Tuesday 1st of December 2015

Audi concept design

Audi. The name says it all. The car brand that is renowned for sporty and powerful luxury cars may be getting a new overhaul.

On November 19, 2014 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi will present the first concept vehicle of Marc Lichte, newly appointed Head of Audi Design. Mr. Lichte and Professor Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg are set to unveil the proclaimed “most revolutionary concept car” Audi has ever produced. With it’s sleek curves and well-integrated technological advances, Audi has built a reputation for being at the forefront of automotive design. It comes with no surprise that because of their reputation, Audi’s concept car is generating quite a buzz.

This will be the first concept car release for the newly appointed head of design, Lichte, following his newly dubbed title in February 2014. At just 45 years old, Lichte is no stranger to the automotive world. Beginning as a student at Pforzheim University in 1996, Lichte joined Volkswagen AG where he worked as an exterior designer. In 2006 he was appointed Head of the Exterior Design Studio where he worked on Volkswagen’s Golf 5, 6, and 7, the Passat 6, 7, and 8, as well as, the Touareg and Phaeton. He is well respected in the automotive industry for his forward-thinking and innovative design trends. But as Head of Audi Design, he now has full concept control and the world is patiently waiting for his sure-to-be spectacular unveiling.

The newly designed Audi will certainly feature sportiness, a lightweight design, and Audi’s signature quattro drive. But what the world is most looking forward to is how Lichte will move the brand’s exterior and interior design style into the new era of luxury vehicles. Just how far forward will Lichte take Audi beyond its current designs? And, how will the world react to one of the most highly anticipated unveilings in recent history? Tune into the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19 and find out.

2014 Audi SQ5

Details and pricing are finally announced on Audi’s first-ever S version of a Q model – the SQ5. Why should we be excited about this? Because it’s a freaking S version of a Q model!

We’ll start with what we obviously care about the most:


2014 Audi SQ5 engine

The standard Q5 comes with a weakling 211 hp, 2.0-liter four-banger, or a more potent 274 hp, 3.0-liter powerplant for a 0-60 mph time of 6.0 and 7.0 seconds, respectively.

If you decide to go the economical route and get the Q5 Hybrid, your 245 hp 2.0-liter will bag you 0-60 in 6.8 seconds.

The SQ5 ups the ante and drops in a more potent 3.0-liter TFSI V6 producing 354 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque, motivating the crossover to hit 60 mph from a stop in only 5.1 seconds.

It’s mated to the same eight-speed transmission as the rest of the Q5s, and of course has the good ol’ quattro AWD system we’ve grown to love Audi for.

The Traction Control System is interesting on the SQ5, adjusting itself based on whether or not the roof rack is installed – if it is, it adjusts the system’s center of gravity to handle better, and when it’s roof-rack-free, the ESC changes to allow a sportier drive. Clever indeed.


2014 Audi SQ5 (4)

The standard Q5 starts at $35,900, or you can get the Q5 Hybrid from $50,900.

The SQ5 sits above them all, and is going to start at $51,900 here in the States. Yup, it’s not cheap, but consider what you’re getting.

The Looks

2014 Audi SQ5 (1)

Don’t think they haven’t give it the same ‘S’ treatment they give the other S-lines.

The SQ5 gets 20-inch alloys as standard, with 21-inchers as an option you probably want to take.

Similar to all S models, they’ve sexied up the front and rear bumpers, and added the signature Platinum Grey grille and diffuser, as well as aluminum exhaust tips and mirrors. Audi’s Xenon Plus headlights with auto-leveling come standard on the SQ5.

The Interior

2014 Audi SQ5 interor

The second you open the door you’ll feel like you’re stepping into more of a sports car than an SUV. They’ve given the SQ5 a three-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel with shift paddles and contrast stitching. The flat-bottom steering wheel is nice but I feel like it’s getting played-out a bit. The pedals have sporty aluminum inserts, and the leather/aluminum shift knob is exclusive to the SQ5.

A new aluminum and black wood inlays are available, but if I’m getting something sporty, I try to stay away from any sort of wood inlays; that’s for classing up luxury cars. Give me aluminum and carbon fiber.

You get to plant your ass on leather and Alcantara sport seats as standard, with the option of Nappa leather interior and comfort package. Again, leather and Alcantara is the go-to sports car combo, so I’ll stick to the standard on that one.

Basically, you get a sports interior as standard and if you want to class it up as a luxury ride, you can do that too.

What’s the Verdict?

2014 Audi SQ5 (11)

Basically what Audi’s done is pretty smart.

Their main competitors – BMW and Mercedes, and even Porsche – have two levels of the same model that fit evenly around the SQ5’s specs and pricing.

Check it out:


X5 xDrive 35i – 300 hp – $47,500
<-------------------------------- The SQ5 goes right in the middle (354 hp - $51,900) X5 xDrive 50i - 400 hp - $64,200


ML350 – 302 hp – $47,270
<-------------------------------- The SQ5 goes right in the middle (354 hp - $51,900) ML550 - 402 hp - $58,800


Cayenne – 300 hp – $49,600
<-------------------------------- The SQ5 goes right in the middle (354 hp - $51,900) Cayenne S - 400 hp - $66,800 Of course there are many more details and things to consider than horsepower and price, but you get the idea. The SQ5 fits in a nice little hole in the segment, and is a nice choice for someone who needs a luxurious crossover while keeping a sporty drive. Well played, Audi. Check below for loads of images of the 2014 Audi SQ5:

Audi R8 V10 XXX Performance (1)

With a name that sounds like they make more adult films than cars, you’d expect a car from XXX Performance to be pretty wild.

And to say the least, the Audi R8 V10 they’ve modified to their own needs looks the part.

The Looks

Audi R8 V10 XXX Performance RQ

Not everyone’s going to go crazy over the looks of this thing – but you can’t please everyone.

They’ve given the R8 V10 an almost entirely new body, as you can see, with their aggressive GT-X650 wide-body kit, then wrapped it in blue CFC chrome and fake carbon fiber accents.

They’ve also added a carbon-look wrap to the rear-view mirrors, roof scoops, side blades and rear diffusers – I’m not a fan of fake carbon, so I’m not all about that, but at least you can get the side blades in real carbon if you want. And you probably want. After all, any real car enthusiast is going to be able to tell the difference between real and fake carbon fiber, and who wants their supercar accented with fake carbon?

You have to admit, the R8 looks pretty badass with a widebody kit.

In addition, they’ve lowered the car with H&R coilovers converted to air cushions that can be dynamically raised and lowered at the driver’s will and speedhump situation.

The wheel wells are filled up with 20-inch three-part GTR forged wheels from Forgiato.


Audi R8 V10 XXX Performance FQ

You can’t have a car that looks like this and not beat a stock version off the line.

They’ve tuned the ECU, added a carbon air box, and performed a non-descript “several additional modifications” to bring the power from a respectable 525 hp to a Lambo-smoking 650 hp. Not bad, and I’m sure it sounds like a beast.

What about inside?

Audi R8 V10 XXX Performance (4)

They didn’t release pics of the interior, so the image above is as close as we get for now.

That doesn’t mean they’ve left it alone inside, but I can’t say they’ve done much to it.

They mention in the press release that the interior is wrapped in leather and Alcantara, but to be honest, so is the stock R8. I imagine what they mean is that you get your choice – tell them what you want done to it and they’ll do it.

What would have been cool to see in the flagship car (the one you see in these pictures) is create a wild and crazy interior that matches the exterior; black and blue leather seats, a blue Alcantara headliner and door frames, blue accents on the floor mats, and many of the interior pieces accented in blue.

Regardless, XXX Performance’s R8 V10 is an interesting take on Audi’s supercar, and while I personally wouldn’t do mine up this way, I like the idea of a wide body kit, and especially an extra 125 horsepower to play around with!

Check out more pics of the car below:

Audi Driving Experience

I have driven a lot of cars in my day. Each of them had certain things I liked about them, but I couldn’t find the perfect fit until recently. A friend of mine let me drive their Audi and I instantly fell in love. I went out and bought my own Audi the next day and let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Now I drive an Audi and here’s 5 reasons why.

1. Great Value

Audis are great value compared to other cars. When I decided I needed a new car, I wanted one that was affordable. An Audi easily fit into my price range. I did look at several other cars and after a lot of research, I found that I would get more for my money by buying an Audi. The value doesn’t stop with the purchase price either. Audis are great on gas, which saves me money even with my long daily commute. I drive an Audi because it is economical as well as being good value in the long term.

2. Dependability

Some say that modern cars aren’t plagued as much by faults and breakdowns as the typical car of 20 years ago. Some of you would doubtless disagree with that, and I’m one of them. Finding a car that wouldn’t leave me stranded was important. I don’t have time in my life to deal with a car that breaks down all the time. Besides the time wasted in the mechanic’s garage, have you ever tried spending a couple of hours in a garage while your car is fixed? I have, and I can tell you that it’s boring, grotty, possibly internet-less and a guaranteed waste of time. Audis are known for their dependability and I knew that by buying one, I could count on getting where I needed to go, when I wanted to.

3. Comfort

Who wants to drive a car and feel uncomfortable in it? When I am driving my Audi, I feel like I am in a space that have been designed with the user first and foremost in mind. Between the soft seats, easy access features and state of the art climate controls, I don’t mind long drives any more and often look forward to them. Not only that, but because it drives so smoothly, I can travel in comfort even on the roughest roads. I’m not so sure you could say that about something like a Volkswagen Polo!

4. Sleek Design

Looks were one of the biggest factors for me when it came to choosing a car. I wanted something that looked modern without being over the top, and an Audi was it for me. My Audi looks good and people are always complimenting me on it. Now I know that there has been some criticism of the common Audi look and feel. To me, that is actually an attractive feature. I like the consistency in design style between the smallest / cheapest car in their range and the most expensive. Although things are going to change under the AQR redesign, I seriously don’t think there’s any chance Audis will look any less stylish in the future.

5. Performance

A lot of cars that are affordable tend to lack in terms of performance. Steering can be heavy around corners. Acceleration might be unresponsive. Braking is dull. Now, it’s fair to say that not every Audi is perfect, but I wanted something that would handle well and still have the performance that I craved. My Audi has all the power I want and is just plain fun to drive.

Do you own an Audi? If you’re reading this blog chances are you do, or or at least interested in owning one. What do you love about them?

Audi R8 e-tron

The Volkswagen Group hasn’t made a big secret of the fact that it isn’t bullish on electric vehicles. It doesn’t expect for EVs to account for a large part of its sales by 2018, and it only recently has made an effort with hybrids. For a very volume-focused big company there are many different factors that come into play; such as the costs associated with Audi car financing on expensive EV battery components.

Regardless though, Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and requirements in states like California have mandated some zero emissions vehicles. Also, Audi has a reputation for investments in technology. Thus, Audi instituted the e-tron program. Various concepts in this program have been introduced, such as the R8 e-Tron. Many industry insiders expected the program to be approved for a limited production, with an arrival date of early next year. Car and Driver now reports that Audi’s research and development boss Wolfgang Durheimer has put the program under a “review.” The VW Group is in a cash savings mode due to problems in the European market. That is causing non-essential programs (such as the Bentley EXP 9F and Lamborghini Urus SUVs) to be curtailed.

The R8 e-tron is one of them getting the axe. Durheimer’s concerns include a lack of batteries to power the car at a reasonable price, as well as a lack of sales. The R8 e-tron would be very expensive, and have a limited range to boot. Both factors limit sales significantly. Given this, Car & Driver expects the program to be cancelled for production. The mules we’ve seen so far ar for evaluation purposes as the company learns about electrics. This news comes as the R8 e-tron’s expected launch date is nearing. Audi’s move follows a similar reduction in scope of electric vehicle efforts at Toyota. The dreadful (in range anyway) Scion iQ has now been limited to 50 vehicles in the United States, all destined for car sharing services. Only Tesla, which has taken great pains to produce a truly top-notch pure electric vehicle, has experienced heavy demand. For those looking forward to an electric Audi though, the latest word on the street is that the A3 e-tron is headed for series production – for now anyway.

Kahn Design Audi Q7

British design firm Kahn Design seems to be on a bit of a roll lately, coming out with lots of well-modified high-end cars. Their latest creation is their interpretation of the Audi Q7.

First, and most noticeably, Kahn Design gave the Q7 an exterior visual makeover: vented front replacement wings, gunmetal grey front bumper sections, rear vented bumper, large upper roof wing, wide wheel arches with rear vented spats, machined aluminum vented foot pedals, stainless steel door sills, replacement wings, LED daytime running lights, Kahn stainless steel exhaust system, gold calipers, and gunmetal grey mirror backs. This whole package rolls on Kahn’s 22″ RSX gunmetal grey alloy wheels.

Inside, they did quite a number on the interior as well, giving the front and rear seats black quilted perforated nappa leather with red stitching as well as a speedometer and tachometer in red and cream and Kahn foot pedals. Take a look at the seats below in the gallery – they look great. Of course, with enough money, you can have them make you a completely custom interior as well.

Under the hood, the Kahn Audi Q7 has the 3.0-liter TDI powerplant, producing 233 hp. Mated to Audi’s tiptronic transmission, the SUV can move from naught to 60mph in 8.4 seconds.

Want to buy the package as-is? You’ll need to fork over £61,875.

Audi R8 HIDs

Audi has been marketing itself for a while now as a luxury vehicle manufacturer that sets itself apart from the rest of the competition by being edgier, bolder, and more daring in its design of cars. If you own an Audi and appreciate standing out in terms of style, while still wanting to partake in the finer side of effective design, than you may want to consider headlights that ride the line between the two well. HID headlights can be customized, as you can pick headlight colors across an entire spectrum according to your choice and personal preference. At the same time, this technology emits light that is up to 3x brighter and 10x as long lasting as conventional halogen headlight systems, providing you with piercing, highly effective headlights for your Audi.

If you plan on installing a set of aftermarket Audi HID headlights, there are certain things you need to consider prior to installation. Unless your Audi is already equipped with a manufacturer’s set of HIDs, the process won’t be as simple as merely switching out one set of bulbs for another. You’ll need to install a new ballast as well as potentially install a wire harness adaptor and other components, though so long as your vehicle is a more recent model, you shouldn’t have to make any cuts into the body of your vehicle. The installation process is usually rather quick, but you’ll still want to set aside a few hours in case you need to make additional adjustments along the way.

HIDs are customizable by color, so if you’re more focused on style and not so worried about installation, this part you may find interesting. Differences in light colors are based on a spectrum of various color temperatures. The color temperatures range from 3000K, which is a light with a yellow hue, all the way to 12000K, which is a vivid blue light color. The most popular HID color tends to be the 6000K, which is a white light with a slight blue tint, though there are pure white lights and purple lights available as well. Be sure to remember also that color temperatures only correspond to the color of the light; the temperature has no effect on the brightness or effectiveness of the headlights.

So if you want to continue on the Audi path of setting your car apart from the mainstream, consider a set of colored HID lights for your Audi vehicle that are exotic and bold, yet also impressively adept at lighting the road ahead.

2012 Audi A6

The mid-size luxury car game currently has the finest automakers engaged in a multi-lateral bout for supremacy. In the past two years, competitors such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Infiniti M37 have upgraded their definition of 21st century luxury with refreshed products. Already debuting on the world stage in European trim, Audi has unwrapped plans for the debut specifications for the 2012 A6 in the United States.

A larger, modernized look for the 2012 model year, the Audi A6 sedan returns to the United States marketplace between 78 and 165 pounds lighter in curb weight than its predecessor. A merger of steel and aluminum construction, Audi is continuing adaptation of lighter weight aluminum has allowed key areas of the A6 to promote better handling as well as ride.

Coming back for 2012 in front-wheel and quattro all-wheel drive, the Audi A6 trim ranges from Premium and Premium Plus trim levels. Three-zone climate control, eight-way power front seats, automatic headlamps and sunroof is found as convenience items on the Premium trim. The 2012 Audi A6 quattro model also includes a high-luxury Prestige model. For 2012, the Audi A6 Prestige package furnishes ventilated front seats, four-zone climate control and Audi’s S-Line exterior appearance pieces for a more exclusive touch. All 2012 A6 sedans have the Audi MMI system fitted with Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity. Upgrades of the Audi MMI system are numerous with 14-speaker Bose audio equipment, six-disc CD charger and HD radio available. Other noteworthy options on the 2012 Audi A6 includes full LED headlighting, 20-inch alloy sport wheels as well as Audi side assist and pre sense rear. With available Wi-Fi connectivity, Audi Connect is powered by Google Earth and Google Local Search.

2012 Audi A6 red

Dependant on the choice of front-wheel or quattro all-wheel drive, 2012 Audi A6 bound for the United States bound will be powered by one of two gasoline engines using TFSI (the turbocharged version of Audi’s FSI direct injection). Added to the A6 product line-up for 2012, the 2-liter inline-4 engine powers the front-wheel drive (FWD) models through a Fronttrak Continuously Variable Transmission. Generating 211 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque, the engine is less powerful than the previous base A6 power plant but promises much better fuel economy on the United States roads. In average fuel economy on city and highway driving, the 2012 Audi A6 FWD will deliver 28 miles per gallon (a 4 mile per gallon improvement on the 2011 3.2 liter A6 model).

2012 Audi A6 rear

To experience the quattro drive system, the 3-liter TFSI V-6 engine will power the Audi A6 for 2012. The 3-liter engine receives a 10 horsepower boost over the 2011 model year vehicle to 310 horses total. The quattro all-wheel drive model will be equipped with a Tiptronic transmission upgraded from six to eight gears in 2012. Given a power increase, the 2012 Audi A6’s 3-liter engine actually features reduced fuel consumption. Compared to the previous model year, the Audi A6 quattro achieves an additional mile per gallon city and two miles per gallon in 2012. Fuel economy of the 2012 Audi A6 quattro will reach a combined 19 miles per gallon. Overall, the 2012 Audi A6 will help inch the German premium automaker a step closer in assuring compliance with new EPA fleet fuel economy.

When the announcement of the European Audi A6 was published, the mid-sized sedan was said to offer three diesel powerplant choices. Regrettably for American diesel enthusiasts, there will be no TDI engine option included on the 2012 Audi A6. Currently, the only Audi car to offer a TDI in North America is the A3 hatchback. Some American buyers will also be eager to see the full S-Line model of the new Audi A6. If rumours relating to the mechanically similar Audi A7 Sportback’s S-Line model is a reliable indication, there is a possibly for a turbocharged V-8 in a future S6 sedan.

Pricing for the new Audi A6 will start slightly higher than the 2011 model year car. The front-wheel drive 2012 Audi A6 in Premium trim is base priced at $41,700 with an $875 extra for a destination charge. The 2012 A6 quattro will retail for $49,900 in Premium level but can top-out at $56,700 for the Prestige model. Potential buyers will have a short wait for the 2012 Audi A6 as sales start into the summer.

Information source: Audi USA

As with everything, luxury cars are only new once. Increased price tags and increased devotion to engineering, there is nothing preventing the sands of time to wear on marquis vehicles. Wear and tear of components is commonplace on all motor vehicles requiring repairs at scheduled as well as indefinite periods during its lifespan. The one major difference when an imported vehicle such as Audi, BMW, Lexus or Mercedes-Benz comes when the wheels enter the repair shop.

While domestic vehicles present a large network and a sizable parts network, repairs is generally presented with an advantage of lower maintenance costs. Well a Chrysler car, truck or crossover vehicle can confidently taken beyond the Chicago Dodge dealer, the maintenance of more foreign automobiles can present owners with more limited, costlier choices turning a dream car into a check book’s nightmare. While regular preventive maintenance can be an experience reminding one of the perils of import luxury car ownership, unforeseen breakdowns of electronic and mechanical items can create an unpleasant feeling not even the most comfortable messaging leather driver seat can easily cure. In the case of Audi vehicles, the German luxury brand has earned unfavourable notoriety in North America as an expensive product to repair. A new Audi vehicle is provided with a 4-year or 50,000-mile basic warranty from the dealership, an extended protection plan becomes an important consideration. Debated upon as a vehicle is purchased, new owners of Audi products (especially pre-owned vehicles) can be protected from the harm of massive repair shop bills.


There are many independent providers of extended warranties varying in price and coverage. Assisting in the shopping of an extended warranty, Audi itself offers its own protection packages for new and previously owned vehicles. Covered under the Audi Pure Protection Program, an array of extended warranty plans are available for everything from the Audi A3 to the Audi R8.

Offering five different packages, Audi Pure Protection Program base product is the Powertrain Plan. The Powertrain Plan coverage is limited to mechanical parts linked to engine, transmission and driveshafts components. Based on the complexity of Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, the Powertrain Plan could ward off some major expenses.

The next level of extended warranty protection for Audi products is the Silver Plan that adds steering, electrical and suspension parts under the coverage scheme. For Audi vehicles featuring the newer MMI entertainment systems, the Gold and enhanced protection of the Gold Plus Plan is an ideal defence for high tech items. For the most comprehensive extended warranty available, the Platinum Plan covers virtually the entire mechanical and electronic parts of an Audi product.

For all of the Audi Pure Protection Program options, perks provided includes towing coverage up to $75 and rental car payments if a covered Audi fall ill. With purchasing an Audi from the dealership, the chosen protection plan can be deluded into more convenient payments within the vehicle’s financing. Remaining with the vehicle even with sale, Audis covered with the extended warranty plan can be sold at higher resale prices as the plan is transferable through ownership.

Promising peace of mind, an extended warranty on an Audi product is a worthy thought for a prospective buyer hoping to enjoy their German luxury car for years to come.

Information source: Audi of America

Project Kahn Audi TR8

Like the looks of the uber-sexy Audi R8 but can’t afford the six figure price tag? Project Kahn may have a low cost workaround for you. Nope, you’re not going to get the blistering 525 hp acceleration or the screaming of a 5.2-liter V10 engine behind your head, but at least you’ll be the only Audi TT on the road that kind of looks like an R8.

Project Kahn, the British specialty car design firm, just released their newest kit for the Audi TT. Starting with a standard TT, Kahn added new front and rear bumpers, mesh inserts and a new front grille that looks like the grille found on the R8. In addition, they’ve added a new rear spoiler, stainless steel quad exhaust system, lowered suspension, a front lower bumper lip and door mirrors in a billet steel finish to match the dark gray exterior paint of the Audi. Of course, the first thing you probably noticed is the signature colored sideblade as found on the R8. Audi connoisseurs like yourself aren’t going to be fooled into thinking that the TR8 is a real R8, but a few “commoners” might be fooled at a glance. Even if you’re not trying to convince others that you own an R8, the TR8 still looks quite a bit better than your standard TT, so it may be worth a look if only for the uniqueness factor. No word yet on its cost, but I’ll update this article when I know.

Project Kahn Audi TR8 rear

Frankly, I’m not a big fan of the looks of the TT alone, so while I expected to hate the looks of anything trying to look like another car anyway, I actually quite like how Project Kahn did this kit. All lines flow smoothly, there are no awkward points, and most importantly, it doesn’t inherently look like a body kit.

Check out more pictures below: