2014 Auto Expo: Five motorsport machines you must not miss
If you thought the 2014 Auto Expo was just about car launches, boy were you wrong. The Auto Expo is also a place for manufacturers to showcase the machines that set them apart from the rest of the more regular road going cars and people movers. Here are five motorsport machines - racecars and rally cars - you simply must not miss at the 2014 Auto Expo:
Mercedes F1 W04
After a tough three seasons in Formula 1, the W04 was finally the car that saw Mercedes get things right. Heavily influenced by the R&D work put in by Michael Schumacher during his time with the squad between 2010 and 2012, the W04 saw both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton win races and look for a while like they would be serious challengers to the Red Bull Racing team. Why you shouldn't miss out on taking a close look at this car is because it is now one of Formula 1's extinct steeds. The regulation changes have pushed out the V8 engines and the high nose cones. If you think 2014's F1 cars are ugly - get an eyeful of this before season starts!
Audi R18 eTron Quattro
This right here is the Audi R18 eTron Quattro, yes that very same car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012. Having already won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011, Audi developed a modified version of the R18, added a hybrid component to it, and gave it four wheel drive, dubbing it the Audi R18 eTron Quattro. The hybrid car made use of a Williams Hybrid Power flywheel system to store energy, 500kJ of which was then made available to the front wheels of the car at speeds above 120kph, essentially giving the car four-wheel drive or Quattro. The R18 eTron Quattro finished first at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer at the wheel, ably engineered to success by Indian-origin lady race engineer Leena Gade. It became the first hybrid car to win the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, no less!
Hyundai i20 WRC
The i20 WRC is essentially the car that Hyundai is making a rallying comeback with as a part of the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team. The car is, as the name and the look of it suggests, based on the Hyundai i20 that is so popular on Indian roads, only it's certainly got enough going for it to make it rally ready - rollcage, bucket seats, five-point harness, etc. While the Rally i20 hasn't had much success at the Monte Carlo Rally, at the time of typing this story out, the Rally i20s piloted by Thierry Neuville and Juho Hanninen are currently seventh and eighth in Rally Sweden. Now for the car to aim for podiums, perhaps.
Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Winning 10 out of 13 rallies in its debut season - now if that doesn't ensure that a car goes down in history as a proper legend, what will? Luckily for the Polo R WRC, there are simply no doubts. The car is a proper little legend, having won the World Rally Championship in its debut season in 2013. In combination with Sebastien Ogier, the Polo WRC simply decimated the opposition, making Citroen go crying into one corner and M-Sport Ford into the other. With the R logo emblazoned on the side, an air intake in front and a spoiler at the rear, this here is quite a looker. Sure, it only has a 1.6-litre engine, but that's clearly all you need to win the WRC (if you're Seb Ogier, that is).
Mahindra Racing Formula E car
Mahindra is the only electric car manufacturer to compete in the 2014 Formula E championship, and their car, complete with Mahindra livery has been displayed at the 2014 Auto Expo. While for the first year of the championship, Formula E will be run as a single-make series, Mahindra will develop their own electric racer for the 2015 season. What you should know about the 2014 cars are that they are built with Dallara as the official chassis supplier, the powertrains are being built by McLaren, Williams Advanced Engineering is supplying the battery units and Renault is the official technical partner to Sparks Racing Technology, the company instrumental in building these cars. Cars are expected to hit top-speeds of 220kph. The cars have a power output of 180bhp, which increases to 270bhp when the push-to-pass button is used.
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