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“Goes fast!”
“Great mileage!”

Yeah, right!

By now you may have heard about Audi’s prototype R8 TDI…the V12, diesel-powered supercar based on its gorgeous production R8. But even the Audi dealer I ran into at my favorite local Thai restaurant at lunch the other day had missed out on one pretty sweet fact: The R8 TDI should be capable of achieving 28mpg (according to the UK’s Car magazine).

Long despised in the U.S. thanks to some shoddy offerings by a certain U.S. carmaker (who shall remain nameless) a few decades back, diesel cars are much sought after across the pond, where they’re typically in greater demand vs. the “petrol” counterparts.

Here, it seems only trucks (and I mean actual trucks, not your RAV4) are offered with diesel engines. But diesels are typically much torque-ier than similarly-configured gasoline engines, which is great for a supercar. And they also typically do better with gas mileage, as is obvious in this case.

Just compare the fuel efficiency of other V12s that use gasoline engines, such as the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti (9-16mpg) or the Lamborghini Murcielago (9-14mpg). Even Lexus’ green-driver-baiting LS 600h L with its hybrid V8 is only rated for 20-22mpg.

If Audi builds the R8 TDI, it will have succeeded in creating a true supercar with some fairly long legs. Now if only they’d invite US to take it for a drive next time!�