Rare Opportunity: 2009 Audi R15 TDI for Sale

2009 Audi R15 TDI

This 2009 Audi R15 TDI didn’t achieve victory at Le Mans, but it’s still a fantastic piece of motorsports history.

In the automotive hobby, there are rare cars, and there are the kind of ultra-rare unicorn cars that are the stuff of legend. This 2009 Audi R15 TDI for sale on Canepa definitely falls into the later category, as it’s the only example of the Le Mans racer in private hands, and it’s also the last of Audi’s open-top race cars. Along with those  distinctions, this example — chassis number T 101 — was actually the very first version of the R15 produced, and saw action at the 12 Hours of Sebring in addition to the grueling French 24-hour race.

Unfortunately, that was an off year for Audi at the Circuit de la Sarthe, and the car took third place in class, behind a pair of Peugeot 908 HDi FAPsThat said, while it wasn’t the most successful of Audi’s modern race cars, it played a critical role in the development of the company’s successes at Le Mans. In fact, an updated version of the the R15, dubbed the R15 Plus, returned to France in 2010, and took delivered a spectacular one-two-three finish, reasserting Audi’s dominance at the event.

Of course, it goes without saying that this machine’s performance potential is so far beyond the capabilities of mere mortals, it’s not even funny. Power comes from a 5.7-liter diesel V10, which is good for 590 horsepower and a whopping 774 lb-ft of torque.

Due to the rules of Le Mans, all that poke is transferred exclusively to the rear wheels via a dual-clutch transmission. There’s nothing mentioned about it in the listing, but given the fighter-jet complexity of Prototype cars, something tells me firing it up is a little more complex than it would be with, say, an new RS7 Sportback. So I’m wondering how feasible it would be to bring this to a track day. If you have any details on that subject, please hit me up.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, there’s no listed price, but I think this baby fetch a million dollars if I fetches a dime. Curiously, while the race history seems pretty comprehensive, there’s no mention of how it long it’s been in private hands, or even how it got there in the first place. Given how special this machine is, and the bleeding-edge tech Prototype cars feature, the owner likely pulled some strings to get it, so I’d bet that story makes for fascinating reading.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an Audi Prototype up for sale, as back in March, I posted about an R18 TDI Ultra which came up for sale. While that machine didn’t actually compete at Le Mans, a version just like it took the checkered flag at the 2011 running of the race. That listing is long gone, so it’s unclear how much it went for, but again, it can’t have been cheap. Personally, I’m beyond stoked that 2023 will see Audi return to Le Mans, and we’ll have more details on that machine early next year, so stay tuned.

Photos: Canepa

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Auction Watch: Audi RS2 Avant Set to Fetch Record Price

Audi RS2 Avant

Recently imported under the 25-year rule, this Audi RS2 Avant suggests prices are heading skyward.

Since it was never available in the States, the Audi RS2 Avant has long been a coveted piece of forbidden fruit for American Four Ring fans. Thanks to the 25-year import rule, however, these wild wagons are beginning to pop up for sale on our shores. And if this example currently listed on Bring a Trailer is any indication? Prices are poised to explode. At press time, there’s still two days of bidding left — and it’s already just $277 away from the model’s record price on the site.

Now, given that BaT auctions routinely spiral into bidding wars as the clock winds down, it’s almost certain that a new high-water mark is about to be set. The only question is exactly how high that mark will be. From reading the vehicle description — along with the savant-like comments from the peanut gallery — it’s clear this is exceptionally nice example of the RS2 Avant, so it’s entirely possible it could be an outlier. But I don’t think so.

Only around 2,900 examples of this legendary longroof were made, so it was rare from the get-go, and the fact that it’s the first Audi to wear an RS badge makes it even more special. Upping the ante of course, is that the RS2 Avant was a collaboration between Audi and Porsche, and you don’t have to look hard to see Stuttgart’s influence. Because while the sheetmetal is all Audi, Porsche tuned the turbocharged 20-valve 2.2-liter inline-five to produce a whopping 311 horsepower and 302 lb-ft of torque.

Not content just to provide some extra ponies, Porsche also handed assembly of the RS2, and added wheels and brakes plucked from the contemporary 911. As you’d expect of a performance machine of the era, power is routed to all four corners via a six-speed manual gearbox and Audi’s famous quattro system. All that kit added up to a zero-to-60 time of around six seconds, which doesn’t sound great in comparison to the current RS6 Avant, but was still impressive for the time.

With nearly 90k on the clock, it’s clear this machine is no garage queen, and I think that works in its favor. No cars like to sit, and if this baby has seen that many miles, it  means regular maintenance hasn’t been neglected. In fact, it’s even been worked on by the specialist crew at Audi Tradition, which replaced the water pump and some ancillary bits back in 2017 — so you know it was done right. I’ll update this post when we have a final price, but for now, stay tuned. This one is going to be interesting!

Photos: Bring a Trailer

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