December 14, 2005 The prospect of a diesel-engined racing car competing at the highest level became reality in Paris yesterday when Audi pulled the wraps off the new R10. The R8 it replaces has been dominant in its sphere of global sportscar racing and Audi has set itself a monumental challenge in attempting to maintain its winning form with a totally new 5.5-litre, 12-cylinder twin-turbo TDI engined racecar. Diesel engines are very different to those normally associated with car racing – they are quiet, economical, with broad mid-range torque. The R10’s usable power band apparently lies between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm, an unusually low rev range for a racing engine and one which needs far less gear changes – but hey, it’s a diesel and diesels have never been raced successfully against their petrol-engined cousins … but the Audi R10 produces over 650 hp and a colossal 1,100 Newton metres of torque and promises fascinating high tech gawking as the team prepares for its race debut at the Sebring 12 Hours (USA) in March. If Audi can pull off a win in the race for which its is built, the twice-around-the-clock Le Mans 24 Hour Race in France on June17-18, 2006, it will be a unique triumph ... and one which might mark the beginning of an exciting new ear for the once much maligned diesel.
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