It’s no surprise that the engineering behind the latest turbo diesel engines comes from Germany. Gone are the days of excessive noise and gutless power delivery, diesel engines of today are proven to be more efficient and in many cases, more powerful than their petrol equivalents. The diesel revolution has begun.
A clear sign of diesel technological advancements is found in the Audi R10 TDi Race Car that was unveiled in December 2005. This car went on to win the infamous 2006 24 Hours Le Mans Race. The success of diesel cars in endurance racing can be partly contributed to their remarkable fuel efficiency enabling the car to make fewer pit stops.
In comparison, petrol engines run on average at about 30 percent efficiency, where as diesel engines run at over 45 percent efficiency. This is based on fuel energy being converted to mechanical energy inside the engine, making the diesel the most efficient of any regular internal combustion engine! The race winnning Audi R10 was powered by a twin turbo aluminium 5.5L V12 diesel engine, utilising Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDi) common rail technology and was rumoured to produce up to 700hp (522 kW) and 1200Nm of torque. The fact that such high performance could be achieved with a diesel engine undoubtably changed the way that the world looked at diesel cars.
For a deeper look at Audi TDi technology see the video below:
Back in 2005/6 the campaign of the R10 was Audi’s way of being ultra-competitive at Le Mans while making a huge statement about TDi. A more recent, and notable addition to the Volkswagen family is the performance diesel Golf GTD TDi, offering 350Nm of torque at 1.750 rpm! Simply put, ‘torque’ is the pulling power of a diesel, combined with specific gearing to capitalise on the narrow rev range, this model Golf accelerates 0-100KM in 8.1 seconds. Utilising a version of the same ‘TDi’ technology seen in the AUDI R10, the Golf delivers an impressive 125kW. To put this pulling power into perspective the NEW 3.0L Commodore deliver’s 290Nm of torque, so considering the Golf uses an average of only 5.5L/100km of fuel and is wrapped up in a GTi handling package, you can see the appeal.
As TDi technology in diesel engines becomes common, specific products are manufactured to cater for their unique characteristics. When it comes to TDi engines Liqui-Moly offers both fuel and oil additives to suit and most importantly the Volkswagen certified engine oil – the Liqui-Moly ‘Top Tec 4200 5W-30’ (specification VW 507.00), which covers the new Volkswagen GTD.