• May 7th 2009 at 1:59PM
  • 32

Audi R8 TDI Le Mans concept – Click above for a hi-res image gallery

If anyone could have done a diesel supercar, it would have been Audi. After achieving utter domination in Le Mans racing with its R10 TDI, the German automaker unveiled two successive turbodiesel concept versions of the R8 supercar at the Detroit show and then at the Geneva salon in 2008. But after whetting our appetites for an oil-burning supercar with instant power delivery and endless reserves of torque, Audi has reportedly canceled development of its R8 TDI program.

Apparently, the R8 was not originally designed to accommodate the company's enormous V12 turbodiesel engine, and re-engineering the car was proving far too costly for Audi to justify under these financial circumstances, especially when the American market, which accounts for 1/3rd of R8 sales, is marred by diesel prices that are higher than gas. Fortunately Audi's already given us the 5.2-liter V10 FSI and has the convertible version in the works, but a diesel R8 just isn't in the cards.

[Source: Auto Express]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Boo. V12 was to crazy. it'd be nice to see.... I dunno... a V10 based off the R15 which would be smaller and fit better... or even a V8 revised with what they've learned from LeMans.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Someone went grill-crazy. Future car lovers will look back upon these gaudy, massive front ends in the same way we look now at the fins from the 50s.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree, a lightweight (comparatively) V-8 in this type of car would be ideal, especially at around 500 lb-ft.

      FYI, in my part of Massachusetts, diesel is dropping below premium at some stations.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sad News... give us that class roof with the intake on the V10 to make up for it...
        • 6 Years Ago
        ^Now I second THAT idea!
      • 6 Years Ago
      A huge V12 would have ruined the weight and weight distribution of the car, a V8 would have left it even farther down on performance than the existing gas V8 version. And fuel pricing is rarely a factor to those buying $100,000 cars anyway.

      An R8 TDI never made sense to me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        are you kidding?.... litre for litre, a diesel engine produces more torque than a petrol... and is inherently able to withstand higher boost pressures etc
        4.2 diesel v8 - 321PS 650Nm
        4.2 Petrol v8 - 420 PS 430 NM
        tell me now which car will have higher in gear acceleration?
        and the diesel is configured for the A8 ... what is going to stop audi from uprating that engine?
        and engineering the auto' box to respond faster is easy too.. (grab a ZF 8-spd)
        but isuppose that would make the car a touring car rather than asports car
        • 6 Years Ago
        Probably because it wouldn't be designed for the North American market but rather europe where diesel makes up the super majority of luxury car sales. They’d probably sell a half dozen there to enthusiasts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I know all you guys love this car, i just don't see why.
      It costs over a hundred grand, and doesn't do anything spectacular.
      I can see why they build the R8, because people buy it.
      What i can't see is why an enthusiast would like it. It's performance is medicre, especially for over 100 g's.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can't Audi put the 4.2 V8 TDI in R8's bay? It'd not as powerful as expected from a supercar, but maybecould be remaped to more power and fitted with two bigger turbochargers to achieve at least the something very near the 4.2 FSI. Can't the Germans make a 4.2 V8 TDI with 400 hp?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Diesel gasoline is cheaper than premium gasoline in the United States.

      Awesome fact checking, guys! Awesome!
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Diesel gasoline"? That's a good one! [jk]
        Anyway, to those who say that Audi leads BMW, that's very true, but they could have done one better by actually producing this thing. Shame.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      it seems like a good idea, but even if diesel was cheaper than premium gas, how many people in the market for an r8 would want a diesel?
        • 6 Years Ago
        yeah, so when are you guys picking up your r8's? remember, audi doesn't build cars for people to look at, they build them for people to buy. a 45 year old dentist from del boca raton, florida doesn't care about torque. why spend millions you don't have to redevelop a car that doesn't have a market? internet street cred doesn't pay the bills.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Two words: torque monster.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why would you not?
        With tall gearing 10,20,30,40,50,60, you still be able to go 180mph in 6th, and shoot for 200mph in 5th (but if you end up drag limited to 'only' 190mph in 5th, no big deal)
      • 6 Years Ago
      there's always the BMW 335D !!
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's just too bad the 335D is an automatic tranny only. I really would enjoy a RWD manual tranny diesel sedan or coupe. As far as I know, the only diesel car with a manual tranny option in the US is a VW Jetta.

        If they offered it, the R8 TDI would account for 50% of the diesel cars offered in the US offered with a manual transmision ...
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