The Audi R18 e-tron quattro, powered by Williams Hybrid Power’s innovative electric flywheel hybrid system, impressed on its first competitive outing in Round 2 of the FIA World Endurance Championship held at Spa-Francorchamps this past weekend.
The No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro set the fastest time in Friday’s qualifying and its sister car finished in second place around the famous circuit after dominating the early stages in difficult wet conditions.
The race at Spa-Francorchamps can be seen as a “dress rehearsal” for the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month in France.
Williams Hybrid Power designed an entirely new, ultra-lightweight electric flywheel and associated power electronics for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, delivering 150KW of power with a top rotor speed of 45,000 rpm.
The key benefits of the Williams hybrid system are a high power density and correspondingly low mass, the ability to continuously deep power cycle, high efficiency energy transfer to and from the e-storage, and an insusceptibility to performance or life degradation over a wide range of operating temperatures.
According to Williams, these defining features are highly suited to endurance racing and made the WHP flywheel the prime candidate for Audi’s project when compared to other technologies such as batteries, ultra-capacitors or mechanical flywheels.