Audi's e-Tron becomes the first hybrid to win Le Mans, saves the planet at the same time

Audi's eTron becomes the first hybrid to win Le Mans, saves the planet at the same time

Audi's R-18 e-Tron diesel-electric hybrid has become the first car of its kind to win the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race. Audi and Toyota both submitted environmentally friendly racers, but the latter's LMP1 crashed, which left the German automaker to a 1-2 finish (while a pair of non-hybrid racers placed third and fifth, respectively). Unlike battery-based hybrids, the R-18 uses a hefty turbo-diesel V6 pushing power to the back wheels, along with a flywheel to recover braking energy and drive a motor attached to the front wheels. The company has revealed that it's actually testing this far cheaper, battery-free system in a production vehicle, so perhaps it's only a matter of time before you'll be able to go a full day on a tank -- give or take the odd rest stop.