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Audi R8 V12 TDI (2008): first official pictures

By Ben Pulman

First Official Pictures

13 January 2008 11:00

An R8 with a twin-turbo, twin-intercooled 6.0-litre V12? Brilliant, and even better is the 493bhp. What’s perhaps not so good is the 737lb ft. Not because the tyres will be overwhelmed – four-wheel drive sees that they aren’t – but because such a figure means this R8 is a diesel.This is Audi’s Detroit Motor Show star, the R8 V12 TDI concept.

It previews the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer’s new roadgoing 6.0-litre V12 - designed to complement Audi’s Le Mans winning R10 racer. Audi claims the V12 already meets Euro 6 emissions regulations, even though they won’t come into force until 2014. That’s thanks in part to the big engine featuring Audi’s AdBlue technology that pulses urea into the exhaust to reduce NOx.

The fastest R8: a diesel

But while it’s green, the Audi V12 TDI R8 isn’t slow. That 737lb ft arrives at 1750rpm and keeps being produced until 3000rpm. So this derv R8 reaches 62mph in 4.2 seconds (0.4 seconds quicker than the regular R8) and will race on to over 180mph. Ceramic brakes slow the R8 down.

But while the R8 V12 might be quick, we suspect it won’t sound it. Audi claims the V12 TDI will sound ‘as thrilling as you'd expect in a sports car of this calibre’ - but having heard the racing R10’s low rumble, we reckon it will lose some of the V8 R8's magic.

Click 'Next' to read more about the R8