Audi F1 Confirms Grand Prix Return From 2026

Audi F1
Audi Shocks with Own Engine on Expected F1 Entry News

Audi has confirmed that it will race in Formula 1 from 2026. There were no surprises at the Ingolstadt carmaker, which won several grands prix as Auto Union in the 1930s, making the announcement ahead of this weekend’s Belgian F1 Grand Prix. But news that Audi will build its own engines, and that it is still to acquire a team to run the effort, were both unexpected.

Audi’s entry, heralded by these images of an F1 showcar in its colors, marks the Volkswagen Group’s first major step into Formula 1 following the FIA last week rubber stamping greener F1 rules from 2026. Audi is set to be joined on the grid by sister brand Porsche. The Stuttgart brand is in the throes of finalizing its partnership with Red Bull from 2026.

Formula 1

Its Own Audi F1 Powertrain is the Big News

The biggest news is that Audi will not after all share engine and power unit technology with Porsche. Led by Adam Baker, Audi will now develop its own F1 power units at its Neuburg facility. Test benches are already in place, with plans in place to expand personnel and infrastructure for the F1 project by the end of the year.

“Motorsport is an integral part of Audi’s DNA,” company chairman Markus Duesmann pointed out. “Formula 1 is both a massive global stage for our brand, and a highly challenging development laboratory. “The combination of high performance and competition is always a driver of innovation and technology transfer in our industry.

“With the new rules, now is the right time for us to get involved. After all, Formula 1 and Audi both pursue clear sustainability goals.” Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 follows years of links to a potential F1 entry. The company has traditionally focused on sportscar racing, Formula E and the Dakar Rally. Audi has canned its planned sportscar return to concentrate on F1.

Formula 1

Formula 1 is Delighted By Audi’s Arrival

Audi’s news is a major coup for Formula 1, “I am delighted to welcome Audi, an iconic automotive brand, pioneer and technological innovator,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali pointed out. “This is a major moment for our sport that highlights our great strength as a global platform and a huge nod to our sustainably fueled hybrid engines from 2026.”.

“You can imagine there was a huge discussion,” Markus Deusmann explained. “But we decided, as both our brands have a lot of fans and their own special character, that we should keep it separate and do two operations. “We will have different teams, and each powertrain will be designed especially for each chassis.”

“It costs time to integrate the electrified powertrain with the chassis,” Audi development boss Oliver Hoffmann added: “So Audi will have our own, completely different operations. “It will be a challenge to get this done by 2026, but I think we will find some compromise in the rules so we can arrive in F1 on equal terms with our new rivals.

Audi F1 Confirms Grand Prix Return From 2026

Competitive Audi F1 Powertrain a Challenge by 2026

“We were able to develop the Dakar car, which is also a very complex drivetrain, in less than one year. “I think we will be able to develop this power train also by 2026. “We love the challenge!” Audi’s revolutionary Dakar program continues as planned.

While Porsche has remained focused on its pending partnership with Red Bull, Audi has explored options with several teams including McLaren, Williams and favourites Sauber. Swiss team Sauber operates the Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo squad. Audi was expected to confirm its team partner today, but that announcement will now follow later.

“The long lead is the powertrain, so we had to decide on the power unit. “That’s what we announced today,” Duesmann pointed out. “Regarding a team, there are several fantastic chassis partners on the grid, and we have spoken to them. “We inform you as soon as we know who our chassis partner will be. “We will do the decision within this year.”

Audi F1

Is Sauber the Audi Formula 1 Team Favorite?

Like it did with Joest in Sportscars and does with Quandt at the Dakar, Audi will not form a brand new F1 team. “We will have an Audi powertrain in an existing car, but we won’t set up a new team,” Duesmann concluded. “The starting position is much better with an existing team and car.”

In a twist shortly after Audi’s announcement, Sauber F1 partner Alfa Romeo Thursday confirmed that it will exit F1 end-2023. A deal with Sauber would likely see Audi take a stake in the team to return it to a works squad, as it was as BMW-Sauber until 2009.

Teaming up with an existing outfit also avoids the $200-million fee required for new F1 entrants. Duesmann however refused to comment on Sauber links. Watch this space!

Images: Audi

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Audi S1 E-Tron Quattro Hoonitron Will Make North American Debut at Rolex Motorsport Reunion

HoonitronKen Block is going electric. Block has a new production on the horizon called ‘Electrikhana’ which promises to include plenty of his usual driving stunts. But as the name would suggest with an all-electric vehicle. But which vehicle would he use? Well, it was to be a one-of-a-kind build for sure. And if you are going to design a one-off racer from the ground up you may as well use one of the most iconic racing cars in history as inspiration. In this case that would be the 1985 Audi Sport quattro S1. Last December it was decided that an all-electric version of the rally legend would be made for Block. It is called the Audi S1 E-Tron Quattro Hoonitron. It will be revealed in North America for the first time at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion hosted at Laguna Seca during Monterey Car Week August 17 – August 21.

The Audi S1 E-Tron Quattro Hoonitron is not just some styling exercise concept. “It features dual electric motors, all-wheel drive, a carbon fiber chassis, and incorporation of the full suite of safety standards as dictated by motorsports’ top governing body, the FIA.” In other words, it has all the ingredients needed for Block to put on one heck of a show. It will be displayed at Laguna Seca along with its inspiration the Audi Sport quattro S1.

Four Weeks

HoonitronAudiWorld should be familiar with. But just in case you need a refresher. From 1984 to 1987, Audi rally driver Walter Röhrl drove the original Audi Sport quattro S1 during the Group B era of rally racing. Many consider that the golden era of the sport. It was during these years that the word ‘quattro’ became a household word. In 1987 Röhrl set his record of 10 minutes and 48 seconds on gravel at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. That record still stands and will likely never be broken. The unpaved road no longer exists as it has since been paved over. We don’t know if the Hoonitron will ever become as famous but it sure has some pedigree.

e-tron Future

Ken Block EVClick HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Audi and Team WRT Are Ending Their 13-Year Partnership After 13 Years

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

After enjoying tremendous success together, Team WRT and Audi are moving on to other ventures.

Audi and Team WRT have enjoyed a prosperous 13-year relationship, racking up victories at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, the Bathurst 12 Hour, and the GT World Cup in Macau, along with a grand total of 30 titles in the GTWCE and its predecessors. However, that long-standing relationship is now set to come to an end following the current season, as the two entities have announced that they are ending their decade-plus partnership.

“It is a very special and emotional moment for all of us at Team WRT and me personally, as we announce that a significant chapter in the history of our organization will soon come to an end and a new one will open,” said team principal Vincent Vosse. “It couldn’t be otherwise, because Audi has been the brand we have been associated with since the creation of Team WRT at the end of 2009 and our sole partner in GT3 racing. All things in life have a beginning and an end, and our paths will now separate but the longstanding friendships will last. We all can have a sense of pride looking at what was accomplished together and we’ll all treasure the many good memories of this great period.”

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

It’s a somber end to a fairly tale sort of story, which has seen Team WRT and Audi team up to achieve tremendous success. The decision comes following Audi’s cancellation of its LMDh program, which WRT was set to run in the WEC next year. WRT reportedly already had a deal in place to participate in that series before this decision was made, but it didn’t take long for it to move on. In fact, BMW has already announced that WRT will operate its factory LMDh team in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Regardless, Audi and WRT’s split is a bit bittersweet for all involved.

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

“After 13 fantastic years, we will be going our separate ways from 2023 but we will continue to have friendly ties,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “The close relationship with Vincent Vosse as well as with Yves and Pascal Weerts is characterized by deep trust, shared sporting values, and an absolute drive for success. A big thank you to them and their entire team, combined with best wishes for the future.”

Photos: Team WRT

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650 HP 1991 Audi S2 Mops the Floor with Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

1991 Audi S2

Both powerplants in this video produce 650 HP. But only one of these revamped classics features quattro all-wheel-drive.

Few things can make 90s kids nostalgic about their early years. Grunge fashion was the most popular trend of the era, and for millennial automotive enthusiasts, a 1991 Audi S2 and Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R were the epitome of everything cool. As our avid readers might already know, the S2 was the first Audi S model to hit the streets. In a recent OFFICIALLY GASSED-OG video, the two legends battle it out in a series of exciting drag races.

The proud owner of the R32 GT-R, Billy joins Jamie from OFFICIALLY GASSED-OG and offers an in-depth look at his exciting car. Like the Audi S2, the Nissan Skyline GT-R is a heavily tuned machine. Both vehicles produce 650 HP maximum power. Under the hood of the Skyline sits a 2.6-liter straight-six motor, whereas a 20-valve 2.2-liter 5-cylinder motor propels the 1991 Audi S2.

Both cars also get a slew of performance upgrades. The S2 has a fully forged ABY motor, Supertech valve springs, custom-built GTX3582R turbo kit, methanol injection, and 1000 cc injectors. The German performance sedan rides on Uniroyal Rainsport tires and weighs around 3417 lbs. Under the heart of the GT-R, we find a fully forged RB26DETT motor, TOMEI Type A valve springs, BorgWarner Twin scroll turbocharger, TOMEI Type B Poncams, and much more.

1991 Audi S2

Unlike its Japanese rival, the 1991 Audi S2 benefits from its quattro all-wheel-drive system, which comes into its own during the first run.

The Audi manages to obliterate the R32 GT-R easily. The German coupe hits the 60 MPH mark from a complete standstill in just 3.19 seconds. The Audi S2 manages to cross the finish line in just 11.24 seconds. Billy wins back some points in the first rolling drag race; however, the GT-R is no match for the S2. Audi’s performance coupe wins the final two races and impresses everyone on the track.

“Once again, in an incredibly close race, Audrius (S2 owner) and the S2 managed to just take the win by about half a car length, boy that was close,” shares Jamie. He also proclaims, “So today ends in an old-school German S2 taking home the win.”


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Manhart RS3 500 Upgrade Helps 2022 Audi RS3 Churn Out 493 HP

Manhart RS3 500

The Manhart RS3 500 tuning kit is available for four-door sedan and five-door hatchback versions of the 2022 Audi RS3.

Manhart Performance is a German tuner that has souped-up everything from thoroughbred Italian supercars to futuristic electric vehicles. The company recently unveiled an exciting creation based on the all-new 2022 Audi RS3. The tuner’s latest project is the all-new Manhart RS3 500, which will be available for Sportback and sedan versions of the 2022 Audi RS3.

A 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbo motor powers the all-new RS3. The powerplant churns out 394 HP of maximum power in its euro spec, which bumps up to 401 HP in the US. Manhart RS3 500’s performance upgrades include an MHtronik Powerbox tuning module, and the new mapping allows the tuner to increase the power output up to 493 HP.

The engine now hooks up to a stainless steel exhaust system which gets electronically controlled valves. The Wuppertal-based company announced the new tuning kit via its social media channels. Unfortunately, the company has not revealed many details about the tuning kit, including the new torque figure.

Manhart RS3 500

Like the horsepower, we reckon the Manhart RS3 500 upgrade will also substantially increase the torque figures of the new RS3.

As our avid readers must already know, the new RS3 produces 369 lb-ft of peak torque in its factory tune. The Manhart RS3 500 flaunts a gorgeous gloss black paint job in the teaser images, which is offset by gold accents. RS3 500 and Manhart decals adorn the front doors. Furthermore, we also find the same badging on the trunk lid flaunting a vibrant gold finish.

The performance upgrade is available for both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback versions. As part of the Manhart treatment, this 2022 Audi RS3 also ditches its stock wheels in favor of 20-inch rims which sport golden rim stripes. Manhart’s 20-inch Concave One double-spoke alloys fit snugly in the wheel arches because of a set of lowering springs.

Pirelli high-performance tires envelop the ominous alloys. The Manhart RS3 500 also gets gold brake calipers that complement the racing stripes and decals of the ensemble. So far, we do not have any information regarding the pricing of the new tuning kit.

Image Source: Manhart Performance

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