Audi Diesel:

2008 Audi R8 V12 TDI Concept: Power and Torque

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Can Audi Make Diesel Sexy?
Enthusiasts the world over have been taken in by Audi‘s R8, which launched with a 420HP V8. At the 2008 North American International Auto Show, Audi fits an updated version of their racing V12 diesel into the mid-engined supercar. In racing form, the 650HP 6.0L V12 diesel has been winning since 2006 and, Audi hopes, changing the American impression of diesel engines as smelly, loud, and slow. After the 2007 600HP Q7 V12 TDI Concept, this year Audi checks reaction to a diesel supercar.

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On the track, the Audi R10 has proven diesels can perform while R8 and Q7 V12 TDI concepts bring the racing aura to the practical world. Though the R10 purpose-built race car will never be available in an Audi showroom, these TDI Concepts allow you to imagine the power in a car you can buy.
In the very sexy R8’s case, the concept boasts a 500HP and an amazing 737 lb-ft 6.0L V12 TDI (available from 1750 to 3000 rpm. Less than seven inches longer than the standard V8, the compact diesel is small enough for the R8’s engine bay. This V12 is different from that in last year’s Q7 concept and the racing engine, with newly developed high-pressure pumps for the common-rail injection system and the AdBlue system for reducing emissions. The V12 is mated to a short-travel six-speed manual transmission and 40:60 split Quattro. This drivetrain gets the R8 V12 TDI Concept to 60mph in 4.2 seconds.
Audi AG is dedicated to diesels and sees potential for them in the States, and will make a 3.0L V6 diesel available in the Q7 and then the A4 next year. As diesels gain buzz and mainstream attention for their typically higher mpg, efforts like this V12 and Audi’s racing success erode old stereotypes and help to increase consideration. You won’t confuse the V6 for the V12, but racing and winning gives Audi’s diesel program an image boost.
“Grace Silver” Concept Gets Beefed Up Looks, Too
The R8 V12 TDI Concept looks wider and takes larger air intakes, with RS-inspired rhombus-pattern mesh. The concept gets a continuous aluminum spoiler lip between front and rear diffusers and side air baffles below the sills. The glass roof has transparent sections over the passengers, with a functional NACA duct in the middle, complementing the restyled glazed engine compartment cover. Like the production R8, and fitting for a concept starring an engine, white LEDs in the engine compartment ensure the car’s heart can be seen even at night. The duct, which Audi says is a race-car feature, accelerates air drawn to each of the V12’s two cylinder banks. The concept also features all-LED headlights and taillights. The LED headlights are closer to daylight than traditional headlight options, which Audi says results in less driver fatigue in night driving. Inside, there are larger aluminum elements and more carbon fiber accents.


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Will Racing Success Bring Diesel Technology Forward?

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As concern regarding fossil fuels and dependence on specific suppliers mounts worldwide, answers to alternative fuel solutions remain largely elusive for the mainstream. Ethanol, hydrogen, and other fuels are not as easily accepted as one might expect.
Even diesel power has not been widely accepted in the United States. And, while there are numerous reasons why diesel power has historically been viewed differently in the U.S., today, there are several reasons why many Americans are taking a second look at diesel power.

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Audi Commits Racing Fortunes to Diesel
There are several key reasons to consider diesel power, including advantages of fuel consumption, emissions, and the overall performance of modern diesel engines. To underscore these benefits, Audi embarked on a challenging mission at the turn of the (21st) century. The German car maker decided to create a LeMans racer powered by a fuel-efficient diesel engine. The goal, to win over Ferrari, Porsche, Ford, and scores of other manufacturers. The result: win after win.


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