Audi has set a new lap record at the Sachsenring in Germany for cars with a diesel engine, lapping the 2.2-mile circuit in 1 minute and 35 seconds in their new RS 5 TDI competition concept. The lap, set by racing driver Nicki Thiim, beat the previous record by a time of 1.87 seconds, which was set in February of this year.
The RS 5 TDI competition uses a version of Audi’s 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged TDI V6 diesel engine producing 435 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. The big power boost comes from the electrically driven compressor in the engine, which is joined by two conventional exhaust-gas driven turbochargers. Using a small seven kW electric motor, the compressor spins at speeds of up to 72,000 RPM in 250 milliseconds, building pressure through a separate system than the turbos. As a result, additional boost pressure is available almost on demand in the RS 5 TDI competition, making for better engine response. Both the compressor and its 48-volt subsystem will soon enter series production, Audi says.
In addition to the advanced engine, the RS 5 TDI has also shed some weight over standard TDI A5 models. A carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) hood, aluminum doors, full titanium exhaust, CFRP seats, polymer plastic and thin glass windows and the absence of a back seat have all contributed to weight loss of 531.1 lbs. These changes, along with the uprated engine, contribute to the RS 5 TDI’s spritely 0-62 mph time of 4.0 seconds and 0-124 mph time of 16 seconds.
“I am proud of the excellent performance on the race tracks (of the RS 5 TDI), because it underscores the leadership claim of Audi in the development of highly efficient and sporty diesel engines,” said Ulrich Weiss, head of diesel engine development at Audi. “We really pulled out all of the stops in developing the Audi RS 5 TDI competition concept – in its lightweight design, chassis and of course its drive system. We exploit the full power potential of the TDI and supplement it with the added thrust of the electric compressor, which we will soon see in a production car model.”
The RS5 TDI competition concept isn’t slated for production, but considering Audi’s combined interest in diesel fuel and motorsport, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an oil-burning performance model from the Four Rings sometime in the near future.