Not many people got a chance to have an eye-full of the world's first diesel-powered supercar Audi R8 V12 TDi Le Mans Concept at 2008 Detroit Auto Show. But there are some lucky ones who not only saw, touched, felt but also got a chance to drive the new Audi mid-engined, quattro-driven sports. Lets see what all they have say. Before we begin let me tell you that some of these expert test drivers think that they are the only one to drive the new Audi concept. Please do excuse their folly.
Keeping the safety of the Audi's invaluable prototype car in mind, for test drive purpose the car was limited to 442 lb-ft torque and top speed allowed was less than 50mph.
Road Test Drive 1: Driven: 2008 Audi R8 V12 TDI Le Mans Concept
Engaging first gear, you hear the trademark snikt as the shifter enters the gate. Clutch feel seems decidedly production - linear and light. First gear is short and the TDI’s redline is shorter.....Heavy into the pedal, the sound is like nothing I’ve ever heard. There’s the churn and muffled roar of twelve firing cylinders right behind your head, almost drowned out by the vacuum of air sucking into the car’s enlarged intakes.....On to second. Power hits you like a brick wall....Power delivery is something akin to what I’ve felt from the big W-12 twin turbo fitted in the Bentley Continental GT. It simply doesn’t feel as fast as the R8 4.2, but the speedo says it is. Delivery is smoothly brutal and that makes gauging pace hard to do. The low noise level, save intake suckage, is another factor. It’s there but not snarling like the R8 4.2.
Road Test Drive 2: First Drive: 2008 Audi R8 TDI Le Mans Concept
Light off the engine in any mode and your ears are treated to the whirr of the starter, a quick rumble as the cylinders fire and then a subdued diesel clatter as the high-pressure diesel injectors pump away, blasting fuel into the cylinders at up to 26,000 psi. Hit the gas and the tach hits the 5,000-rpm redline in a blink. Even without flooring it, 1st gear in this car with just 60 percent of the torque available feels like compound low in a Mack truck.....We also discovered that there's enough torque to launch quite pleasantly in 3rd gear, which would come in handy for those who get tired of stirring a manual on crowded freeways (no dual-clutch automated manual for this diesel, as the torque would overpower the transmission gears).
Road Test Drive 3: Impressive compression: Driving Audi's diesel R8
Even though this car is a concept, driving it was amazingly civilized--everything worked, and nothing fell off. The first thing you notice is how different it sounds from inside the cockpit, like the inside of a small jet--air rushing into the engine bay from the enlarged side vents and NACA scoop in the roof....Audi says there is a 50-50 chance it will be built.
Road Test Drive 4: First Drive Audi R8 V12 TDi Le Mans
It's got Audi's excellent magnaride adjustable dampers, which add a couple of new dimensions to its ride and handling repertoire. And yes, its certainly quick - quicker even than anybody really knows yet. I risked a knuckle-rapping by giving the car full throttle in 3rd, from 25mph and 1000rpm; it mugged the tarmac and began hurtling at the horizon with an urgency that made me painfully aware of the driver’s seat’s lumbar support. There was no wheelspin, no turbo lag. I only felt the full savagery for a couple of seconds, but that was enough to convince me that this car deserves a future in production.
source : autocar