Monday, January 12, 2009

Audi plans Q5 hybrid SUV for U.S. by 2010

Hybrid-electric and other green propulsion systems are as much a theme of the 2009 Detroit Auto Show as is the restructuring and 'right-sizing' of the industry - even more so, at ground-level. Audi is doing its part to contribute to the swell of green vehicles and announcements by revealing its plans to bring the Q5 hybrid SUV to the U.S. in 2010. Already Lexus' RX 400H is leading the compact crossover hybrid race and BMW is positioned to make an entry later in 2009 with the X6 ActiveHybrid, so Audi's decision is as much about competition as it is innovation.

2009 Audi Q5 European specification

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2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 revealed in Detroit NAIAS 2009

It sits at the Audi display like the lady in red - attracting everyone's attention. The 2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro V10 has landed in the U.S. and is shining with quattro all-wheel-drive, a lightweight aluminum body, the world's first car with LED headlamps as standard and the brutal 525-hp engine that sits in the back.

Okay enough of all that. You already know that the car runs from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 196 mph. Something new we learned from its Detroit's press release is that the Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 goes from 0 to 124 mph in 8.1 seconds and returns an estimated fuel-economy of 17 mpg when mated to Audi's R-tronic transmission. Now go drool over the pictures.

Follow the jump for the high-res image gallery and the press release.

2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 - Live from the 2009 Detroit Auto Show:



Press Release:

The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro: breathtaking performance

    * The new 5.2-liter, ten-cylinder engine puts out 525 hp
    * Sprint to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, top speed 316 km/h
    * High-performance sports car with striking design
Ingolstadt – Audi is launching the next variant of its top-of-the-line model. With the R8, the brand has established itself at the forefront of high-end sports cars from the very start – and now comes the R8 V10. Its 5.2-liter, ten-cylinder engine churns out 386 kW (525 hp) and 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque, which makes for breathtaking performance. With superior Audi technologies such as quattro all-wheel drive, the lightweight aluminum body, the innovative all-LED headlights, and its striking design, the
R8 V10 takes pole position against the competition.

The R8 V10 is the result of cumulative know-how from Audi's string of Le Mans victories. Its naturally aspirated engine combines racing technology such as dry sump lubrication with FSI gasoline direct injection. The ten-cylinder design is the perfect synthesis for impressive top performance, mighty pulling power, and low weight. Starting in 2009, this engine will also prove its potential on the world's racetracks – in the new R8 racing car Audi is developing for customer teams in conformance with the GT3 rules.

The V10 engine in the production sports car will be almost identical in construction to the one in the racing version. Its displacement is 5,204 cc, at 6,500 rpm it delivers 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque, at 8,000 rpm its power tops out at 386 kW (525 hp).

The specific power output is 100.9 hp per liter of displacement – and each hp has to propel only 3.09 kilograms (6.91 lb) of weight, because the Audi R8 V10 in the version with the six-speed manual gearshift weighs only 1,620 kilograms (3571 lb). The engine accounts for 258 of these kilograms (569 lb) – that's only 31 kilos (68 lb) more than the V8.

The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro rockets from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.9 seconds. In the version with the sequentially shifting R tronic it reaches 200 km/h (124.27 mph) in another 8.1 seconds. Even then its propulsive power hardly lessens: it's sufficient to reach a top speed of 316 km/h (196.35 mph). The immense force, the spontaneity and the thrust of the acceleration, plus the sound of the engine – all these impressions coalesce into a breathtaking sports car experience. The V10 plays a concert with growling bass tones and powerful high notes, which grows into a grandiose fortissimo as the engine revs up. This sonorous acceleration doesn't reach its limit until 8,700 rpm.

The 5.2-liter powerplant uses direct injection according to the FSI principle developed by Audi. A common rail system injects the fuel into the combustion chambers with up to 120 bar of pressure. Direct injection reduces the susceptibility to knocking and provides a certain amount of cooling through the evaporation of the fuel, which in turn supports a high compression ratio of 12.5:1. This in turn contributes to superior performance and improves fuel economy. The R8 V10 with R tronic gets by on an average of 13.7 liters per 100 km (17.17 US mpg).

For maximum dynamics: low center of gravity engine

The technical refinements of the long-stroke ten-cylinder engine include dry sump lubrication, which allows the engine to be mounted low within the chassis. The wide cylinder angle of 90 degrees also makes for a low center of gravity. The crankcase is a high-strength aluminum-alloy casting produced in a complex process. The connecting rods are made of forged steel, the pistons of aluminum. The four camshafts are chain-driven and each is adjustable through 42 degrees. This provides great latitude in controlling the valve timing. In combination with the straight, flow-optimized ducts of the intake manifold, this improves the charge throughout the entire speed range.

The R8 5.2 FSI quattro has a six-speed transmission. A precise and smooth-shifting manual transmission comes as standard equipment. The sequential R tronic is available as an option. The high-tech gearshift conveys an authentic racing feel – with the rocker switches at the steering wheel and the short shifting times of usually less than one-tenth of a second. When the driver actuates the Launch Control program by pressing a button, the R8 V10 takes off in a vehement quick-start with electronically controlled tire slip – both with the R tronic and with the manual transmission.

A contributing factor to the wide lead in traction and driving safety of the Audi R8 V10 over the competition is quattro all-wheel drive – it's the superior technology especially for a high-performance sports car. Four powered wheels get more grip than two. They enable the driver to step on the gas sooner when coming out of a curve. It's not only the traction that benefits, but also the transverse dynamics and the stability.

44 to 56 percent – the ideal axle load distribution

The Audi R8 chassis offers both dynamic performance and astonishing levels of comfort on long distances. This high-performance sports car from Audi eagerly responds to any steering action with instant ease, achieves lateral acceleration of up to 1.2 g, and handles any situation with superb driving safety. Its mid-engine design provides an ideal axle load distribution of 44 to
56 percent.

The wheel suspensions on dual aluminum wishbones front and rear – a classic racing technology – are optimized for neutral self-steering characteristics. Even more than in the eight-cylinder R8, this setup is designed for maximum performance. 19-inch wheels equipped with tire pressure monitoring display are standard equipment. Their 10-spoke Y design is exclusive to the R8 V10. Tire sizes are 235/35 front and 295/30 rear.

The car features a high-end damper technology as standard: Audi magnetic ride adapts the characteristics of the suspension in milliseconds to the nature of the road surface and to the driving style. Suspended in the oil of the shock absorbers are tiny magnetic particles which, when a voltage is applied, rearrange themselves so as to slow down the flow of oil through the valves.

In the R8 V10, deceleration is provided by an extremely muscular braking system – eight brake pistons at the front and four at the rear grasp the brake disks, which are ventilated and perforated to ensure unimpeded heat transfer. The brake disks on the front axle have a diameter of 380 millimeters (15 in); the rear discs span 356 millimeters (14 in).

The R8 5.2 FSI quattro is optionally available with a ceramic brake system whose disks are made of a composite material containing high-strength carbon fibers and abrasion-resistant silicon carbide. These are especially light: their combined weight is nine kilograms (19.84 lb) less than the weight of equivalent steel disks. The ceramic brakes can easily cope with the harsher requirements of racing, won't corrode, and have a typical service life of 300,000 kilometers (186,400 miles). Their calipers are painted charcoal gray and emblazoned with the inscription "Audi ceramic".

Typically Audi: Sharp lines and an elegantly curved roof

The wide, full shape of the R8 5.2 FSI quattro seems to hug the road. The brawny proportions and prominent wheel wells underscore its potential. The high-precision styling of the lines and the elegant curve of the roof are typical Audi features. A continuous contour optically connects the front, the wheel wells, the sides and the rear. Located well forward, the cab visually expresses the mid-engine design. The vertical air scoops (sideblades) on the sides are also indicative of the engine location. The massive aluminum gas cap is mounted flush within the right sideblade.

The design of the Audi R8 has already impressed experts, as evidenced by the double victory in the "World Car of the Year Awards 2008. In the ten-cylinder model, the styling has been sharpened up even more.

The front air inlets, which feed air to the coolers, and the lip of the front apron are painted in high-gloss black. The number of cross-braces has been reduced from four to two. The vanes of the single-frame grille have a striking chrome finish.

A very distinctive highlight of the R8 V10 are the all-LED headlights as standard equipment. Audi is the world's first automaker to use LEDs for the high beam, low beam, daytime running lights, and turn signals. Each headlight integrates 54 of these high-tech light sources. With a color temperature of 6,000 Kelvin the LED light closely resembles daylight, which is less tiring to the eyes in night driving. Further advantages of the LEDs include brilliant illumination, low energy consumption, and a virtually unlimited service life.

Special details also distinguish the body of the R8 V10. Its sideblades are more accentuated than in the eight-cylinder version. The side sills are more striking and wider; the exhaust grilles at the rear windows have a matt aluminum look. Through the large rear window, the ten-cylinder engine is clearly visible in its consummate technical beauty.

When in motion, this Audi high-performance sports car creates a downforce that keeps it in firm contact with the road – thanks to a rear spoiler which deploys automatically at 100 km/h and the fully enclosed underbody, which terminates in a sharply upward-curved diffuser. The dominant color at the rear end is high-gloss black, including the settings of the LED tail lights. The air outlets at the rear end also have only two cross-braces, and the exhaust system terminates in two large oval tailpipes.

Audi sets the example – in body weight and rigidity

The body of a sports car must be especially lightweight and rigid. Audi meets these requirements with the technology of the Audi Space Frame (ASF) and its high-tech aluminum construction. The body-in-white of the R8 V10, which includes an engine frame made of ultra-light magnesium, weighs only 210 kilograms (463 lb), and the quality of its lightweight design – the relation of weight to torsional rigidity – is the best in the sports car segment. The body is composed of profile extrusions, sheet aluminum and very complex gusset castings, all held together by 99 meters (325 ft) of welding seams, 782 rivets, and 308 special screws.

The interior of the R8 V10 provides a unique racing ambience at the luxury level. Its dominant element is the so-called monoposto – a wide arc that contains the steering wheel and the cockpit. As always in an Audi, the workmanship is of the highest quality. The surfaces of the dashboard and doors are lined with fine materials and adorned with precisely stitched decorative seams. Many customizing solutions are available: Audi supplies leather in a wide range of colors, packages with a carbon and piano-lacquer finish, or a made-to-measure luggage set. quattro GmbH, which has developed and is producing the R8 V10, also provides solutions for unconventional requirements.

The great everyday utility of the Audi R8 V10 is based in part on its spacious interior made possible by the long wheelbase of 2.65 meters (8.69 ft). Drivers and passengers of any size will always find a perfect sitting position. Visibility too is surprisingly good. Slender hinge pillars optimize the obliquely forward field of view. Another advantage for convenient everyday use is the luggage space: 100 liters (3.53 cu ft) fit under the front hood, another 90 liters (3.18 cu ft) can be stowed behind the seats. There is also room for two golf bags.

The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro combines its colossal performance with a generous complement of standard equipment. Highlights include heatable seat covers made of Fine Nappa leather, a driver information system, the navigation system plus and the Bang & Olufsen sound system along with deluxe automatic air conditioning and an alarm system. The instruments and the gearshift knob are decorated with red rings; the footrests and the rocker switches of the R tronic have an aluminum finish.

The list of options includes other highly attractive features – such as the Audi parking system advanced with its integrated rearview camera or numerous Audi exclusive customization options. Various leather packages provide a luxurious touch, while the bucket seats from the Audi exclusive program bring a highly concentrated racing atmosphere into the R8 V10.

The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro will be rolled out in Germany in the second quarter of 2009 at a basic price of EUR 142,400.

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Audi A3 2.0 TDI coming to the U.S. in 2010 - Detroit NAIAS 2009

We're guessing Audi is being motivated by the success of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The German luxury automaker announced at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show that it will launch the 2010 Audi A3 2.0 TDI clean diesel in the U.S. by the first quarter of 2010. Audi says that the model that was first was being targeted at the BMW 1-Series, Mini Cooper S and the Volvo C30, will now take on the Toyota Prius and the new 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid.

Under the hood of the front-wheel-drive A3 TDI is a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged clean diesel with common rail direct injection that makes 140-hp with a maximum torque of 236 lb-ft. Mated to S-tronic dual-clutch transmission the A3 2.0 TDI will return an estimated 40 mpg on the highway. The car is already rated a "Top Safety Pick" by the IIHS and is 50-state legal with no after-treatment system required.

Pricing for the 2010 Audi A3 2.0 TDi will be announced closer to launch.

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Detroit 2009: Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI [w/VIDEO]

Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI

Audi always seems to have something great in store for us at the Detroit Auto Show every year, and in addition to the Sportback Concept, the long-awaited R8 V10 5.2 FSI made its official world debut at this year's show. With the 5.2L V10 plucked from the Gallardo LP560-4 mounted amidships, the new R8 now packs 525 horsepower and 391 lb-ft torque. Exterior styling has been subtly updated and includes all-LED headlights, wide side sills, revised matte aluminum exhaust tips, and new 19-inch 10-spoke wheels. More details on Audi's new flagship are in the press release after the jump as well as a video of the car's debut here in Motown.

Gallery: Detroit 2009: Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI


Gallery: 2010 Audi R8 V10

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Detroit 2009: Audi confirms A3 TDI for US launch in late 2009

2009 A3 TDI

Audi has finally confirmed what's been rumored since last fall's cross-country mileage marathon. The A3 TDI is indeed coming to America later this year. A pair of A3s were included in the marathon group and achieved mileage figures that regularly topped 50 mpg. The A3 will use the same 140 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel current motivating the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Getting 40 mpg or more with the A3 TDI shouldn't be difficult in normal driving, and adding the powerful and efficient diesel should help the slow-selling A3 get more of a foothold in the US market. Hit the jump for all the details.

Gallery: Detroit 2009: Audi A3 TDI

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Detroit 2009: Audi Sportback concept, coming soon as the A7

Audi A7

Audi continues to underscore the importance of the US market to its future fortunes with two world debuts at the Detroit Auto Show. In addition to the R8 V10 that we saw last month, we got our first look at the Sportback concept. The Sportback is a preview of the A7 sedan due to arrive in the next year or so. As expected, this is Audi's take on the four door coupe/sedan idiom. Compared to the Porsche Panamera, this is one actually works. It takes the look we've come to expect from Audi and updates it with slightly sharper lines and a reshaped grille, along with even more LED lighting.

The Sportback name refers to the fastback roofline and Audi boss Rupert Stadler made it clear that the new look will become a common trait in the Audi lineup, beginning with a new A5 Sportback coming later this year. Under the hood, the Sportback gets a 3.0-liter TDI diesel V6 with 225 hp/406 lb-ft paired up with a seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch gea box. The whole thing is topped off with automatic start stop to give a combined 39 mpg (US). Based on these specs we can't wait for the A7 to arrive.

Hit the jump for the press release and a 20-second video walk-around of the Audi Sportback concept.

Gallery: Detroit 2009: Audi Sportback Concept


Gallery: Audi Sportback Concept

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Audi confirms A3 TDI for U.S.

The horsepower wars are being supplemented by the efficiency wars now that global warming issues are being taken seriously by the world's major governments, and one of the primary weapons of the new war is the diesel engine. Audi cars have long had a close relationship with diesel fuel, and since the R10 began its dominance at Le Mans, cut short only when hamstrung by rules changes, the carmaker has been at the forefront of the public image of performance-minded yet efficient diesels. Now, Audi has confirmed that it will bring its efficient 2.0L A3 TDI to the U.S.

2009 Audi A3 facelift

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Detroit 09': Audi Sportback Concept Unveiled...Hints at the A7

Audi has unveiled the Sportback Concept at the Detroit Auto Show. The Sportback Concept is supposed to be a preview of the upcoming A7.

The Sportback Concept and eventual A7 is Audi's version of a four-door coupe, like the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes CLS. In addition to providing a preview of the A7, the Sportback Concept previews Audi's future design vocabulary.

The Concept is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 TDI clean diesel. The diesel engine already meets the emissions limits of all 50 U.S. states and the EU6 standard scheduled to take effect in 2014. In addition it manages to get 39.87 US mpg.

Detroit Auto Show: Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI quattro World Debut

The R8 V10 will be the street going version of the R8 LMS that debuted a couple of weeks ago at the Essen Motor Show in Germany. It's 5.2L V10 is rated at 525 horsepower and 390.91 lb-ft of torque in European spec form.

Those numbers fall a bit shy of the latest Gallardo LP560-4 even with the same displacement, which ensures that the Lamborghini can still command a price premium over the German machine. The U.S. version of the R8 V10 should remain pretty close to these numbers.

That will be enough to push the 0-62 sprint under four seconds to 3.9 seconds. Unfortunately, the R8 is still saddled with the same craptastic 6-speed R-tronic as the only alternative to its proper manual gearbox. The R8 V10 now also inches closer to the magical 200 mph mark with a terminal velocity of 196 mph.

The V10 version gets a new set of all-LED headlights for both high and low beams and the scoops on the side blades now bulge out to suck in the extra air needed to feed and cool the larger engine. A new rear diffuser also helps keep the rear end planted where a set of twin oval tailpipes replace the quad exhausts on the standard model.

The R8 V10 will be available in Germany starting next spring with a base price of EUR 142,400 (approx $180,000) and will make its official debut in January at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Follow the jump for Audi's official press release and check out the high-res images in our gallery below.

For those who still have sufficient cash-flow to purchase high end sports cars, the latest and greatest remains a must. In keeping with that reality, Audi is cranking up the juice on its flagship R8 sports car with the introduction of the R8 V10 5.2 FSI quattro, which got an early reveal on the web today. The R8 shares some less visible bits with its corporate cousin, the Lamborghini Gallardo, but until now the Lambo's V10 engine has remained exclusive to the Italian side of the family.


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