The LeMans car was a hybrid, the only hybrid Porsche version of that is a 2.9 petrol engine which might make more sense than a diesel. As others are stating diesels tend not to be visceral enough these days, like most engines the emission rules have muted them. Plus they can never make a noise good enough to satisfy true audi performance heads. Imagine a noise through the speakers only to open a window to be met with the diesel death rattle, seriously????Fascinating reading really.
Although it all sounds a bit dodgy, I can't help wondering if (assuming this is all true) Audi are trying to be a bit clever with this. New diesels are apparently not dirty after all; they could certainly produce an S4 diesel with better performance than the petrol version; they have a track record with diesel performance (Le Mans) etc. So what's not to like?
Makes me think of Apple convincing the world we need the iPad. A tablet that costs more than many laptops (yet isn't a computer) and only does what most smart phones do, except you can't use a tablet as a phone (generally). Basically, clever marketing.
Time will tell I guess, and in the meantime I imagine exhaust sound engineers are trying to perform a miracle and a few designers are trying to work out how much damping needs to be squeezed under the bonnet to quieten down that giveaway tap, tap, tap sound on tick over.
Was it not also dieselgate that forced Audi out of LeMans?