If you were buying a new vehicle, how important is the results from popular crash test assessments? Keeping in mind that every vehicle made by a major automaker in most developed countries are required to adhere to a set of basic safety standards, many of us want to purchase the safest vehicle possible. Inundated by phases such as “Five-Star Rated” and “Top Safety Pick”, car advertisements know what it takes to draw in the safety conscious.
Audi is one of many brands that proudly tout its achievements in safety. Both the 2014 Audi A4 and A6 boasts five-star overall ratings in NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) crash testing. The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has recognized the new 2015 Audi A3 sedan as a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ as it gained “Good” ratings in all tests. However, in Europe the sale of safety pertaining to some Audi vehicles has gotten the United Kingdom arm of the German luxury car brand into hot water.
A BBC watchdog investigation has gathered several accounts from customers of Audi dealerships in the United Kingdom where some of the car company’s product line was misidentified as holding the top safety rating of the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme). A voluntary safety standard within the European Union, Euro NCAP is considered a valued tool for setting a benchmark in crash protection. Testing vehicles using Euro NCAP standards is not required for all vehicles sold in the United Kingdom. The problem spotted by the BBC is dealerships not only misled about the safety rating of vehicles but also the fact a model was tested at all. The Audi R8 and A5 have never been tested under Euro NCAP despite the claims of retail outlets.
The BBC investigation was started when a man named Daniel Jenkins after discovering truth about his Audi R8 after his father was involved in an accident in the car. Told by a local dealer at the time of purchase in 2012 it the R8 passed the Euro NCAP tests with a five-star rating, Jenkins found out that was not the case. The story also reported he had called up 50 Audi dealerships and received the claim from 48 of the sales outlets that the Audi R8 did possess a Five-Star safety rating through Euro NCAP.
The BBC Watchdog expanded on Daniel Jenkins’ original study and inquired about other Audi vehicles through dealerships. Regarding the Audi A5, nine of the ten dealerships approached said the car was tested with Euro NCAP. In fact, no Euro NCAP crash tests have ever been conducted specifically on the Audi A5. Coupled with proving several models were never tested, the BBC Watchdog investigation also kept Audi UK falsely proclaiming their whole vehicle line-up as subjected to Euro NCAP safety testing. According to the Euro NCAP website, the latest Audi vehicle to be tested was the 2012 A3 three-door hatchback (achieving a five-star overall rating as well as four Advanced Rewards with its accident avoidance technology). The Audi A6 sedan also participated in Euro NCAP testing and obtained a five-star rating.
Admitting the claims were not deliberately made to mislead, the Audi UK spokesperson his stated a review is underway to improve the accuracy of claims made related to their vehicles. As of May 15th, the Audi UK website has specifically and accurately identified all the vehicles subjected to Euro NCAP crash testing.
It seems a shame that the United Kingdom entity of Audi has made themselves and their vehicles a subject of this investigation. More than ever due to high-profile mismanagement of safety issues in Toyota and General Motors vehicles in recent years, vehicle safety is an attribute automakers cannot afford to mislead about.
Information and photo source: Audi AG, BBC, Euro NCAP
Once again, German luxury brand Audi has shelled out some serious Euros for a spot during the biggest annual television spectacle of the year; the Super Bowl. Introducing special, all-new television ads for ‘The Big Game‘, storylines in previous Audi Super Bowl commercials have involved partying vampires and memorable prom nights. The 2014 Audi commercial will promote the 2015 A3 compact by taking a bite out of the notion buyers of premium vehicles need to accept compromise.
For 2014, the Audi Super Bowl spot starts with the contemplation of whether a couple’s decision on a dog could be solved by cross-breeding a Doberman and Chihuahua. Creating the “Doberhuahua“, viewers of the commercial are quickly given an idea to the wacky notion of such an animal. The computer-generated dog appears like Jim Carrey’s dog in 1995 movie “The Mask” during a brief time the four-legged creature wore the magical mask. Adding to the comedic element of the one-minute Audi commercial is the appearance of musician/songwriter Sarah McLachlan. Popular for her serious PSA spots defending against mistreated or neglected animals, McLachlan’s role is played for humorous intend with this commercial for the fictional Doberhuahua.
The lesson Audi wants to convey in this year’s “Doberhuahua” Super Bowl ad is the A3’s ability to combine performance, design and luxury. Scheduled for release in the United States this spring, the Audi A3 starting with the sedan. An Audi A3 cabriolet and A3 TDI Clean Diesel is slated for late 2014. The Audi A3 will be one of the first vehicles in its segment to offer 4G LTE connectivity and will also introduce Audi’s long-touted e-tron technology to the marketplace with an available plug-in hybrid.
This 2014 commercial will not be the first time the A3 will play a starring role in the Audi’s Super Bowl presence. In 2010, Audi dispatched the Green Police in full force aggressively pursuing environmental infractions. Near the end of Audi’s Green Police Super Bowl ad, an Audi A3 TDI Clean Diesel was permitted to proceed through a road checkpoint that held-up so many other vehicles.
In case you miss the commercial during Sunday’s Super Bowl, here is the 2014 Audi “Doberhuahua” spot.
Information, photo and video source: Audi AG
Since the start of 2013, American Audi enthusiasts have been receiving an array of new vehicles. A 354-horsepower Audi SQ5 and the Audi RS7 Sportback delivering a mammoth 560 horsepower have stood out on the 2013 auto show circuit. Arrival of the Audi Q3 in North America is imminent as is a refreshed version of the A3 Sportback. Though the Audi A3 Sportback serves comfortably as a premium, athletic urban vehicle since 2006, the United States luxury car marketplace changed a lot over this time. Compact luxury cars, once existed as a niche segment, is now a major part a premium brand’s line-up. Of late, vehicles such as the Cadillac ATS, Acura ILX and the Mercedes-Benz CLA elevated the refinement bar in the compact premium vehicle category. Audi has chosen the 2014 model year is the ideal time to bring the A3 sedan to North America.
Headlining Audi’s presentation at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, the Audi A3 Sedan and the S3 Sedan aims to heighten the expectations that premium vehicle drivers can expect from smaller vehicles. Assembled in a four-door notchback body style, the Audi A3 Sedan rests within a 175.5-inch bumper-to-bumper length. The 2015 Audi A3 sedan is 6.5 inches longer than the outgoing Audi A3 Sportback. Despite the sizeable lengthening, the 2015 A3 sedan is still well-placed as a compact car. In fact, the new A3 sedan stands closer to the size of many subcompact cars including the Chevrolet Sonic and Nissan Versa.
Styling of the new Audi A3 Sedan sports a higher sophistication than it predeceasing vehicle. Confirming with the image of the Audi A4 and A6 four-door models, the 2015 A3 sedan exhibit’s a mature, sporty exterior appearance. A picture perfect depiction of luxury and performance in an entry-level vehicle, Audi suggests their new 2015 S3 sedan channels the attitude of the original Audi A4. Audi’s next-generation styling wears the well-defined, trademark Singleframe grille and a pair of HID headlamps casting an animal-like stare. Full-LED headlights will be optional equipment for the first time on a compact luxury car. The Audi A3 sedan’s chiselled side and rear-end detail possession a sharp flow projecting sport sedan finesse. Flooding the interior with ambient light, the 2015 Audi A3 sedan comes with a standard panoramic glass sunroof.
Inside a leather-upholstered interior, the Audi A3 sedan oozes with high quality charm. Plastics, leather and aluminum trim accents of the 2015 A3 sedan’s cabin richly corresponds with Audi’s personality for merging racing and luxury. When natural light from the panoramic sunroof is limited, optional LED interior lighting package brightens the Audi A3 sedan’s interior with a dazzling glow.
In addition to the instant sensation of luxury, occupants of the 2015 Audi A3 sedan will find technology bringing the riding experience to a zenith. Graphic processing technology from reputable company NVIDIA provides the structure to handle powerful three-dimensional images. Operating from a seven-inch, center-mounted touchscreen, Audi’s MMI technology supplies an immersive method for entertainment and convenience features. Audi connect is also available on the new 2015 Audi A3 sedan offering several improvements. The Audi connect technology adds 4G/LTE data transfer abilities and a Picture Navigation service integrated with Google navigational systems. One of the standout features included on the 2015 A3 sedan’s equipment list is Audi phone box. An interesting new technology that works with a connected mobile phone, Audi phone box can extend broadcasting coverage through a specialized antenna. There is also a new app integration program that will allow hands-free access to smartphone apps. A 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen Sound System is also available for 705 watts of audio performance.
Power for the 2015 Audi A3 sedan will comprises of gasoline and diesel powerplants. A 170-horsepower 1.8 TFSI, two version of a 2.0 TSFI and a 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel engine will be available on new compact sedan. A six-speed S Tronic gearbox will be standard with all 2015 A3 sedan powerplant options. Front-wheel drive or Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive can be used to deliver engine power to the ground.
Beyond the performance of the Audi A3 sedan, the S3 sedan explores top echelons in compact motoring. The 2015 Audi S5 sedan combines quattro all-wheel drive with a high output version of the 2.0 TFSI engine. Though horsepower figures for the North American version of the 2015 Audi S3 sedan is unconfirmed, the European models defines performance output at 300 horsepower. The 2015 Audi S3 sedan will also include additional enhancements such as a lowered suspension, 18-inch wheels and Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system.
The 2015 A3 sedan is also making big news for alternative powertrains in Audi products. The e-tron name will be worn on a plug-in hybrid version of the 2015 Audi A3 sedan. A 1.8 liter TFSI engine is joined to a 75-kilowatt electric motor on the Audi A3 sedan e-tron. This will mark the very first time the e-tron badge will be worn on an Audi production car.
With increased competition in the entry-level luxury car market in North America, Audi’s 2015 A3 sedan may be a well-timed launch.
Photo and information source: Audi AG
At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the European-targeted three-door version of the 2013 Audi A3 encapsulates renewed passion for pushing the boundaries of what can be expected from an entry-level compact.
The 2013 model year A3 is greatly refreshed to reflect Audi’s technology advancement and refined styling DNA. Premiering in Geneva, the 2013 Audi A3 three-door hatchback is immediately eye-catching as a sophisticated yet youthful design. Just slightly longer than the previous European-sold three-door model at 4,237 millimeters (166.81 inches), the 2013 A3 grows outward by 22 millimeters (0.866 inches) bumper cover-to-bumper cover. Despite the longer dimensions, Audi’s “ultra lightweight construction principle” utilizing aluminum and high strength steels present the new Audi A3 weighing 80 kilograms (176.4 pounds) less than its predecessor.
The reshaped front end features more dynamic looking front headlamps housings. Optional bi-xenon headlights also combine LED strips for daytime running lighting. Deep contour lines travel along the hood and side panels of the 2013 Audi A3 relaying a higher sense of detail. At the rear, a three-dimensional contouring and LED taillights anchors the attention of A3 followers. A total of 13 exterior paint colours will be sold with the 2013 Audi A3. Other bodywork enhancements will also be made possible by the S Line styling package.
Chassis of the new Audi A3 receives a suspension system engineered to be responsive and comfortable. An electronic limited-slip differential is included alongside the Audi A3’s electronic stability control program for improved handing and safety while driving. To exploit higher tolerances of the A3’s driving dynamic, an optional sport suspension firmer ride drops the Audi compact by 0.59 inches. A more radical S Line Suspension will also available on the Audi A3. Featuring wheels sizes between 16 and 18 inches, the Audi A3’s stylish rims will ride within low rolling resistance tires that will maximize fuel economy without affecting handling.
Featuring three-power plant option, the 2013 Audi A3 will be sold in Europe with two turbocharged gasoline and one turbodiesel engine choice. The pair of TFSI gasoline engines available on the Audi A3 includes the 1.4 liter, 122-horsepower and the 180-horsepower 1.8 liter. European Audi A3 customers will also have the highly fuel-efficient 2.0 TDI powerplant rated for generating 236 pounds feet of torque. Six-speed manual gearboxes will be matched standard with the 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TDI engines while a dual-clutch, 7-speed S Tronic is included with the 1.8 liter Audi A3 model. The Audi A3 three-door presented at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show is a front-wheel drive model. A quattro all-wheel drivetrain is a guarantee by Audi for the newest compact car.
Complementing the exterior focus of the 2013 Audi A3, the three-door hatchback’s interior plays particularly well to the premium sport compact theme. The driver of the Audi A3 receives a control panel designed towards enriching a sense of motoring authority when holding the steering wheel. Paddle shifters and multifunctional steering wheel controls are available on the Audi A3. Interior design choices for the 2013 Audi A3 are coupled with two-tone colouring as well as leather/alcantara trim provided as factory add-ons. Accommodating five-passengers with a reasonable 365 liters (12.9 cubic feet) of interior cargo space, the volume of the new Audi A3 three-door expands to 1,100 liters (38.85 cubic feet) when the rear seat is folded down.
Oriented towards to youth market, the 2013 Audi A3 three-door hatchback will be the compact vehicle luring the performance look seeker. The new A3 line-up presented at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show will offer something for every premium entry-level customer.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
Included below in this post is the 2012 Geneva Motor Show unveiling of the Audi A3. Please be aware the interviews are in German.
An exotic flavour reserved for the European market, the Audi RS3 made its premiere early this year as a 340-horsepower interpretation of their compact car. Assuming the form of the unimposing five-door Audi A3 Sportback, the RS3 asserts itself in 0 with 62 mile per hour acceleration in only 4.6 seconds. While North Americans receive only the word of this hyper-powered A3-based car’s existence, the commuters on the Autobahn are able to indulge in the full thrill of this quattro all-wheel drive powered RS3 factory sport compact. With less than a year on the market, there is one performance tuner so bold to believe they could pull even more from the Audi RS3 Sportback.
Residing little more than a seven kilometer traveling distance from the Ingolstadt headquarters of Audi, MTM (Motoren-Technik-Mayer GmbH) began building supped-up versions of the premium auto brand’s quattro since 1985. Envy beyond envy, German aftermarket performance house MTM has approached the Audi RS3 Sportback thinking how they can make something great even better. Augmenting the five-door car to the tastes of even finer performance tuning, the MTM RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI is born by the small-volume vehicle producer.
Strikingly similar to the Audi RS3 Sportback in exterior and interior looks (with exception to the multi-colour paint scheme assembled on the MTM RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI show vehicle), the treatment conducted by the Ingolstadt performance tuner is limited largely to performance gains. Playing with the Audi 2.5 TFSI engine (found in the RS3 as well as the TT RS), MTM enhances their version of the compact Sportback with 472 horsepower. Credited for pushing up the output from the 2.5 liter five-cylinder engine by 132 horsepower are some tweaks MTM made to the turbocharger unit, high-flow air intake and some optimized spark plugs. The MTM RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI is also given a unique voice with a new exhaust system.
As 472 horsepower funnels through the sport-oriented quattro all-wheel drive system, MTM made special modifications to the A3-based sport compact. An adjustable air suspension system is added for improved sport handling and electronic lowering. The MTM RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI rides on bimoto alloy wheels featuring a 9-spoke racing-inspired design. Enhancing the dynamic performance, the MTM RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI strengthens the stopping power of the quattro driven wheels. Eight-piston Brembo brake calipers supplies firm, controlled vehicle deceleration of the super-tuned compact car.
A 15-hour procedure, the conversion to the MTM RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI costs 10,600 euros (equal to about $14,180 US) in addition to the stock Audi RS3 Sportback’s retail price.
Information source: Audi AG, MTM
Photo source: MTM