Audi Launches R10 LeMans Racer: Yes, It's a Diesel

Audi Sport launched its newest LMP2 racer, and replacement for its successful R8 car, the R10 at a press conference in Paris this morning. As had been predicted, the R10 is powered by a diesel-fired TDI mill. AS boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich indicated the R10 will get at least one or two laps more from a tank of fuel at LeMans on a dry road surface, compared to the R8, and will have a diesel particulate trap, making it as emissions friendly as a road-going TDI. Development partners include Bosch, Michelin and Shell. Kudos to the multilingual translator, who juggled three languages like the Flying Karamazov Brothers. [Update: Full press release after the jump.]

Press Release:
AUDI AG is one step ahead of the opposition yet again: The inventor of TDI will fight, as the world s first automobile manufacturer, for overall victory with a diesel engine at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new Audi R10 is powered by a completely new 5.5-litre, twelve-cylinder bi-turbo TDI engine which is extremely economical and quiet.

The Le Mans Prototype, with over 650 hp and more than 1100 Newton metres of torque, significantly exceeds the power produced by the majority of previous Audi racing cars including that of its victorious R8 predecessor.

Audi ventures into previously unexplored diesel-engine terrain with the V12 power plant manufactured completely from aluminium. The enormous torque of over 1100 Newton metres [~800ft-lbs. — ed.] not only makes extreme demands of the R10 transmission system as even the Formula 1 specification engine dynamometers at Audi Sport had to be reequipped with special gearboxes capable of withstanding the unusual forces.

Update: Presentation of the Audi R10 Live on the Internet, Photos Available [Fourtitude]

Related:
Audi to Unveil New (Diesel?) LeMans Prototype in Paris [internal]