Author: Chris Nagy

Audi R8 Supercar is “Overhauled” for 2013

Propelling the Audi division to new heights of recognition in the luxury car class, the road-going version R8 supercar was just the ingredient needed for the German brand’s ultimate thrust into becoming a global player. After more than a decade where fans of the four-ring badge were begging to see quattro drive and Audi’s technologically driven engineering, the R8 Coupe’s introduction in 2007 was an instant hit. The rollout of the Audi R8 Spyder for 2010 as a 2011 model year only sweetened the decedent taste of the supercar. In truth sharing many components with the Italian-badged Lamborghini Gallardo, the Audi R8’s ability to create a distinct personality for itself has given it a fierce roar in the face of fellow home country rivals Porsche 911 and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Tweaking their halo car for 2013, the Audi R8 package receives a gentle retuning. Is it a reinvention of the Audi R8 supercar? No. In fact, the changes to the exterior are largely negligible to the 2012 model. A mild retouch to the front grille offers additional detail to the R8’s air intakes. The one major expression of advancement in 2013 is the range-wide implementation of the all-LED headlamps. The highly responsive lighting is also found towards the rear of the 2013 Audi R8 vehicles. A factory-installed carbon fiber front splitter is optional on the standard 2013 Audi...

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Sunroof Issue Provokes Recall for 2012 Audi Q5

While Volkswagen Group vehicles can be appreciated for their ergonomics and technology, the latest production products under the German company are not held in high regard for quality. Volkswagen and their premium sister brand Audi routinely rated below the average on the JD Power & Associates Initial Quality Study. However, for Volkswagen and Audi owners, this reality is one challenged aggressively by loyal motorists who are simply accepting their enchanted infatuation with a vehicle. Affecting 13,172 vehicles built by the German auto company built from June 21st 2011 to December 9th 2011, the concern over the glass sunroof equipped on certain Audi Q5 crossovers. Through temperature changes, it was determined that the front glass roof panel could be prone to unexpected breakage. Caused through extreme variations in hot and cold temperatures, the glass can crack or even break. Resulting in a shattered glass sunroof, the falling pieces can potentially cut an occupant inside the Q5 crossover. If the sunroof breaks while the vehicle is in motion, chards of glass could distract the driver and cause a serious accident. Volkswagen will contact owners of affected 2012 Audi Q5 vehicles and provide a free replacement glass sunroof panel. The service of this recall will take place in a little more than a month’s time on or about August 7th of this year. The Audi Q5 recall is the fourth time the...

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SQ5 Crossover to Become Audi’s First TDI S Model

The ever-expanding range of performance edition Audi models is becoming a tantalizing treat to the European car lovers all over the world. Making use of the ‘S’ and ‘RS’ branding at a heightened frequency to corner the growing high performance models from Mercedes-Benz AMG division as well as BMW’s M line, Audi has been showing exceptional ambition in flourishing the go-fast attitude vehicles wearing the four-ring emblem. Creating coupes, convertibles, sedans and Avant wagons to match performance-seeking tastes, Audi’s latest venture with the S model badge is a departure from the current menu of vehicles. Popularizing diesel as a performance engine ever since their R10 prototype sports car won the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi has been tempted to for a while to bring the technology to the street. Several years ago, much speculation surrounded a TDI version of the Audi R8 supercar but it never materialized. The first S model vehicle to feature one of Audi’s crossover vehicles has the basis for performance enhancements, the SQ5 will be most noteworthy as the premiere of TDI engine technology for this sport application. The Audi SQ5 will be powered by what will be the highest output TDI powerplant to be featured in the car brand‘s street-legal vehicle collection. Generating a forceful 313 horsepower, the Audi SQ5’s six-cylinder 3.0 TDI engine incorporates many touches for optimized diesel performance such...

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Audi R18 e-tron quattro Charges to 2012 Le Mans Win

Audi engineering has a history of bringing revolutionary pieces of technology to Le Mans victory lane. Late version of the Audi R8 prototype was the first race car to run gasoline direct injection and the R10 was the first diesel powered entry of the 24-hour race to claim a win at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Creating their first diesel/electric hybrid prototype race car, Audi entered the 2012 event eager to make the R18 e-tron quattro the vessel to make their latest conquest of Le Mans. After a full day of continuous racing in France, Audi has now become the first auto manufacturer to win with a hybrid race machine. Combining the TDI engine with an electric powertrain, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro launched to the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans pole with such a long distance needed to be traveled to achieve greatness. Winning the LMP1 category as well as the overall 24 Hours of Le Mans, the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro completed 378 or 3,201.3 miles from Saturday to Sunday for the 11th win for Audi. Piloted by the 2011 race’s winning driver combination of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Tréluyer, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro prototype led an effort where the Audi Sport Team Joest took the top three positions. The race for the Audi Sport Team Joest squad was not without challenges....

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Audi R18 High-Tech 24 Hours of Le Mans Assault in 2012

  First competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1999, Audi’s prototype effort has entered into almost every race since as a dominating force. In a quest for a 10th all-day event win at the 8.469-mile Circuit de la Sarthe for the German luxury car brand, the Audi Sport Team Joest squad is launching a 4-car attack on the 2012 round of the ultimate endurance event. With two Audi R18 Ultra sports cars and two brand new Audi R18 e-tron quattro vehicles, this year’s raid for the sports car race will see some real innovations that could have implications on production car technology.   Carbon Fiber Construction Like many modern racing car vehicles, the Audi R18 Ultra and While the use of lightweight composite materials is a common theme in motorsports through the past 20 years, attempts to reduce weight with present road cars has been the objective of many auto companies. As a follow-up to the company’s widespread deployment of aluminum in the construction of production cars, Audi has already expressed future Audi R8 supercars will utilize an extensive use of carbon fiber components.   e-tron Electric Powertrain Christened at May’s Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps World Endurance Championship race in Belgium, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro brought the future of sports car racing to the present. A turbo diesel/electric hybrid powered prototype machine, the R18...

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Mortara Collects First Audi A5 Win in DTM

  During the first three races of the 2012 DTM series, Audi has been outpaced by the competition of Mercedes-Benz AMG and BMW. Replacing the successful A4 (a car that carried Audi drivers to 7 of the 10 points-scoring DTM races in 2011), the A5 coupe-based race car did enter the 2012 season with some big tire tracks to fill. For the one and only visit to the country of Austria, Audi entered determined to mount a concentrated effort to mount a podium-topping DTM effort at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. To the delight of Audi boosters, the Austrian spectacle was the event where the A5 DTM race car would reign supreme. The successful weekend for Audi started on Saturday when the A5 claimed its second series pole of DTM. For the first time since the debut race at the Hockenheimring where Mattias Ekström’s Red Bull-sponsored A5 scored a qualifying victory, the Audi Sport Team Rosberg car of Edoardo Mortara garnered the top spot at the 10-turn, 2.688-mile Red Bull Ring. “It’s simply incredible: my first pole position in the DTM! What can I say? Thank you to my guys from Team Rosberg, thank you to Audi Sport!” said the 25-year old driver Mortara after collecting the pole position. On race day, the Playboy-sponsored Audi A5 DTM car of Edoardo Mortara only needed to preserve his position from...

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Lausitzring DTM Race was Hard Fought by Audi A5 Drivers

The Audi A5’s DTM career started optimistically in the first 2012 race of the popular German Touring Car tour. With Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline driver Mattias Ekström leading the way with a pole in qualifying and a podium result in the Hockenheimring main event, the A5 coupe performed admirably in its series debut. For race number two of the 2012 schedule, the whole 8-driver racing squad of Audi A5 race cars arrived at the Lausitzring seeking their first win with their new DTM vehicle. With five Audi A5 braking into the top-10 during the weekend’s qualifying at the 3.478-kilometer road course on Saturday, Mike Rockenfeller’s Schaeffler-sponsored Audi Sport Team Phoenix entry was the fastest with a fourth-quickest time in the final time trial session. The BMW M3 race cars’ speed in qualifying demonstrated themselves to be a formidable force at the Lausitzring against the Audi A5 DTM team. On what was a very cold race day at the German track, the 52-lap event was not exactly the outing Audi had been looking for in the second DTM race of 2012. The fourth place-starting Audi A5 of Mike Rockenfeller suffered setbacks from the beginning. Receiving contact in the rear, Rockenfeller misjudged the turn 1 corner during the opening lap causing his A5 to jump the curbing. “Something on the car probably got damaged in the process. We lost a...

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Audi A5 DTM Debut Led by 3rd Place at Hockenheimring

One of the fastest-growing auto racing tours in Europe, the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) series launched into its 2012 season with a 40-lap main event at the 4.574-mile Hockenheimring GP Circuit April 29th. Winning 7 of the 10 official DTM races last season with the Audi A4, the 2012 season presented a major transition for the German auto manufacturer. Firstly, their 2011 DTM championship-winning driver Martin Tomczyk defected to the newly-activated BMW effort in the series (BMW returns to DTM competition for the first time since 1993). Drivers Mattias Ekström for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and Mike Rockenfeller with Audi Sport Team Phoenix are favoured to be lead contenders for the championship title in Audi’s 2012 DTM effort. Bracing for fierce competition with luxury car rival BMW’s M3 and Mercedes-AMG’s C-Coupe in the DTM series, Audi decided to retire the A4 from series in 2012. Replacing the steadfast performance of the sedan, the A5 coupe carries the integrity of the four rings. The Audi A5 DTM car conforms to new series regulations designed to standardize the parts among the three manufacturers for better competition and reduced costs. Despite what these vehicles might share, Audi was determined to demonstrate they still have an edge on their DTM competition.     After months of testing for all manufacturer and teams, Mattias Ekström started the career of the Audi A5 off...

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Audi Goes Long with A6 L e-tron Concept at 2012 Auto China

  North America auto buyers would be amused at the potpourri that is the global Audi vehicle range. Through high-profile auto exhibitions, the version of the A1 subcompact and Q3 compact crossover are models unaccustomed to Audi owners (or potential Audi owners) in the United States. Making judgement calls for what mind of vehicles a certain market can sustain, we (as North American enthusiasts) are kept in the dark of Audi’s accomplishments in other parts of the world. Thankful to the theatrics of several major auto shows, car companies are finally encouraged to display their many faces to a global audience. In China, Audi produces a wider wheelbase version of the A6 sedan in association with (FAW) First Automobile Works Group Corporation. A solid selling vehicle in China‘s premium car segment after a short time on the market, the Audi A6 L is 3.7 inches longer compared to the standard sedan in overall length. For the 2012 Auto China exhibit, Audi and FAW collective success of the A6 L is being highlighted to the world with e-tron treatment. The newest appearance of Audi’s electrified plug-in hybrid powertrain, A6 L e-tron Concept pushes the bounds of their gasoline-saving technology deeper.     The combination of a gasoline and electric power train on a large sedan (as shown on the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept) is nothing new for Audi. The...

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Quattro-Driven Audi Acquires Two-Wheel Company Ducati

Adding credence to rumours spread last week, Audi officially announced Wednesday there is the new owner of Italian motorcycle company Ducati. Buying share holdings from Investindustrial the Canadian-based Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan and BS Investimenti, the purchase of Ducati by Audi has been quoted to be in excess of 1.1 billion US dollars. In presenting this major acquisition, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG Rupert Stadler declared, “As a sporty, global premium brand, Ducati is an excellent fit for Audi.” In the announcement, Audi pinpoints several desirable attributes in the Ducati company that made the acquisition mutually beneficial for both companies. Citing Ducati’s knowledge of lightweight material and engineering, Audi has describe this information could offer great opportunities for future Audi and Volkswagen Group products. Audi has also been impressed by Ducati’s small engine technology and their utilization of a special combustion chamber process for creating sport power. An Italian company founded in 1926 by Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his sons, Ducati business was initially a producer of radio equipment. It was after the Second World War when the Ducati name would be associated with motorized bikes when they proceeded to assemble the Cucciolo in post-war Italy. Ducati swiftly expanded their product line-up to include higher performance motorcycles that would eventually blossom across Europe and overseas in the Americas. North American customers were introduced to...

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Audi Revealing Q3 RS Concept for Upcoming Auto China 2012

  Pertaining to sport versions of Audi’s vehicles, the RS destination was given to the German luxury car brand’s products in 1994. Inaugurated on ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ called the RS2 Avant, the flexibility Audi showed with towards high performance presented the all-wheel drive quattro drivetrain linked in a screaming 311 horsepower 2.2 liter turbocharged engine. In recent years, Audi’s avant-garde design has been injected with a high dose of performance character through expanded use of the RS badge as the brand headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany targeted the M division of BMW and AMG outfitted Mercedes-Benz products. Extended to sedan, coupes, convertibles and wagons of many sizes, there have yet to be a production RS model of an Audi crossover vehicle. At the upcoming Beijing Auto China exhibit, one concept presentation using an Audi Q3 will finally test the waters of crossover utility merging with the high-performance RS trim.     Painted a rather calming shade of Ordos Blue (a mix of matte blue and yellow), the Audi RS Q3 Concept is a rare variety of compact utility super performance. Lowered 25 millimeters (0.98 inches) compared to the stock model Q3 sold in Europe, the Audi RS Q3’s bodywork also portrays a wider stance for the crossover vehicle. Unique front grille, tinted front headlight and taillight housings as well as the precise use of aluminum trim allows the...

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Audi R18 Victorious at 2012 Sebring Sports Car Race

Searching for their 10th victory, the Audi prototype program has placed every major iteration of their race purpose-built sports cars in the Sebring International Raceway winner’s circle since 2000. The Audi R8 prototype race car, as well as the R10 TDI and R15 TDI are celebrated race vehicles that began their piece of a motorsport dynasty with an inaugural victory at Sebring. Bringing 2011-spec Audi R15 TDI Plus race cars to the Mobil 1 Twelve of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida  event last year, the Audi R18 TDI closed cockpit prototype car would break an 11-year trend by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans first. For the 2012 American Le Mans Series first race and the debut event for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Audi Sport Team Joest’s three-car R18 team needed to claim the car’s elusive Sebring race. Without the challenge from the Peugeot 908 sports car that won the previous two Sebring events, the Audi Sport Team Joest team came to the race track carrying a war chest of experience and equipment trumping other prototype class contenders. In Friday qualifying for the half-day Saturday race, the Audi R18 TDI race cars stormed around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course claiming the top three starting positions with little opposition. Taking the pole among the three-care Audi R15 group was the #1 vehicle that flew around the Sebring...

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