Audi just dominated the track and the news all weekend, starting with the debut of the e-Tron Spyder plug-in diesel hybrid concept. A twin-turbocharged 3.0 liter turbo diesel TDI engine sends 300 horsepower and 479 ft-lbs of torque to the rear wheels, while dual electric motors send 87 horsepower and 260 ft-lbs of torque to the front wheels. For those of you doing the math, that is a grand total of 387 horsepower and 739 ft-lbs of torque. Oh, and there’s a seven-speed transmission all up in there. I’d hate to be an Audi mechanic reading this right now.
Now here’s the impressive part; this concept could get as much as a 107 MPGe rating on the EPA cycle, thanks to its 31-mile all electric range. On top of that it emits just 95 grams of CO2/mile. A single fill-up of the 13-gallon gas tank can take you as far as 621 miles, which would average out to around 47 mpg on the road. Not bad for a car that can go from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds, and has a governed top speed of 155 mph. I hope we see more diesel-hybrids soon.
And then there is the news from the track. After the three-car Audi diesel team suffered two awful crashed (one at around 200 mph), somehow the remaining car team pulled it together and beat Peugeot by just over 13 seconds, completing 355 laps in total. The Peugeot team tried to conserve fuel, and had just 28 pit stops, compared to the Audi’s 31. But that wasn’t enough, and Audi pulled it together to take the win, their 10th overall. It was a good weekend to be an Audi fan, that’s for sure.
Oh, and personal favorite team Corvette Racing (running on E85 ethanol) won the GTE class. Good to see Jake back on top.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.