Audi’s R8 supercar has caused quite a stir with its V8 and V10 gas variants, but Audi thought it would change things around by adding a V12 diesel into the mix for good measure. This R8 concept car deviates wildly from traditional gas-powered sports cars, but with a race-proven turbocharged diesel it might be one of the most promising exotic concept cars ever created.
Power for the concept comes from the automakers race-derived 6.0 liter V12 diesel motor, which was first used in the R10 Le Mans competition car, and is now available in the Audi Q7. The engine produces 500 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The peak torque, reached at only 1,750 rpm.
The car sprints to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds, according to Audi. Like most German automakers, Audi is probably reporting a very conservative acceleration time for this car.
Other highlights of the show car include a glass roof, an increased use of carbon fiber, revised front and rear aprons, and larger air intakes all around.
The car also features all-LED headlights, which are visually very appealing, not to mention very energy efficient and bright. With a color temperature of 6,000 Kelvin, the light emitted resembles daylight much more closely than xenon or even halogen light.
Earlier reports suggested that Audi would equip the R8 with a diesel engine for the 2009 model year, but the latest word is that the TDI R8 may never make it into production. Audi engineers are reporting that fitting the turbochargers into the allotted space is proving impossible, and the costs associated with making it fit would make it impossible for Audi to ever turn a profit from a TDI R8.
Does this mean the R8 lineup will eventually include V8, V10, and V12 powerplants? It’s too soon to know for sure, but we can hope.