Audi R8 V12 TDI
Audi took a big step forward into the realm of high-performance road-ready sports cars with the R8. We’ve been fans since we first drove the beast a year ago, and then later subtly proclaimed it our favorite supercar in a comparison test. But Audi is taking a much larger leap at Detroit this year with a concept R8 that packs the company’s first-ever 12-cylinder turbo diesel engine.
Based on the bones of the production Audi R8, this concept car could conquer just about anything on the road with its beastly 6.0-liter, twin turbo V12 engine and 6-speed manual transmission. The powerhouse under glass churns out 500 hp and over 735 lb-ft of torque. That’s insane. It’s more torque than just about anything with four wheels—and some with eighteen. It’s compact too, as it fits where the production car’s 4.2-liter V8 once lived.
Audi says zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) happens in 4.2 seconds and top speeds are well north of 185 mph. As the other Brittany would say… “Gimme, Gimme.”
The V12 TDI concept engine is closely related to that of the two-time Le Mans winning Audi R10 racecar. With all that racing experience, Audi’s engineers were in a good position to create a road-going version of the engine. The V12 has 60 degrees between the cylinder banks; a design Audi says provides super-smooth power delivery. The twin turbochargers are located on the outside of the engine’s V, each supplying forced induction to a bank of cylinders.
The common rail fuel injection system has two newly developed high-pressure pumps that helps create up to 2000 bar in the rails. The result is quicker, more refined ignition along with increased power and reduced emissions. The engine is said to meets future Euro 6 emissions standards.
The concept car wears a coat of matt “Grace Silver” making the bodywork look even wider and more resolute than production R8s. There’s a glass roof too with two large transparent sections and an unmistakably huge NACA duct in the center feeding air to the powerplant. Like the production R8, the engine will have white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) illuminating the engine compartment—so the concept’s massive V12 is visible after dark.
Speaking of luminosity, Audi has been using LEDs in daytime running lights on their latest models. But as of now, the only model with full LED headlights is this concept car. Although we wouldn’t be a surprise to see Audi have the first production vehicle with all LED headlights. These innovative light sources not only create groundbreaking headlamp designs, they also have an enormous functional advantage— resembling daylight much more closely than xenon or even halogen lights.
We look forward to seeing the R8 V12 TDI in Detroit. This might just be our favorite car of the show—sharing the podium with the Corvette ZR1
by Popular Mechanics