The Genes of the Winner
AUDI R8 V12 TDI concept
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. The 83.0 mm bore and 91.4 mm stroke produce a total displacement of 5,934 cc. At only 684 mm long, this large diesel engine is very compact and just 166 mm longer than the V8 TDI. This compact length is key to accommodating the V12 in the mid-engined Audi R8.
Innovative injection technology
The two new dual-piston high-pressure pumps build up a pressure of up to 2,000 bar in the rails. 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 two turbochargers are located on the outside of the engine's V and generate up to 2.6 bar of boost pressure. They play a crucial role in producing the huge torque of 1,000 Nm 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.
Clean top athlete
The Audi R8 V12 TDI concept already fulfills the Euro 6 emissions standard. 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.
Powerful and elegant
The R8 V12 TDI concept with matt "Grace Silver" bodywork looks even wider and more resolute than the core model. It shows its potential through its muscular proportions, accentuated wheel arches and even larger air apertures.
Focused on aerodynamics
The aerodynamics experts at Audi have done their work so thoroughly on the study car that, as an added benefit of its elegant shape, the body actually generates downforce – unlike many other sports cars. This aids directional stability at high speeds. It is achieved partly by means of an extending rear spoiler that is much larger than on the production version, and also thanks to the fully clad diffuser underbody. Two large-format diffuser apertures in the rear bumper demonstrate just how much aerodynamics dictate the shape of the study vehicle.
Large glass roof
One new aspect is the glass roof of the passenger compartment with two large transparent sections. These, together with the glazed engine compartment behind, create a radically new formal element. The unmistakable NACA duct in the middle of the roof is a functional detail that is normally reserved for racing cars. Its ingenious shape accelerates the air drawn in here for the two cylinder banks of the V12 TDI engine.
A "showroom" for the engine
The V12 TDI is displayed as the beating heart of this sports car, like a work of art inside a large showcase. Its look, underscored by the air deflectors located beneath the restyled rear glass lid, differs clearly from its production counterpart. The engine can even be seen after dark, when white light-emitting diodes illuminate the engine compartment – as on the production R8 version.
Innovative LED technology
The LED taillights of the Audi R8 V12 TDI concept have a three-dimensional look that can’t be missed. But the absolute highlight is the all-LED headlights of the study vehicle. With their lenses and reflectors, not only do these innovative light sources have a ground-breaking appearance, they also have an enormous functional advantage: LED light, with its color temperature of 6,000 Kelvin, resembles daylight much more closely than xenon or even halogen light.
Ergonomic and elegant
The interior's design is as sporty and exclusive as the exterior: the characteristic element here is the monoposto – an expansive arc running around the steering wheel and instruments, connecting the driver to the car. The interior consequently picks up on the dynamism of the R8 V12 TDI concept and gives it tactile expression in a form that is accessible the moment you climb in.
The focal point of the car's controls
The three-spoke sport steering wheel of course remains the focal point of the car's controls. With a diameter of 365 mm, it is both sportily compact and ergonomic in shape. The steering wheel rim has a flat lower edge. The start/stop button for the engine and the Drive Select switch with the Dynamic/ Sport/Race settings are arranged on the steering wheel. The latter controls the engine and transmission electronics as well as the magnetic ride dampeners in each of three different modes.
Top sports in Race Mode
In Race mode, the instrument lighting changes from white to red. The navigation system shows a combined display with lap timer and navigation information for the racetrack being driven. Or supplementary information such as centrifugal force and boost pressure can be called up.
Exceptional everyday practicality
The R8's exceptional everyday practicality for a sports car is maintained in the study vehicle's spaciousness, even though the longer engine takes up more room. The two occupants have the generous wheelbase of 2.65 meters (8.69 ft.) to thank for the interior comfort. This means the driver and passenger will always be able to find their perfect seated position, whatever their build.
A decidedly sporty feel
Compared with the production version, the R8 V12 TDI concept's interior has much larger aluminum applications, especially around the center console. The many carbon fiber elements give the interior a decidedly sporty feel.
Three decades of pioneering work
Audi has reached another milestone in diesel technology with the new V12 TDI. The brand with the four rings has been performing vital pioneering work in this area for the past three decades.
The world's first five-cylinder diesel engine
Audi premiered the world's first five-cylinder diesel engine in the Audi 100 in 1978. The first TDI auto engine made its debut in 1989 in the successor model. The 2.5 liter five-cylinder power unit developed 88 kW (120 hp) and 261 Nm, catapulting diesel driving into an entirely new dimension.
A winning combination: TDI and quattro
This was followed in 1994 by a development version generating 103 kW (140 hp). This engine was optionally available with all-wheel drive – the first TDI quattro model. A new four-cylinder diesel appeared at that time in the Audi 100 and Audi 80, the 1.9 TDI developing 66 kW (90 hp) that has now become legendary. At the end of 1995 the output of this four-cylinder unit rose to 85 kW (115 hp) with the advent of pump-injector fuel injection.
1997: the fastest production diesel
At the start of 1997, the world's first 2.5 V6 TDI appeared. With four valves per cylinder, it achieved an output of 110 kW (150 hp), and its top speed of 220 km/h (136.70 mph) made the Audi A8 the fastest production diesel on the market. The first eight-cylinder TDI followed in 1999 – a V8 engine with a 3.3 liter capacity. The 3.0 TDI made its debut early in 2004 as the first V6 diesel with inline piezo injectors in the common rail system. The 4.2 liter TDI launched in the A8 in 2005 is currently at the vanguard of Audi's TDI range.
The future: ultra-low emission technology
With extremely clean, ultra-low emission technology, Audi is continuing its tradition of leadership in diesel engine technology. In 1989 it was the Ingolstadt brand that developed direct injection technology. Since then the diesel engine has become around 30 percent more efficient.