Audi’s R8 diesel

The Audi is powered by a 6.0-liter V12 common-rail diesel, the first V12 diesel in a sports car. The engine cranks out 500 hp and an astonishing 737 lb-ft of torque, the latter figure more than double that offered by the standard, gasoline-fueled R8–and it all comes between 1750 and 3000 rpm. Audi says the engine is based on the 5.5-liter, 650-hp powerplant used in its Le Mans-winning R10 racer. Audi also says its engine already fulfills the Euro 6 emissions standard likely to take effect in 2014.

The first thing you notice is how different it sounds from inside the cockpit, like the inside of a small jet–air rushing into the engine bay from the enlarged side vents.

Audi says there is a 50/50 chance that it will be built. The V12 powerplant is ready for production right now–it will be slipped into Audi’s Q7 SUV. To make the engine fit into the back of the R8, engineers had to move the firewall forward by six inches.

Audi estimates that a production version of this concept would get 25 mpg, while still making the run from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds and having a top speed of 200 mph.

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