Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oil-Burners Rule?

by Tom Bozzo

The Audi R8 race car, first fielded in 2000, has been the dominant endurance racer since. It's successor, the R10, was just unveiled, and the surprise is that its engine is a diesel. It's even equipped with particulate filters!

Unlike, say, a 1980 Olds Toronado, this one should achieve greater-than-dead-moose pickup as it makes 650 horsepower and 1100 Nm torque (~810 lb-ft for the non-metric world). Fuel consumption is an issue in the selection of diesel power, though the Audi press info notes that racers take about 3/4 of the Le Mans circuit at full throttle, where diesels have less of an efficiency advantage over gasoline engines, reducing the diesel's advantage in that department.

It would be an entertaining eco-stunt, though, to run the car on vegetable oil.
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