Golf GTD, Octavia VRS, TT TDI – all using more or less the same rorty VAG four-pot that could genuinely put the fright on the Civic Type R of the day.
Diesel was flowing onto the racetracks of the world, too, with Audi’s shock debut in 2006 of their R10 TDI top-level endurance racers. The results were conclusive, with a first-time-out victory for the TDI V12-engined machine at Le Mans. Diesel cars would take a further eight Le Mans victories, with Peugeot snatching one from Audi in 2009 with their 908 HDi FAP.
Remembering the apparent public apathy for the fuel today, tales of the glory days of diesel almost feel like they’re from a parallel universe, like a fiction from a comic book. Nothing galvanizes that feeling more than the existence of the Audi R8 V12 TDi Concept. Yes, the peak of oil-burning love must have been when Audi were very seriously considering fitting a big smokey V12 to their newborn supercar. Don’t believe us? An excerpt from a review of the concept by Autocar ten years ago (almost to the day), follows thus: “It's still a concept car for now, but only until the dust settles, the media monitoring results come in, and Audi's suspicions are confirmed. It's convinced, you see, that the time of the mid-engined, V12, diesel-powered, quattro-driven sports car has come.”