Sampling the Audi R8 TDI at Sebring

The 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race is going on this weekend in central Florida and Audi has a major presence their with the defending champion R10 TDI sports car. The LMP1 racers are not however the only Audis on hand with a diesel V-12 engine. The R8 V-12 TDI that was one of the stars of the Detroit Auto Show is also on hand and Audi is allowing some journalists to take some gentle laps in the concept. The reason the laps are gentle is because the R8 may have a monster 500hp 737lb-ft diesel V-12 but its matched up with a gearbox from an A4. Because the V-12 is longer than the V-8 gas engine normally used in the R8, the A4 gearbox was the only unit on hand that would fit, even with the firewall moved up six inches. Audi announced at the Geneva Motor Show the V-12 would be built in Q7 later this year and there is now a 50/50 chance that they will build the R8 TDI. If they do build the R8, Audi will have to design a proper gearbox to go with the diesel.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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