This year, as you’ve probably noticed from all the teasers, rumors, spy shots and leaks, the most important release for Mercedes-Benz was the new S-Class. It was so important that Mercedes chose to reveal it with a big bang at the Airbus A380 delivery center.
But this article isn’t really about the new model, instead it explores the German luxury triumvirate, revealing its impact on the automotive industry as a whole, and briefly touching on a particularly interesting and innovative segment. Continue reading ‘Teutonic Wars: Luxury Arms Race’ »
Reports published in Autocar suggest an R8-trouncing, ultra-high performance hypercar – tentatively dubbed the “R10″ – has just moved into the design stage. However that still doesn’t mean the car is guaranteed to make it into the showrooms, as Audi bosses still haven’t greenlighted the car for production.
The main sticking point at the moment is trying to make a business case for the car. Audi aren’t in desperate need of a halo car, having a number of high-performance models to draw on. So for the R10 to stand any chance of life, they need to find a way to make it profitable.
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At this year’s Wothersee festival, an annual event which celebrates everything VW/Audi, Audi will be presenting a one-off high-performance version of the TT.
However the Audi TT ultra quattro concept’s most impressive feature is not something it’s gained, but something it’s lost. 300 kgs (661 lbs) to be precise. Audi’s engineers have managed this through extensive use of carbon fiber, fiberglass and magnesium.
It’s been a pretty strict diet too. With few areas escaping the engineers scrutiny. Yet surprisingly the car looks remarkably standard from the outside, and comfortable and well equipped on the inside. There’s air conditioning, electric windows, and even a digital display to show what’s going on behind thanks to the two small cameras which replace the standard side mirrors.
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OSS Designs has just unveiled their latest project car. It’s the company’s first go at tuning an Audi, and judging by what they’ve done, lets hope they do some more. The OSS Designs Audi RS5 has a kinda retro-ish ’80s Audi Quattro feel to it. I don’t think that was intentional, but either way. It works.
Up front is a blacked out grille and headlight surround, giving the car a particularly infuriated look. The headlights themselves feature OSS Designs’ multicolor LED surround which can be adjusted from inside the car. The new look of the car continues down the side with modified sideskirts and large lateral intakes just ahead of the rear wheels. At the rear is a new bumper and a massive duck tail spoiler.
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Now that Audi is the proud owner of the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, it isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine Audi wanting to slap their four-ringed badge on a two-wheeler in an effort to increase their ever more diverse lineup.
This particular concept motorcycle was conceived in the mind of French designer Thibault Devauze. He’s in a better position than most people to theorize what an Audi-badged motorcycle might look like, having had the fortune to be a design intern at both Audi and Ducati.
His concept, called simply the Audi Motorrad Concept, was partially inspired by many of the classic DKW motorcycles he saw in the Audi museum in Ingolstadt. Quick history lesson: DKW were one of the four German vehicle manufacturers who merged together in 1932 to form Auto Union, and Auto Union later evolved into Audi.
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To help promote the Audi RS 4, Audi UK rented out a military hangar and staged a duel between two driver’s and their quattro-powered steeds. It might not have the same intense multi-layer carnage as the Insane Paintball War we showed you last year, but Audi’s little duel certainly looks like a great way to spend the afternoon.
Each RS 4 has what looks like a Browning machine gun strapped to the hood, it’s fired by a big red button situated in the center console. To help keep score, Audi have kindly put hit counters in the top of the screen so you can see who is ahead. It’s a bit arbitrary though. Each paintball pellet counts for just one point. But drive over some goop James Bond-style and all of a sudden you’re 250 points down, get hit by a paint grenade and you can kiss goodbye to 500 points. Drive into some paint-filled boxes and, well, just watch the video.
Continue reading ‘Video: Audi RS 4 Avant “Ultimate Paintball Duel”’ »
After being shown off in concept form at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show last year, the production version of the all-new Audi RS Q3 will make its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Its introduction marks the first time Audi has bestowed its prestigious RS badge on a Q-series model.
The flagship Q3 model is powered by the same 2.5 litre TFSI inline five-cylinder turbocharged engine found in the TT RS and the RS 3 Sportback. In the RS Q3 it offers 310 horsepower, and 309 lb-ft (420 Nm) of torque between 1,500 and 5,200 rpm. The transmission is a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch unit, and it of course features a quattro all-wheel drive system as well. Performance-wise the Audi RS Q3 is capable of sprinting from 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds, and continuing on to a 155 mph electronically limited top speed.
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Audi have just announced their new Amplified Black package, which is an optional extra which can be ordered by customers who have already ticked the Black Edition option box. As you might have guessed from the page title, and the fact the word has been used twice already in this paragraph, the color black features rather heavily in this new offering.
The Amplified Black package allows buyers to choose from four different body colors, Glacier White, Misano Red, Daytona Grey or Samoa Orange – but oddly not black? On top of the new paintwork it also comes with numerous black-colored details, including; black-finished front lip spoiler, black door mirror housings, black TT RS-style fixed rear spoiler and black 19-inch alloy wheels. At the rear, a black diffuser insert and black exhaust tailpipes continue the theme. That’s on top of the stuff that’s already black from the standard Black Edition option, which includes; black trimming for the radiator grille surround and number plate holder, as well as other features such as tinted rear privacy glass, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, black leather and Alcantara upholstery, a premium BOSE surround sound system, iPod and mobile phone connection and rear acoustic parking.
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The 2013 Detroit Auto Show played host to the unveiling of Audi’s latest RS-badged weapon of mass seduction. The RS 7 Sportback is the new top-spec version of the A7 line, kicking the S7 Sportback into a distant second place. The heart of the car is a 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine which has been tuned to provide 560-horsepower and 553 lb-ft (700Nm) of torque. With this, the RS 7 Sportback manages to shave a full second off the 0-62 mph (100km/h) time when compared to its S-badged brother, managing the sprint in just 3.9 seconds. The top speed is equally impressive, with the Dynamic Plus Package fitted, Audi will rip out the electronic bureaucrat which normally reigns in the car at 155 mph, and allow it to run all the way to 189 mph.
But its not just the mighty V8 up front that makes the RS 7 Sportback so quick off the mark. Part of the credit should go to the 8-speed tiptronic transmission with reduced shift times and three-mode settings; ‘Sport’, ‘Manual’ and ‘Drive’. And of course it wouldn’t be fair to ignore the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring and a sports differential.
Amazingly, despite its searing performance, the Audi RS 7 Sportback is able to return 28.8 mpg according to the combined cycle test. It manages this through a combination of an engine stop-start system, and a cylinder deactivation system which shuts down cylinders 2,3,5 and 8 when the car is cruising at a steady speed. The switch between four and eight-cylinder operation takes just a few hundredths of a second, and the only real indication to the driver that it is taking place is a visual signal within the instrument cluster.
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