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Audi R8 V12 TDI Concept revealed at NAIAS

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#1 Antonis12

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 06:45 PM

Audiʼs R8 made waves in 2007 as a very accessible, driver-friendly supercar-class vehicle - one you could drive daily if you wanted to. Now the maker from Ingolstadt is taking that theme even further - along with the power - by wedging a V12 diesel inside. Fuel economy, power and all the wonder that is the R8. Could it be the perfect car?

The petrol-powered R8 is a seriously fast car, with 420hp 4.2L V8 and a 4.6s jaunt to 100km/h. But the diesel concept turns in some truly impressive numbers: 6.0L, 500hp and 1,000Nm (738lb-ft) of torque, which brings the R8ʼs 0-100km/h time down to just 4.2s. Twin turbochargers mean thereʼs no time waiting for power to spool up, and the inherent torque advantage of the diesel motor means there should be ample low-end grunt no matter where in the powerband you find yourself.

But Audi does have a few hurdles to overcome, at least in the United States. Diesels in the land of the Stars and Stripes have been few and far between over the last few decades, and consumers have a tendency to think theyʼre still the rattly, foul-smelling, no-cold-start contraptions of the 1970s. Audi may be using the R8 to attack that perception, bringing sexy back to diesels, so that it can prepare the American public for the onslaught of its more affordable cars.

And sexy it most certainly is. Aside from the exterior appearance modifications, the R8 V12 TDIʼs top speed extends beyond 300km/h (186mph). The massive torque figures are reached at just 1,750rpm, meaning serious punch-you-in-the-back acceleration just off idle. And like all V12s, the sounds are reportedly spectacular. Considering the way that ʽgreenʼ thinking is taking over the auto industry, the R8 V12 TDI conceptʼs compliance with the upcoming 2014 Euro 6 emissions standards and solid fuel economy just add to the draw of Audiʼs practical supercar.

The attractive exterior certainly doesnʼt hurt either, with new and larger air inlets, the larger and wider ʼsidebladeʼ air deflector and the continuous aluminum lip spoiler connecting the front and rear diffusers below the enlarged sills. In the concept, the V12 sitting in the middle is showcased, since that is the highlight of the new design, after all. An optional inclusion - hinting at possible production options? - is a real carbon fiber liner for the engine compartment. Particularly attractive are the all-LED headlights. Very bright, daylight-like light means less eye strain while driving at night - even compared to xenon or halogen lights.

Massive ceramic brakes give the oil-burning concept fade resistance to match a race car, and with a total of 24 pistons squeezing those rotors, thereʼs no shortage of stopping power. The lightweight carbon ceramic material also decreases unsprung rotational weight to improve handling and acceleration. And these are no high-tech disposables either: their expected life is in excess of 300,000km (186,000mi).

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Edited by Antonis12, 26 January 2008 - 10:35 AM.

#2 Antonis12

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 10:34 AM

Surprise! It's the diesel R8

We knew Audi was planning something big in Detroit, and here it is: the world's first diesel supercar.

This is the Audi R8 V12 TDi, and although it's being billed as a concept, it should be on the road within a couple of years.

Tearing massive holes in the road, quite possibly. The R8 V12 isn't a cooled-down version of Top Gear's Car of Year: in fact, the diesel version is billed as faster, more powerful and - of course - far more torquey than its petrol brother.

A few raw figures for you. The R8 TDi gets a 5.9-litre V12 twin-turbo diesel with 493bhp and, more scarily, a massive 738lb ft of torque. That'll shove the R8 to 62mph in 4.2 seconds - nearly a half-second quicker than the petrol version - and on to a top speed 'well over 186mph', according to Audi.

Awesome performance, in other words. But it won't come at the expense of economy: The R8 V12 returns 23mpg - just 4mpg less than the V6 TT - and although there's no word on emissions, Audi says it'll meet the 2014 Euro 6 regulations.

All of which sounds like an intoxicating combination, leaving us with just one worry: weight. Audi doesn't quote how much heavier the TDi unit is than the petrol V8, but too much extra weight could play havoc with the R8's delicate, wieldy handling.

However, Audi has managed to shave some weight from the diesel block by using stronger cast iron, allowing for thinner crankcase walls, which reduces weight by some 15 per cent.

Although the bodyshell of the R8 V12 is taken straight from the petrol version, the diesel-burner does get a few cosmetic enhancements. There's a glass roof with a NACA air duct in the middle, as well a new single-piece front bumper and bigger air intakes.

Inside the cabin, there's a bit of extra carbon fibre and, you'll notice, a manual gearbox. Word is that all the diesel torque would simply devour the DSG ?box, so a six-speed shifter it is - good news, because that's the ?box we liked on the petrol R8 anyhow.

We won't see the diesel R8 on the road until after the new Lamborghini Gallardo - and you'll see a V10 petrol version of the R8 beforehand, too. The V12 TDi could be the most tempting of the bunch, though - if the Audi engineers can make it handle like the petrol version. Here's hoping.

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