Audi cars



LEDs Dominate The Conversation On The Audi E-Tron Sportback Concept

There’s a lot of them on the coupe-crossover concept

Most concept vehicles are largely created because the automaker wants to promote something for future production vehicles. That formula has been tried and tested so many years that it’s become normal for people like us to expect them. Such is the case with Audi’s new E-Tron Sportback Concept, which is actually promoting a lot of things, not the least of which is the company’s overarching electric crossover agenda. But there is one aspect about the E-Tron Sportback Concept that Audi really wants us to pay attention to. It’s the LED lights, and for what they’re all worth, there are a lot of them.

Audi hasn’t said exactly how many light emitting diodes the concept has at its disposal, but the front bumper alone has around 250 LEDs that extend from one end of the bumper to the other. More LEDs are located on either side of the grille, including Audi’s actual four rings logo. Yes, the Audi logo is made from LEDs, and that’s not even counting the number of LEDs that have been packed on both the headlights and taillights.

According to Audi, the LEDs were added to the concept to showcase different lighting patterns that we may or may not see in future production models. These patterns work to communicate with other cars on the road, which itself is a novelty that could find its way on a production model of the coupe-crossover concept should it get that far.

The smart money is to wait and see how the technology evolves from here on out. These many LEDs may look good on a concept, but the costs of packing all of them on a production model could determine whether they’re feasible or not. Make no mistake though, the visual appeal of all these lights on a concept is evident; the only question is whether Audi deems them reasonable enough to become fixtures – no pun intended – on its future models.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Audi E-Tron Sportback Concept Gets Totally Lit

Wait, we were talking about LED’s, what were you talking about?

Audi just dropped a new concept vehicle at this year’s Auto Shanghai show, offering us a glimpse at the brand’s potential upcoming high-tech SUV future. It’s called the e-tron Sportback, and to our eyes, it’s a weird amalgamation of SUV and lifted hatchback, with a self-described coupe-like roofline to boot. And of course, what futuristic concept would be complete without an all-electric powertrain, geometric shapes, and surplus of advanced lighting elements?

The Audi e-tron Sportback certainly has a lot of lighting – check out the attached video to see what I’m talking about. The brand says it included matrix LEDs from front to rear, with two light fields in the fascia sporting roughly 250 LEDs a piece to create all kinds of signals and graphics. Basically, it’s a light show of “animated movements and signatures,” offering features like a welcome signal when the car is started or the doors are opened.

The lights are also practical, offering enhanced safety with daytime running lights for driving with the sun up, “Miniscule Digital Matrix” projector lights when the sun is down, and an illuminated Four Ring badge in the nose to show off whenever you please.

Audi is quick to remind us that it was one of the first to incorporate LED lighting on passenger cars, and this concept looks to be the next step in that technology.

A production variant of the concept is expected to arrive in 2019. Read on for specs on the powertrain and more info on the cool tech onboard.

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2017 Audi R8 LMS GT4

The already successful R8 LMS goes GT4 racing!

Audi made a bunch of wise marketing decisions in recent years, one of them being the R8, essentially a Lamborghini with different body work and a more affordable sticker. But, while the road-going R8 is somewhat successful, its race-spec counterpart has already achieved iconic status with several wins in just about every racing series out there. The R8 LMS has been incredibly popular among private teams in recent years and it’s not surprising that Audi is looking to expand the lineup as much as possible. The latest version to join the family is the LMS GT4 and made its debut at the 2017 New York Motor Show.

As the name suggests, the LMS GT4 was developed for production-based racing and derived from the road-legal R8 V10. It’s more affordable than the world-beating GT3 and it’s eligible for every racing category under GT4 regulations. The GT4 European Series is arguably the most important competition under these regulations and brings together a massive number of cars. Vehicles that the R8 will compete against include GT4-spec versions of the Chevrolet Camaro, Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M4, KTM X-Bow, and Porsche Cayman, just to name a few.

The new race car will make its on-track debut at the Nurburgring 24 Hours on May 25. The R8 LMS GT4 will also compete in North America, Asia, and Australia throughout 2017. Production will begin in the second half of the year with first deliveries to be made by the end of 2017.

“Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time. These fast-growing business segments and the DNA shared by our race cars and production vehicles underscore our ambition to become a true global player in the high-performance league," said Stephan Winkelmann, managing director of Audi Sport.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi R8 LMS GT4.

2018 Audi R8 Coupe Audi Sport Edition

R8 goes bespoke with help from the Audi Sport division

Introduced for the 2017 model year, the second-generation R8 has been in dealerships for almost a year now, while race-spec LMS version is already tackling its second motorsport season as of 2017. And, while the road car is struggling to fit in a tough niche, the race car had its most successful season in 2016, when it scored 24 titles and 85 wins. Audi is celebrating the success of Audi Sport division with a special-edition R8 that pays tribute to the track-only LMS. It’s called the R8 Coupe Audi Sport Edition and made its public debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

Designed as a tribute for the highly successful R8 LMS, the Audi Sport Edition comes wrapped in the traditional colors of the company’s racing division: silver, red, and black. On top of the special livery and the custom wheels, the limited-edition supercar also sports a bespoke interior. What’s more, it’s limited to just 200 units globally, which makes it the most exclusive second-generation R8 to date.

Unfortunately, there are no drivetrain upgrades to talk about, but with the R8 still fresh, it’s not like the German supecar is in need of more oomph for public road use. For now, an exclusive livery and a custom interior seem to be enough to satisfy custom demand.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Sport R8 Coupe Edition Audi.

Are You Ready? Audi Sport Promises Eight New U.S. Models By 2020

It looks like we’ll finally be getting the RS models that we’ve always wanted.

The basis for Audi Sport has been around since 1983 but operated under the name Quattro GmbH, a name that paid tribute to the original Audi Quattro – a rally-inspired road car that changed the Audi changed the Audi brand forever. Well, Audi had to keep up with the times and spruce things up a bit, so in 2016, the Quattro brand was renamed to Audi Sport. Now, in 2017, The Audi Sport name has been established here in the U.S., and it all happened at the New York Auto Show. What’s really important, however, isn’t the introduction of Audi Sport here in the U.S. but what it means for those of us with an RS itch that just can’t be scratched.

Up until now, the only Audi Sport or RS models you could get in the states have been limited to the R8, R8 Spyder, and the RS7. We’ve had to sit and watch in agonizing pain as other markets, like Germany, get a much wider lineup that includes the RS 3 Sportback, RS3 Limo, RS 5 Coupe, RS 6 Avant, RS7 Sportback, TT RS Coupe, and the TT RS Roadster. That’s a whole lineup of sexy, race-tuned performance for the taking, but as I said, we haven’t had the luxury. All that is about to change though, thanks to the introduction of Audi Sport here in the U.S. To kick things off in the U.S., we’re going to get the 2017 R8 V10 Spyder, and for the first time ever, we’re going to get the RS 3. Later on, we’ll be getting the RS 5 Coupe – a model that’s powered by a brand-new 2.9-liter V-6 with 450 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Audi promises that it’ll be able to get you to 62 mph in all of 3.9 seconds.

But, that’s not all we’re getting. According to Audi, we’ll see a total of eight new Audi Sport models unleashed on the U.S. market over the next 24 months. There’s no word as to what models these will be outside of what we’ve already discussed, but it sure will be nice to have an RS option that doesn’t set you back six figures, don’t you think?

Keep reading for the rest of the story

Automakers have latched onto and sucked continuously on the fleshy meat that is consumer demand for SUVs, crossovers, and an imaginary segment known as the coupe-SUV. The latter of which is a filled by a small number of SUVs that have manufacturer proclaimed “coupe-like dimensions” while riding on jacked-up, SUV-like suspension. It’s a mishmash of vehicle types, really, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time. The point is, our insatiable love for SUVs have led automakers to believe that the market is going to continue growing almost indefinitely. So much so that Ford believes it’s going to account for more than 45 percent of the auto industry within the next five or seven years. But, Ford isn’t the only one, as we’ve just received word that the Audi Q8 and, surprisingly, the Audi Q4 are about to go into production.

The Audi Q8, which we’ve already seen in concept form more than once, with the Q8 E-tron Concept getting a ton of attention at the Detroit Auto Show and it’s sibling – the Q8 Sport Concept – garnering its fair share of attention from the Geneva International Motor Show. They were obviously big hits, and Audi is wasting no time on the production version – it’s slated to go into production sometime in 2018 (probably early-2018) in Slovakia. The model will be Audi’s range-topping SUV, dethroning the Q7 and increasing Audi’s personal chunk of the Luxury SUV segment. It will be produced alongside the Q7 s and Q7 e-tron.

Then you’ve got this mythical creature known as the Audi Q4. This model has been rumored for years but was finally confirmed back in 2011 when VAG’s design boss confirmed that it and the Q6 were coming. Well, after that the trail went cold for a while, but then we saw the 2014 Audi TT Offroad Concept and the rumors began to fly that this concept was going to be the basis for the Q4. It wasn’t until 2016 that Audi finally got the Q4 name from FCA. It was trademarked six months later, and now we finally hear that it’s set to go into production as a “compact utility vehicle” at BMW’s Hungary plant in 2019.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

2018 Audi A8

Audi redesigns its iconic grille for the new Audi A8

It was just a month ago that Audi confirmed that a new Audi A8 would grace showrooms for the 2018 model year. Now, the brand with four rings has been caught testing that next-gen A8 at the Nürburgring, and it looks like there is going to be at least one dramatic change. The car itself looks to retain the same size and overall shape of the current model, but the new model will have an emphasis on its look of overall width – especially with the evolution of Audi’s “Singleframe” grille that is now much wider and stretched out compared to anything we’ve seen in Audi’s current lineup. At first, it seems kind of goofy, but after taking a closer look, a wider, more pronounced grille is actually beneficial to the A8.

The new A8 is still sports some pretty heavy camo, so there is only so much we can make out of these spy shots. We do know that the new A8 will ride on the new MLB Evo platform that also underpins the Audi Q7, so there should be a significant drop in weight to go with the potential for alternative powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid model. With that said, I still think Audi has some suspension tuning to do, as the A8 in these pictures seems to be experiencing excessive body roll on the corners as it maneuvers around the Nürburgring.

Now that we’ve talked a little about it, let’s grab the wheel and take a closer look at what the next A8 might bring to the table when it makes its debut later this year.

Updated 04/11/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Audi A8 out for a new testing session and wearing less camouflage than previous times. The new A8 will be making its official debut in July.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Audi A8.

2018 Audi Q8

Audi’s answer to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

After five years of rumors that began when Audi trademarked the Q8 name in 2012, the German company finally unveiled its proposition against the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Actually, the crossover introduced at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show is just a concept for now, but a production model is scheduled to follow soon.

When BMW introduced the X6 in 2009, a new segment was born. But although the crossover BMW describes as a Sports Activity Coupe proved somewhat popular with SUV enthusiasts, the trend didn’t catch on with other automakers until 2013. That’s when Mercedes-Benz revealed plans to develop a coupe-like crossover based on the M-Class. Shortly after, rumors of a Cayenne Coupe emerged, signaling that Germany’s finest automakers finally pay more attention to this niche. Audi is thus the fourth manufacturer is ready to jump on the coupe crossover wagon.

The news originally came from Audi technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg, who confirmed "the Q8 will come" within the next three years sometime in 2015. "It will be something new, following designs established on the Prologue concept. It will be positioned as something more emotional and more sporty than the Q7. The Q7 will be a car for seven people, the Q8 will be more coupe like," he told Autocar.

Although the details are still under wraps as of February 2017, a test car has already been spotted on public roads, a sign that the production Q8 isn’t far. Join me in my speculative review to find out what we already know about the sporty crossover.

Updated 04/07/2017: The upcoming Audi Q8 was caught testing around Nurburgring. The model is rumored to go on sale in 2018.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Q8.

2018 Audi RS3 Sedan

The awesome Mercedes-AMG CLA45 is finally getting a proper competitor to play with

The Audi A3 Sedan was launched in 2013, just one year after the German brand introduced the third-generation A3. Offered for the first time alongside the hatchback and convertible models, the four-door shares almost everything with its siblings. It is identical styling-wise except for the deck lid, while the interior is basically the same save for a few changes in the rear compartment. Built on the same MQB platform shared with the Volkswagen Golf, the A3 Sedan also borrows its engine lineup form the A3 Sportback, including the 1.2- to 2.0-liter gasoline units and both the 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesels. Much like any other Audi model, the A3 also spawned S- and RS-badged performance models.

In 2017, the A3 family will grow to include yet another member. Having already launched the S3 Sedan, Audi is now rolling out its most powerful compact sedan yet, the RS3. Caught testing under heavy camouflage as well as on the Nurburgring track since 2015, the beefed-up compact four-door made its global debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. As expected, the RS3 is more menacing version of the S3, sharing styling cues with the larger RS4 and the award-winning, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with RS versions of the Audi Q3 and TT.

The sedan is reportedly set to cross the pond to the U.S. in August 2017 for the 2018 model year. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at what Audi’s rival for the Mercedes-AMG CLA45.

Updated 04/06/2017: Audi announced prices for the 2018 RS3 sedan which will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS3 Sedan.

Posted on by Kevin Harrison  

Long ago, Audi was dominating Rallycross events in a Sport Quattro S1. It helped to brand Quattro as one of the best all-wheel drive systems in the world. Several years later, the A8 garnered popularity with its starring role in The Transporter, while the TT earned the attention of passersby who gave themselves whiplash as they took in the unusual design for the time. Since then, the RS4 and R8 eared themselves a spot on many dream lists across the world and more pedestrian Audis like the A4 were eating into BMW’s sales.

The aforementioned are all cars. Today, things are a bit different over at Audi as it seems the priority is to invest more and more into SUVs. In North America, there are already three in the lineup. A fourth, the Q2, is on sale overseas and is expected to eventually arrive on our shores. Then there’s the Q8 which is expected to be even bigger than the Q7 along with a four-door coupe-like SUV a la BMW X6 that is also expected to join the family.

Why are Audi’s SUV’s now overshadowing the cars in its lineup? I decided to take one out for a week to find out.

Continue reading for the full story.

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