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Audi R8 V12 Diesel canned – but it’s old news

Thu, 07 May 2009 00:00:00 -0700

The Audi R8 V12 Diesel - Audi confirm it won't be built

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The interweb is full of stories today revealing that Audi has dropped plans to produce a diesel version of the fabulous R8.

The Audi R8 V12 diesel was first shown to a pretty astonished motoring press (and it takes a lot to astonish us) at the Detroit Motor show early last year. So keen were Audi to get the press on-side with the car and the whole concept of a diesel supercar, that they made the R8 diesel available for motoring journalists to have a play. And with 550bhp, 750ft/lbs of torque and a 4.0 second 0-60 time, there was no doubt the R8 diesel was indeed a supercar.

So now it’s being canned. And apparently it’s big news. But actually, it’s not.

Back in September last year, a UK site – Innovation Cars – ran this same story. It got picked up quite widely and made the same assertions. Except one of the main reasons quoted then was that Audi were having big problems with cooling on the car. Today’s Auto Express reports that Audi are not going ahead because they can’t justify a diesel supercar when a third of R8s get sold in the US, and the US doesn’t understand diesel cars.

But I have to say that seems a bit unlikely. True, the US is not on the whole a big fan of diesels, but they were even less so a year ago when the car was first revealed. Still, the V12 diesel R8 will not be, whatever the reason. But it does seem likely that Audi may well introduce a V8 version (based on the engine in the 4.2 diesel Q7) at some point next year. And of course we have the Audi R8 Spyder to look forward to.


By Cars UK