Audi’s understated A8 limo may receive the V-12 TDI powerplant from the Audi R10 race car that won this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Displacing 5.5 liters, the monster diesel manages to develop 550 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque.
This isn’t a complete surprise. After all, Audi has spent heavily in its diesel technology, which can offer superior performance to its petrol rivals. Diesel engines traditionally produce much more torque with greater mileage.
The engine from the R10 in full race spec outputs 650 hp and weighs in excess of 440 lbs. Diesel engines normally require a cast iron block, which adds a lot of weight compared with its all-alloy gasoline counterparts. Still, we may see the top range A8 with a V-12 turbo-diesel; there may even be an S8 performance variant.