Author: Chris Burdick

Two-door Multi-Purpose Audi Concept Making Debut in Detroit

Detroit is slowly becoming a second home to the quattro. At last year’s North American International Auto Show, Audi unveiled the hyper-powered RS7 Sportback and a gasoline version of the SQ5 to the world. A stylish, all-wheel driveline of vehicles appearing during winter (who in Detroit wouldn’t go gaga over an Audi?). In preparations for the upcoming 2014 show in the Motor City, Audi has now presented some renderings of a crossover-style show vehicle. A creation lacking a name at this time, the Audi concept vehicle will introduces itself as a two-door crossover. However, Audi appears purposeful in stating this show car exhibits crossover-like qualities. With a quartet of rendered images giving an indication for what will be shown early next year in Detroit, the Audi show car is themed as a compact vehicle “for everyday driving and recreational use”. When premiering at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the German concept is a 13.78-foot long re-education in crossover design. Baring a mild resemblance to the Volkswagen Cross Coupe Concept that was auto show fixture throughout 2012 and this year, the most discriminating detail between the two concept vehicles, the Audi show car is depicted a two-door. Described as a shooting brake design, the Audi concept is borrowing styling influence from across their production model range. The front nose’s details scream to the aggression of the Audi RS5. An essence...

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Potential Circuit Breaker: Audi is Entering Formula E

One reason gasoline engines have been able to evolve into an efficient, well-understood choice for a common automobile driver is participation in motorsports. As we are recognizing a new future for cars with electric power, an ambitious plan to showcase the performance of near-zero emissions motoring is set to become reality. An all-electric racing, the Formula E series will be inaugurated on September 20th of 2014 as one of the first professional forms of motorsports of its kind. An open wheel race car design similar to the vehicles in Formula 1 or IndyCar Series, the open class setup of Formula E provides any willing company an opportunity to innovate near-zero emissions performance. With almost every major automaker trying to prove the merits of their electrified drivetrain development, Formula E could be the first application of the old “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday” adage for electric cars. Having fielded a hybrid diesel/electric prototype sports car for victorious outings at Le Mans, Audi has thrown its hat into the ring for the new world auto racing class. Providing a rendering of a vehicle‘s livery, Audi will be led into the Formula E series by ABT Sportsline starting in 2014. Though a private entity, ABT Sportsline’s has a long-running relationship with modifying Audi and Volkswagen Group vehicles to be greater performers. ABT Sportsline and Audi already have an established partnership in motorsports...

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Audi’s Delivers Virtual Role in Ender’s Game Movie

  This weekend, Audi has taken another step in establishing the four-ring badge as an immortal entity. In the past several years, Audi has realized what great power rests in defining their vehicles in the future. Audi is considered one of the lead developers in autonomous vehicle technology with the conception of Piloted Driving systems. Besides car technology, Audi has also infused their presence into several futuristic movies. Successfully adapting itself into the world of 2035 with product placement in the Will Smith movie I, Robot, Audi‘s custom made film car, the RSQ, gained some valuable screen time. With the...

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Audi Fires Up the Sport Quattro Concept in Frankfurt 2013

As an evolving luxury car company, Audi has largely defined itself through modern technology. With exception to brief mention of the Auto Union era, the most historically recognized Audi vehicles are the Ur-quattro sports car. The first of a line of what is now over five million quattro all-wheel drive vehicles sold by Audi, the Ur-Quattro’s characteristics earned instant worldwide recognition for the German auto brand. Three years after the first Audi Ur-quattro was introduced, an upgraded variant was shown at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show. Classified as the Audi Sport Quattro S1, the result was a steroid-infused version of the original vehicle. Similar to the Plymouth Superbird and the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, the Audi Sport Quattro S1’s presence as a production car was only a formality so the brand could compete with a better race car. Featuring cutting-edge carbon fiber body panels and an all-aluminum turbocharged engine generating 444 horsepower in competition trim, the car also existed as an early application of Audi’s now common S badging. Thirty years since the premiere of the first Sport Quattro, Audi is reviving the legacy for a concept design modernized and depicting future trends for the German premium car make.     Looking at the Audi Sport Quattro Concept, car enthusiasts with good memories should be comforted with the knowledge they are not suffering from déjà vu. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of...

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Audi Wins 2013 Le Mans Amid Somber Atmosphere

  This past weekend, the crown jewel of Audi’s 2013 racing season was campaigned. Making history last year as the first hybrid race car to win the 24-hour race, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro defended its accomplishment for a second-straight year at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Completing 348 laps worth 4742.89 kilometers around the 4.273-kilometer road course, Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Loïc Duval combined efforts to bring the #2 Audi prototype to a 12th win since the 2000 Le Mans race. As a team, Audi Sport Team Joest R18 e-tron quattro race machines claimed the first, third and fifth place positions in the 2013 edition of the French endurance classic. For some, seeing the Audi Sport Team Joest organization once again celebrating a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was somewhat of a sleeper story. Despite the near magic of constantly winning a daylong endurance race, the competition in most of the Le Mans races contended since 2000 would consist of one Audi racing against another Audi prototype car. Even the company’s press release seemed to be taking the news of their 12th 24 Hours of Le Mans win in 14 runnings in stride. Perhaps what had been most coveted is an adversary to the great name. From 2007 to 2011, Peugeot gave Audi a reason to fear losing to the 908 HDi FAP race car....

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Details and Pricing: the 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: Performance 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. Pricing The standard Q5 starts at $35,900, or you can get the Q5 Hybrid from...

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XXX Performance’s Wild Wide-Body Audi R8 V10

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 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. The...

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Audi Video Challenge Travels Where No Spock has Gone Before

In previous postings, the presence of Audi product placement in the recently released Iron Man 3 movie has been spotlighted. The involvement of Audi in the Marvel Comics based blockbuster was heavily publicized and (to a degree) blatant. Drawing a North American audiences to fork out 175.3 million dollars during the opening weekend, the success of Iron Man 3 and several related media appearances have placed vehicles like the Audi S7 Sportback as well as the R8 e-tron in view of maximum eyeballs. In contrast to the on-screen promotion of Iron Man 3 where Audis were placed alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, the German automaker has forged a connection to another upcoming 2013 Hollywood blockbuster. Not specifically related to the film Star Trek Into Darkness, an Internet video released ahead of the movie’s May 17th release features the actors behind the franchise’s most popular Science Officer in competition. A video titled “The Challenge”, the original Spock Leonard Nimoy and the new Spock Zachary Quinto face-off in an Earth-based driving adventure. Pitting Spock against Spock, the video has Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto racing to a golf country club with the losing participant paying for lunch. Quinto loads his golf clubs into an Audi S7 Sportback while Nimoy attempts to win “The Challenge” in his Mercedes-Benz CLS 550. It’s amazing that the Spock actors just happen to be driving competing...

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When Rings Turn to Stars: Film Famous Audis

  For a premium car company, Audi has devoted much attention to proving the practical side of their vehicles. From the Audi Ur-Quattro rally that dominated world rally during the 1980s to the technology-laden R18 e-tron quattro currently rolling to victory in sports car’s World Endurance Championship, Audi has demonstrated the extremes of quattro all-wheel drive and TDI diesel engines. However, like other automotive brands, Audi vehicles have enjoyed time to bask in the limelight of showbiz. This week, the highly anticipated North American release of Iron Man 3 will place Audi in the product placement spotlight. Audisite.com is...

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Audi and Marvel Involved in Crowdsourced Iron Man Comic

  During the 2013 Super Bowl, Audi’s “Prom” commercial attracted a lot of buzz. Some groups believed the nature of the boy kissing the prom queen was more sexual assault rather than a daring moment. Giving some context to the ad for the Audi S6 sedan, we have no idea if there was some form of relationship or friendship between the couple. Aside from the content of the Super Bowl commercial, the Audi spot was highlighted by its use of crowdsourcing. A process where a brand or company allows audiences to dictate a product, crowdsourcing will determine the ending from three possible scenarios on YouTube. The ending used in the Super Bowl ad resulted from 24 hours of voting. For what is going to be Audi’s biggest product placement for 2013, Iron Man 3 is nearing its theatrical release of May 3rd. In preparation for the guaranteed blockbuster, Iron Man creator Marvel Comics and Audi have engaged in an interactive web-based story. Similar to Audi’s commercial, crowdsourcing will play a part in deciding the outcome of the comic tale supported by the automaker and Marvel Comics. The story titled “The Cold Run” appears in the website SteerTheStory.com featuring an Audi R8 Spyder front and center through the comic. A largely straightforward Marvel comic adventure many comic book readers delighted reading as a kid, Blizzard (a lesser-known figure often portrayed as...

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2014 Audi R8 is Officially On Sale

  Despite six years virtually unchanged, the Audi R8 supercar’s unaltered appearance continues dazzle. Whether in motion or at a standstill, the sculpted lines of the R8 have stood the test of time. When modernizing their supercar for the 2014 model year there was little sense for Audi to drastically change a cutting-edge vehicle. Still an image of the vehicle many in the sports car community have grown to Love, the 2014 Audi R8 Coupe and Spyder officially went on sale April 11th improving on their winning formula. Individuals with a minimum of $114,900 (less delivery costs and taxes) can now experience the revisions Audi engineers have made to the modern quattro icon. “The 2014 R8 will continue to build upon that success for our halo sports car and for the Audi brand as a whole”, said President of Audi of America Scott Keogh. Stylistic touches are subtle but important in identifying the updated Audi R8 for 2014. A redesigned grille with more defined horizontal ribs adhering to Audi’s Singleframe design. R8 badging found on the inside as well as outside areas of the 2014 Audi sports car advertises the vehicle’s exclusivity and performance boldly. New side mirrors, refreshed wheel designs, trim around round exhaust pipes and LED taillights manicures the vehicle’s demeanour to an extent only astute observer would notice. Perhaps the most illuminating feature produced to the...

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The Future of Audi: According to Chairman Rupert Stadler

With an Audi vehicle selling every 22 seconds, the popularity of the four-ring badge has placed greater emphasis into making the right decisions for the German luxury brand’s future. A month ago, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG Rupert Stadler presented an explicit presentation on the state of the German luxury car brand. As Audi utilizes new technologies and ideas, upcoming production models could be shaped with radical concepts. Rupert Stadler spoke proudly of the success of Audi as well as affiliate brands Lamborghini and motorcycle maker Ducati. Highlighting several new products, the Audi A3 and Audi A3 e-Tron was enthusiastically pitched. A model line responsible for over three-million Audi products sold, the new Audi A3 has already been confirmed for the United States. In addition to the Audi A3 e-tron combining an electric motor with a gasoline engine, the compact car will also be sold in a variant burning natural gas. Audi’s Stadler also spoke in depth about research into e-gas, e-diesel and e-ethanol. Derived largely from carbon dioxide, the potential with this fuel source category is a renewable product that can reduce dependency on the Earth’s reserves or farmland. Audi still takes great pride in the construction of performance-oriented vehicles such as the newly-introduced Audi RS7 Sportback and SQ5 crossover. Stadler points out how the premium car maker delivered four new RS models during...

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