As our cars and lives get ever greener, so too do the playthings of the rich and famous. Blasting past Ferrari's aim of increasing their efficiency 40% over the next five years, Audi will be releasing a 6.0L V-12 TDI version of the R8 Roadster coupe in 2009, which will more than double the current gasser version's mileage. Taking into account the difference in energy density between fuels (diesel has about 19% more energy than gasoline when comparing equal volumes of fuel), this still equals a 67% increase in efficiency... and the technology is available today.
Under the see-through engine cover at the rear of the lovely R8 Diesel Concept's body is a 6-liter twin-turbocharged, twin-intercooled V-12 direct-injection diesel engine that makes 500 horsepower and 737 foot-pounds of torque. The company said the Quattro all-wheel-drive system will apportion power in such way that the extra rear-end weight won't affect the sports coupe's handling.
With a couple hundred ft-lbs of torque more than any car in similar horsepower range, you can bet that this monster will zip off the line. Of course, the heavier engine will put a little bit of a damper on the acceleration, but preliminary tests estimate a 4.2 second 0-60. While certainly far from where we need to be in terms of efficiency, it is a step forward, which is commendable. Still, for the money - the car's MSRP will likely be over $135,000 - you could get yourself a Tesla Roadster (which boasts 100+ MPG equivalent and a 4.0 second 0-60 time) and still have enough money left over to buy a Chevy Volt when they come out in 2010.
via New York Times
written by Karsten, January 15, 2008
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