Though the Audi automaker was established in 1909, most of its significant pre-world war two success occurred when the corporation became part of the Auto Union in the 1930s. Attached to evolutionary front-wheel drive cars between 1933 and 1940, the Audi name would go dormant during and well after the Second World War. Through the 1950s, Auto Union (owned at the time by Daimler-Benz) was struggling for survival as the company struggled to maintain profitably selling vehicles under the DKW name. DKW automobiles were far from stellar performers powered by antiquated two-stroke engines. In 1964, a monumental change came as German rival Volkswagen bought into the Auto Union company. With a modern four-cycle engine already in the late development stage, Volkswagen envisioned a stronger new presence resurrecting the Audi nameplate for the post-war era. Featuring a more refined four-cylinder internal combustion powerplant, the Audi division was reformed under the F103 series of vehicles.
Introduced late 1965 as a 1966 model, the Audi F103 line-up consisted of products identified by their engine power ratings. The Audi 72 was first, followed by the Audi 80 and top-performing Audi Super 90. Assembled with strong unibody construction, the Audi F103’s 172-inch total length is only 3 inches longer than the current Audi A3. Sold in two-door and four-door body styles, a three-door wagon called the Variant were shapes for the first Audis in 25 years.
A qualified go-getter, stopping was equally noteworthy with the Audi F103. A rarity in the family and smaller vehicle segment, front wheels were equipped with disc brakes. Rather underwhelming compared to even modern entry-level cars, it seems the technology usage for the time by Audi was a precursor to what would be a reputation for performance and handling.
Built between 1965 to 1972, the chance of finding this used Audi in North America is slim. The Audi brand did not land on United States soil until 1970 where the growth was gradual. In actuality, it appears Audi wants American focus on their heritage to center on the Ur-Quattro. However, at this time 45 years ago, the relaunched German auto brand owed their modern success of cars like the A4 and R8 to a mighty little four-cylinder.
Information source: Audi AG
Who would have thought Audi would be getting into the business of making bicycles? Recently, they teamed up with the only all-hardwood bike manufacturer in the world – Renovo Hardwood Bicycles – to make a line of six bikes with the Audi brand.
It makes sense, really though. The bikes are some of the best in the world, and mirror Audi’s values. The bikes are all strong, lightweight, and built on a monocoque hardwood frame. They also ride smooth as a cloud due to the wood’s ability to absorb shock better than metal.
The bikes have a high-end drivetrain made from aluminum and carbon fiber components, as well as disk brakes and LED lighting. They have three primary models available, each for a different purpose:
A fitness, long-distance all-weather commuter, perfect for cyclists seeking long-distance comfort and safety. The Sport drivetrain features the smooth, quiet and grease-free Gates CenterTrack belt drive coupled to the Shimano Alfine 11-speed internal gear hub, for effortless and maintenance-free shifting. Other features include drop bars for long distances; minimum fenders; medium width and puncture-resistant 28mm tires for less rolling resistance.
A performance road bike, good for club and century rides. Features include narrow tires; no fenders; minimal accessories; and SRAM Red, compact 20-speed gear train.
And in terms of pricing, you could buy a used car for the same price:
duo City: $6,530
duo Sport: $7,350
duo Road: $7,460
Check out the gallery below, which shows all versions of the bike:
This emphasis has resulted in performance variants like the RS5 and TT-RS coming to the United States, as well as the R8 GT.
Many questioned how far the Volkswagen Group would let the R8 go upmarket for fear of stepping on the Gallardo’s toes. With the R8 GT, the answer is pretty far. Audi has now released pricing on the most expensive Audi of them all. Be prepared to fork out a nice chunk of cash – the R8 GT checks in just under the $200,000 mark at $196,800.
In addition to the increased power output, the R8 GT also sheds weight by way of an extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber.
The rear hatch, spoiler and diffuser of the R8 GT are made from carbon fiber and it results in an overall weight reduction of 180 pounds. The changes are good for a top speed of 199 mph and a dash to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds.
To celebrate the unveiling of the A3 concept car in Geneva, we’re taking a nostalgic look back at some of our favourite Audis from years gone by.
The new A3 is said to “epitomise Audi’s latest brand language”, with its lightweight design and fuel efficiency, coupled with a remarkably fast, turbocharging engine. Over the years, Audi’s brand language has shifted somewhat but the German manufacturer has rarely failed to impress.
Here are five of our favourites:
1980 Audi Quattro
Like the brand new A3, the original Audi Quattro was given its unveiling at the International Geneva Motorshow. Also, like the A3, the Quattro was seen as an innovative, ground-breaking car. Few could have imagined the legacy the Quattro would leave, becoming the first all-wheel-drive car to truly gain mainstream popularity thanks to its space-saving, small, light gearbox.
The Quattro excelled on the high street and also in the world of rallying, winning titles in the American TransAm and the IMSA Series. Even to this day, though the design has started to show its age, the Quattro can command high sums from Audi lovers worldwide.
Audi TT DSG
For years, the beautiful Audi TT was let down by its somewhat sluggish, four-cylinder 1.8T engine. Finally, in 2003, Audi placed a 3.2 litre V6 engine in the TT and fans of the coupe were at last given the car of their dreams.
The performance of the TT DSG finally matched up to its prize-winning looks, with a narrow-angle V6 engine roaring away and the revolutionary Direct Shift Gearbox providing the most sophisticated transmission seen in any car at that time.
With a price tag of around £30,000 as well as some heftily-priced car insurance, UK drivers could have been deterred from the TT DSG, had it not been such a blindingly good package. Fortunately for Audi, it sold in droves and remains a classic to this day.
In 2006, Audi brought the legacy of the Quattro and the classy style of the TT together in a razor sharp new supercar – the R8. Based on the Lamborghini Gallardo’s platform and inspired by the Audi Le Mans Quattro racing car, the R8 was heralded by six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx as “the best handling road car today.”
The R8 was so proud of its 4.2 litre V8 engine, it was displayed beneath a glass engine cover. The performance of said engine blew many Audi fanatics away, reaching 8,250 rpm and combining with a six-speed manual gearbox that delighted purists.
The body control, steering and ride quality of the R8 took Audi to new heights and the model remains perhaps the most attention-grabbing cars ever built, forcing the creators of car insurance bands to reconsider their boundaries!
When Audi set about creating an estate car in 1994, they enlisted the help of Porsche – a company not exactly renowned for their expertise in designing large, cumbersome vehicles. The result: the Audi RS2 – the fastest estate car in the world.
Porsche added a KKK turbocharger to Audi’s 2.2-litre, 20-valve, 5-cylinder engine and the boost pressure was raised from 1.1 to 1.4 bar. To cope with the mighty 315 horsepower and 180mph speeds of the RS2, Porsche fitted the brakes used on their 911 – something drivers of the RS2 were thankful for as they sped from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds.
Lovers of the original Audi Quattro spent a long time waiting for the German manufacturer to produce a car that could match the sheer driveability of the 1980 classic. That wait finally ended in 2002 with the release of the RS6.
The RS6 was Audi’s most powerful production car ever at 444bhp, with a top speed of 189mph. Its engine was more powerful than the Jaguar S-type and the BMW M5, while hi-tech features such as Tiptronic steering controls ensured the RS6 wowed gadget fans.
Buyers, blessed with the new millennium luxury of being able to order the car and their car insurance online, snapped up the RS6 like hot cakes.
They’re calling the car the MTM R8 V10 BiTurbo, and if you buy one, you’ll get 777 HP, a top speed in excess of 217 mph, and a zero to 62 mph time of 3.0 seconds. MTM is debuting the car at the Geneva Motor Show early next month. The shiny finish took 700 working hours to polish, which means that if the car does go on sale, chances are that polished finish won’t be standard.
Just a couple weeks shy of the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Audi slips us a peek at the A3 Concept – a prototype for the upcoming successor to the current A3 hatch. The four-seater “notchback” sedan, as they call it, is powered by a turbocharged, five-cylinder engine capable of a hefty 408 horsepower driving power to all four wheels via a seven-speed S tronic transmission.
Its defining features, aside from the monstrous engine, of course, are its single-frame grille that flows into the headlights, and the low-profile, sleek roofline carried from front to back. Don’t expect to pick this up the dealer any time soon – or ever – but we should be keeping an eye out for an updated A3 within the next couple of years.
Starting with the Audi A8 L extended wheelbase model, every detail of this rolling fortress beckons the utmost in safety and security. Originating from the same Neckarsulm, Germany production facility that builds the conventional Audi A8 and A8 L vehicles, the A8 L Security models are given modifications up to a class VR 7 ballistic protection standard. Inside of a highly-guarded workshop where security measures have even banned the use of cell phones, every Audi A8 L Security edition undergoes a 450-hour hand assembly process. Fitted with hot-formed armoured steel, ceramics and special aluminum alloy materials, the production car’s Audi Space Frame is toughened to resist NATO hard-core ammunitions or explosive devices.
Over top of the Audi A8 L Security multilayer glass windshield, side and rear windows, a polycarbonate coating acts as a barrier to prevent glass from spraying into the interior. Beefing up safety around every corner, the Audi A8 L Security is sealed below by a aluminum alloy floor. Added protection of the battery and fuel tank can also be ordered. the security package build-up of the Audi A8 L results in an indistinguishable vehicle from the standard showroom model. Full LED headlights, adaptive air suspension and 19-inch, two-tone forged wheels are factory features which the Security package A8 L models retain.
Using power from a direct-injected W-12 engine, the 6.3 liter powerplant uses 500 horsepower and 461 pounds-feet of torque to escape from the exclusive gala or from a dangerous situation. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive and 8-speed tiptronic is included on the A8 L Security model for 0 to 62 mile per hour times in 7.2 seconds before launching to a top speed of 130 miles per hour. Heavier than the standard Audi A8 L thanks to significant armouring, the Security edition achieves rather confident average fuel mileage above 17 miles per gallon. Driving aids such as the Audi pre sense basic version and lane assist is standard on the A8 L Security model while adaptive cruise control as well as night vision assistant can be fitted as optional equipment.
However, in the most extreme scenario, the specially-modified Audi A8 L provides a full-array of emergency features beyond the armour protection. Fire extinguishing system, blow-away pyrotechnical doors and a fresh-air system assures the best interests of occupants inside the A8 L Security. Securing an additional battery within a ceramic and aluminum communication box, the Audi A8 Security model also features a standard two-way communications system that allows inside occupants to comfortably interact with outside parties. Using interior and exterior microphones along with speaker equipment which includes one behind the A8 L grille, full interior protection is maintained.
Providing peak passenger protection, the first custom examples of the Audi A8 L Security sedan will be delivered for late summer. Upcoming in 2012, a fuel efficient Security model will be included on the A8 L sedan.
Like most major luxury car companies employing their own financing options, Audi Financial Services operates as an internal arm to leasing. Plans between 12 months to as much as 48 months is the gateway for American motorists to seat themselves (and possible family) behind the wheel of the four-ring badged German luxury car. Offering a one year leasing term, Audi Financial Services differs from Mercedes-Benz’s lowest lease term of two years. Available with allowances of 10,000 and 15,000 mile per year, leasing options hold motorists to a rather restrictive travel distance. Leasers exceeding the allotted mileage will be assessed standard overage rates.
A more friendly arrangement for shorter-term lease, Audi Financial Services is also outreaching to younger buyers through a new university graduate program. Under the College Grad Lease option, past university students who have graduated from an accredited institution within two years qualifies. College Grad Lease appliers are required to prove a full-time job where a lease payment must account for less than 25% of employment income.
For anyone leasing any vehicle, the agreement grants the leaser usage of a vehicle through the scheduled time period. When holding temporary possession of a luxury car, a duty of care for returning an upscale vehicle in best possible position is paramount especially since parts and service for Audi products is traditionally high. Inspecting he automobile once the vehicle is turned in, Audi has clearly defined criteria for how what is defined as “normal” use and “excess” damage. While a single windshield glass chip is not a concern, cracks or considerable spidering could levy a repair bill. Dashboard service lights, heavy tire wear and other physical damage is also common aspects under investigation through the inspection.
If severe damage or theft takes place during the lease term, GAP coverage is a mechanism attached to comprehensive insurance allowing the leasing party to be excused from financial burden of the lease term payments. A feature also presented on BMW and Mercedes-Benz leasing agreements, GAP coverage is automatically included on all leased Audi vehicles.
While the price of luxury can be numbed through leasing, the care and attention needed is an element leasers must appreciate.
Information and photo source: Audi USA
The mid-level luxury car market has turned into a battle royal with the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Infiniti M and the Jaguar XF existing as some of many prestigious packages reloading for a premium sedan fight. An ultra-competitive luxury car market, the position of standing still is essentially going backwards. While a redesign of the Audi A6 occurred just two years prior, a sense of urgency set in within the Ingolstadt, Germany headquarters to freshen their important mid-sized four-door.
Shaped over 20 percent aluminum coupled with high-tech steel construction, the new Audi A6 is reshaped using the persona of the newly-released Audi A7 Sportback (a unconventional wagon which shares the mid-sized sedan’s platform). New A6 sedan’s wheelbase length has grown by almost 3 inches to 113.6 inches for an improved road-holding stance. Roughly 0.7 inches wider than its 2010 counterpart, the new Audi A6 dimensions of 193.68 inches in length and 57.48 inches in height is largely consistent with the predecessor’s design. Focus on top-notch strength and low weight also included Audi engineers considering the best aerodynamic flow of the 2011 Audi A6 sedan which now runs at a drag coefficient as low as 0.26 in testing.
Adhering to current European styling, the design of the new Audi A6 sedan is crafted to be athletic without involving unnecessary curves and accents. At first look, the most eye-catching detail of the new A6 sedan is the more aggressive Audi A7-farmed headlamps style. Given a near menacing stare at the road, an option all LED forward lighting further enhances a look of a high-tech sports sedan. Dedicated to allowing drivers to have the best view of the road in all driving conditions, new Audi A6 sedans also have an available adaptive light function automatically adjusts illumination based on the surrounding traffic. An available S line package for the outer part of the new Audi A6 lends to more racier design details including sharper front bumper and a rear diffuser insert.
A skillfully conceived exterior, interior details of the new Audi A6 were also granted the expertise of Audi personnel. Said to be a trip into “an ambiance of airiness and roominess” according to Audi, the new A6 controls are thoughtfully laid out around the dash panel and center console for the motorist. Audi’s newest edition MMI radio and CD player is standard operated through a 6.5 inch monitor. To offer a full scale of multimedia options, DVD charger, a 1,300-watt Bang & Olufsen supplied 15-speaker sound system and wireless LAN are all features found on the new Audi A6.
For the absolute luxury feel, optional comfort seating for the driver and passenger provides up to 18-way adjustment. Beyond power seating adjustment controls, comfort seats also incorporate a massager offering five different levels of stimulation. Trim pieces come in a Micrometallic platinum, aluminum or in a variety of real wood such as ash, walnut and soon an oak accent. 18.72 cubic feet of luggage space inside the new A6 will allow owners to take more items on a weekend trip or away from a shopping spree.
Propelling the new Audi A6 on the world stage is two gasoline and three diesel engines. In German specifications, a 2.8 liter FSI V-6 204 horsepower and a 300 horsepower 3-liter turbocharged FSI engine make up the contingent of gasoline powerplants. A trio of TDI powerplants, the new Audi A6 engines can be opted in a 2 liter inline-4 , or one of two turbocharged diesel engines in a 3-liter capacity. Unclear for what engines will be presented on the North American version of A6 sedan, assume the larger turbocharged 3-liter gasoline engine with a outside chance of seeing one of the turbodiesel powerplants available. Transmission choices span from a 6-speed manual, a continuously variable multitronic transmission and a 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch gearbox. An engine for a likely Audi S6 trim is also yet to be confirmed. What can be confirmed is the new A6 will be offered in either a front-wheel drive or the Audi quattro all-wheel drive system.
Joining suit with competitors from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, the Audi A6 will soon add an all-new hybrid version. Combining the 2-liter TSFI 211 horsepower engine with an electric motor worth 45 horsepower, the Audi A6 Hybrid said to allow six-cylinder performance while providing the economy of a four-cylinder. When released, fuel efficiency for the Audi A6 Hybrid is expected to range just under 38 miles per gallon through average city and highway driving conditions. The Hybrid powerplant will also be able to run up to 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) on pure electricity at a speed of above 37 miles per hour.
Planned for release in Europe for early 2011, the new Audi A6 sedan should arrive in North America shortly.
Check out the full photo gallery of the 2011 Audi A6
68,132 readers of Auto Bild SportsCars just awarded the Audi RS5 Coupe with the title “SportsCar of the Year” for 2010 in the “Production Coupes” category. 173 cars were split up amongst 17 categories, which were then divided into two “production” and “tuning” subcategories, so I guess that would be 34 categories total.
In other awards, the Audi R8 GT won second place in the “Production Supercars” category, the Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 won second in “Production Convertibles,” the Audi S3 Sportback got third in the “Production Compact Cars” class and the Audi RS 6 Avant also took third in “Production Station Wagons.”
Looks like those Germans are really proud of their Audis!