A byword for the new millennium: “New drive technology”
Diesel technology makes inroads into racing sport, with an Audi R10 with a TDI engine winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2006 and 2007. Volkswagen participates for the first time in the Dakar Rally in 2004 with diesel technology in the form of the TDI Race Touareg. The TDI engines have a weight advantage of up to 200 kg, as less fuel is carried. The Race Touareg wins from 2009 to 2011.
Hybrid technology: In addition to Formula One, prototypes with hybrid drive start since 2012 at Le Mans and in some series. As the rules are less strict than those in Formula One, manufacturers can develop different drive concepts. The aim is to reduce fuel consumption by up to one third.
Formula E: In response to an initiative from Jean Todt, the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship starts in September 2014, a racing series for formula cars with an electric engine which will be held on city courses around the world. In the debut season of 2014/15, all drivers uniformly enter with the Spark Renault SRT 01E. The racing car can generate 272 horsepower, and the maximum speed is limited to 225 km/h.
Grand Challange 2005 in California: the driverless car. Competitors must complete a course of 175 miles – without a driver. A VW Touareg Stanlette wins in 2005, reaching a speed of 50 km/h.