The Audi Sport quattro

Audi Sport quattroAudi quattro … the name and the car dominated the world rally scene for years. The first Sport quattro appeared in 1983 and with 225 kW of power and four-wheel drive there was nothing that stood in its way.

An Audi Sport quattro even conquered Pike’s Peak in 1987.

Since then Audi have moved on to other things and the Sport quattro has faded into history but now Audi have revived the name with a stunning plug-in hybrid drive coupe that produces more than twice the power of the old Sports quattro.

The body
The original Audi Sports quattro was a boxy short-wheel based little monster that was definitely eye-catching for its time. Back in those days the box was THE design but of course these days the box is so dated s to be almost quaint so while Audi may have revived the Sports quattro name they certainly haven’t revived the design.

The box has been replaced by a sleek low-slung design that is just as eye-catching as the original Sport quattro. This concept in 4,602mm long, 1,964mm wide and 1,386mm high. It has a wheelbase of 2,784mm.

A feature of the Audi Sport quattro concept are the headlights that feature Audi’s new Matrix LED technology. This technology uses individual LEDs working in tandem with lenses and reflectors to always deliver the right amount of illumination.

The door handles on the quattro concept are also interesting. They sit flush with the door but extend when … as Audi puts it …”a hand approaches”.

The passenger cell combines high-strength steel panels and cast aluminium for structural elements while the other panels are made from either carbon fibre-reinforced polymer or aluminium.


The engine
The Audi Sport quattro features a plujg-in hybrid drive that produces 515 kW of power and 800 Nm of torque. All that power is transferred to the rear wheels via a 8-speed tiptronic auto transmission and a sports diff.

Audi suggests that fuel consumption for this vehicle will be around 2.5L/100km which is rather amazing considering that the combustion engine in this vehicle is a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.

However that engine is fitted with a cylinder on demand system that shuts down four of the eight cylinders when the load on the engine does not require full power and there is also a stop-start system that shuts the engine down completely when the vehicle is stopped in traffic or at lights.

And located between the V8 and the transmission is a 110 kW electric motor that is charged from a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that will give the Sport quattro range of 50km running only on electric power.

Drivers have the ability to choose between three different modes … electric, hybrid and sports. In sports mode the car operates on the combustion engine alone.

When both the electric motor and the V8 combustion engine are configured to operate together in hybrid mode the Audi Sports quattro lives up to the image that goes with the name and can hit 100kmh from a standing start in just 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 305kmh.


The interior
The interior of the car is all about the driver and all important instruments and displays are all clearly visible and some of the information can also be shown as virtual 3D displays

Perhaps too much has been done to simplify the dashboard. Just look at all the controls that are now located on the steering wheel and think about how you would handle that at high speed or in heavy traffic.

The bottom line
Will we see the Audi Sports quattro concept go into production? We just might because there’s not a lot of technology in this car that’s ground-breaking … the headlight technology is reportedly going to appear in the coming mid-life upgrade to the Audi A8 … so perhaps next year or the year after we’ll see the Audi Sport quattro name appear on a production model once again.


By | December 4th, 2013|Audi, Featured|0 Comments

Audi Urban Concept

It looks as though someone has taken the Mini off steroids and squashed it onto an F1 chassis and decided that it would work in an urban environment

That’s the new Audi Urban Concept … a car where lightweight construction is everything anything deemed to be unnecessary weight has been tossed out.

The 21 inch wheels are free-standing and surrounded by protective plates that feature blinking strips of LED light.

It seats two but it’s not the sort of car you would want to take your girlfriend out in it.

If you want to get into the Audi Urban Concept you slide the roof back and the steering wheel and foot controls can be adjusted to each driver’s body measurements.

The cockpit is made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer and the seat mounts are integrated into it.

Two electric motors propel the car and they’re powered by a lithium-ion battery. Audi doesn’t actually say where that battery is but this car looks so futuristic that the designer could have incorporated it into the seats.

By | August 11th, 2011|Audi|Comments Off on Audi Urban Concept

The Audi Q3 Compact SUV

audi-q3The compact SUV market is growing in leaps and bounds and vehicles at the lower end of the market seem to be selling before they even reach the showroom floor.

At the upper end of the market there hasn’t been much in the way of competition for the BMW X1 but Audi could be about to change all that next year because that’s when the Audi Q3 reaches Australia. As you would expect from Audi, the Q3 has the looks and everything else it needs to make a splash in the compact SUV market.

The Audi Q3 is just 4.39 metres long, 1.83 metres wide and 1.60 metres tall and in Europe it will be sold in two versions. The Q3 weights just 1,500kg and to keep the weight down Audi has aluminium for the bonnet and tailgate.

The entry-level model is known as the Q3 and the fully optioned model is the Q3 S-Line. Of course the entry-level model can be upgraded with numerous options to suit individual buyers requirements.


The engine
The Audi Q3 that will be sold in Europe comes with a choice of four engines … two diesel and two petrol. All four engines will have a displacement of 2.0-litres and come with direct fuel injection, a turbo charger, start-stop system and an energy recovery system.

The 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engines fitted to the Q3 produce 125kW and 155kW and the more powerful petrol engine will take the Q3 from a standing start to 100km/h in just 6.9 seconds. The less powerful petrol engine will come with a six-speed manual transmission fitted as standard while a seven-speed auto transmission will be standard with the more powerful engine.

The 2.0-litre TDI engines will produce 130kW and 155kW of power. The less powerful diesel engine will come with the six-speed manual transmission as standard while the 155kW diesel will have the seven-speed auto box as standard. Audi plans on releasing the 130kW diesel some time after the debut of the Q3 fitted with the other three engines.

The two petrol engines and the 155kW diesel will be paired with quattro permanent all-wheel drive while Q3 models fitted with less powerful diesel engine will be front-wheel drive only. In this guise Audi claims fuel consumption figures of just 5.2L/100km.


The chassis
The Audi Q3 will sit on a chassis that features four-link rear suspension and the ride should be everything you would expect from an Audi. Straight from the factory the Q3 will ride on 16-inch rims for the 125kW petrol and 130kW diesel versions and 17 inch rims for the 155kW petrol and diesel versions.

The interior features quality inclusions in five different color concepts. Buyers have the choice of three different fabric designs and three different leather designs for the upholstery and there are four optional inlays.

The fully optioned S Line sports package offers an additional inlay and in Audi’s words “bathes the entire interior in a cool black color.


For the driver there’s user-friendly controls and easy to read instruments as well as numerous options including cruise control, an on-board computer with efficiency programme, an ambient lighting package, panoramic glass roof, storage package, sports seats, electrically adjustable seats that are also heated, xenon headlights with adaptive light technology and lots more.

Audi drive select is an option with all four engine types. This accesses the accelerator and steering in the manual versions and it also accesses the cruise control and transmission in those versions fitted with automatic transmission.

The drive select comes with four settings … comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency modes … that can be accessed by the driver. Each setting will alter the way the vehicle accelerates and handles as well as controlling the air conditioning and the cruise control

The space for luggage varies from 460 litres to 1,365 litres depending on whether the rear seats are in the upright or lowered position and towing capacity is 2.0 tonnes.


Safety features on the Q3 include an electronic stabilization programme that can also stabilize a trailer if you’re towing one, side assist radar that will warn you if the lane you’re moving into already contains a vehicle you might hit and active lane assist that will automatically adjust the steering if the driver begins to wander into an adjacent lane.

There are also five different systems to help drivers park the Q3.

Perhaps not so safe is an innovation that will be fitted to the automatic versions of the Q3 that will disengage the clutch when the driver has selected the efficiency mode and when the Q3 is coasting. That means that the vehicle will then be able allow it to free wheel and any engine braking will be cut out. It might save some fuel but I’m not sure I would be comfortable having something like that occur whenever I took my foot off the accelerator.

The Audi Q3 will be produced at the Audi factory in Spain and it will go on sale in Europe in June. Here in Australia we will have to wait till some time in the first half of 2012.

The Audi Q3 S Line

By | April 21st, 2011|Audi|Comments Off on The Audi Q3 Compact SUV

Audi A8 L

audi-a8It you thought that the Audi A8 was going to be the top of the range for this premium car maker then you may need to look again because the Audi A8 L is here and it takes luxury to a new level. Audi like to think of the A8 L as a step up to flying first-class and when you look inside they just could be right.

13cm has been added to the length and wheelbase of the Auid A8 L and all of it has been given to rear-passenger comfort and amenity, the A8 L.

The engine
The A8 L comes with the choice of three engines two of which are diesel

The 4.2 FSI direct-injection petrol V8, 4.2 TDI diesel V8 and 3.0 TDI diesel V6 engines are all mated to an 8-speed tiptronic transmissionthat helps to deliver fuel consumption as low as 6.6 litres per 100km for the 3.0 TDI.


All three Audi A8 L models feature Audi’s permanent all-wheel-drive quattro technology. quattro technology automatically adjusts the distribution of drive across all four wheels to ensure optimum traction and dynamic handling.

Fuel consumption has been significantly reduced across the A8 L range compared to its predecessor and yet performance has been improved. The 3.0 TDI V6 features fuel-saving Start-Stop technology, but adds another 13 kW to its power output and delivers an additional 100 Nm of torque for a total of 550 Nm. The 4.2 FSI direct-injection petrol V8 delivers 273 kW of power and 445 Nm of torque whilst reducing fuel consumption by 11 percent. The V8 4.2 TDI makes the most of its 258 kW and prodigious 800 Nm to rocket from 0-100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

The interior
While Audi knows that the mechanical specs of the A8 L is impressive it’s the interior they feel that has the most attraction for buyers.

Front seat occupants enjoy 22-way powered comfort seats, whilst the standard configuration of the rear compartment features ample stretch-out room with a three-seat arrangement that emphasises the comfort of the two outer positions. This standard rear arrangement also provides a fold-down console that contains four-zone air conditioning and houses the controls for an optional rear seat entertainment package that includes analogue and digital TV reception.

The optional rear seat set up

The optional rear seat set up

All A8 L models feature rear vanity mirrors, power rear and side window blinds, heated seats, a handset for the Bluetooth connected car phone and there an optional panorama twin-sunroof extending over the rear passenger area is aslso available.

If the standard rear seat set up in the Audi 8 L isn’t quite what you want then there is an optional rear seat package that offers two individual rear seats, with a continuous centre console housing the rear compartment controls and a power adjustable foot-rest on the back of the front seats. When combined with the ambient lighting package standard on the V8 models the effect is one of providing the occupants with supreme luxury and comfort even whilst travelling long distances at speed.

Audi Australia is also offering the A8 L models, as with all A8s, with the option of Guaranteed Future Value financing for 36 or 48 months, allowing for up to 20,000kms per year and a preferential finance rate of 5.5%.

Australian pricing and specification for the Audi A8 L will be announced closer to launch in the first quarter of 2011 … expect it to be expensive.


By | October 26th, 2010|Audi|Comments Off on Audi A8 L

One Million Audis Sold in China

audi-chinese-assembly-plantAudi started in China 22 years ago … the first premium car maker to venture into what has become such an important market place … and last week the hit an amazing landmark in a country that we so often think of as being rather poor. On October 20 a metallic blue Q5 was handed over to its proud owner and that vehicle marked one million sales for Audi in China.

Of the cars delivered to customers, 950,000 were produced at Audi’s plant in Changchun and the remaining 50,000 were imported. To date, no other carmaker in the premium segment has managed to sell over a million cars in the Chinese market.

This year also marks another record for Audi in China. In the first nine months of 2010, Audi delivered some 175,000 units in China and Hong Kong, also a new record.

“Over the entire year, we will deliver well over 200,000 cars to customers in China,” predicted Dr. Dietmar Voggenreiter, President of Audi China. “And we have already set our sights firmly on the next sales target: we intend to reach the second million within the next three years.”

By | October 25th, 2010|Audi|2 Comments

Audi R8 GT

audi-r8-gtThe Audi R8 GT is a limited production version of the Audi R8 and it’s lighter, faster and more powerful than the standard R8. It’s powered by the same 5.2-litre V10 that powers the R8 but this one produces 412kW and will push the car from zero to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 320km/h.

Audi have reduced the weight of the R8 GT by around 100kg and that’s quite a feat when you consider that the standard R8 was a lightweight car where even the weight of the engine frame was kept to a minimum by the use of ultra-lightweight magnesium.

To reduce an already lightweight design by 100kg Audi engineers opted for thinner glass for the windshield, polycarbonate was used for the bulkhead between the passenger cell and the engine compartment, thinner sheet aluminum with additional cutouts was used for the engine cover and the cover over the luggage compartment.

The long rear hatch is made of plastic reinforced with carbon fibre as are the rear bumper and side blades. The weight of the power brake system has been reduced as have the aluminum caps on the brake disks and Audi’s engineers have even managed to shave over 9kg from the battery.

New lightweight carpeting has been used in the interior, glass-reinforced plastic has been used for the seat chassis’ and lighter higher-grade steel has been used in the exhaust tailpipes.


The engine
Imagine doing zero to 200km/h in 10.8 seconds … that’s twice as fast as some Asian pretend sports cars and that’s how the Audi R8 GT travels.

While the body is handmade in Germany the engine is handmade in Hungary and it produces 26kW more than the standard R8 engine. Peak torque comes in at 6,500rpm and the redline is hit at 8,700rpm. The power to weight ratio is 3.70kg per kW (2.72kg per horsepower).

The engine is normally aspirated and despite all that power it will return an average fuel consumption of 13.7L/100km.

The transmission
Gear changes in the R8 GT are handled by the R tronic sequential manual transmission. The electrohydraulic clutch and switching unit receive their commands electronically. It changes its six gears much faster than a skilled driver could – within a tenth of a second at high load and engine speed.

The electronic management system offers an automatic mode with the Sport and Normal characteristics, and two manual levels. It is controlled using the short gear selector lever on the center tunnel and two paddles on the steering wheel. Maximum thrust when starting is ensured by Launch Control – a program that manages full acceleration with high engine speed and minimum wheel slip when starting.


Comfort and fittings
The Audi R8 GT comes with an automatic climate control system, power windows, a navigation system and a 465 watt, ten-channel Bang & Olufson sound system. The steering wheel, roof posts, knee pad, hand brake and bucket seats are all covered in leather while the door liners, bulkhead, dashboard and instrument cowl are all covered in a synthetic sharkskin-look material.

If you really want to brand your car then you’ll be sure to opt for the embroided “R8 GT” logo on the seats.


You want to go racing?
A race package is available. It includes a bolt-in roll bar that comes in either red or black, four-point seat belts in red or black (winners have got to be colour co-ordinated you know), a fire extinguisher and a kill switch for the battery.

The bottom line
If you want one of these stunning machines you’ll be pleased to know that it really is quite affordable … well a lot more affordable than the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. The Audi R8 GT is selling in Germany for a tad over $276,000 at today’s exchange rate.

By | May 3rd, 2010|Audi|1 Comment

The Audi A1 – a Compact From Audi

audi-a1If you like the adrenalin rush that comes when you put your foot to the floor and the acceleration pushes back into the seat then you’ve probably thought that most of the current crop of compacts are a fairly drearly lot … but the new Audi A1 mighjt just change your mind.

While this is a compact that’s designed for city drivers it’s also got the get-up-and-go to keep some of those who want to feel an adrenalin rush satisfied too. And if you like your fuel consumption to be recorded in single digits then the Audi A1 will keep you happy too.

Depending on the engine that you choose for your Audi A1 you’ll get between 3.8l/100km and 5.4l/100km thanks to an automatic start-stop system, a temperature management system and an optional seven-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission.


The Audi A1 will come with your choice of two diesel engines and two petrol engines (all with turbo charging and direct fuel injection) and a choice of two trim levels that include all the bluetooth intergration, and LED fibreoptic technology you could wish for.

That all adds up to a rather stylish package that should sell well. It might even sell well in Australia if we get a straight price swap on the exchange rate. The base-level Audi A1 is expected to go on sale in Europe for around 16,000 euros and at today’s exchange rate that’s around $A25,000.


An Audi … for $25,000 would be hard to resist.


By | February 11th, 2010|Audi, News|Comments Off on The Audi A1 – a Compact From Audi

Car Sales – Is the Recession Over?

audi-tt-rsOf course here in Australia we never really had a recession although most people in the car industry are sure we did and it’s easy to see where they’re coming from when you look at the way car sales fell during 2009.

In other parts of the world there was just no doubt … there was a recession and we all know what that meant for many car makers.

But now … if the sale of new high-end vehicles is anything to go by … the recession is well and truly over and you need to look no further than Audi’s January sale figures for proof.

In January Audi sold 77,800 new cars worldwide … an increase of 39 percent on the same time last year. China was Audi’s shining star with 16,798 new vehicles sold … an increase of 114.9 percent on the same time last year.

In the United Kingdom Audi sold 9,004 new vehicles … an increase of 42.9 percent and even in the poor struggling United States Audi was able to lift its sales figures by 37.9 percent compared to the same time last year.

Understandably Audi is now expecting “a strong first quarter in 2010.”

Going on those figures I guess it’s safe to say that the recession is over … at least for now.

By | February 9th, 2010|Audi, News|Comments Off on Car Sales – Is the Recession Over?

Audi A5 Sportback

audi-a5-sportbackOver the years Audi has become known for it’s fine sports cars and it’s no wonder that even in the tough economic times we’ve faced over the last 18 months or so Audi has managed to increase it’s Australian sales figures.

Now with the Audi A5 Sportback … the third variant in the Audi A5 range … there’s sure to be even more interest in this exclusive German brand.

The Audi A5 Sportback is a five-door coupe that comes with a range of TDI and FSI engines and, while a starting price of $78,000* for the 2.0-litre TFSI and $89,000* for the 3.0-litre TDI model, isn’t going to suit everyone’s budget, this is a vehicle that plenty of people will be looking at and Audi expects it to be their volume-selling model in the A5 range.

Side view of the Audi A5 Sportback

The body
The design of the Audi A5 Sportback features four frameless doors, a large tailgate and a large luggage area as well. Its flowing lines give the A5 Sportback a drag coefficient of just 0.29 for the four-cylinder models.

The body itself is a combination of hot-shaped steel and aluminium and features invisible joins between the side of the car and the roof.

The interior
The Audi A5 Sportback is designed as a four-seater and the seats that come standard in the vehicle can be replaced with optional sports seats with large side bolsters, extendable thigh rests and adjustable lumber support.

The driver's controls for the new Audi A5 Sportback

The front seats offer their own individual climate control with small fans with an automatic heating function ensure that the driver and passenger are kept comfortable.

The rear seats in the Audi A5 Sportback

All seats come with leather upholstery fitted as standard but you can upgrade to Valcona leather as an option.

The luggage compartment features a low lip and in normal configuration has 480 litres of storage space. If you fold the rear seats down the storage capacity increased to 980 litres.

The engines
Initially the Audi A5 Sportback will only be available with one petrol and one diesel engine.

The diesel is a 3.0-litre V6 TDI that is definitely state of the art. Its crankcase is made of vermicular graphite cast iron, a sophisticated type of cast iron that is particularly lightweight and strong.

A bundle of complex measures improve efficiency by reducing the internal friction of the crankshaft drive. The V6 TDI unit also features variable geometry turbochargers, common rail piezo injection systems and a high-performance exhaust gas recirculation system.

Power is delivered to all four wheels via a seven-speed S tronic gearbox and this combination produces 176kW of power and 500Nm of torque and will take the diesel A5 Sportback from 0-100km/h in just 6.1 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 247km/h.

The average fuel economy for the 3.0-litre TDI is 6.6L/100km.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine features an adjustable intake cam shaft and two balance shafts for low-vibration operation as well as advanced fuel injection technology.

The Audi A5 Sportback 2.0-litre TFSI produces 155kW of power and 350Nm of torque and powers all wheels via the same gearbox that comes with the diesel version. This combination will take the five-door couple from 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds and give a top speed of 241km/h.

The average fuel economy for the 2.0-litre TFSI is 7.5L/100km

The rear of the new Audi A5 Sportback

Safety and creature comforts
The Audi A5 Sportback comes with eight airbags, three-zone air conditioning with sun sensor, concert sound system, Xenon Plus headlights, cruise control and a whole lot more.

A full list of the A5 Sportback’s standard equipment appears below.

The Audi A5 Sportback variant will go on sale in Australia in February. You’ll need to contact your Audi dealer for the full on-road price

Full List of Standard Features
– 4 frameless doors
– Large tailgate
– 8 airbags – Full-size airbag for driver and front passenger, with seat position sensors, adaptive airbag for driver and front passenger; side airbags (thorax-pelvis airbag at the front); head airbag system
– Alloys wheels – 17” 6-arm design for 2.0 TFSI and 18” 10 spoke design for 3.0 TDI
– Exterior mirrors of new design
– 6.5-inch colour screen
– Audi music interface
– Electric front and rear windows
– Electromechanical parking brake
– 3 zone Automatic air conditioning, with sun sensor
– Concert sound system with single-disc CD player
– Servotronic – power steering, speed-dependent
– Multifunction, leather-covered sports steering wheel
– ESP with electronic front axle differential lock (for front-wheel drive)
– quattro with sports differential
– S tronic transmission (standard on quattro variants)
– Bluetooth mobile phone prep
– Full keyless entry and start function
– Audi Parking system, rear only for 2.0TFSI
– Audi Parking system, front and rear for 3.0 TDI
– Xenon Plus headlights with LED daytime driving lights
– Cruise control
– Front centre armrest
– Interior lighting package
– Electric front seats with 4-way lumbar support
– Milano leather seats
– Split-folding rear seats

* All prices quoted in this article are manufacturer’s list price and do not include statutory and dealer-delivery charges.

By | January 13th, 2010|Audi|1 Comment

Audi Sales Up By 20% in 2009

audi-tt-rsDespite the fact that we weren’t really in a recession there’s no doubt that 2009 was a difficult year for just about everyone … perhaps with the exception of Audi.

In a difficult year Audi managed to increase their sales of luxury cars by 20 percent … 1,900 vehicles more than 2008 and that was a record year for sales too

Now it’s 5th record year, the company began 2009 with a plan of 10,000+ units, however this milestone was achieved on 27 November 2009 with the sale of an Audi Q5 in Brisbane – the 10,000th vehicle to be sold in Australia.

The company exceeded its planned sales target for every major model line, and equally as important, has finished the year with profitable growth.

Since 2004, Audi has achieved growth of 30 percent in 2005 (compared with 2004), 20 percent growth in 2006, 25 percent in 2007, 30 percent in 2008 and now 20 percent growth in 2009.

In that time, sales have tripled from 3,700 units (2004 result) and market share has also increased threefold from 0.5 percent to 1.6 percent (according to VFACTS total passenger and SUV sales YTD Nov 2009).

Audi’s managing director, Joerg Hofmann, who leaves the company in January, says he is extremely proud of the result, and of his team, who have now achieved 60 months of consecutive records since 2004.

“We set ourselves a goal for 2009 of 10,000+ units, but as we got closer to the end of the year, we knew that we would actually reach over 11,000 units thanks to the growing momentum of Audi in this country,” Mr Hofmann said.

“Our 2009 success was due to our clear growth strategy, strong direction, focused team and very supportive dealer network who have collectively invested around $90 million dollars in facilities this year alone.

By | January 6th, 2010|Audi, News|2 Comments

Audi Q7

Audi’s latest entrant in the luxury high-performance Sports Utility Vehicle market is the Q7.

Audi Q7

It’s not yet available in Australia but it certainly is on the market in the US and Audi are offering road tests to some unusual people. Not only are they providing vehicles for motoring journalists but they even provided one to Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist, who took the time to provide an comprehensive and even humourous report on his blog.

You can read it here at Automotive review: Audi Q7 and it is well worth reading.

By | May 7th, 2006|Audi|2 Comments