Rate It: The Diesel V12-Powered Audi Supercar

For a while there, Audi was looking to change the perception of diesels from heavy-truck workhorses to high-torque, high-performance engines. Back in 2008, Audi showed off the R8 V12 TDI concept.

In the hopes of "writing a new chapter in diesel technology," the concept was powered by a 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged diesel V12 reported to be good for 500 horsepower and more than 730 lb.-ft. of torque. Perhaps the real kicker, though, is that the V12 TDI came equipped with a gated six-speed manual transmission.

Getting to 60 mph is said to have only taken about four seconds, with a top speed of 186 mph.

It may be easy to assume that the VW emission scandal killed this concept but, as it turns out, it was halted in 2009 because of costs. 

Do you think that, if produced, the R8 V12 TDI would have ushered in a new wave of diesel-powered sports cars, or is the diesel engine best left out of the performance car market?

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Comments
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grover
grover Dork
9/14/20 12:54 p.m.

I'd drive one in a heartbeat- and fill it up at truck stops. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/14/20 1:03 p.m.

A R8 TDI would be fun to own if only for the looks you'd get when filling up at a diesel pump... at least until that novelty got old (and as someone who owns a TDI, it does get old...)

Otherwise, sure - I like the R8 and wouldn't be against owning one regardless of the engine.  

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/14/20 1:37 p.m.

I've always appreciated the power density that is possible with diesels.  Given their engineering, you turn up the boost and the fuel until something explodes.

Dad's duramax is putting almost 1000 lb-ft to the wheels with injectors and a tune, and I expect it to last to 400k miles.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/14/20 1:40 p.m.

As a show car, fine, but as a production car no way.  The business case is preposterous -- what wealthy supercar buyer ever thinks "This Ferrari/Lamborghini I want to buy is awesome... but too bad it isn't a diesel."

In fact, I hate how cynical I feel about this car.  The R8 TDI celebrates Audi's TDI Le Mans program. But the only reason diesels ever won at Le Mans was because VW Group and Peugeot sank countless millions to show off their deceitful 'Clean Diesel' technologies over that of their European rivals.  And the only why reason why Diesel was a big deal in Europe at the time was because politicians had decided that cars should be heavily taxed based by their CO2 emissions--despite the fact that Diesel exhaust is worse for human health and just as bad for the environment as gasoline emissions.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/14/20 1:41 p.m.

I lose interest as soon as someone says diesel.

adam525i (Forum Supporter)
adam525i (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
9/14/20 2:00 p.m.

The last thing we need is a supercar that is a tune away from rolling coal, there's enough of that already out there. The concept is cool though.

Sparkydog
Sparkydog HalfDork
9/14/20 3:01 p.m.

If it had made it into production, would we have eventually seen an owner of one blocking off an EV charging station with it? 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/14/20 4:13 p.m.
nderwater said:

As a show car, fine, but as a production car no way.  The business case is preposterous -- what wealthy supercar buyer ever thinks "This Ferrari/Lamborghini I want to buy is awesome... but too bad it isn't a diesel."

In fact, I hate how cynical I feel about this car.  The R8 TDI celebrates Audi's TDI Le Mans program. But the only reason diesels ever won at Le Mans was because VW Group and Peugeot sank countless millions to show off their deceitful 'Clean Diesel' technologies over that of their European rivals.  And the only why reason why Diesel was a big deal in Europe at the time was because politicians had decided that cars should be heavily taxed based by their CO2 emissions--despite the fact that Diesel exhaust is worse for human health and just as bad for the environment as gasoline emissions.

Call me Ian

That sums up the problem with the car. It was a promotion for the TDI LeMons program. Which was a promotion for more mundane TDI cars. Which VW was blatantly cheating emissions tests so they could get a slight advantage. Which is why I was able to get a Passat at fire-sale prices after VW's buyback program.

Wait, I'm getting off track. If this had come out, it would probably be the ultimate symbol of VW's mendacity in the Dieselgate scandal. Which might mean that they wouldn't be modified to roll coal - why bother when your car is already the biggest possible middle finger to the environmentalist movement?

Dieselboss15
Dieselboss15 Reader
9/15/20 2:17 p.m.

diesel AND manual? oh hell yeah!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/16/20 1:26 p.m.

In reply to Dieselboss15 :

But why so many forward speeds? Sounds like three would do it: burnout, acceleration, cruising. 

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports Reader
9/16/20 2:25 p.m.

Probably sound like arse but I'd like to find out

Carbon (Forum Supporter)
Carbon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/17/20 11:05 a.m.

Not a less fun power delivery imho. Thumbs down from me dog. 

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