Generally speaking, racing (and sports performance) cars tend to be noted for a couple of things, including being extremely thirsty. The other thing is that very rarely do they deviate from the super version of standard petrol. Sure, some of them will now run on a certain percentage of ethanol, but hardly enough to write home about when they return about fifteen miles per gallon.
With this in mind, it’s pretty amazing that two hugely influential vehicle manufacturers (amongst others mind you) have stepped out from the shadows with two very important cars. They are the Audi R8 and the Mitsubishi Concept-RA. These cars are important because they’re both extremely quick, whilst diesel engines of old had problems in the low and high rev range, were noisy and cumbersome (though did provide a lot more torque).
So, let’s take a look at the Audi R8. Whilst the original has been out some time, the R8 shown here is the TDI version, powered by a mighty V12. This 6.0 litre powerhouse is actually faster than the petrol version, offering up 493 BHP and 1,000N/m of torque. This allows it to sprint from 0-62 in only 4.2 seconds – 0.4 seconds faster than the petrol.
Amazingly, the TDI version of the R8 actually shoves out less emissions than its’ petrol brethren, injecting a urea-based solution called AdBlue into the system to cut nitrous oxide output.
The car is expected to be available from showrooms the world over in 2009 – however if it’s anything like the original R8 it’ll sell out rather fast indeed. If I were you I’d get my order in as quick as possible…
The other turbodiesel I’m interested in is the Mitsubishi Concept-RA. Shown recently at the Detroit Motor Show – it’s clear that the company known for the manic Evo (of all variations) is not pulling any punches with this extremely aggressive looking concept.
The RA has all the lines of a sports coupe, with powerful lines and huge 21 inch wheels housed in huge arches and fenders. In terms of how it looks, there’s an exposed engine cover to show off the beast underneath, whilst the front-end looks supremely futuristic.
The car features a new Super All Wheel Control driveline that has the usual Active Steering, Suspension and braking controls. Going to the engine, there’s a 2.2 litre, 4-cylinder, 16 valve common rail turbo diesel. It features a maximum output of 201 horsepower and 310N/m of torque.
No doubt when this car comes into production (we’ve seen concepts like this come to light before) we’ll see even more power. Mitsubishi has long been known for driving sports saloons of the future, and I’m sure this will be no exception.
Judging by the way things are going, I’ll not be surprised at all if most cars on the road of the future end up being diesel, gas or some other alternative fuel. As engines get better and better, there’ll be less need to rely on petrol engines or indeed the pollutants they produce.