The EURO NCAP is a serious batch of crash tests that go on in Europe. They’re just as stringent, if not more so, than the tests that are done here in the states, but they’re looking at some different vehicles in the process. In order for vehicles to sell well in Europe, especially luxury vehicles, they need to perform well in the NCAP crash tests. That’s something that the latest Audi Q5 did with ease.
The Q5 Receives a Top NCAP Rating
The Q5 received 5 stars on the NCAP crash tests, the highest rating that you can get for tests of this type. The final score the vehicle received was a 93% for adult occupant protection. That’s a major boost up from the 89% that sedans based on the same platform received. This shows that if you want the safest Audi that you can get, you want to go with the SUV if you can.
About Euro NCAP
Euro NCAP has been putting out their own tests since 1997 and have been looking at test results carefully to help pick out the safest and least safe vehicles out on the road ever since. Their tests are regarded highly by automotive experts, and taking a top score is an impressive feat that helps set the Q5 apart as a solid safety vehicle.
How the Tests Work
During testing the Audi vehicle was smashes from all sides to look at how it held up to serious pressure. The results of all these crashes and smashes are monitored closely. Electronic crash test dummies fitted into the seats of the vehicle make it clear how the vehicle did on the test. A set of crash avoidance tests were put out too, showing that the Q5 is capable of avoiding collisions with other vehicles as well as pedestrians.
There are plenty of vehicles on the market today that talk about being safe, but it’s more important to look at test results and crash reports than to take the word of a company about how safe it is. That’s why the test results for the Q5 are important, and why more buyers that are interested in safety should take a close look at the Q5.
In most other countries station wagons are more popular than sedans or coupes. They offer similar performance while offering more storage space. Sure they aren’t the sexiest of vehicles most of the time, but they are highly practical and make for more efficient living. Well Audi has been selling station wagons for a few years now, and the automaker is really pushing the S5 sportback. Audi is pushing the wagon so much that it’s actually giving buyers a discount for choosing the S5 sportback over the coupe version of the vehicle.
The discount isn’t a significant one, but essentially when you go for the Sportback version you’ll save $200. It’s hard to decide if this is Audi’s way of just encouraging more people to try out a version of the vehicle that isn’t as popular, or if this is how Audi is moving some inventory that it doesn’t expect to sell as well. Either way, you’re getting more car for less money, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the things that you love from the S5 in this vehicle too.
When you opt for the S5 Sportback you’ll get two additional doors as well as more storage space at the rear of the vehicle. Handling characteristics are very similar and so are fuel efficiency figures. That means you can have the same amount of fun with this vehicle, you will just be able to bring more things along for the ride as you do it. That’s a pretty compelling reason to upsize to the Sportback, rather than settling for the standard coupe.
No Manual Transmission
The one downside to picking up the S5 sportback over the coupe is that you won’t be able to get yourself a manual transmission in the process. The car is only available with the automatic, so if you want to shift yourself you’ll have to go with the sedan or coupe instead, which is real shame for enthusiasts looking for that experience.
The S5 Sportback comes packed with a 3.0 liter V6 that’s attached to an eight-speed auto tranny and it can blaze from 0 to 60 in just 4.5 seconds. That’s some serious power and should make for a exciting station wagon experience.
If you are in the market for a station wagon with some serious teeth, you’ll want to check out the Audi S5 sportback. It offers all the best characteristics of the coupe, other than the look of course, as well as some added space for all your goodies.
The 2017 Audi A4 Allroad is an SUV version of the Audi A4 wagon and it’s a darned good option for drivers that want a mix of power, luxury and practicality. It’s a blast to drive, it comes with all the luxury features you would expect, and it looks pretty good too. Sure it’s not actually a wagon, for fans that are dying for an Audi wagon, but it’s the closest you’ll get in the U.S. and it’s basically the same vehicle as the wagon sold over in Europe.
Cargo Room to Spare
Let’s face it, if you’re planning on buying this mini SUV over a more sporty sedan, you’re probably interested in cargo space and what sorts of things you can store in the back. You’ll have no trouble slipping in camping gear, groceries, a stroller, or just about anything else that you can think of. There’s a nice covered cargo area that’s designed for easy access and the space at the rear of the vehicle is impressively large for the size of the thing.
Switch to Just the Right Drive Mode
While operating this A4 SUV you have a few different drive modes to choose from, and the impressive thing with these modes is that you’ll notice very distinct differences as you switch from one to the other. The two main drive modes that you’ll use are comfort and dynamic. Comfort allows you to glide over the road without feeling its imperfections. Dynamic forces you to feel every little bump and bruise on the road and really gives you improved control over the vehicle. Flipping from comfort to dynamic is like hopping from one vehicle to another. Performance is that vastly different, and that’s pretty impressive.
Powerful and Fun
With a total of 252 HP this little SUV packs a punch. 0 to 60 takes about 6 seconds, and you’ll find yourself moving faster than expected in this vehicle. The dual-clutch is smooth and responsive and accelerating is mostly enjoyable.
Finally I have to take a moment to talk about the interior of the vehicle and all that it has to offer. It’s outfitted with leather and wood and black. It’s soft to the touch, sophisticated to look at, and it fits right in with the other Audi vehicles sold today. If you’re looking for a vehicle that will impress on the inside, this one is it.
Audi fans will love the look and feel of the A4 Allroad, but they’ll have more storage than most other Audi drivers out on the road, which is really nice most of the time.
Audi enthusiasts were thrilled when they found out that the Audi RS3 Sport was going to make it to the United States, but there’s a hatchback version of the sports car that will likely never make it over to the states. That’s a huge disappointment because it comes with all the capabilities of the RS3, just with enhanced interior space for storage and seating. It’s the ultimate combination of utility and performance for a really exciting ride.
The Same Power
Just like the RS3, the RS3 Sportback comes with a 2.5 liter engine with 400 HP. It travels from 0 to 62 in a stunning 4.1 seconds, and tops out at up to 174 MPH if you get the option to increase the top speed. It’s an exciting speed machine that’s fit for use on a track.
This sports car comes with more performance-focused bucket seats up front, but it’s outfitted like an upscale luxury model, which is expected of an Audi vehicle. The interior has a clean look, top-notch media setup, and quality interior materials that give the vehicle a beautiful look. The seats are wrapped in black Nappa Leather, and there’s a virtual cockpit where the gauges once were. There’s even a special RS screen that shows off the tire pressure and the overall torque output as well as the g-forces of the vehicle as you whip around a track or any other course.
Enhanced Storage and Interior Space
While the RS3 wasn’t exactly tiny, the RS3 Sportback is outright roomy. It’s equipped with a large hatch that opens up wide to accept a range of bags and other items for storage purposes. The hatchback is exciting to drive, and it comes with all the features that you would expect of an Audi, just with more space to make use of.
The Audi RS3 Sportback looks to be a phenomenal vehicle, it’s a shame that it isn’t going to be offered in the US. It has a lot of potential and would be worth a serious look for anyone wanting power and storage all in one.
Audi has made a name for itself out of creating beautiful vehicles that perform beautifully, and the 2017 Audi A6 fits right into that mold. It responds nicely, has plenty of power, looks gorgeous and has more than enough features to satisfy most drivers. Read on for a more detailed look at the different features.
It’s expected that Audi vehicles will look luxurious and beautiful within, and the 2017 A6 doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The seats are coated with a supple leather, the interior is coated with beautiful walnut wood, the rear seat is nice and spacious for a few adults or three children to lounge, and the interior has the nice clean look that Audi enthusiasts love. Overall it’s obvious that you’re in a luxury vehicle while inside the A6, which is just what I like to see.
Audi’s are always styled nicely on the outside, but they are generally quite reserved. The A6 comes with standard 18-inch wheels but the Sport package will push those wheels up to a more impressive 19-inch construction. The car shows off smooth lines with just enough aggressive creases to give it a sporty look. The car comes standard with LED taillights and Xenon headlights.
Sure the car looks nice, but what stood out most during the testing was all the power that the vehicle offers. It’s packed to the brim with raw power and energy, and it offers it up so smoothly that you won’t feel the need to hold back at all. That means you can slam down on the gas and make full use of all 252 HP that the car comes with. The 4-cylinder turbo engine is efficient, and you’ll transition from low power to high up thanks to the silky 8-speed transmission. If the standard power isn’t enough for you, there’s also an option to bump it up to a V6 with 333 HP or you can go nuts with a 450 HP V8, but I was impressed with the performance of the base engine option. The car comes with a variety of drive select modes, allowing you to tune performance for speed or efficiency. IT can travel from 0 to 60 in about 6 seconds with the base engine, which is more than fast enough for most people.
Cool Safety Tech
Audi isn’t Audi without at least a few fancy tech features, and this car comes with its fair share of them. It has a Five star overall crash and safety rating thanks to a very complex airbag system that includes protection at the sides and front of the vehicle. The seats feature the LATCH system in the rear, and there’s a bunch of cool safety features in the Driver Assistance package.
If you opt for the package you’ll enjoy Lane Assist, that lets you know when you leave your lane. There’s also an Adaptive Cruise control feature that will help you remain at speed with the cars ahead of you so that you don’t have to shut off cruise when someone slows down. There’s even a high beam assistant and a top view camera that comes with distance sensors for easy driving in tight quarters. Overall the 2017 Audi A6 is very capable when it comes to safety features.
If you are looking for a mid-sized sedan that packs power, comfort, beauty and tech features under one roof, the A6 is a good bet.
Not too long ago vinyl wraps were a popular way to customize vehicles. They made it easy to put your own designs onto a car and create some contrast to the standard look of the vehicle. Unfortunately those wraps wear out quickly and go from looking nice, to looking old and low quality. So by and large, vehicle customization, other than custom paint jobs, has gone away. That is until now. Audi figured out a way to create custom tattoos on vehicles. These tattoos are protected by the protective coating that keeps paint in good shape, unlike those vinyl wraps, and they are expected to be long-lasting and highly reliable.
How They Work
The tattoos are actually little abrasions on the surface of your vehicles clear coat. Audi puts a template over top of your vehicle in the spot you want the image to go and then applies a powder over the surface. The powder rubs away a tiny bit of the clear coat and leaves behind an image.
Adding Tattoos to Your Vehicle
While Audi has the process down, that doesn’t mean that you can customize any vehicle that you want to with a tattoo. Right now you can only customize the Audi R8 in this way, so you’ll have to be ready to pony up some serious cash in order to try this feature out. If you are planning on picking up an Audi R8, you’ll be able to add symbols right onto the side blades of the vehicle. Audi is willing to put anything you want there, as long as it doesn’t infringe on any copyrights in the process.
Coming to More of the Lineup
Even though this technology isn’t offered on most Audi vehicles just yet, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be in the future. Audi is very likely to begin offering these tattoos on more of its vehicles later on as the technology matures. So you may not be able to afford these modifications at the moment, but you’ll be able to take advantage of them sometime in the future.
So many automakers are going on record saying that autonomous driving is a long ways off. Toyota is one of those automakers that still believes fully autonomous vehicles are far off into the future, but that’s not what Audi says, and the automaker has been working with some cutting edge technology with its partnership with NVidia to develop autonomous vehicles capable of navigating in changing environments using deep learning technology.
A Car that Teaches Itself
Audi is working on a vehicle that’s going to teach itself to drive. This is known as “deep learning” artificial intelligence, and it’s where the vehicle will actually learn how to safely drive around roads and other obstacles without needing to be programmed and updated all the time. Essentially the car sees obstacles, navigates around them slowly and learns how to handle them more efficiently in the future.
Proof of Concept
In order to prove its concept Audi took a vehicle that knew nothing at all just a few days earlier, and had it drive itself around a test track. The vehicle was able to take a few difficult corners, and more impressively, it was able to navigate around a barrier that was put into its path during standard driving.
This model from Audi is very different from the self-driving vehicle that Google relied on years ago. It looks very similar to other Q7 models, and just relies on a single forward-facing camera in order to gauge the road and what is happening on it. The sheer simplicity of the system shows just how effective Audi’s deep learning technology can be.
Self Driving By 2020
Audi is confident that this technology can dramatically speed up the time that it’s going to take to get effective self-driving vehicles out onto the road. The automaker believes it will be able to release a mostly autonomous vehicle by 2020. If cameras and learning computers are fitted onto a large number of Audi vehicles in the future, the automaker could tap into a huge amount of driving data and probably increase the intelligence of its AI system for future use.
There’s no telling if Audi is right about being able to release an advanced vehicle by 2020, but if the automaker continues to work with NVidia and develop vehicles via deep learning, it’s hard to say what is possible.
Remember when we covered the new technology Audi was planning on releasing that allows drivers to see when lights are turning green? While that tech has gone from planned to existing on current vehicles. That’s right! If you pick up a modern Audi, there are some situations where you’ll be able to see when lights are going to change from red to green. This technology is still very limited and will only work in specific areas, but its exciting to see it start getting rolled out anyway.
Where it’s Available
The technology was tested out in Las Vegas first and now that it’s available on more widespread vehicles it’s still only working in Southern Nevada. That means you’ll have to pick a spot in that area to live if you’re truly interested in using the technology right now. If you’re fortunate enough to live in that area already, you could obtain this technology, but you’ll have to pay a small premium for it.
How it works
The Audi “Time to Green” feature actually taps into nearby traffic light timers and uses that information to let drivers know exactly when they can expect the light to change. The tool is highly accurate and makes driving much more enjoyable. There’s no more awkward wait for the light to change.
Getting the Service
If you live in southern Nevada and you decide you can’t live without the service, it’s actually pretty easy to obtain. You just have to pay for the Audi Connect Prime service. It’s $199 for six months of connectivity, and the tech comes along with a bunch of additional services as well. You’ll enjoy dozens of features overall, which should make driving around more enjoyable.
It’s Sure to Spread
It’s a bit sad that the technology is only available to such a small subset of people at the moment, but it’s not going to remain that way. With the success of this small trial run, the tech is sure to spread to other major cities around the country and then to the smaller rural locations as well. It’s just a matter of waiting for it to become more commonplace.
Audi recently showed just how innovative it can be as a company, by developing self-parking technology using scale model vehicles. Through the use of small self-powered cars, Audi is creating a computer system that can effectively handle parking a vehicle all on its own. That’s a pretty cool feature that most Audi owners will enjoy, but it also demonstrates a unique learning tool that can help shape the way that Audi develops new features in the future.
How the Vehicle Learns Self Parking
Audi has the 1:8 scale vehicle that’s outfitted with ultrasonic sensors and a series of cameras to collect data from its terrain. The system is also fitted with a central computer, that can collect information from those sensors. Essentially what happens is that the system gathers up all the information that it can from the outside environment, and it uses that information to make important decisions about how to park the vehicle. With all the information gathered up, it will park the car where it belongs.
In order to make sure that the parking technology works the way it is supposed to, Audi continually runs simulations and has the computer system gather more and more data about different situations. All these learning opportunities are making it possible for the automobile to learn how to effectively park itself with more skill.
Developing a Self Driving Vehicle
While this approach is currently just being used to develop a self-parking system for Audi vehicles, it could be used to help develop a self-driving car as well. The scale-model approach gives Audi lower cost test-subjects to make use of, and it allows the automaker to set up courses and situations more affordably. It’s a good way to at least start the learning process and work on developing autonomous features for Audi vehicles. Everything learned from the testing and research for the self-parking project can be applied to future driving projects as well, giving Audi a good head start toward more advanced features.
The automaker is very interested in automated driving and has been making major advancements toward autonomous vehicles. With that said, it shouldn’t be long before more advanced features like self-parking vehicles and self-driving cars make their way out to the general public. It’s programs like these that make that a possibility and give Audi the ability to run more tests, and to develop automotive intelligence more efficiently.
The 2017 Audi A4 is an interesting blend of poise and power. It has a posh exterior and that many will mistake for weakness. Once you hop inside this little sedan, the whole professional facade melts away and you see that there is much more to this power house of a sedan. It’s quick off the line, handles with powerful precision and is a blast to drive around. Here’s a full overview of the little sedan and why it should be on every professionals Christmas list this year.
A Professional Exterior
While a Corvette, a Lamborghini, a Viper are all showing off their sporty heritage right on the outside, the 2017 A4 is doing the exact opposite. It’s almost like Audi had the goal of building a potent “sleeper” car. This neutral-toned, simple styled A4 would look at home in the garage of any business executive. The A4 is lightly molded, gently creased and given just enough accents to have an upscale look while offering a timeless exterior that’s still going to look quite nice a decade from now. It’s a nice professional looking vehicle, but on the outside you would never guess that it’s a fast vehicle, or that it offers a fun ride. The fact is, the A4 exterior styling is so misleading that you’ll be amazed when you climb behind the wheel.
Technical Gadgetry and Gizmos
If you like your cars to be just as plain and standard inside as the 2017 A4 looks on the outside, the A4 isn’t the car for you. Once you climb inside the cab of this car it’s clear that the A4 is anything but dull. It’s jam-packed with bright screens, interesting controls and cool lighted accents that give it a futuristic look. It’s still clean looking and nicely styled, but nobody is going to be confused into thinking that it’s a classic once they climb inside.
The 2017 A4 comes with a highly capable media system and a revolutionary virtual cockpit that shows off apps, navigation and other systems nicely.
An Exhilarating Drive
There’s something special about driving the 2017 A4. It could be the precision controls you’re presented with, the high level of power that makes the little sedan feel like it’s literally gliding down the road, or the whisper quiet way that the engine operates, even under extreme pressure. It maintains startling composure during standard operation and shifts from gear to gear with a smooth little tick. The A4 does suffer from a slight amount of turbo lag, but it jumps from 0 to 60 in just 5.3 seconds and it’s a blast to drive around.
If you’re looking for a professional compact, that still knows how to have fun, the 2017 Audi A4 is the car for you. It’s a blast to drive around and it’s well worth taking a look at. Sure it isn’t flashy, but that’s why so many people choose to own one.