney, or a trailing edge extension, resides there; a carry over from previous Audi LMPs (going back to the R15).  Finally we have the anonymous exit duct (5) as was seen on the 2013 R18.  We also have bulges in the engine cover (6, though note the bulge is on both sides) that don't appear in the studio shots.  Not to jump the gun or anything, but the last time I asked about engine cover bulges the conversation turned to air-hybrid systems (3.16.13 entry)...But an over night course correction tells me that Audi were running the 2013 exhaust on the narrower 2014 car when the car tested at Sebring (and that's the reason for the bulge in the engine cover) but that the 2014 exhaust gas recovery system will be (is) on the car and the bulges will go away.
Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 2014Another shot of the rear end, not 100% sure what the function of the device poking out from car centerline is (1), but that it prominently sticks out past the rear bodywork means I would presume it is the new-for-2014 rear impact structure.  The regulations state the rear impact structure must project a minimum of 575 mm behind the rear wheel centerline.  And with the local bodywork well short of the max 750 mm rear overhang dimension, this would seem to mean the rear crash structure pokes out beyond it.   Presumably the gearbox vent hose is the orange one to the crash structure's right.
Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 2014It is interesting how similar the very leading edge of the splitter is to the 2013 car, even down to the furthest outboard elements.  Things of interest, the turning vane/vortex generator (1) and the slot gap separator (2, note two others that are visible as well) for the front wing's secondary flap.

Front brake ducts are still located just inboard the front fenders (3). 

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Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 201412.8.13

>>H
ere we have the first image of the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro released just this morning.  Shot with a 50 mm lens, the image appears intentionally distorted and makes comparison with other shots, shot with much longer focal lengths, difficult.  So please take that into consideration.

Besides a few details, not much appears all too terribly different.  The 2014 car's nose is slightly slimmer and the flow conditioning dive planes are a new iteration, but from this view the same themes remain (which go all the way back to 2011 let's remember).  Nothing can be conclusively said about dimensions given the distortion, but other than the narrowing of the cars to 1900 mm for 2014, it shouldn't be expected that much has changed there either.
Audi R18 e-tron quattro renders, 20132013, Audi e-tron quattro rendering:
Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2014, image capture from video>>This video also appeared last week, a highlight reel produced by Audi of their 2013 season.  A lively discussion was had on the FB page because at the very end of the video they gave us a dick tease showing the 2014 car, albeit very briefly.  About the only thing of note from this grainy image is that it appears the swan neck trailing edge extension is taller.

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ęCopyright 2013, Michael J. Fuller