Month: April 2009

Audi To Make Dealerships Look Like…an Airport?

Between now and the end of 2010, Audi will be investing $1 billion in 30 new dealerships, which will be implementing their new “Terminal” design. Explained as “Efficient, sporty, luxurious, and environmentally conscious ‘terminal’ architecture for Audi dealerships echoes vehicle designs.” The new dealerships will focus on every aspect of design, from flowers to coffee cups. They will be designed to minimize wasted space and use natural lighting, which will end up saving Audi 30-40% on expenses to run the dealership. The furniture and accessories within the dealerships are all custom made to match the terminal style as well. Each terminal dealership will individually apply for LEED certification, which will help them further increase efficiency in the future. Expect the first terminal dealers to open in Los Angeles and Atlanta, with others to follow. More images and a video...

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A4 2.0 TDI e – The Most Efficient Mid-Size Sedan

Audi will be launching the 2.0 TDI e in June in dealerships across Europe. The 2.0 TDI e is the most fuel efficient mid-size sedan on the market. Burning diesel fuel, it manages to get 51.13 mpg out of the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and burn only 191.51 grams of CO2 per mile, which isn’t a figure we’re very familiar with here in the States. The efficient “e” model produces 136hp, which while isn’t a great number, isn’t exactly focused on performance. It can run from 0 to 62 mph in 9.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 133mph. We Americans will just have to wait longer until diesel catches on over here, but I know many people who would be excited to get 51mpg out of a mid-size non-hybrid sedan, especially an Audi. The sedan is priced at 30,800 euros (currently a little over $42,200 USD,) and you can also get the “e” as an Avant. While it’s not exactly cheap, neither are comparable hybrids. The A4 2.0 TDI e efficiency system works much like a hybrid, in that it turns off the engine when you’re stopped, which is especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic. Further effort has been taken to increase efficiency, such as low-resistance tires, a 6-speed manual transmission with a 5% higher final gear ratio, and a revised ECU. The system also uses a regenerative braking...

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More Spy Shots of the Audi RS5

Those sneaky spy photographers got a few more shots of the Audi RS5, this time circling the Nurburgring test track in Germany. The main thing to note from these shots is the retracting rear wing, much like the one found in the beloved R8 supercar. We assume it will deploy at a certain speed, just like R8 to keep the car planted on the pavement at high velocities. See below for the full gallery. As we reported in the first article about the RS5 spy shots, the car will most likely be powered by a modified version of the 4.2-liter V8 found in the R8 and RS4. Expect around 450hp being passed through to the wheels by a six-speed manual or R-tronic gearbox. Gallery...

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Audi Mini-Car Concept – the A0

Theophilus Chin is at it again, this time creating a mini-car Audi concept called the A0 (pronounced A-Oh, not A-Zero.) The A0 is based off of the 2007 Audi Metroproject Quattro Concept, and would compete with the likes of the Smart ForTwo and Toyota iQ. I, for one would hate to see Audi to do something like this. In fact I think the A3 is too small. Audi doesn’t need to go to a compact, and they damn better not ever try to make an economy car. Cute concept though! source:...

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Audi Q3 Renderings

After Audi chose the production facility for the new Q3 SUV, people got hard at work trying to figure out what the Q3 will actually look like. Audi described it as “A coupe-like five-door SUV with seat positions, wheel size, and ground clearance characteristic of a typical SUV.” The image Audi gave us press folks showed the Cross Coupe Quattro Concept from 2007, which is what the Q3 will be based on. Theophilus Chin, automotive Photoshop guru extraordinaire, rendered these images of the Q3 based on the Cross Coupe Quattro Concept. via:...

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Audi R8 Wins “Classic of the Future 2009”

The Audi R8 won the 2009 “Classic of the Future” award in the Sports Car category from Motor Klassik readers. Sounds about right, considering the attention and praise the R8 has received since it was launched in 2008, not to mention the Godfather-inspired commercial aired during the 2008 Superbowl. Motor Klassik readers chose from 168 different models in seven categories, and the R8 got top spot. With the R8 V10 coming soon, the car will certainly be considered a classic in a decade or two. In a related note, the Audi A6 snagged third place in the “full-size car of the modern age” award. Congrats...

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Audi Chooses Production Site for Upcoming Q3 SUV

Audi just chose a production site for the upcoming Q3 crossover – the SEAT facility in Martorell, Spain. Manufacturing should being in 2011 with a production capability of 80,000 units/year. Audi threw around €300 million into this, and chose the site after careful consideration of other facilities internationally. The Q3 will be a small SUV, coming in just below the Q5. They’re calling it “coupe-like,” with 5 doors and other characteristics similar to an SUV, but with a “supremely sporty driving experience.” One has to wonder with SUVs getting smaller and smaller, at what point are we going to reach the size where calling it an SUV and not a wagon (or “Avant,”) is inaccurate? Market launch of the Q3 is set for...

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Audi Drops Beloved 3.2 V6 from Line-Up

Due to high demand in the US for smaller and more fuel efficient engines, Audi says they will be dropping the 3.2-liter V6 from the A3, A4, and TT for the 2010 model year in the States. I happen to like this smooth engine quite a bit, but the numbers show that it might not be worth it. The 2.0T engine offered in the A4 makes only 54 horsepower less power, and gets 4mpg better fuel economy than the V6. The four-cylinder also happens to get 15 lb-ft of torque more than the six. Audi also states that there could be a possible overlap with this engine and the upcoming supercharged V6 in the S4 model. I wouldn’t see that creating any problems, but who am I to say? They hope their plans which include the A3 TDI, TT RS, and S4 will fill the gap left by the absence of the 3.2...

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Audi Releases R8 V10 Promo Video

Audi just released a new promo video for the R8 V10 (a.k.a Audi R8 5.2 quattro FSI V10.) The video is typical of the car driving around on an open road and includes a few interesting special effects. I’m sure the video will be playing in Audi showrooms around Europe, which us Americans are sitting here twiddling our thumbs waiting for the car. As I’m sure you know, the R8 V10 has a 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine producing over 520 hp. The car can run from 0 to 60 in only 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 196 mph. These specs make it the fastest ever road-going Audi, and comes dangerously close to knocking the Lamborghini Gallardo directly on its...

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Details on the New 2010 Audi Q7

Audi just released details on the next generation Q7 set to be a 2010 model. The new Q7 will receive a big exterior update to include new front and rear LED lighting to include the daytime running lights, turn signals, and brake lights. A new optional headlight system includes zenon bulbs with low beam, high beam, and super highway beam, and is controlled with an adaptive front lighting system. Other exterior changes include chrome accents, two-tone exterior mirrors, new wheel designs, updated front and rear bumpers, four new paint colors (one of which you see here,) and a new shape for the rear liftgate to accommodate license plates from around the world. In addition to the exterior updates, the 2010 Q7 will get new ventilated leather front seats, a redesigned instrument cluster, extra chrome and wood trim, new interior color choices, a new ambient door lighting, and the third generation MMI system, which includes cool new features like 3D navigation and voice activated controls that let you say things like “I’m hungry” to lead you to a restaurant, or “I need gas” for a gas station, instead of the roundabout way most systems require (i.e. “Navigation” > “Category” > “Restaurant” – etc.) The US version of the Q7 will be available in three different engine configs, all of which have increased fuel efficiency this year: a 3.6-liter, 280hp V6...

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MTM Makes the R8 Even Faster, Gives it Porsche Paint

German tuner MTM has taken Audi’s R8 to the next level. Not only have they added the eye-catching (or eye-bleeding) Kermit-the-Frog-green from the Porsche GT3 RS, they’ve increased engine output to an incredible 560 horsepower – higher than the 520hp 5.2-liter V10 promised in the R8 5.2 FSI Quattro coming soon. They’ve achieved this 120hp boost by adding a supercharger, a reprogrammed ECU, and a quad-exhaust for free-flowing air out of the more powerful engine. Not wanting the R8 V10 customers to feel left out, MTM has developed an ECU program to allow to achieve the same 560 horsepower from their machines. In addition to the increase in power and wild color scheme, MTM also includes a full aerodynamic body kit made completely from carbon fiber, revised carbon fiber side blades, and 20-inch forged Bimoto alloy wheels. Suspension upgrades include lowering springs with an optional lift-kit for burbs and speed bumps (Lamborghini-style.) As you can sort of see from the interior picture below, you can opt for matching green stitching and carbon fiber appointments inside the R8, which may or may not look very good. As cool as the paint job looks, I could do without the resemblance to Porsche, and stick with the excellent performance upgrade. No pricing is announced at this point, but expect to shell out a pretty penny for these pricey upgrades. More pictures below:...

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Pricing Announced for Audi Q7 TDI

We just reported on the new Q7 TDI availability, but didn’t have any pricing information at the time. Well Audi just announced pricing on the 2009 Q7 TDI, which will start at $51,725 (including the $825 destination charge.) Fairly expensive, but about the same as its main rivals, the BMW X5 35d ($52,025) and Mercedes-Benz ML 320 Bluetec ($48,125.) The Q7 TDI will also qualify for the $1,150 Alternative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit from the...

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