Small-displacement turbocharged engines are the wave of the future, though there is more than one way to spin a snail. The new Audi RS5 TDI Concept boasts a twin-turbo 3.0 turbodiesel V6 that also has an electronically-controlled third turbo that all but eliminates turbo lag.
With healthy 380 horsepower and an absolutely monstrous 553 ft-lbs of torque on tap sent to all four wheels, the Audi RS5 TDI concept is ready to shred rubber and rip out stumps. Power of this magnitude isn’t unheard of though, and what really makes the RS5 TDI Concept stand out is its fuel consumption; just 5 liters for every 100 km driven, which roughly translated comes out to about 47 MPG.
That’s thanks not only to the excellent turbodiesel engine, but an electronic turbo setup that Audi has been developing for awhile. This third turbocharger is electronically spun up at low speeds, while the other two turbochargers are still “spooling up” to produce power. This all but eliminates the concept of turbo lag, that brief moment between stomping the gas pedal and actually feeling the extra boost kick in, simultaneously improving fuel economy and performance. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.
One might think a more efficient RS5 would be less powerful as well, but you’d be wrong. Compared to the conventional gas-powered Audi RS5, which makes 440 horsepower but just 317 ft-lbs of torque, the TDI concept is more frugal on fuel and almost twice as torquey. It’s a no brainer who wins this contest of speed, showcasing yet again that turbodiesel technology has a lot more potential compared to conventional, gas-powered vehicles. How many other cars can claim Prius-like fuel economy with as much horsepower on tap as a Dodge Challenger?
Hopefully Audi does the right thing, and brings this concept to production. Sure, most of us could never afford it, but just knowing a car like this exists helps me sleep a little better at night.