The spoils of a milestone victory for Audi TDI power in the 2006 Le Mans 24-hour marathon race can now be enjoyed in the new limited edition A6 Le Mans Edition, a commemorative version of the potent A6 3.0 TDI quattro boasting a unique and especially lavish specification for a price premium of just £115. Restricted to just 1,000 right-hand-drive examples, the new A6 3.0 TDI quattro Le Mans Edition is now available in Saloon and Avant forms priced at £34,575 OTR and £35,845 OTR respectively.
To mark the moment when Le Mans was conquered by diesel power for the first time in its 74-year history in the Audi R10 TDI sports prototype, this new special edition model has appropriately been based on the sporting S line version of the A6 3.0 TDI quattro. The already striking S line specification, which includes exclusive S line front and rear body styling, is further enhanced externally in the A6 Le Mans Edition by 19-inch 7-arm double spoke alloy wheels adopted from the RS 4 quattro and standard metallic or pearl effect paint. Inside, the addition of a Luxury Pack, normally costing £975, brings full Volterra leather upholstery and heating for the front sports seats, rear acoustic parking and upgraded interior lights using LED technology.
A6 Le Mans Edition specification also includes S line sports suspension lowered by 30mm, an upgraded braking system, cruise control, S line decorative facia inlays in brushed aluminium, a three-spoke S line sports steering wheel and the Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) controlling a 10-speaker audio system with CD changer. Specified individually, the additional equipment added to the A6 Le Mans Edition would cost in excess of £2,300, but in this exclusive model it carries a premium of just £115.
An advanced common rail fuel injection system, a close relative of which is installed in the R10 TDI prototype’s V12 engine, maximises performance and operating efficiency in the road-going 3.0-litre V6 TDI powering the A6 Le Mans Edition. With 233PS at 4,000rpm and 450Nm of torque from just 1,400rpm it quickly reveals the qualities that helped to create a Le Mans-winning diesel engine, delivering 0-62mph acceleration in 6.9 seconds and, where permissible, a top speed of 153mph, yet doing so with 35.3mpg capability and refinement befitting an Audi executive saloon.
Not surprisingly, the slightly less cosseting R10 TDI sports car features the most powerful member to date of the Audi TDI family, which is also notable as the world’s first purpose-built diesel racing engine. The 5.5-litre V12 is the first Audi TDI to be built around an all-aluminium block – a new departure that could very easily become a production reality – and with the help of common rail fuel injection technology and two Garrett turbochargers delivers 650PS and an even more formidable 1,100Nm of torque.
Head of Engine Technology at Audi Sport, Ulrich Baretzky, indicated recently that lessons learned on the circuit in the ongoing development of the R10 TDI are likely to significantly accelerate advances in the road-going Audi TDI engine range. "We are still relatively close to the findings of our colleagues from production since we are breaking completely new ground in motorsport. However, this will change. I believe to be able to share the things that we developed specifically for motorsport with production in the future," he said. The Audi TDI range is currently headed by the 4.2-litre, 326PS V8 TDI powering the A8 Saloon.