UPDATE 1 - Audi's official press release added after the jump

Friday, we brought you the initial report that Audi would be dropping a 6.0-liter V12 TDI based on it's Le Mans-winning engine into the Q7 SUV. That report has been confirmed today with the release of additional details and photos from Audi, which will publicly unveil the beast later this month at the Paris show.

Pumping out 500 horsepower, the big TDI also generates 1000 Nm / 738 lb-ft of torque, so if you ever feel inclined to pull your house off its foundation, you'll be well-prepped to give it the 'ol college try (if the car makes it to this side of the Atlantic).

All that power is channeled through a 6-speed Tiptronic and Audi's Quattro AWD system. 0-62 mph takes just 5.5 seconds and it'll keep running up to a governed top end of 155 mph. Fuel economy is 11.9 liters per 100 kilometers. That's 19.7 mpg for us Yankee-types -- a very respectable number, all things considered.

When we first reported this on Friday, some questioned why Audi would choose their SUV as the first platform for the twelve-cylinder diesel. Simple: it's the only vehicle in the lineup with an engine bay large enough to swallow the big motor. Visually, the Q7 V12 TDI is differentiated by a modified front end with enlarged intakes on either side of the company's corporate grille. In back, the exhaust outlets are neatly integrated into the rear bumper.

Look for it in Europe as a 2008 model, and pray that Audi can get it to pass US emissions regs. This is one we want to see here, too.

Update: According to the press release issued by Audi, there are no plans to import this engine to the US. Sigh...

[Source: Audi via Auto Motor und Sport (translated)]




PRESS RELEASE:

THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL DIESEL PASSENGER CAR

Note: There are currently no plans to import this engine to the U.S.

INGOLSTADT, Germany - Audi is proud to present a world first – the first twelve-cylinder diesel engine in a series passenger car. This six-liter V12 makes its debut in the Audi Q7. It produces a colossal 500 hp and 738 ft.-lbs. of torque. With this engine Audi has opened a new chapter in diesel history.

The V12 TDI is reminiscent of the engine featured in the new R10 Le Mans racing car – it catapults the driving performance of the Audi Q7 into the echelons of top-class sports cars. The car sprints from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.5 seconds, and has an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph. Maximum torque is available from just 1,750 rpm. The high-tech diesel engine, with the world's first 29,000 psi Bosch Common Rail system, provides the high-performance Audi SUV with superior power reserves in any situation. The impressive sound of the new Audi is provided by the ultra-modern piezo-injection system. The V12 TDI transmits this power through a new six-speed tiptronic gearbox to the quattro permanent four-wheel drive system.

Although the V12 TDI belongs to the Audi V-engine family, this model features a special cylinder angle of 60° – perfect for this engine type. Apart from the light and highly durable crankcase, a further highlight is the new chain drive assembly. This includes the two newly developed high-pressure pumps in the common rail injection system.

Up to 29,000 psi of pressure is kept within the twelve piezo injectors – a further technological breakthrough. Both performance and efficiency are optimised by this high injection pressure, and the running smoothness also remains excellent. Exhaust emissions are also low. The twin-turbo V12 TDI conforms to the Euro 5 emissions class which should come into force in 2010. Fuel consumption is nearly 20 mpg. With the high-tech twelve-cylinder engine using TDI technology, the diesel pioneers at Audi have opened new horizons in motoring.