2008 Audi R8 V12 TDI Concept

David Yochum
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2008 Audi R8 V12 TDI Concept

Apparently Audi wasn't satisfied with its R8 supercar winning our 2008 Automobile and Design of the Year awards.

It now wants the R8 to win over diesel enthusiasts as well.

Parading the R8 V12 TDI concept car at the 2008 Detroit International Auto Show, Audi proves it's serious about the future of diesel-powered vehicles.

The R8 V12 TDI, which generates 500 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, is the first 12-cylinder diesel engine in a high-performance, roadgoing sports car. Audi says that the V12 TDI, which is closely related to the 5.5-liter, 650-hp powerplant in the two-time Le Mans-winning R10, should rocket the R8 concept from 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds. Peak torque comes at only 1750 rpm with the help of two turbochargers (located on the outside of the engine's V) and a pair of intercoolers.

Perhaps most important, the V12's engineers made full use of clean diesel technology, as Audi claims the R8 V12 TDI concept already fulfills the Euro 6 emissions standard likely to take effect in 2014.

The concept R8 also receives exterior enhancements that differentiate it from the regular R8, including a continuous aluminum spoiler lip, all-LED headlights, a reshaped exhaust, and new bumpers.

Inside the Audi, drivers find an engine start/stop button on the steering wheel, more aluminum and carbon fiber elements than in the production R8, and unique instrument lighting that changes from white to red when the V12 TDI is in Race mode.

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