What it Is
2009 Audi R8 V12 TDI Concept -- 2008 Detroit Auto Show: If Audi’s not careful, they could become the poster company for conspicuous consumption, automaker style. First they bring out the R8, with its 4.8-liter V-8, then the next thing you know there’s talk of a 5.0-liter…and now, straight from the Detroit Auto Show, there’s bluster about a V12 TDI. Really. At some point you have to stop, even if you can keep going. Only problem is that this particular concept is quite a bit more than a good idea, and delivers all the power of a rocket ship with plus-20 mpg. Why it Matters
Call us crazy, but adding a 6.0-liter V-12 TDI to the R8 lineup, well, that ranks right up high on the "why it matters" index, next to marriage, college for the kids and maybe even that retirement account. It’s a good thing for us, then, that it’s a concept, albeit one that we hope is offered.
What’s Under the Hood
So, you drove the Audi R8 and whined about the power, eh? Try this: a 12-cylinder diesel pouring out 500 horsepower and 737 lb.-ft. of torque. As a clean diesel, the V12 TDI Concept already meets Euro 6 standards for emissions control, a nice little hint as to the possible future of this, cough, concept. Based on the LeMans winning R10 racecar, the Concept is equipped with Audi’s Quattro system and a six-speed manual transmission.
What’s Audi Says
Audi reps said quite a bit about their diesel technology, but to be honest my eyes glazed over. All they really had to say was “500 horsepower and 737 lb.-ft. of torque” followed by “R8.”
What We Think
Assuming that Europe will get this diesel version of the R8, we’re hoping to get our piece of R8-diesel happiness. Considering how much Audi is pitching diesel as the Great Way to Oil Baron Freedom, well, I’d say our chances are better than bad that we’ll get to buy and drive on these shores.
By Brian Chee
Photo credit: Audi