Audi currently has a range of models that carry a lower case ‘e’ as part of their title to denote their fuel-efficiency prowess, but a new report has revealed the carmaker is planning a new family of eco-friendly vehicles, codenamed E1 to E5 and spanning everything from minicars to performance models. Unlike the existing e designated cars, which were based on standard models already in production, the new E range will consist of unique standalone vehicles. According to CAR, the first vehicle of the new E range has been given the green light.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Though overall sales figures have slumped through the end of 2008 and start of 2009, there are occasional bright patches of news as carmakers grab market share from long-time competitors or reach individual sales records. Audi has done just that, beating BMW's 3-series and Mercedes-Benz's C-Class in its home market for the year. The rivalry between Audi and its German colleagues is deep, and though the brand doesn't sell as well in the U.S. in relation to BMW and Mercedes, its success in its home market serves to prove how fierce the competition is.
Audi has hinted at launching a new Q3 compact crossover positioned below the Q5 ever since the debut of 2007’s Cross Coupe quattro concept. However, an even smaller soft-roader is expected to be launched to help Audi reach its goal of delivering 40 different models by 2015. The new entry-level soft-roader is likely to be called the Q1 and latest reports claim it won’t come onto the market until late 2012 at the earliest. Rising fuel prices are causing buyers of large SUVs to downsize to smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles, but many don’t want to give up some of the unique characteristics of their SUVs – namely, the taller ride height and line of sight.
Like Volvo's XC line of cars, the Audi Allroad is a tall wagon with AWD and off-road capability. To date, however, the Allroad has only been available in a version based around the A6. These latest spy photos show a new A4-based Allroad in testing, confirming our news last year that such a model was in the works. Cues that tip this car as a definite Allroad vehicle include the wider fenders and taller ride height, plus the new bumpers with a more ruggedized look, new air intake housings, addition of foglights and other off-road specific design cues. As yet it's not clear if the A4 Allroad will be available as both a sedan and a wagon, but reports suggest the car will be kept simple - meaning air suspension appears to be an unlikely option.
Last year we saw Audi take the wraps off several variants of its sporty TT, with the unveiling of the TT-S, 2.0L TDI diesel-powered TT, and finally, the entry-level 1.8L TFSI model, however there’s one more TT variant in the works and it could potentially be the fastest production TT ever. The new car is the performance RS variant of the TT and latest reports indicate it will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. While Audi is yet to confirm the car’s presence at the upcoming event, Sweden’s Auto Motor and Sport is reporting that the high-performance Coupe variant will be on show alongside the all-new A4 Allroad.
Advanced multimedia systems are becoming increasingly central to daily life with modern cars. Especially at the luxury end of the segment, where BMW's iDrive, Mercedes-Benz's COMAND, Lexus's new haptic system with Enform and Audi's MMI all compete for top honors. The latest iteration of Audi's MMI system is now headed to the U.S., and it will make its retail debut in the new Q5. Like Lexus's haptic interface system and BMW's iDrive, Audi's Generation 3 MMI uses a joystick-like remote input device.
Audi's R8 was an instant success when it broke onto the scene in 2007, and now the Germans are sweetening the deal with a V10 FSI engine, further strengthening the similarity to the Lamborghini Gallardo, with which it also shares a platform. Though the new engine is still an Audi, strictly speaking - it's also found in the S6 and S8 sedans in similar form - it's based around a Lamborghini design. But whatever the provenance of the engine or platform, it's clear that Audi's R8 has found its own niche in the high-performance sports car world, and with the addition of the V10 engine is flirting with supercar status. With 5.2L of displacement, an 8,700rpm redline, 525hp (386kW) and 391lb-ft (530Nm) of torque, a 0-62mph (100km/h) time of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 196mph (316km/h) it certainly reads like a supercar.
With speculation mounting that Volkswagen’s mid-engined Bluesport roadster concept from last month’s Detroit Auto Show might be headed for production, there are a growing number of reports that suggest sister brands Audi, Seat, and possibly even Porsche, may also get their own version of the car. The strongest indication that several variants of the roadster may be produced came from VW executive Ulrich Hackenburg, who told reporters at the Detroit event that the business case for the car could also be successful if its investment was shared with at least three brands.
The Audi R8 is still a stunning sight out on the roads but excitement is starting to dry-up, with traditionally long waiting lists now just withering to a month or two in most markets. To drum up interest once again, and attract new customers, Audi plans to launch several new versions over the next 12 months, including a new ‘Spider’ convertible as well as a high-performance RS variant. Before these arrive, however, Audi will start selling the R8 with a second engine option. Joining the current 420hp (313kW) and 317lb-ft (430Nm) 4.2L V8 version is the new V10 model powered by the naturally-aspirated 5.2L engine found in the S6.
Rally legend and fearsome street machine are just two of the titles Audi's Quattro earned during its production run in the 1980s. Not built since 1991, and without a suitable analogue in the current Audi lineup, the Swiss tuners at O.CT have taken it upon themselves to turn out an S3 hatchback built to bring some of the Quattro's magic back to life. Starting with the S3, O.CT adds a 'Stage 3' kit, including a new engine control unit (ECU), sport exhaust, intake and an upgraded intercooler to turn out 328hp (245kW) and 314lb-ft (425Nm) of torque.
O.CT Boehler Concept BS3 Audi S3
Audi first debuted its all-new Q5 midsized SUV as far back as the April 2008 Beijing Motor Show but now the vehicle is due to start rolling into U.S. dealerships next week. Audi has confirmed that it will be available with a 3.2L V6 FSI direct injection engine, quattro AWD, and a six-speed Tiptronic automatic. Pricing, announced today, will start at $37,200. The base Audi Q5 Premium starts at $37,200. Pricing for the Audi Q5 Premium Plus starts at $41,500, and the Audi Q5 Prestige starts at $48,200.
This year will see Audi celebrate its hundredth anniversary and to mark the occasion the carmaker has organized more than 50 events to be held across the globe. Two dates are especially significant: on 16 July 2009, exactly 100 years after the company was established, Audi will host a commemorative ceremony in its hometown of Ingolstadt, Germany, and then on August 21 it will compete in a recreation of the historic Grand Prix in Berne, Switzerland. Another important event will be this July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.
Shifting into a higher gear in Audi A4 and A5 models for European drivers could take as little as 0.2 seconds from this month as the S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission is now available in the base 2.0L TFSI quattro versions of the A4 Sedan and Avant models as well as the A5 Coupe. In Sedan form, the A4 2.0L TFSI quattro S tronic can power to 62mph from rest in 6.5 seconds - a 0.1 second improvement over the manual - reach a top speed of 150mph and return 31.8mpg according to the combined cycle test.
2008 Audi A4
Remember the Allroad Quattro? Audi's upscale answer to the Subaru Outback, based on the last-generation A6 Avant, was originally developed with the U.S. market in mind. It came with tough-looking cladding, a cool concept car-like interior treatment, and an air suspension that allowed ground clearance to be adjusted from up to 8.2 inches or lowered to 5.6 inches, putting it so close to the ground that it actually looked sportier than a regular A6 Avant. It was even available outside the U.S. with a low-range transfer case.
Surprisingly popular in Europe, Audi developed a successor, but because the original Allroad sold so poorly here, the company decided to keep the current generation away from the unappreciative U.S. market. Nevertheless, the A6 Allroad Quattro has since been downgraded to a styling package, losing some of its off-road capabilities.
Keep Reading: 2009 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro - Auto Shows
We still have a year or so before Audi launches the A5 Cabriolet into the market next spring, but a member of the Germancarzone called "Quinty" decided to give us a preview of the car by photoshopping an A5 Coupe into a soft-top convertible. The A5 Convertible is expected to employ the same 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines as found in the Coupe with power ranging from 170 Hp for the 1.8TFSI to 355 Hp for the 4.2 V8.