Month: December 2009

Audi Recalculates E-tron’s Torque Numbers – Not as Impressive

When Audi unveiled the e-tron electric supercar back in September, they said the car produces 3,319 lb-ft of torque, which is an incredibly massive amount. What Audi didn’t tell us is that this number was measured at the wheels instead of the engine, where all other car’s torque numbers are rated. The torque rating at the engine: 501.5 lb-ft – still an impressive number, but nowhere near the 3,319 lb-ft we were told. So how did Audi arrive at the huge torque rating in the first place? Even though Audi themselves don’t rate any other car’s torque rating at the wheels, they said using wheel torque numbers are a “more accurate indication of how electric motors deliver power.” This is true – it is a more accurate reading for electric cars, but the problem is that nearly every car can deliver gobs of torque at the wheels; we have to compare apples to apples and use a universal system for ratings. The problem we’re seeing here is that we are still using the same rating systems for alternative energy cars as we’ve always used for internal combustion engines. Now that we have hybrids, electric cars, and even hydrogen cells powering our cars down the road, the rating systems of the past simply aren’t going to work anymore. The upcoming Chevy Volt Hybrid, for example, can travel up to 40...

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ABT AS5 Sportback

German tuner Abt Sportsline just got their hands on the A5 Sportback, before most of us can even see it. The Audi A5 Sportback is described “As comfortable as a limousine, elegant as a coupĂ© and almost as practical as an Avant.” After being given the Abt treatment, the new AS5 Sportback can further be described “as dynamic as a true sports car.” The fact that the name AS5 looks suspiciously like ASS is only an unintended benefit. Abt tuned up two available engines on the Sportback: 2.0 TFSI Audi A5 Sportback: 180 hp Abt AS5 Sportback: 275 hp 3.0 TDI Audi A5 Sportback: 240 hp Abt AS5 Sportback: 282 hp 3.0 TDI “POWER S” Audi A5 Sportback: 240 hp Abt AS5 Sportback: 310 hp The “POWER S” tuned 3.0 TDI engine with 310 horsepower is able to propel the AS5 Sportback from zero to 62 mph in 5.8 seconds. Bigger brakes provide quicker deceleration and special ABT wheels, available from 18- to 20-inches, add to the style. A new muffler and suspension system add to the sportiness of the car. An ABT-styled body kit helps with aerodynamics and style by adding a front skirt, front grill, rear wing inserts, and a rear skirt...

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Audi A1 Remains a Secret

Although we saw a few Audi A1 spy shots back in October, we haven’t heard much about the upcoming A1 subcompact since then. Audi just came out saying something along the lines of “we’re not telling you anything about the A1 yet.” How nice of them. Early next year though, we’ll be getting all the details on the A1 when Audi reveals it in its online premiere, then will show it at the 2010 Geneva Motors Show in March. In the mean time, Audi informed us that they will be giving us a “look through the keyhole” in the coming weeks, so expect to see more of the A1 little by little. For more material on the A1, check out Audi’s A1 Facebook page and their A1...

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New Audi A7 Spy Photos

Today we find ourselves with a few more spy shots of the upcoming Audi A7, this time courtesy of Car Magazine. The heavily camo’d A7 test mule doesn’t give away anything more than we didn’t already know, but it’s good to see one on the streets. The 2010 Audi A7 will compete with the Mercedes CLS, and is essentially a sexier hatchback version of the A6 sedan. Expect the North American version of the A7 to include a 204 hp, 2.8-liter V6 and a 300 hp, 3.0-liter supercharged V6, while upgrading to the 2011 S7 to be released a year later will get you into a 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 397 hp. The European version, as always, will have a wider choice of engines including diesel variants. The engines will be mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7- or 8-speed automatic transmission. Head over to Car Magazine for more...

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Hofele Design Audi A5 Tries to Look Like an R8

Although we haven’t covered anything from German design company Hofele yet, they make some pretty interesting kits for Audis. They aren’t really a tuning company since they only change design elements, but their kits are often worth taking a look. Unfortunately, they sort of missed the mark on their latest A5 and A5 Cabrio “R8-Look” kit. I’m not sure if A5 owners who buy this kit are attempting to “trick” people into thinking it’s an R8, but I certainly hope not. It definitely won’t trick anybody into thinking you’re driving the supercar. But if you like the looks of it regardless, go take a...

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Audi Shows the e-tron in Orange at the LA Auto Show

We’ve seen the Audi e-tron electric supercar in red since the Frankfurt Motor Show, but Audi just repainted it orange and brought it to the 2009 LA Auto Show for North America. As you know, the e-tron sports four motors – one on each wheel – and creates only 313 horsepower, but an incredible 3,319 lb-ft of torque. This allows the e-tron to travel from 0 to 62 mpg in 4.8 seconds – a decent number – and 37 to 75 mph in 4.1 seconds, much more impressive. The top speed is limited to 124 mph, probably to stop the batteries from discharging too quickly. The e-tron resembles the R8 in appearance, but Audi assures us the resemblance is in spirit only. They built the e-tron from the ground up, but gave it a similar look to convey its high performance characteristics. I’m really interested to see what this thing will really be able to do once we start seeing them “in limited production” in 2012. Check out the photo gallery below: [album:] Just-added photos of the orange colored e-tron courtesy of Autoblog and...

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The All-New 2011 Audi A8

Audi just unveiled the next generation A8 luxury sedan. The A8 is Audi’s most luxurious and most expensive car (aside from the R8) and will serve as Audi’s flagship model poised to compete with the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes S-Class. While it may not have the snob-appeal of the Benz or BMW, the new A8 has plenty to brag about from all aspects, and plenty of details are to follow. For 2011, the Audi A8 is all-new in nearly every way. Some of the primary differences: It sits on Audi’s aluminum space frame technology, boasting 25% increased rigidity and a lighter weight, helping to increase fuel economy, handling, and performance. A new Bang & Olufsen surround sound system is available with 19 (!) speakers producing a total of 1400 watts. Full-LED headlights (as seen in the R8 V10) are standard, along with Audi’s AWD quattro system and a ton of other high-tech driving assists and safety features. Along with an entirely redesigned interior, Audi gave the 2011 A8 the next generation MMI system which allows for touch screen control. Audi Drive Select is standard, and an optional night vision with infrared camera is available. The 2011 A8 will be powered by Audi’s 4.2-liter V8 engine producing 372 horsepower and 328 lb-ft, an increase of 22 hp and 3 lb-ft over last year’s model. 0-62 mph will come in only...

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