Month: April 2009

Audi Q7 TDI Available This Month

Audi (and parent company VW) are launching their initiative to get diesel into the American mainstream again. With hybrid-level efficiency and plenty of power on tap, we Americans need to start learning from the Europeans and looking at getting a diesel-powered car on our next purchase. So here we have a large Audi SUV that runs on a 225 horsepower 3.0-liter TDI V6 which pushes out an exceptional 406 lbft of torque available at a mere 1750 RPMs – a direct side effect from diesel-powered engines. The Q7 TDI will get a 6-speed Tiptronic transmission paired to a quattro AWD drivetrain. For those who don’t know, TDI stands for “Turbocharged Direct Injection,” which is simply VW’s term for their modern turbocharged diesel engines. The benefits of driving a diesel are many, but it hasn’t really caught on in the States yet, but with our recent gas price spike, people might start thinking more about the future and buy diesel. The problem is that currently, diesel fuel is more expensive than standard petrol, which cancels out the advantage of better fuel efficiency. But now, diesel prices are falling again (although very slowly,) and hopefully people will start seeing the upsides again. Modern diesel engines are significantly better than the black smoke-spitting engines of yore. Not only do they provide better fuel economy, but it burns cleaner and emits fewer emissions,...

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Abt Sportsline Tunes Audi Q5

German Tuner Abt Sportsline’s latest project included the new Q5 Crossover SUV. While this isn’t the first vehicle I would have thought of them doing, it turned out pretty cool. On the outside, Abt modified the Q5 very tastefully, giving it a front spoiler and prominent front grill, fender extensions, and door trims. They modified many details all-around, ending at the rear with a rear wing, rear apron, and an Abt exhaust with four tailpipes. 22-inch BR alloy wheels are optional, but look particularly good with this Q5. In the interior, the extent of the additions are carbon leather inserts. Abt also gives the Q5 extra power for each trim level. The 2.0 TDI goes from 170 horsepower to 190. The 3.0 TDI engine gets 310 horsepower, and the 2.0 TSI gets 240 hp, up from 211. Abt will be upgrading the 2.0 TSI to 275 hp soon. The tuned Q5 also receives an upgraded suspension to lower center of gravity, and an upgraded braking system. More pictures...

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2011 Audi RS5 Spotted!

Some sneaky spy photographers got some great snaps of a prototype Audi RS5 going around the Nurburgring recently. The RS5’s powerplant hasn’t been confirmed yet, but some speculate it will be receiving a detuned version of the RS6’s 580 horsepower, 5.2-liter twin-turbo V10. Due to Audi’s trend towards smaller (but frequently forced induction) engines, I’d suspect it’s more likely we’ll see a super- or turbo-charged version of the R8’s 4.2-liter V8. At any rate, expect the RS5’s power to exceed 500 horsepower. As you can see from the photos, the 2011 RS5 has revised styling, but is slightly masked from the matte black wrap. The fenders are flared a bit, it has a wider track, the rear bumper is a bit beefier and has a new oval dual-exhaust, and the front fascia is flared with more angry-looking air intakes. It’s sitting on the same 20-inch wheels found on the RS6, and inside them are big drilled rotors. The aftermarket Recaro seats you see inside the car are only for the prototype, but may hint at using lighter-weight seats for the production version. Now, we’re not even sure yet if the RS5 will be making over to our shores, but we’re hoping the 2011 (or 2010) RS5 will be unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show in September. See more pictures below:...

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Audi Truth in 24 iPhone App Now Available

Audi just released their latest iPhone app based on the Truth in 24 movie, which is now available on iTunes for download. Truth in 24 is a racing game, pretty much just like all the other racing games available for the iPhone or iPod Touch. You tilt the device from side-to-side to turn the car, and use a “gas” and “brake” button on the sides of the screen. I downloaded the app and played it, and have to admit that it’s very obvious they didn’t put much though or time into it. It’s disappointing and badly done. The graphics are terrible, it crashed on me every time I played it, there are many other vehicles in which you keep having to pass them, but there are only 2 designs of cars. One looks like an Aston Martin, and the other like a Saleen S7, but the graphics are so bad you can’t see them clearly. There is no reason to keep playing it, as it’s all the same thing. Grass doesn’t slow you down, so you can easily miss the other cars by driving on the grass the whole time. When you go in for a pit stop, you hold the gas can to refill then drag a tire icon over to each of the 4 tires to replace those. After I did that, the sound stopped working, and...

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Audi Gains Market Share in March

Not particularly groundbreaking news, but something good to hear is that Audi market share has increased 1.3% to 7.7% in March for the U.S. import luxury segment. This is due mostly to great sales of the long-awaited Q5 crossover, which sold 1,094 units in March – its first full month for sale, making it the second highest selling Audi in March, after the A4. Strong sales of the Audi A5 and R8 contributed to the increased market share, with the excellent A5 gaining a 41.6% increase in sales over last year, selling a total of 657 units in March. Sales of the Audi R8 are up 18.6% year-to-date. I congratulate Audi for increasing market share here in the States, outpacing competitors, and making one helluva...

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