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click above for more gorgeous high-res shots of the Audi R8 V12 TDI

Today Audi brought some more of its Le Mans-conquering technology to the street in the form of the new R8 V-12 TDI. The R8 V12 TDI is a concept that melds the 6.0L V-12 diesel from last years Q7 concept with the award winning R8 sports car. The concept engine shares a cylinder count with the race-winning R10, but it's actually a completely new engine with a 60-degree bank angle instead of the 90 degrees used on the race engine. While the 500 hp is only par for the course in its class, the 738 lb-ft of torque is enough to shred all four tires with ease. While the R8 V12 TDI storms to 62mph in 4.2 seconds and maxes out at 186mph, it also manages to get 23 MPG. The combination of a 29,000-psi direct-inject fuel injection system, particulate filters and urea injection allows this beast to pass 2014 EuroVI emissions standards, too. Check out our live high-res images of the R8 V12 TDI in the gallery below. These are our best shots from the show so far, so enjoy!

Video of the live reveal added after the jump!

[Source: Audi]

Outstanding Torque for the Top Class
Audi R8 V12 TDI concept

Audi is presenting a revolution in the top class at the Detroit Auto Show 2008 – 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 V12 TDI in matt "Grace Silver" 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 Genes of the Winner

Thanks to their high performance and pulling power, all Audi TDI engines are ultra-dynamic sources of power. The brand has often enough demonstrated its sporty character in its production cars, especially the six- and eight-cylinder
3.0 TDI and 4.2 TDI. Audi has also been writing a new chapter in its success story on the racetrack since 2006. The diesel engine in the R10 sports prototype won its very first endurance race at Sebring, Florida, when it was pitted against an entire field of gasoline-engined challengers. But its most crucial victories were surely in 2006 and 2007 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when it simply outclassed the international elite.

The V12 TDI race engine in the R10 produces over 650 hp from a displacement of 5.5 liters, giving it the potential for a top speed as high as 330 km/h
(205.05 mph) depending on the gear ratios. Its power and sturdiness immediately impressed both fans and experts, who were impressed by its restrained noise level. Unusual for a race engine, this powerful Audi diesel makes barely more than a whisper.

Long traditions of motor racing and production technology complement each other at Audi. The FSI engine of the R10's predecessor, the R8, captured five wins at Le Mans with a direct gasoline injection system. Audi is also looking to maximize the advantage by using the race-tested FSI principle in its production models. The latest examples of this are the V8 with high-revving concept in the RS 4 and the production version of the Audi R8.

The Drivetrain

The roadgoing version of the new V12 TDI is built at the Györ plant, in Hungary. And the R8 V12 TDI 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 valves are actuated by low-friction roller cam followers; the compression ratio is 16.0:1. Map-controlled swirl variation of the combustion air has been adopted from the V6 and V8 TDI engines. This produces permanently optimized swirl concerning both emissions and high performance.

Ultramodern Injection Technology

As is the case in the Audi V engines, the no-maintenance chain drive is mounted at the back of the engine, where it occupies little space. Its layout has changed on the new V12 TDI. The camshafts' sprocket engages in an intermediate gear via which two Simplex chains drive the camshafts. Two more chains drive the oil pump and the two high-pressure pumps actuate the common rail injection system.

The two new dual-piston high-pressure pumps form part of the common rail injection system supplied by specialty manufacturer Bosch. The two pumps build up a pressure of up to 2,000 bar in the rails. The piezo injectors with eight-hole nozzles have also been fundamentally revised.

The high pressure distributes the mixture optimally throughout the combustion chamber. The result is that the ignition process is faster, more homogeneous and more acoustically refined. The more efficient combustion process also increases power output, cuts consumption and reduces pollutant emissions.

The current generation of so-called inline injectors makes effective use of the piezo effect: piezo crystals expand in a fraction of a millisecond when an electrical voltage is applied. The number of injection processes per operating cycle can be varied across a wide range thanks to piezo technology – reaching as many as five fuel injection operations in the case of the V12 TDI.

As well as the main injection, pilot and post injections are possible. Pilot injections tone down the acoustic harshness of the combustion process. Retarded post injections are designed specifically to increase the temperature of the exhaust gas, promoting regeneration of the two standard particulate filters.

The two turbochargers are located on the outside of the engine's V, each of them supplying one bank of cylinders. Thanks to their variable turbine geometry, the full flow of exhaust gas always passes through the turbine, so the chargers respond slickly – even at low engine speeds – and operate very efficiently.

The two turbochargers, which generate up to 2.6 bar of boost pressure, play a crucial role in producing the huge torque of 1,000 Nm (737.56 lb-ft) that the
V12 TDI maintains from 1,750 rpm to 3,000 rpm. In developing 368 kW
(500 hp), the diesel achieves a specific output of 62.0 kW (84.3 hp) per liter displacement.

Two large intercoolers reduce the temperature of the compressed air. The V12 has a twin-pipe exhaust system with two particulate filters. The intake system is similar in structure with one air cleaner per cylinder bank, with an airflow meter behind it. Two control units, sharing the workload in a master/slave principle, manage events in the engine.

The Audi R8 V12 TDI concept already fulfills the Euro 6 emissions standard that is likely to take effect in 2014 and calls for sharply reduced nitrogen oxides. By also designing in ultra-precise fuel metering by the common rail system, Audi's engineers have made full use of current clean diesel technology.

The heart of the system is a special catalytic converter downstream of the oxidizing catalyst and the particulate filter. The second component in the system is an additional tank containing an aqueous urea solution. Small quantities of the solution, known as "AdBlue," are injected into the exhaust system. The hot exhaust gases break the solution down to form ammonia that splits the nitric oxides into nitrogen and water. The system remains effective for the entire service life of the vehicle.

The dynamic character of a sports car depends not just on its performance and torque; the transmission ratios have to be right too. In keeping with the character of a high-performance sports car with unbeatable torque potential, the transmission in the R8 V12 TDI has six manually operated gears.

The manual transmission is very compact in design. Together with the small-diameter double-plate clutch, this means it can be installed low down. The manual transmission has very short shift travel and utterly precise guiding of the shifter into the open gear lever gate. It is made from polished aluminum, has an agreeable feel and exquisite sports car looks.

Such a high-performance Audi also has quattro permanent all-wheel drive. In the case of this mid-engine sports car, power is distributed variably between the front and rear wheels from a starting ratio of 40:60 to optimize the handling.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "why not the LS2/LS7"

      Are you commenting on my comments or someone elses? I do not see where I commented on anything you replied to. As for your comments though.......I would really like to see what facts you have to back up what you said. If you are referring to the ALMS, LMP2 cars are allowed to run larger air restrictors - enough to bring the LMP2 cars within striking distance of the Audis, this way there is more competition in the series since Audi was handing it to everyone for so long and no one was really giving them any competition. Audi was the one to have weight added to their R10 (65 Kilograms to be exact) and were given smaller fuel tanks which was very evident this past year in the ALMS series since Audi was forced to pit at least once more than everyone else due to the smaller tank. Everyone knows Diesel gets better MPG and that was one of the advantages Audi had by going to Diesel.......which is why this R10 protype is so significant. Diesel motors last longer, get better mpg, and have what most Americans wish we had more of, torque! torque! torque!
      • 7 Years Ago
      We don't get to hear it running??? I want to know what a $200,000 clackity-clack sounds like!
        • 7 Years Ago
        In the real world, there are no restrictors, no restrictions on displacement and no one to tell Audi's competitors they have to add weight because Audi couldn't make the minimum weight for their class.

        Without arbitrary rules, Diesel doesn't stand a chance against a gas car.

        Did I forget to mention the engine weighs 780+lbs by itself? (It's an iron block unlike the R10 which is aluminum)
        • 7 Years Ago
        If it's anything like the R10 LMP1 car.......it will be like the whisper of The Grim Reaper for any fool who thinks this diesel isn't the real deal.

        Way to go Audi. Now for the real question.......what's the 20mph - 100 mph time with all of that torque?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Awesome looking and I'm sure the awd would be interesting, but this thing doesn't appear to be any faster than a z-51 ls3 corvette (even to 0-60 where I would think the awd would help). The mpg is a little better than a vette though which is impressive.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Don't worry. Audi always underestimates its 0-100 km/h times when compared to what American magazines get with 0-60mph. For the normal R8 with the V8 Audi quotes a 0-100 km/h (0-62mph) time of 4.6 seconds, a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds in the US. Motor Trend got it to 60 in only 3.9 seconds. It makes sense that if Audi made the R8 V12 TDI, an American magazine would get it to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lots of exterior and interior additions for an agressive concept look.

      This could become a reality in the future, maybe in the US as well. Should have very good performance if it goes for sale.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I WANT!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Simply impressive.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Might I also add, that if a Murcielago's aluminum V12 weighs over 1200lbs, then this surely weighs a lot more than that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like it better than the gas R8, it gives it something distinct over most other sportscars.

      I wonder how much power it can pick-up with a tune? If it's anything like the diesels in trucks I bet 600hp/900ft-lbs wouldn't be too hard to achieve.
      • 7 Years Ago
      now the only thing to make it better is a DSG tranny...

      and im still wondering how much it will weigh...
      quite honestly i was hoping for the v10 petrol engine version to show up today also.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have to say I am a bit disappointed that they used a 60 degrees V12 instead of the 90, since that would probably have lower center of gravity, but its a feat that they managed to put that one in anyway. What they've done with the exterior styling is also very nice, but that torque is simply staggering. I hope they do a track comparison between this and the normal R8, although thats very unlikely. And emission compliant with euro VI, which starts from 2014 on, a marvel.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Do you realize how big a 90 degree V12 is? That would have taken some serious re engineering of the whole car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Burn baby burn.
      Never see production/sales.
      Turbos hot/ cramped spaces.

      OTOH, that's why the Germans had diesel tanks while our Shermans were burning....
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