Audi’s big plans for high performance diesel models

Audi RS5 diesel tracking
16 Jul, 2014 10:50am Luke Madden

Diesel powered RS models and even a diesel R8 supercar are real possibilities for Audi

Audi boss Rupert Stadler has hinted at a diesel-powered future for Audi’s RS models, with a possible diesel R8 in the pipeline and a Le Mans-inspired road car, too.

Speaking at a TDI event celebrating the success of Audi’s diesel models, Stadler said: “We have been the first to bring a diesel in the SQ5 and why shouldn’t we be prepared for the next step?” Speaking about the RS5 TDI Concept – fitted with a 3.0 BiTDI engine featuring an additional electric turbo, Stadler said: “If you feel the heat of the concept you will know the [RS] genetic code is prepared for a lot of things.”

Audi will no doubt have been buoyed by the success of its SQ5 TDI, with the latest figures showing that 12% of all Audi Q5 buyers go for the hot diesel variant. 

Audi RS5 diesel engine

Hinting at a future diesel R8, Stadler told us: “what makes Audi different is that we stick to diesel, even in the V8 segment, where everyone else has pulled out.” Stadler continued: “People want to have fun but with good fuel consumption and that is something we are working on.”

Stadler's enthusiasm for a diesel R8 was backed up by Audi's R&D boss Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, who said: "I think that it is possible if there is a demand in the market. But the technology is definitely possible."

And Audi’s performance diesel plans may not end there. When questioned about a road car inspired by its diesel Le Mans racer, Stadler said: “We cannot do everything at once but I personally can imagine that. We demonstrate on the racetrack that with a lot of torque and the right balance we can win, and we can transfer this technology to the road. First we test it, then we bring it to the road.” 

This performance diesel technology will go hand in hand with a range of Ultra models, designed to eke the most economy out of a diesel engine. The A4, A6 and A7 Ultras are already available in the UK but more will follow. 

Are performance diesels the right direction for Audi? Let us know what you think on the comments section below...