Audi R8 TDI Le Mans Concept

Audi is presenting a revolution in the top class the first 12-cylinder diesel engine in a high-performance roadgoing sports car. The V12 TDI with a displacement of six liters powers a concept car based on the Audi R8. This unit generates a huge 500 hp and 1,000 Newton-meters (737.56 lb-ft) of torque. Audi is writing a new chapter in diesel technology with this power unit. Equipped with the expertise that Audi has built up through its motor sport activities, the R8 TDI Le Mans in Brilliant Red embodies superb road handling, pioneering technology and fascinating design.

The V12 TDI is closely related to the engine in the Audi R10, the two-time Le Mans winner so it catapults the Audi R8 into supercar terrain concerning performance too. It sprints from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 4.2 seconds and its top speed is well over 300 km/h (186.41 mph). The peak torque, reached at only 1,750 rpm, paves the way for effortless acceleration that is unrivaled even at this level.

The new V12 TDI belongs to Audi's family of V engines but has the ideal included angle for this engine type of 60 degrees between cylinder banks. Its highlights include the new chain drive layout that includes the two newly developed high-pressure pumps for the common rail injection system.

Its sound is as thrilling as you'd expect in a sports car of this caliber. For all the subtle smoothness that typifies this design principle, the twelve-cylinder unit is full-bodied and equipped with energetic overtones that make no secret of its performance potential.

The roadgoing version of the new V12 TDI is built at the Gyr plant, in Hungary. And the R8 TDI Le Mans still has a massive 500 hp on tap. In developing the six-liter engine, it was a clear priority to integrate it into the current family of Audi V engines, of which many thousands of versions with 6, 8 and 10 cylinders have already been built both gasoline and TDI.

Audi's engineers were in an ideal position to use their experience building the racing engine to develop the road version. Like the other power units in this range, the distance between cylinder bore axes on the V12 TDI is 90 mm (3.54 in.). Yet its included angle is 60 degrees, not 90 degrees. This means no free inertial forces or mass moments of inertia can occur with the V12. The results are refined in every respect.

The 83.0 mm (3.27 in.) bore and 91.4 mm (3.60 in.) stroke produce a total displacement of 5,934 cc just like the 3.0 TDI. At only 684 mm (26.93 in.) long, this large diesel engine is very compact and just 166 mm (6.54 in.) longer than the V8 TDI. This compact length is key to accommodating the V12 in the mid-engined Audi R8.

The V12 TDI crankcase is made from gray cast iron with vermicular graphite a high-tech material referred to as GJV-450 that is already used on the V6 and V8 TDI engines. GJV-450, made by a patented casting process, is about 40 percent more rigid and 100 percent more fatigue-resistant than gray cast iron. This enabled the developers to make its walls thinner, cutting its weight by around 15 percent compared with conventional gray cast iron.

The two cylinder heads are each made from three main elements. These are a base section made from a high-strength aluminum alloy incorporating the intake and exhaust ports, an oil-bearing upper section, and a reinforcing ladder frame supporting the two camshafts.

The R8 TDI Le Mans with Brilliant Red bodywork looks even wider and more resolute than the core model. It shows its potential through its muscular proportions, accentuated wheel arches and even larger air apertures. The rhombus-pattern cover on the air inlets and outlets is the hallmark of Audi's sporty top models and a familiar feature of the current RS generation.

Typical of the side view of the R8 is the sideblade. Much wider in the bottom third, it visually accentuates the engine's position as well as acting as an enlarged air deflector.

The continuous aluminum spoiler lip that connects the front and rear diffusers with side air baffles below the enlarged sills also pays tribute to this version's highly developed dynamic talents.

And yet the R8 is unmistakable for its powerful, elegant basic proportions. The selective but always precise use of lines is another typical Audi characteristic, as is the curved arc of the roof. One new aspect is the glass roof of the passenger compartment with two large transparent sections. These, together with the glazed engine compartment behind, create a radically new formal element. The unmistakable NACA duct in the middle of the roof is a functional detail that is normally reserved for racing cars. Its ingenious shape accelerates the air drawn in here for the two cylinder banks of the V12 TDI engine.

The V12 TDI is displayed as the beating heart of this sports car, like a work of art inside a large showcase. Its look, underscored by the air deflectors located beneath the restyled rear glass lid, differs clearly from its production counterpart. The engine can even be seen after dark, when white light-emitting diodes illuminate the engine compartment as on the production R8 version. This "showroom" can additionally be fully lined in genuine carbon fiber, for a particularly exclusive look.

Source: Audi press

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