With Audi connect®, drivers can access the latest weather news, and now gas prices based on the currently location or destination. The application, Refuelling Stop, works by consulting an online database of the cheapest fuel stations either near the car’s current location or planned destination, or a freely selectable location. Drivers can then sort the list of fuel stations by price or distance.
Once a fuel station is selected, the location can be set as a destination via the car’s navigation system with the required route then mapped out. Audi says the system for the current A3 line-up even considers the specific type of fuel required by petrol and diesel-powered models.
Audi connect covers a range of applications that connects Audi vehicles to their owners, the internet, infrastructure as well as other vehicles, including online traffic information. The service requires Audi’s MMI (Multi Media Interface) Navigation plus and optional online Bluetooth phone connectivity or the full Audi connect option in A3 models.
Watch as the Audi’s engineers and factory drivers review some of the highlights of the new R8 V10 plus. Due to Audi Ultra lightweight technology, the car handles effortlessly. The Audi R8 V10 with S-tronic completes the standard sprint in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 197 mph. The ten-cylinder engine produces 550 horsepower and delivers 390.91 lb-ft of torque to the crankshaft at 6,500 rpm.
A few weeks ago, the all-new 2015 A3 and S3 sedans made their media debut prior to the start of the New York International Auto Show. The cars will make their official public debut at the Shanghai motor show on April 20th. It was also announced that the handsomely re-designed vehicles will arrive in North American showrooms early 2014.
With the 2015 A3, Audi is bringing back the sports sedan, giving buyers the option of a vehicle that has been redesigned with a precision that only Audi can deliver. In the following videos, Wolfgang Egger, head of Audi design, gives us an overview of some of the key design and technology features found in the all-new A3.
For many years, Audi has stood in the shadows among more prominent German luxury auto kingpins. But now, the car maker is poised to stand in the spotlight. Audi is running neck-and-neck with BMW AG for the crown of world’s top-selling luxury auto maker, thanks to surging U.S. sales.
According to a recent report, “Audi forecast increased sales world-wide this year—after outpacing Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz with 1.46 million cars sold globally last year—and said it remained on track to reach its target of more than two million in annual car sales by 2020. Though its 2012 net profit slipped 2% to €4.35 billion ($5.68 billion) due to new model investments and Europe’s dismal auto market, its 11% operating margin bested both BMW and Mercedes’s recent profitability.”
Six years ago, Audi trailed both of its German rivals in sales and cachet, and nowhere was that more evident than in the U.S. Since then, it has nearly doubled its U.S. model lineup and encouraged American Audi dealers to invest some $206 million in sleek and modern new showrooms in over the past three years. In addition, it has crafted an image as the upstart alternative to its snootier premium counterparts, tapping into a luxury ethos that has favored the high, yet minimalistic design typical of Audi.
“We have put a lot of work in recent years toward winning over the U.S.,” said Audi Chief Executive, Rupert Stadler. And the strategy seems to be paying off. World-wide Audi sales through the first month of 2013 are up nearly 10% to 221,800 units, just 400 units short of BMW. Much of Audi’s growth has been seen in the U.S., where sales have climbed 17% so far this year. Evidence is in its increasing share of the luxury-import car market which has doubled to 10.1% from 5.8% in 2006.
A few years ago, “when Audi announced its 2018 numbers, I rolled my eyes,” said Mike Sullivan, an Audi dealer in Torrance, Calif., who as the owner of 10 other dealerships had heard lofty sales goals from car makers before. But Audi is now within reach of a critical goal–boosting its annual U.S. sales by more than 40% to 200,000 units by 2018. Last year, nearly $24 million was spent to construct the new dealership that Audi Pacifc now calls home. The massive, glass-walled, 17-car showroom is the largest Audi dealership in the U.S. The previous showroom, which was built almost a decade ago, no longer fits “anywhere near where [Audi] was going.”
Elsewhere in the world, Audi is much more established. It is the largest luxury-car maker in China, thanks to its move to produce cars there in 2001, years before its rivals. In Europe, it also has become the top-selling luxury brand. Audi’s growth is key to its parent Volkswagen AG’s own ambitions to become the world’s largest car maker by 2018.
To reach its U.S. sales goal, Audi is breaking ground this year on its first North American plant in Mexico, where it will begin producing the popular Q5 sport-utility vehicle in 2016, primarily for the U.S. market. And just as critical, will be maintaining Audi’s edge with luxury-car buyers in their 20s, 30s, and early- to mid-40s. These buyers’ aesthetic preferences are shaped as much by Apple iPhones as high-performance cars, and many of them have been drawn to the understated lines of Audi’s design and details such as the cars’ high-tech multimedia systems.
Like Ed Wirtz, a 46-year-old Los Angeles-area insurance and investment adviser, many customers have flocked to Audi’s new luxury image. A longtime BMW loyalist, Mr. Wirtz instead bought an Audi S8 high-performance sedan a couple of weeks ago, drawn to its sporty look and feel despite its large size. Though still a BMW fan, “it just seems like it’s been around so much longer; it’s starting to feel the same,” he said. Audis, on the other hand, “now look faster, sleeker,” he added. “It looks like they’re going after a younger market, a younger executive.”
What drew you to your Audi? What would your next vehicle be? Share your stories with us.
Audi has released a number of images and plenty of details about the all-new 2014 RS Q3 ahead of its official debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. As the first-ever crossover from the marque with RS branding, this will be the fourth RS model to go on sale this year after the RS5 Cabriolet, RS6 Avant and the RS7, and while UK and Germany sales have been confirmed, there is no word as to whether we can expect this high-performance CUV to be available in the North America.
The 2014 Audi RS Q3 shares the same 2.5-liter turbocharged, direct-injection five-cylinder engine found in the TT RS and the RS3 Sportback, pumping out 310 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. This powerhouse of an engine is paired to Audi’s seven-speed S tronic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. Though it tips the scale at just over 3,800 lbs, performance is still impressive as the RS Q3 powers from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.5 seconds before topping out at 155 mph. Other highlights of the vehicle include a sport suspension that has been lowered by 25 millimeters, launch control and weight-saving front rotors with a wave-cut and cross-drilled design with massive eight-piston calipers.
If you saw the concept that was revealed in China last year, you’ll notice that the 2014 RS Q3 looks just as sporty as its spec sheet suggests. On the outside, the fascia gets massive air intakes with silver vertical accents, and similar to other recent RS models, the Quattro emblem is found across the lower air intake. Silver accents continue on the grille surround, mirror caps, roof rails and rear diffuser trim, and the oval exhaust outlets which is also common on other RS models.
On the inside, other signature RS elements are also present such as the flat-bottomed steering wheel, gray instrument gauges with red needles and upgraded accent trim like the standard piano black (or optional aluminum and carbon fiber) and sport seats highlighted by contrasting cross stitching.
Would you like to see the RS Q3 available in the U.S.? Let us know and check back for details from the live reveal early next month.
We have all come to recognize Audi’s unique and unmistakable headlight design on all of the brand’s model series. In each model, the light-intense diodes offer many new degrees of freedom in designing the inner life of the headlight and in lighting design, Audi is driving progress at a high tempo.
The headlights generate a light pattern that is unmistakable and in many cases achieves three-dimensional effects. Such impressive design features could only be realized by close cooperation between engineers and designers. Stephan Berlitz, Head of Development for Lighting Functions/Innovations at Audi, says: “We always find a way to perfectly harmonize technology and styling.” Cesar Muntada Roura of Audi Exterior Design explains, “It is our understanding of one another’s areas of competence that make us so strong.”
Xenon plus headlights are offered in all models of the Audi lineup, either as optional or standard equipment, and are gas discharge lamps. Two tungsten electrodes are fused in a quartz glass cylinder, known as the burner, and a concentrated light arc burns between. The xenon inert gas charge in the burner, which is pressurized up to 100 bar, gives off a slightly violet light, while metallic salts in the glass cylinder charge reduce its color temperature to the spectrum of daylight.
Xenon headlights provide a much brighter light and better illumination than halogen headlights with incandescent bulbs, their energy consumption is about 20 percent lower and they have much longer life. In xenon plus technology from Audi, a single burner generates both the low and high beam lights, and they are switched by a moveable shutter. Of course, all xenon headlights are mercury-free.
Audi is also far ahead of the competition in the area of LED headlights. This high-end technology was introduced in the R8 in 2008, and today it is being implemented all the way to the A3 model series. With a color temperature of around 5,500 Kelvin, the LED light resembles daylight, and this reduces eye fatigue. The light-emitting diodes are maintenance-free, designed to last the life of the vehicle, and are highly efficient. The low-beam light, for example, only consumes around 40 watts, which is five percent less than xenon plus units.
There are also a number of different adaptive lighting technologies available for the headlight system. One particular component of adaptive light is smoothed dynamic headlight leveling. A video camera is used to detect vehicles ahead and oncoming vehicles; then the control module adapts the car’s lighting to the distance to the other vehicles – via a soft transition that always maximizes the amount of illumination.
Then there’s the all-weather lighting system that illuminates the area in front of the car significantly better than with fog lights. In this technology, depending on the specific system installed, the function might be implemented by activating the static turning lights in addition to other lights. In addition, the xenon units may be swiveled downward, and the LEDs that are responsible for the low-beam light might be switched off or dimmed. The interplay of these actions results in reduced self-glare to the driver.
The link between the headlight control unit and Audi’s MMI Navigation plus system is a unique feature on Audi vehicles. As a result, the use of route data from the navigation system enables functions such as early activation of higher freeway lighting range as the vehicle is about to enter the freeway.
In updating its high-performance sports car, the R8, Audi introduced another innovation to production cars – a turn signal with dynamized display. It sends clearer signals to the environment than conventional turn signals. Today, the vehicle behind the car in traffic cannot determine whether a flashing light is a hazard light or a turn signal when the view of the vehicle ahead is partially blocked.
This technology from Audi – which is used in the taillights – makes the turn indicators smarter. When operated as turn signal flashers, their light always runs towards the side in the direction the driver wishes to turn. This function is implemented on each side by a band of 30 LEDs with seven segments that are sequentially activated every 150 milliseconds.
Audi is already developing tomorrow’s lighting technologies today, and four key trends are clearly discernible here: that Audi vehicle lighting will react even more precisely to conditions of the environment; it will communicate with it in a variety of ways and thereby further increase active safety; lighting of the future will feature full-electronic control; and it will be even more attractive and distinctive based on new dynamic functions.
As most of us look forward to this weekend’s NFL finale, Super Bowl XLVII, to watch the battle of the Harbaugh brothers as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens, many are also looking forward to the commercials.
Super Bowl advertisers, especially automakers, these days tend to release their commercials in the weeks before the big game. As a result, YouTube has been able to garner viewing statistics and have provided their top five list, which are all automakers.
Kaley Cuoco appears to have been a good investment for Toyota, as her ad for the all-new RAV4 has garnered the most YouTube views – six million and counting – among Super Bowl commercials so far. Second place goes to Mercedes-Benz, though not its actual Super Bowl commercial, but rather the teaser for it which is the one with Kate Upton and the car washing, which is up to 5.6 million views. Third place is Audi‘s Prom commercial (3.3M views), fourth goes to Volkswagen‘s slightly controversial Get In, Get Happy ad (3.3M views), and the fifth and final spot is bookended by the teaser video for Kaley Cuoco’s Toyota commercial (3.2M views).
Check ‘em out below and let us know which one is your favorite.
Anthony Faulk, product manager for Audi’s A6, A7, A8 and Q7, gives viewers an overview of the all-new 2014 Audi RS7 that made its debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Touted as the most powerful Audi sold, it is equipped with Audi’s latest generation V8 4.0T that produces 560 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Watch the following video to find out more about standard and optional equipment, as well as high performance features specifically designed for the 2014 Audi RS7 that make it unique, bringing high-performance to the high-end luxury segment.
In the past, Audi has been known to have a lukewarm attitude towards hybrid technology. As part of the Volkswagen group, the automaker has always championed diesel. Finally, in 2009, Wolfgang Hatz was quoted to have said that, “[Audi has] to do hybrids to show people that we are able to do them.”
The results will be tangible as soon as the 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid arrives in showrooms. Launched for sale in Europe in late 2011, the long awaited Q5 Hybrid is reportedly still on track for its local debut this fall. But hybrid technology isn’t new to Audi. Actually, the German automaker showed people that it was able to produce not only a hybrid, but a plug-in diesel hybrid back in 1997. The Audi Duo III, AKA A4 Duo, followed three previous Duo hybrid concepts dating back to 1989. The Duo III used a 1.9-liter TDI diesel engine and a 21 kW (28 horsepower) electric motor with a cabin switch to change between the engine and electric motor. Fuel economy wasn’t much improved compared to the standard 1.9-liter diesel, and coupled with a high price there were few buyers. Around 60-65 were produced.
Over the years, research and development have refined the hybrid technology and the results have positioned the Q5 Hybrid for success. Along with improved fuel economy the Q5 Hybrid comes fully equipped with a number of engineering, technology and performance enhancements. Based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which gives more weight to start-stop driving than the EPA test cycle does, combined fuel economy is said to be 34 mpg. Expect EPA estimates at around 25-26 mpg city/ 27-28 mpg highway and a combined rating in the neighborhood of 26-27 mpg. That’s a significant 5-6 mpg improvement over the four-cylinder gas-powered Q5. In comparison to other luxury sport utility and crossovers, the Q5 Hybrid bests the BMW ActiveHybrid X6, Mercedes ML 450 Hybrid 4Matic, Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid and is just shy of the Lexus 450h AWD.
The Q5 Hybrid will be Audi’s first hybrid vehicle on sale in North America. Powered by Audi’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged TFSI engine and mated to an electric motor along with an eight-speed transmission, total combined output is 245 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds flat before topping out at 138 mph which is impressive given its 4,400 lb curb weight.
Audi’s hybrid design allows the gas engine and electric motor to couple and decouple via a multiplate clutch, enabling the two powertrains to work independently or together in parallel fashion. The electric motor can drive exclusively for short distances and at speeds of up to 60 mph. However, it’s mostly used to aid the engine during high load situations, such as overtaking or driving up a hill.
The Q5 Hybrid is a testament to Audi’s focus on luxury and performance, while integrating steady fuel economy improvements. Now Audi drivers can have bragging rights that their new SUV is not only fast, but also uses a bit less fuel.
Fans were delighted with the announcement from Audi that the new RS 5 Cabriolet will go on sale in North America this spring as a 2014 model. Now, the rapid drop-top is set to make its debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show later this month. As the convertible version of the RS 5 that went on sale last year, it will deliver everything the coupe has to offer with the added freedom of open air driving.
Based on the regular A5 Cabriolet, the RS 5 underwent an extensive transformation at Audi quattro GmbH, before emerging as a serious track performer complete with a sledgehammer of a V-8 nestled under its hood. The engine alone is a marvel where the high-revving unit displaces 4.2 liters and delivers a peak of 450 horsepower at a lofty 8,250 rpm and 317 pound-feet of torque between 4,000 and 6,000 revs.
Matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive, the latter features a compact and lightweight crown-gear center differential that can vary the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles quickly and over a wide range–up to 70 percent to the front and up to 85 percent to the rear, as necessary. The default is a 40:60 front to rear split.
Even with the added weight, tipping the scales at over 4,400 pounds, the RS 5 Cabriolet still manages to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds and easily reaches its limited top speed of 174 mph.
To help reduce weight, the RS 5 Cabriolet is outfitted with a simple automated folding soft-top that takes up only 2.12 cubic feet of the 13.42 cubic feet trunk volume. The top spans over a well-appointed four-seat cabin and is quickly lowered in just under 15 seconds, even when driving at speeds of up to 31 mph. Special reinforcements contribute to the car’s high rigidity, and aluminum front fenders compensate for some of the added weight of the reinforcements.
On the inside, the standard sport seats up front have power adjustments, high side panels for optimal lateral support, integrated head restraints, a lumbar support and a pull-out thigh support. They are upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara or in the optional black or lunar silver Fine Nappa leather.
There is also a special Audi drive select feature, which enables the driver to vary the characteristics of the electric power steering, dual-clutch gearbox, throttle valves, and even the exhaust system sound flaps for improved dynamics. There are three different modes to choose from: Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. Cars equipped with Audi’s MMI navigation plus system has an additional mode, Individual, which allows custom settings.
Audi drive select also allows the driver to set the suspension settings. In the RS 5 Cabriolet, each pair of diagonally opposing shock absorbers is interconnected via hydraulic oil lines and a central valve; when cornering at speed, the system increases support of the spring-deflected front wheel at the outside of the curve. Audi drive select lets the driver adjust the severity of the system, once again on three different levels.
Continue to follow us as we bring you updates on the latest Audi news. Feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed as soon as the 2014 Audi RS 5 Cabriolet arrives in our showroom so that you can be the first to take it out for a drive!