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Audi RS 5 TDI Concept shows off new electric turbo tech

By Bob Nagy on June 2, 2014 3:12 PM
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Audi RS 5 TDI Concept shows off new electric turbo techAudi RS 5 TDI Concept shows off new electric turbo tech 1Audi RS 5 TDI Concept shows off new electric turbo tech 2Audi RS 5 TDI Concept shows off new electric turbo tech 3Audi RS 5 TDI Concept shows off new electric turbo tech 4Audi RS 5 TDI Concept shows off new electric turbo tech 5

Audi revealed a unique twist on its turbocharging setup at the Leipzig Auto Show over the weekend. It came in the form of the Audi RS 5 TDI Concept pictured here. This innovative one-off replaces the RS 5's standard 4.2-liter gasoline V8 that makes 444-horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque with a unique 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine that pairs low-pressure and high-pressure conventional turbochargers with a third supplemental electrically-driven compressor unit that virtually eliminates all vestige of turbo lag. While this alternative-take TDI develops a more modest 380 horses, it also cranks out a tarmac-torturing 553 lb-ft of twist which heads to each tire via an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and the automaker's Quattro AWD setup. 

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As for absolute performance, the RS 5 TDI Concept can sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds and roll on to a top speed of 174 mpg while a production RS 5 requires 4.6 ticks to hit that speed and maxes out at an electronically limited 155 mph. If that's not sufficiently notable, the RS 5 TDI Concept also returns a stellar 47 mpg.

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Audi has been experimenting with supplemental electric turbochargers for several years now and developed a race version for use on its latest R18 e-tron Quattro Le Mans prototype. The new RS5 TDI Concept features a street-focused variation on that setup. There's still no official word on whether this electric turbo system will see production or if we might ever see it here. However, the technology is promising and the results are impressive to say the least.  

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