Sparing you the suspense of reading the entire article to find out the outcome of the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, the race was once more another highpoint to the legacy of Audi’s prototype sports car racing program. Taking first place as well as second place on the overall leaderboard after a day of racing, the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro LMP1 race cars retook the position of triumph. For 2014, the winning Audi Sport Team Joest line-up consisted of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer. Unlike past years where near-perfect Audi Sport Team Joest form was on display at the 8.469-mile Circuit de la Sarthe, the 2014 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was not a complete runaway for Audi. In fact, the 2014 version of the classic endurance affair contained the German team’s hardest-earned effort in memory.
For 2014, the feat is extra-memorable for Audi as the LMP1 class featured not one but two viable competitors against the R18 e-tron quattro. Winning the first two races in the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Toyota was more energized than ever in the quest to capture a long sought-after overall victory at Le Mans. Claiming first and third in qualifying positioned the Japanese manufacturer in a favoured spot. The LMP1 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was also invigorated by the return of Porsche to high profile, premium class. Appearing in a top class at the French sports car race with a factory effort for the first time since 1998, the Porsche 919 Hybrid and its accomplished driver line-up may be rounding the learning curve quicker than their competitors would have expected. Audi itself was competing with its own new equipment. Combating the threat as well as conforming to new FIA WEC rules for the LMP1 category, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro shared mainly its name only with last year’s winning car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Audi Sport Team Joest organization came to the race ready to defend with their customary three-car effort.
Adversity coming even before the green flag dropped on Saturday. The 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans preparations consisted of a scary crash in a Wednesday practice when Loic Duval crashed in the #1 R-18 e-tron quattro. Not seriously hurt but taken to hospital for overnight observation, Duval was scratched from the driver line-up was replaced with Mark Gene. Mechanics were able to rebuild the wrecked Audi R18 e-tron quattro race car but would face the fact they were outpaced by the Toyota Racing and Porsche Team during qualifying taking spots fifth through seventh. Potentially signifying that Audi’s dominance could be greatly at-risk, the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans would prove climatic.
Starting with three Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 cars, the team’s efforts for winning were quickly devoted to just two vehicles. During a safety car period on a rainy Circuit de la Sarthe, the #3 Audi shared by drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Marco Bonanomi and Oliver Jarvis was hit by a GT category Ferrari. The crash damage to the rear rendered the #3 car unable to complete 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans and was retired after just 25 laps.
The early stage of the 2014 race featured the impressive pace of the Toyota TS040 Hybrids. The pole-sitting #7 Toyota, consisting of driving trio of Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima, was the class of the field. However, the 24 Hours of Le Mans would soon remind teams of its endurance race nature. By the 15th hour, Toyota’s leading prototype runner suffered electrical problems that ultimately claimed their first 24 Hours of Le Mans victory with 219 laps completed. The Porsche 919 Hybrid was also strong on track but would be denied a top result after 24 hours of racing. Drivetrain and transmission problems hindered the Porsche return to the top class at Le Mans.
With the Audi R18 e-tron quattro race cars inheriting the lead on Sunday morning, the run to the checkered flag would not be without incident. Both cars required extended service for the replacement of their turbocharger units. On the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro, the turbocharger unit is a highly elaborate and experimental mechanism that operates on electrical power. While the service cost both cars several laps, Audi Sport Team Joest drivers have build up a sizable advantage on track preserving their top spots.
Prevailing with a three lap advantage, the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro claimed victory at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 13th time in 16 tries Audi has won the French endurance car racing treasure, the R18 e-tron quattro completed 379 laps totalling 5,165.39 kilometers or 3,209.62 miles. This win is also the third for Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer as a driving team at the circuit having also proven victorious in the 2011 and 2012 races.
After sitting as a mingled mess on the race track Wednesday, the #1 Audi Sport Team Joest entry took the runner-up spot. Three laps short of victory, former Formula 1 drivers Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gené and nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans race winner Tom Kristensen shared second place car. By a two-lap advantage, the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro fended off the charged of the #8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid piloted by Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas LePierre.
Once again the champion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich summarized the team’s success saying, “There were many incidents and none of the top cars made it across the distance without any problems. The decisive factors were that our Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars were able to drive consistently fast for 24 hours, our drivers made no mistakes and our squad responded properly and quickly to the issues that occurred. In Porsche and Toyota we had two really strong rivals who, as expected, did not make life easy for us. I always believed that, in spite of the particularly difficult prerequisites for us this year, we’d be able to succeed and that we’ve got the most efficient race car. That we succeeded again makes me feel proud
Information and photo source: Audi AG, Porsche Cars North America
Noting this website could be a bit biased towards the products branded with the four-ring badge, few can argue Audi has been making one winning move after another. Product after product introduced by Audi has been well-received by the press and, most importantly, by a growing customer base. With a long-running history for combining engineering and design in an unconventional fashion, the unique character that beckons through Audi is now popular among a mainstream luxury crowd.
In 2011, Audi pressed the limits of their sport and modern luxury fusion to boundaries few other cars have gone. The Audi A7 Sportback blurred the attributes of sport sedan, sport coupe and hatchback into a single, debonair figure. A big hit, the A7 Sportback also exhibited styling cues that would be applied across their line-up in new and refreshed models. Three years since the vehicle to later spawn the S7 Sportback and RS7 Sportback, the Audi A7 Sportback is receiving some noticeable tweaks.
A New, Sporty Look
With source material provided from the United Kingdom version of the new A7 Sportback, the new styling of Audi’s radical five-door sports car is likely the shape found across the globe for the 2015 model year. After the first A7 Sportback inspired the Audi line-up, it is now the time for the vehicle to be inspired. Gazing upon the front of the new Audi A7 Sportback, touches of the new TT and R8 is giving the five-door a meaner face. Audi’s Singleframe grille on the A7 Sportback model features a more pronounced hexagonal shape found on the S7 and RS7 models. Headlights on the new A7 Sportback draw inward to a narrower height projecting a more sinister look. The UK version of the new Audi A7 Sportback’s headlights receives some extra substance to the new styling. High-tech LED headlights will be standard accompanying the already existing LED daytime running lights. Audi’s Matrix LED headlights will also be available on the new A7 Sportback.
Inside the new Audi A7 Sportback, new materials and colors will be present within the four or five-passenger cabin. On the S Line model of the Audi A7 Sportback, a new Lunar Silver color option is available in addition to Black. Audi’s MMI Navigation plus is joined by optional Audi Connect system that will offer Internet connectivity at LTE 4G speeds. Enhanced safety features offered on the A7 Sportback includes an improved Night Vision Assistant and refined Audi Active Lane Assist.
More Robust TDI Clean Diesel and V-8 Powerplants
For the new UK version of the Audi A7 Sportback, a new turbocharged diesel TDI engine is a highlight. The 3.0 TDI clean diesel engine is being applied to an “Ultra” model of the A7 Sportback with front-wheel drive. Generating about 268 horsepower, the Ultra powerplant is slated to deliver more than 60 miles per gallon (using the measurement system used in Europe). A more potent biturbo version of the 3.0 TDI power unit will also be available mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Twin-turbocharged 4.0 liter V-8 gasoline engine found on the upcoming S7 Sportback is also mentioned to receive a horsepower boost to over 443 horsepower (A 23 horsepower improvement over the current version of the powerplant). The UK version of the new Audi A7 Sportback will also drop the Multitronic CVT replacing it with a dual-clutch transmission.
This new Audi A7 Sportback is slated for release in the fourth quarter of this year.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
If you were buying a new vehicle, how important is the results from popular crash test assessments? Keeping in mind that every vehicle made by a major automaker in most developed countries are required to adhere to a set of basic safety standards, many of us want to purchase the safest vehicle possible. Inundated by phases such as “Five-Star Rated” and “Top Safety Pick”, car advertisements know what it takes to draw in the safety conscious.
Audi is one of many brands that proudly tout its achievements in safety. Both the 2014 Audi A4 and A6 boasts five-star overall ratings in NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) crash testing. The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has recognized the new 2015 Audi A3 sedan as a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ as it gained “Good” ratings in all tests. However, in Europe the sale of safety pertaining to some Audi vehicles has gotten the United Kingdom arm of the German luxury car brand into hot water.
A BBC watchdog investigation has gathered several accounts from customers of Audi dealerships in the United Kingdom where some of the car company’s product line was misidentified as holding the top safety rating of the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme). A voluntary safety standard within the European Union, Euro NCAP is considered a valued tool for setting a benchmark in crash protection. Testing vehicles using Euro NCAP standards is not required for all vehicles sold in the United Kingdom. The problem spotted by the BBC is dealerships not only misled about the safety rating of vehicles but also the fact a model was tested at all. The Audi R8 and A5 have never been tested under Euro NCAP despite the claims of retail outlets.
The BBC investigation was started when a man named Daniel Jenkins after discovering truth about his Audi R8 after his father was involved in an accident in the car. Told by a local dealer at the time of purchase in 2012 it the R8 passed the Euro NCAP tests with a five-star rating, Jenkins found out that was not the case. The story also reported he had called up 50 Audi dealerships and received the claim from 48 of the sales outlets that the Audi R8 did possess a Five-Star safety rating through Euro NCAP.
The BBC Watchdog expanded on Daniel Jenkins’ original study and inquired about other Audi vehicles through dealerships. Regarding the Audi A5, nine of the ten dealerships approached said the car was tested with Euro NCAP. In fact, no Euro NCAP crash tests have ever been conducted specifically on the Audi A5. Coupled with proving several models were never tested, the BBC Watchdog investigation also kept Audi UK falsely proclaiming their whole vehicle line-up as subjected to Euro NCAP safety testing. According to the Euro NCAP website, the latest Audi vehicle to be tested was the 2012 A3 three-door hatchback (achieving a five-star overall rating as well as four Advanced Rewards with its accident avoidance technology). The Audi A6 sedan also participated in Euro NCAP testing and obtained a five-star rating.
Admitting the claims were not deliberately made to mislead, the Audi UK spokesperson his stated a review is underway to improve the accuracy of claims made related to their vehicles. As of May 15th, the Audi UK website has specifically and accurately identified all the vehicles subjected to Euro NCAP crash testing.
It seems a shame that the United Kingdom entity of Audi has made themselves and their vehicles a subject of this investigation. More than ever due to high-profile mismanagement of safety issues in Toyota and General Motors vehicles in recent years, vehicle safety is an attribute automakers cannot afford to mislead about.
Information and photo source: Audi AG, BBC, Euro NCAP
The crossover vehicle has presented many automakers an opportunity to explore different dimension of design. While some crossover designs seek optimal practicality, others re-imagine luxury in the larger interior confides. In the most radical form, the styling theme of crossover vehicles has consisted of threading sportiness into designs. The BMW X6, Acura ZDX and the Porsche Cayenne are a few production crossovers that have attempted to find a perfect marriage of performance car appearance with the proportions of a taller, utilitarian shape. At the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, Audi has lent the TT sports car nameplate to the German luxury brand’s conceptual study for their sport-oriented crossover.
A four-door crossover coated with Sonora Yellow paint, the Audi TT Offroad Concept spans 4.39 meters in length and 1.53 meters tall. The height of the concept vehicle is lower than that of the Audi Q5 and just 6 centimeters taller than the A4 Allroad. Utilizing the Audi Space Frame consisting of aluminum and steel construction, the Audi TT Offroad Concept is provided with an almost sedan-like appearance. Aspects seen on the 2015 Audi TT also radiate over the entire composition of the show car. The arching of the roof for the crossover concept vehicle is very much attributed to the new TT coupe.
The Audi TT Offroad Concept functions as a plug-in hybrid embodying e-tron technology configured around gasoline engine and two electric motors. Gasoline power is sourced from a 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder powerplant generating 288 horsepower and 280.3 pound-feet of torque. However, for up to the first 50 kilometers (31.1 miles of the Audi TT Offroad Concept‘s trip, the vehicle runs off a 12 kWh capacity battery powering a 40-kilowatt and an 85-kilowatt electric motor. The lower-powered motor is integrated with the TFSI engine while the 85-kilowatt unit is designed to be independent. EV mode, Hybrid and Sport mode are featured with the TT Offroad Concept’s powertrain. Working together, the drivetrain receives up to 402 horsepower of propulsion. An Audi e-S tronic six-speed dual-clutch transmission channels power through an intelligent all-wheel drive system. The hybrid technology onboard the Audi TT Offroad Concept manages wheel spin based on the vehicle’s driving mode.
One method exhibited for charging lithium-ion battery pack of the TT Offroad Concept is Audi Wireless Charging technology. Using inductive charging system said to be 90 percent efficient, the vehicle charges overtop of a plate while parked. Through Audi Wireless Charging, no contact is made between the charger and the Audi TT Offroad Concept during the replenishing of the battery.
Designed for four adult passengers, the Audi TT Offroad Concept’s interior is inspired by mood created inside the A7 Sportback and the recently introduced new TT coupe. Front and rear seats are contoured for a gripping hold for when the TT Offroad Concept is being put through its paces. Air vents are shaped to resemble jet engines and sport integrated climate controls. Similar to the experience inside the 2015 Audi TT, a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit is placed within the instrument panel providing the driver of a biased level of control. Basic readouts for speed as well as more sophisticated information like navigation, traffic and information on the Audi Wireless Charging technology is relayed to the driver through the Virtual Cockpit.
On the Audi TT Offroad Concept, passengers are treated to a series of interactive media solutions through Audi Smart Displays. Special tablets computers found inside the TT Offroad Concept but capable of operating outside the vehicle, the Audi Smart Displays allow DVD, television streaming as well as radio control. The Audi Smart Displays can also interact with the navigation system mapping and is Internet-ready with an LTE high-speed connection using a Google Chrome browser.
The Chinese auto market is among the most important sales environments for the 21st century. For Audi parent company Volkswagen Group, China has played an integral part in allowing the German car company to flourish into a major global player. In fact, Volkswagen’s was one of the first major automakers outside of the Chinese market to have a meaningful presence in the mainland. The luxury and premium car segment has been growing to an extent that every prestigious brand must be present. After the month of March, Audi has sold over 124,500 vehicles in China for 2014. For the Audi brand, sales total in China is greater than first-three months of sales in the regions of Germany, United States, Italy and Spain combined.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
Sharing the same name as the 2013 competition car, the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro is technically a completely different vehicle. Changed through FIA rules and by the ingenuity of Audi, this year’s race car is designed to be safer as well as capable of utilizing a greater amount of electric assisted propulsion. Arriving at Le Mans ahead of the 2014 FIA WEC season even starts, Audi took the new R18 e-tron on a recreational journey on French streets in the hands of legendary driver Tom Kristensen. The initial 10-kilometer trip on public streets involved the media along with numerous spectators who acquired what might be the closest contact general citizens will receive to a running 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro. Later, Kristensen piloted the R18 e-tron Quattro for a lap around the Circuit Bugatti (a permanent race course connected to the larger Circuit de la Sarthe). Describing the experience, Tom Kristensen commented, “I’ve been competing at Le Mans since 1997 but this was absolutely new for me, too, and very exciting,”. In 2006, Kristensen was part of a similar promotional drive through the streets of Paris with an Audi R10 TDI prototype.
The true test of the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro comes with the start of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship. The WEC season starts with the Silverstone 6 Hours race on April 20th. The 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for June 15th will be the location Audi truly wants their colors to shine.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
Before the R8 supercar became the darling of Audi performance and passion-filled motoring, the TT stood as the driver-centric vehicle in the German luxury brand’s line-up. First offered as a roadster in 1998 with a hardtop coupe coming later, the Audi TT presented the design, performance and equipment to be a fun-loving beast on the road exhibiting the sharpest measure of quattro all-wheel drive. While the car’s eye-catching design and ample performance has remained, there has recently been a long wait for Audi’s response to improving on what has been the winning formula known as the TT sports car. Teasing a view of the new TT’s interior at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show among their showcase at the exhibition earlier this year, Audi has removed the covers off the entire vehicle for the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Premiering as the third-generation Audi TT to the world, the Geneva introduction of the new vehicle is realized as a stouter performer and a beacon for Audi’s innovative technology.
As is the case of iconic automobiles such as the Porsche 911 and Ford Mustang, the Audi TT must have presented a touchy situation for car designers. With the traditional TT look being so acclaimed, any attempts to modify the appearance had to be performed for a greater good. In addition, too much change would alienate the crowd who had adored the previous two generations of the Audi TT. Fortunately from what has debuted in Geneva, a harmonious balance was found. In coupe form, the essence of the familiar Audi TT remains but some modern touches. The all-new Audi TT receives a bold Singleframe grille with a hexagonal shape. Redesigned headlights do not directly adhere to other Audi products but includes the company’s innovation lighting technology. Standard equipped with Xenon plus, Audi’s Matrix LED headlights will also be available on the new TT (the latter‘s appearance in the United States is still pending regulatory hurdles).
Improvements in the shaping of the new TT sports car’s Audi Space Frame and the application of aluminum and light steel have provided a leaner third-generation vehicle. Compared to the previous TT, Audi claims to have shaved over 110 pounds of weight when creating the new sports car. The body structure has not been only location where engineers of the new Audi TT have been able to create a lighter weight machine. Efforts placed into weight savings has also been found in the interior with standard seats weighing more than 11 pounds less.
Revealed in January, the interior of the all-new Audi TT is a mergence of sportiness, ergonomics and comfort. Audi wanted to create an aircraft-like appearance with the dashboard layout for the new TT as they developed a cockpit consisting of streamlined controls. The highly visible large circular vents along the dash panel stylishly contain the operational controls for the air conditioning. Gripping onto a flattened rim steering wheel with multifunction controls, the driver of the third-generation Audi TT is presented with a fully digital instrument cluster. Described as the Audi virtual cockpit, a 12.3-inch TFT display eliminates the need for the typical center screen by presenting lists and even maps directly in front of the driver. Standard with MMI radio, the Audi TT will also feature an available MMI touch as well as the MMI Navigation plus unit. Connectivity with 4G LTE technology will support the high-tech in-car solutions for the Audi TT.
In addition to the base TT Coupe, Audi is showing the TTS version for the third-generation sports car. Featuring an increased array of standard features such the dynamic driving system, magnetic ride control, automatic air conditioning and a special aluminum fixed-caliper braking system, the Audi TTS continues to be suited for the performance-seeker.
The powerplants for the Audi TT and TTS have been heavily sweetened in the newest incarnation of the sports car. Still a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, gasoline powerplants feature the enhancement of Audi valve lift system allows the coaxing of even greater horsepower. With a front-wheel drive or a quattro all-wheel drive version set to be available, the 2.0 TFSI engine on the Audi TT will generate 230 horsepower (a 19 horsepower improvement over the outgoing vehicle). For the new TTS, output from the engine is rated at 310 horsepower. Still short of the Audi TT RS, the 45 horsepower boost allows the Audi TTS model to launch from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds. A third 2.0 TDI has also been announced for the Audi TT producing 184 horsepower and stubborn 280 pounds feet of torque. North American buyers of the new Audi TT can at least expect to find gasoline engines available for purchase. Fans of stick shifters will rejoice with the existence of six-speed manual transmissions being offered on both the TT and TTS model. Audi’s S tronic dual-clutch transmission is optional on the new version of the sports car.
The global premiere of the Audi TT in Geneva has largely focused on the 2+2 passenger Coupe as well as the TTS Coupe. Left out but certainly to be not neglected, Audi would be entering a heap of trouble if they do not debut the convertible roadster variant of the Audi TT. Until that time, the 2014 Geneva Motor Show will have a number of other fine Audi creations to delight the eyes. The Audi S1 and S3 Cabriolet as well as a TT quattro sport concept are premiere vehicles appearing as part of their massive display that also featured the latest R18 e-tron quattro prototype sports car.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
Once again, German luxury brand Audi has shelled out some serious Euros for a spot during the biggest annual television spectacle of the year; the Super Bowl. Introducing special, all-new television ads for ‘The Big Game‘, storylines in previous Audi Super Bowl commercials have involved partying vampires and memorable prom nights. The 2014 Audi commercial will promote the 2015 A3 compact by taking a bite out of the notion buyers of premium vehicles need to accept compromise.
For 2014, the Audi Super Bowl spot starts with the contemplation of whether a couple’s decision on a dog could be solved by cross-breeding a Doberman and Chihuahua. Creating the “Doberhuahua“, viewers of the commercial are quickly given an idea to the wacky notion of such an animal. The computer-generated dog appears like Jim Carrey’s dog in 1995 movie “The Mask” during a brief time the four-legged creature wore the magical mask. Adding to the comedic element of the one-minute Audi commercial is the appearance of musician/songwriter Sarah McLachlan. Popular for her serious PSA spots defending against mistreated or neglected animals, McLachlan’s role is played for humorous intend with this commercial for the fictional Doberhuahua.
The lesson Audi wants to convey in this year’s “Doberhuahua” Super Bowl ad is the A3’s ability to combine performance, design and luxury. Scheduled for release in the United States this spring, the Audi A3 starting with the sedan. An Audi A3 cabriolet and A3 TDI Clean Diesel is slated for late 2014. The Audi A3 will be one of the first vehicles in its segment to offer 4G LTE connectivity and will also introduce Audi’s long-touted e-tron technology to the marketplace with an available plug-in hybrid.
This 2014 commercial will not be the first time the A3 will play a starring role in the Audi’s Super Bowl presence. In 2010, Audi dispatched the Green Police in full force aggressively pursuing environmental infractions. Near the end of Audi’s Green Police Super Bowl ad, an Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel was permitted to proceed through a road checkpoint that held-up so many other vehicles.
In case you miss the commercial during Sunday’s Super Bowl, here is the 2014 Audi “Doberhuahua” spot.
Information, photo and video source: Audi AG
If you are an Audi fan planning to attend the 2014 North American International Auto Show opening this Saturday, the German luxury car brand has brought an assorted selection of delights to express their growing faithful. For buyers searching for a new Audi purchase, an all-new Audi A8 and the long-awaited Q3 crossover are production vehicle premieres for United States audiences. For fans of the four rings wanting a little more whimsy, the Audi display will also offer a sight for satisfaction. What first appeared as a rendering of a multi-purpose two-door has materialized as the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake in time for the Detroit motoring extravaganza. In the sprawling floor of the Cobo Center inhabited by other car makes, a chore will be finding the Audi display. Thankfully, the helpful AutoShowMe smartphone app could be the guide for directing you to your favorite cars of the 2014 North American International Auto Show.
Released in time for the 2014 auto show by major automotive parts supplier ZF, the AutoShowMe app features a guide to the desired action in Detroit. Free for Android and Apple devices, the ZF AutoShowMe app features route planning under the ZF Show Guide tool. The ZF Star Walk can take you on a guided tour of the auto show or you are free to program a personalized route. After the North American International Auto Show, this ZF AutoShowMe app maintains its usefulness for car buffs by providing information on the future of vehicle mobility as well as the latest automotive news. An augmented reality marker tool is also feature on the app through the “ZF Yourself” tab.
This smartphone app does operate with a sense of pride at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Clutches, transmissions and electronic components are some features manufactured through ZF provided for a great deal of new cars, trucks and crossover vehicles. Toyota, Ford and even the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray utilizes ZF’s expertise. As the ZF AutoShowMe app leads users to the Audi display, almost every production caliber vehicle features some amount of ZF components.
On the brand-new Audi A3 and Q3 crossover vehicle, a rich amount of ZF-supplied equipment includes Servolectric electric power steering.
Click here to check out the ZF AutoShowMe App and check out the video for the app below:
Information, photo and video source: Audi AG, North American International Auto Show, ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Making a splash last year with their autonomous driving concepts, Audi returns to the CES with even greater anticipation. Audi’s presence at the 2014 CES in Las Vegas starts the auto company’s Board of Management Rupert Stadler delivering a keynote address. Set to take place on Monday at 8:30 pm Pacific Standard Time, Audi has divulged some of the innovations Stadler is expected to talk about while rumours circulate something even more exciting will be presented as well.
What Audi has confirmed is their 2014 CES presentation will present a heightened level of illumination on a new type of lighting. Featured on the 560-horsepower Audi Sport quattro concept car, a laserlight headlight assembly will be exhibited as the next evolution for driving at night or through dark surroundings. The laserlight headlights with Matrix LED concept can create a brighter view. One of the leaders in full LED headlighting that is only beginning to catch on, Audi’s research into another form of illumination has the potential of allowing motorists to clearly see the road almost 500 meters away. Once again using motorsports to prove technology, Audi’s first public field test of the technology will take place on the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro prototype class sports car.
While the laserlight technology on the outside of Audi products is adequately wetting the appetites of automotive technology seekers, what could be going on inside future cars from the premium German auto brand is generating the most curiosity. Announcing an enhanced MMI system, some believe we are only being teased for the meantime with details ahead of bigger news. What Audi has stated clearly is the new infotainment technology will run on a Nvidia Tegra 30 processor and present operators with a large, high-resolution TFT display to interact with. The new system also promises to offer better voice control and navigation guidance.
The persisting rumours are the system will be based on Google’s Android operating system. Potentially, Audi products equipped with an Android operating system infrastructure could provide occupants with an experience similar to that of a smartphone or computer tablet. For several years, Audi has employed Google Maps for the navigation software of their vehicles. Automakers are scrambling to create solution where occupants can interact with mobile apps with much approaches consisting of piggybacking in-car solutions with a smartphone for functionality. Audi at the 2014 CES could reveal plans for a full-function computer into a vehicle for use by the driver or passengers. Researching the Nvidia family of processors, the term Android does come up a lot. Offering 4G LTE connections on the 2015 Audi A3, an Android-enabled infotainment system will provide a great benefit to occupants.
Audisite.com will keep full tabs on news coming out at the 2014 CES in Las Vegas.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
Winning six of the eight races on the 2013 schedule for the FIA World Endurance Championship, it would be easy to assume the Audi R18 e-tron quattro fielded by Audi Sport Team Joest was a dominant car in the LMP1 category. What does the LMP1 manufacturers’ championship winning mean to Audi? It is time for the German car brand to completely reengineer their race car. With the Toyota TS030 Hybrid proving to be a strong competitor and Porsche’s entrance to the LMP1 category on-course for next year, Audi simply cannot rest on their laurels. Keeping the Audi R18 e-tron quattro name for 2014, the race car appearing on the race track will be a drastically different car from the one that last raced at the Bahrain International Circuit last month.
Conforming to 2014 rule changes made to the World Endurance Championship’s LMP1 category, the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro is safer and more energy efficient than the newly-retired vehicle. The body of the 2014 race car will be 10 centimeters slimmer but will also be 20 millimeters higher than the 2013 R18 e-tron quattro. The increased vehicle height is created for improved cockpit room and contributes with other design changes that improve visibility. A greater level of protection greets the pilot of the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro with a stronger-than-ever carbon fiber reinforced polymer cockpit structure. A narrower underfloor is lined with additional layers of fiber and the prototype sports car’s monocoque is built to handle more severe loads. Crash energy-absorbing zone is built into the R18 e-tron quattro prototype’s rear in order to greater reduce the impact to the driver.
One notable difference for sports car fans observing the Audi R18 e-tron quattro in 2014 is the presence of a front wing. New regulations permit the features as a cost-cutting solution to front diffusers. While gaining in one area, the 2014 LMP1 race car loses an aerodynamic aid at another area. The 2014 rule changes for LMP1 ban the process of using engine exhaust to flow over the rear diffuser. A practice that generated greater downforce, such use of exhaust gas had already been prohibited in Formula 1.
The powerplant of the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro prototype sports car receives some of the most extraordinary improvements. Under the new World Endurance Championship LMP1 class rules, the powerplants of 2014 sports cars will be regulated based on energy consumption. The V-6 TDi engine returns with an electric turbocharger feeding the combustion chambers by converting thermal energy. This concept of electric forced-air induction is exceptionally new and has been up until now largely experimental. The electric turbocharger is aligned with the flywheel energy storage system so it is possible to feed electrical drive system when the TDi’s maximum boost pressure is met. The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s hybrid drive system works similar to the original vehicle that ran the past two sports car seasons. Electric drive is focused at the front while direct TDi engine performance is delivered through the rear wheels. Regenerative braking will continue to play a big part in recharging the electric drive storage system of the R18 e-tron quattro in 2014 trim.
Overall, the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro has been lightened by 45 kilograms. Weighing 870 kilograms (1,918 pounds) in total, Audi’s has succeeded applying in their lightweight production car philosophy to their new prototype. Other improvements made to the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro include wheel tethers. Wheel tethers work to reduce the chances of a wheel/tire combination flying away violently from the vehicle in case of a crash. With each tether capable of withstanding a weight force of nine metric tons, two are installed on each wheel to set places on the 2014 race car.
Entering an all-new technological realm with electric turbocharging and other safety refinements, what can race fans expect from the Audi R18 e-tron quattro for 2014? Please keep in mind, Milestones already reached by Audi since 2000 includes the first 24 Hours of Le Mans overall-winning vehicle to be equipped with gasoline direct injection, turbo diesel power as well as a diesel/electric hybrid powertrain.
Information and photo source: Audi AG