- In December 2005, Audi announced that they would participate in the 2006 24 hours of Le Mans in a newly developed R10 TDI.
- Audi at that time were already attracting a great deal of attention. They had competed in the Le Mans with their R8 starting in 1999, and until 2005 they were unbeatable, with a podium finish 7 years in a row with overall wins in all years excluding only 2003. The new car was surprisingly powered by a diesel engine, and Audi announced that they would attempt to take the overall win with a diesel powered car for the first time in Le Mans history.
- The newly developed 5.5L V12 twin turbo TDI engine produced 650 BHP, and 112.2 kgfm torque. Though it had disadvantages in terms of weight and high heat emissions, it compensated by providing exceptionally high fuel economy and an extremely wide power band, and was expected to do well in an endurance race like the Le Mans. As the power band was between 3000-5000 rpm - extremely low for a racing engine - the number of gear changes needed by the driver were very much reduced compared to the R8.
- The body was constructed of a carbon fibre monocoque, and the chassis, engine, and gearbox were combined as a single unit to take on loads and to shorten replacement time in the same manner as the R8. The engine is said to have been so quiet, that the driver could not rely on the engine sound alone to determine where to shift.
- In the 24 hours if Le Mans held in June 2006, the R10 TDI started the race in the front row. The number 8 car (Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro, Marco Werner) took the overall win with 380 laps, marking a historic achievement in the involvement of diesel power in racing.
- The R10 TDI continues to show exceptional performance in the Le Mans, winning 3 years in a row in the 2007 and 2008.
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