Independent Design Focus
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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:16 PM
You may remember the name Kim Stapleton as the designer behind Audi F1 renderings that this website featured earlier in the year. An architect by day, the Australian also has a passion for Audis as expemplified with works like his imagined Audi F1 design and now an illustration of Ingolstadtʼs potential Le Mans future according to rules being adopted by the ACO that will mandate a closed cockpit car by 2010.
After almost two months of design and construction, Stapleton is now ready to share his Audi R15 TDI Coupe Concept projected for the ALMS, Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With the newly adopted rules change requiring a closed-top design, the current R10 design will be obsolete. The regulations also encourage a specified front-end design that features both the manufacturersʼ street car brand design and badge.
For the design, Stapleton drew inspiration from many existing vehicles including the R10, along with the R8, R8C, R8 production car, Bentley Speed 8, Mercedes-Benz CLR GT and the Audi RS4. Much of the design language was pulled directly from the R10, which is evident in the side elevations and the rear spoiler details.
From there, Stapleton took the approach of merging a contemporary Audi street vehicles with this base R10 form, which in the end seems to harken back to the era of GT1 class designs in the late 90ʼs. He made a conscious effort to stay away from excessive aero packages (i.e. modern F1 designs) as he felt this compromised the clean lines of both the current R10 and the Audi street range.
Some of the other key features of the design include the use of Bio-Diesel, energy saving lights and the inclusion of a kinetic energy recovery system (K.E.R.S.) - a regenerating brake device that recovers and stores wasted heat energy from the brakes in a supercapacitor to be used as additional power by the drivers.
The design was box-modeled in 3ds max and rendered using Vray. The poly count is around 300,000 for those who care. Stapleton admits he had been thinking of attempting such a design for almost a year now, though only now managed to force himself to complete the project in the past few months. Even guessing the sheer number of hours spent on the project scares him a bit.
Weʼre certainly glad he spent the hours. Works by Kim Stapleton are great tools for imagining Audi Sportʼs next move. Whether that be the continuation of diesel technology at Le Mans like this project displays, or a move to F1 as seen in his previous work, his efforts are certainly appreciated.
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