Month: September 2009

Virtual Test Drive Audi e-tron Concept on Playstation 3

Audi is delving further into marketing through video games. Later this year, Playstation 3 owners will be able to virtually test drive the new Audi e-tron electric supercar concept through what they’re calling Audi Space in Playstation Home. All Playstation Home users will be able to play the game, the purpose of which to try and gain as much speed as possible through avoiding driving errors and gathering as much electrical energy as they can on the 3D track, and the Audi Space will feature reserved Audi apartments only for the best drivers. I’m not sure many Playstation 3 gamers are the demographic to buy the electric e-tron when it’s released, but it gets the Audi brand name out to them, hopefully in a good way. Audi’s first major attempt at this was the A4 Driving Experience game for the iPhone, and the first version was terrible. The second version, released shortly after the first was better, but still had some work to do. Let’s hope they worked hard to make the Audi Space for PS3 a fun...

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Audi e-Tron Electric Concept Unveiled

We’ve been publishing any information we got about the new electric Audi e-Tron Concept supercar, and today Audi officially unveiled the car, along with plenty of details. It is, as you can see, based off of the R8, but underneath the body is its own car completely. The e-tron concept is fully electric – no internal combustion engine is present, meaning it’s not a hybrid. As you know from seeing cars such as the Tesla Roadster and the Lightning GT, a fully electric car is a good candidate for high performance due to the massive amounts of torque available from zero RPMs, and the e-tron is no different. While it only produces 313 horsepower, the electric motors produce an incredible 3,319 lb-ft of torque. No, that’s not a typo. For contrast, a Lamborghini Murcielago V12 engine “only” produces 479 lb-ft. These numbers allow the e-tron to accelerate from 0-120 km/h (0-62 mph) in only 4.8 seconds, and even more impressively, 60-120 km/h (37-75 mph) in 4.1 seconds. Sadly, top speed is limited to 124 mph since going any faster would result in a serious drain on the battery. The battery, which sits behind the passenger compartment for optimal 42:58 weight distribution, has a range of 154 miles. Not perfect, but it’s a start. The e-tron concept consists of four electric motors, one on each wheel, for a true quattro...

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Audi Gives the A3 a New Engine

The compact A3 will soon have another engine choice along with the many engines available in the UK. The new low-displacement 1.2 TFSI will join the ranks, providing 105 hp and getting about 43 mpg thanks to the power of forced induction. The 1.2 TFSI engine is completely redesigned, and is very lightweight (only 197 lbs,) which Audi achieved after using an aluminum crankcase and a few tricks to keep the engine light. Most of the engine’s torque is available at low RPMs (129 ft/lbs at 1,500 – 3,500 RPM) which helps keep the car feel responsive off the line. As expected from 1.5 hp, the 0-62 mph time is 11.1 seconds – slower than the Toyota Prius hybrid (though I’m sure it’s more fun.) Boost the turbo pressure a bit and you’ll get a few more horsepower out of it. The 1.2 TFSI powered A3 will go on sale in Europe early next year with a FWD layout and 6-speed manual transmission, with more options coming later. I doubt the car will be available here in the States any time soon; I don’t see too many Americans going crazy over a 105 hp hatch, especially at the price of an Audi. I’m sure it will do well overseas though. In the mean time, I’ll go take a look at the A3...

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Audi Announces Two New A4 Models

Right before the Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi is announcing two new A4 models, each using a different fuel. The most exciting of the two is the A4 3.0 TDI quattro. I’m not sure if we’ll be getting this is the States (cross your fingers,) but it uses the same 3.0-liter diesel engine found in the Q7 TDI. Achieving about 35 mpg, the A4 TDI boasts 240 horsepower and even more impressive, 369 lb/ft of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed tiptronic transmission which can get the A4 from 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds. The second A4 announced runs on biofuel, aka E85. This fuel is a mixture of 85% ethanol to 15% gasoline, which provides more power, but a significant reduction in fuel economy. Great for corn farmers, not so great for consumers. Audi’s E85 engine for the A4 will be a 2.0-liter TFSI producing 180 hp and 236 lb/ft of torque. Fuel economy is terrible, as expected, at about 26 mpg. Put regular premium gasoline in the same engine and you’ll get 36 mpg – 10 mpg more. I still don’t understand why manufacturers are making these flex-fuel cars, I think they’re terrible. To get this straight then, we have two new engines – one TDI and one E85. The TDI gets 240 hp and 369 torque and achieves 35 mpg, while the 180/236 E85 gets...

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Audi R8 Spyder Officially Unveiled

Audi is officially unveiled the long-awaited R8 Spyder at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and just released details on the car. The R8 Spyder is set to compete directly with the Ferrari F430 Spider, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder (sort of,) and the Porsche 911 Cabriolet Carrera 4S. The 525 horsepower 5.2-liter V10 engine is phenomenal, and will be mated to a six-speed manual or dual-clutch R-tronic transmission. This combo will help the R8 Spyder reach 0-62 mph in only 4.1 seconds, to a top speed of 194 mph. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know I’m not a fan of the R8 Spyder. I think it’s ugly, and is one of those cars that aren’t meant to be convertibles. They got rid of the sideblade, which really gave the coupe character and helped visually shorten the body. The engine cover, which is clear on the coupe, is now opaque since nobody wants to see the folded-up top stored, but no longer allows you to see the engine bay; one of the great visual features on the R8. The aluminum-coated windshield frame catches the eye in a weird way and simply looks awful. And brown for the signature color? Come on Audi. Despite my overall disdain for the R8 Spyder, I have to hand it to Audi for the engineering. While they need to fire the designers of this thing, the...

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Audi’s Electric R8 e-Tron Concept Renderings

Over the past couple weeks, Audi has been teasing us with viral videos and a website with the theme Electricity Untamed, hinting at a high performance electric car to be debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show. We don’t have many (any, really) details about the new car, but we have plenty of renderings to show you (see gallery below) of the Audi e-Tron Concept. As you can see, it’s clearly based off of the R8 supercar but with significant changes. The headlights now have an aggressive hooked shape, the sideblades are not present, and the lack of cooling vents on the body suggest the e-Tron is a full-electric car and not a hybrid. The advantages to an electric sports car are obvious. A reduced dependence on oil, decreased fuel prices, less maintenance, and increased overall efficiency make then attractive to consumers, and since torque is available immediately, the electric motors are perfect for high-performance driving. There are a lot of technical hurdles to overcome, however, and Audi says that there is a lot of work to do before electric cars are feasible for mass production, but in low numbers, these lightweight, high-performance engineering masterpieces are perfect for enthusiasts and collectors. Stay tuned for more details as the car is officially...

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Audi R8 Spyder Photos Leaked

The Audi R8 Spyder was meant to be officially unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15th, but it looks like some photos leaked out online a bit earlier than that. From the looks of things, the R8 Spyder will feature a foldable soft top. While this keeps weight down and cargo space up, I’m sure it looks terrible with the top up. The R8 Spyder, as previously reported will probably only be offered with the 5.2-liter, 525 hp V10 engine seen in the R8 V10 coupe. Other visual changes include the unfortunate removal of the sideblades, and a different, silly-looking engine cover. I really wish they wouldn’t make this thing. source:...

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Audi Hints at Electric R8 for Frankfurt Motor Show

Audi’s electric R8 we reported a few days ago is becoming more of a reality. An Audi microsite just appeared touting that on September 15, 2009, electricity, and all its force and power, will run wild and free and completely untamed.” ElectricityUntamed.com opens up to many interesting facts about electricity and a countdown timer to end on September 15, 2009, which happens to be the same day as the Frankfurt Motor Show. Not much other information is given, but the dot-sketch at the end of the funny video below (and the screenshot above) hints heavily at a car based off of the R8. Check out the video below and wait a couple weeks for the Frankfurt Motor Show to find out what’s behind this. UPDATE: Audi added another “viral” video on Youtube regarding the Electricity Untamed theme. Check it out...

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