Audi's Le Mans-dominating R10 proved last year that diesels are capable of serious speed. Thankfully for consumers, diesel engines are finally gaining a foothold in the performance car market as technology allows them to rev more freely and the seriously big torque they are capable of becomes more widely appreciated. As the diesel models become sportier, they attract the artistic eyes of tuners and custom coach builders like MTM. The MTM-tuned Audi A5 you see here is proof of just how far diesels have come.

Once MTM has its way with it, Audi's A5 V6 TDi is an example of what a high-performance diesel motor can do: 300hp, 550Nm (405lb-ft) of torque, 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in just 5.9s and a lap of Hockenheim a second quicker than Audi's own S5. Serious statistics for an oil-burning six-cylinder. The MTM gets 60hp over the stock A5, and tops out at 265km/h (165mph), 15km/h (9mph) faster.

Appearances may not be everything, but they are certainly something, and MTM takes the A5's understated, sophisticated look and runs with it, replacing the grille with that from an S5 and giving it a new rear diffuser with quad-exhaust tips. The new look tells the detail-oriented the MTM A5 means business, but there are no carbon-fiber wings or other boy-racer kit to call attention to this super-sleeper.

Performance is enhanced even further through suspension tuning. MTM's custom package gives the A5 improved axle geometry with more camber to give the big car a lighter, more agile feel and sharper turn-in. Custom 21×10.5″ wheels in a choice of three shades - shiny silver, titanium and diamond-cut - round out the appearance package.

Braking is improved with semi-cross-drilled brake rotors that give the look of fully drilled rotors without the weakness and cracking issues associated with them. Grabbing these custom rotors are eight-piston calipers that will bring the show to halt quickly and securely when necessary. It's always good to see a performance-tuned car get brakes to match the motor, and the MTM A5 doesn't disappoint.