With this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race just a few days away, the Audi Motorsport team got up to a little mischief at the expense of corporate sibling Porsche. Porsche hasn’t competed in the LMP1 category since winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the class in 1998.
In the video, a driver straps into an Audi R-18 E-Tron Quattro racing car and departs the four-ringed brand’s headquarters in Ingolstadt. Passersby stop to stare at and snap photos of the wild racing car as it makes its way out into the German countryside. Along the way, the Audi R-18 E-Tron Quattro passes a slow-moving tractor — more specifically, a Porsche tractor. Finally, the gleaming Audi racing car arrives outside Porsche’s headquarters in Stuttgart, and performs a huge burnout to write “Welcome Back” on the road in tire marks.
Porsche announced last summer that it would return to Le Mans in 2014 with a new race car in the LMP1 class, but Audi couldn’t let the team return to the endurance race without some good-natured teasing. Porsche and Audi are corporate siblings under the Volkswagen Group umbrella — and what siblings can resist teasing one another? This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race takes place this weekend, June 14 through 15.
The Porsche 919 Hybrid racing car, which competes in the LMP1 class, was publicly introduced at the 2014 Geneva auto show, uses some technical elements from the 918 Spider hypercar. Like that car, it combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor, but in this case a 2.0-liter turbocharged V-4 engine produces more than 500 hp, and the front-axle motor can add up to 250 hp.
Audi, for its part, has won four consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans races from 2010 through 2013 — in fact, Audi won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 12 times in the past 14 years. The two-time Le Mans winning Audi R-18 E-Tron Quattro has been upgraded for 2014 to meet new regulations. A turbodiesel V-6 engine drives the rear wheels, an electric motor/generator works on the front wheels, an electric turbocharger helps capture wasted energy from the exhaust heat.
Watch the Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro show off in front of Porsche’s headquarters in the video below.