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    Drew Dowdell

    ...When you need to get groceries fast...

    After 25 years on the market in other countries as Forbidden Fruit, the Audi RS 6 Avant will finally be coming to the U.S.  The RS 6 Avant comes with a 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 that gets from naught to 62.1 mph in 3.6 seconds.  On the track, the wicked wagon is capable of a top speed of 155 mph. European specifications for the engine are 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, however U.S. specs will be released closer to launch.  Putting that power to all four wheels is an eight-speed Tiptronic. The Quattro system actively splits torque between each of the rear wheels with the ability to send nearly all torque to one wheel. 
    The RS comes with an adaptive air suspension with controlled damping that can be set to comfort or performance.  An optional suspension is offered, driver adjustable Dynamic Ride Control that helps with improved cornering and handling. Drivers can select from six drive modes, including RS1 and RS2 which are customizable. 
    The exterior of the RS is specific to the car. The body of the car is about 1.6 inches wider than none RS Avants with flared wheel arches. 
    The RS 6 Avant will arrive in dealerships in 2020. 
     

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Why vacation without "your" Audi?....

    Most Luxury dealerships offer a loaner car when a customer brings their vehicle in for service.  But Audi is offering something different for new owners of 2019 or newer Audi vehicles. 
    Audi owns the rental car company Silvercar, a firm that exclusively offers silver Audis as their rental fleet. The new program called "Always Audi" allows purchasers of a new Audi seven days rental at no additional cost.   Customers can choose from the Audi A4, A5 Cabriolet, Q5, or Q7 from one of their 20 locations around the US.  All Audis at Silvercar come with GPS, Wifi, and SiriusXM at no additional cost. 
    Of course, there are a few catches.  The rental days must be used within the first 3 years of ownership, and drivers are still responsible for fuel, airport fees, taxes, tolls, optional insurance, and other options. 
    Now Audi owners can take "their" Audi along on vacation with them.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...now with even more grille...

    Audi has unveiled their updated Audi Q7 in Ingolstadt today.  The new Q7 gets a more robust look with an even larger grille than before, but overall retains the same basic shape.  The headlights can be optionally equipped with HD Matrix LED and Audi laser light. 
    Many improvements went into the suspension. Now available as an option is active roll stabilization to reduce the cars tendency to roll into the curve. Adjustable stabilizers reduce body movement on uneven roads.  Customers can also elect the S-Line option that offers a firmer suspension and a 0.6 inch lower ride height. 
    The powertrain at launch in the EU will be a choice of two diesel units, with a gasoline engine and a plug-in hybrid to follow later.  All of the ICE engines get a mild-hybrid setup using a belt-alternator-start (BAS) and 48 volt electrical system.  The BAS can recover up to 8kW of power into the battery. 
    The Q7 can be ordered in either a five or seven seat configuration.  The cockpit is fully digital and includes two large touchscreens for the MMI infotainment system. Adaptive cruise assist is standard and also includes traffic jam assist, active lane assist, and adaptive speed assist. Emergency assist is new to the Q7 and if it detects the drivers is inactive, the system will bring the car to a stop and initiate protective and rescue measures. 
    The 2020 Q7 launches in Europe in September with a US launch to follow later.
     

    William Maley

    ...TT Now Stands For Ta-Ta...

    After 20 years, Audi will be sending off the TT coupe and convertible into the great parking lot in the sky. During the brand's annual meeting today, Audi CEO Bram Schot said a new strategy focusing on sustainability means the brand has to cut a number of models that don't make economic sense.
    “There will be lots of things that we won’t do any more in the future, or things that we do less. We focus maximum resources on our key projects,” said Schot.
    This is part of an effort to get the brand back on track in terms of sales and profit after the diesel emission scandal which culminated in the arrest of former CEO Rupert Stadler and an 800 million euro ($895 million) fine.
    Schot did reveal that the TT would be replaced by a new "emotive" electric vehicle in the same price range. No other details were given.
    The TT isn't the only model on the chopping block. The R8 sportscar is being questioned as to whether or not it fits into Audi's new focus. Also, the successor to the A8 flagship may go all-electric.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Drew Dowdell

    There may not be a next gen Audi TT, but something else could take its place.

    Another car is potentially on the chopping block as consumers continue their push into SUVs and Crossovers.  Bram Schot, CEO of Audi, was asked by Autocar about the future of Audi TT. His words were grim for the lovers of 2-seater sports cars.
    Rumor has it that a possible replacement could be a 4-door liftback car, but that it would not be called TT.  As recently as November, Audi was denying the 4-door TT variant, but if it takes a new name, that may leave the company enough wiggle room.
    Audi has been reducing complexity in their lineup by reducing the number of variants and engine options. Schot blames part of the reasoning on having to finance electrification saying that Audi cannot afford to electrify and also be in every single segment.  
    The potential demise of the TT follows the recent announcement that the Mercedes-Benz SLC will be entering retirement after the next model year. 
    The Audi TT just received a facelift and will likely be on sale till at least 2022.

    Drew Dowdell

    Diesels in Europe are not quite dead yet!

    Audi unveiled a powerful new generation of SQ5 TDI today.  With 516 lb-ft of torque, this diesel rips to 100 kph (62mph) in just 5.1 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. 
    At the heart of the SQ5 is a new mild-hybrid 3.0 liter V6 TDI with an Electric Powered Compressor (EPC).  The EPC assists the turbocharger at times when the exhaust flow is to slow to drive the turbocharger. The full 516 ft-lbs of torque is made available from 2,500 rpm to 3,100 rpm.  A 48 volt mild-hybrid belt alternator-start system helps with the automatic engine start/stop. The automatic start/stop is also integrated with the adaptive cruise control (when equipped) so that the engine restarts as soon as the car ahead begins to move.
    Quattro all-wheel drive comes standard and it feeds power from an 8-speed tiptronic transmission.  The transmission is able to disengage the engine while coasting so the automatic start/stop can shut down power. An electric oil pump allows the transmission to engage the next gear needed while coasting with the engine off. 
    The Quattro system comes with a self-locking center differential that splits torque front/rear in a 40:60 ratio.  If slippage is detected, power is redirected to the axle with better traction up to 70% to the front and 85% to the rear. Buyers can also option up to a sport differential which actively distributes power between the rear wheels during sporty driving by sending more torque to the outside rear wheel while accelerating to improve agility.
    The Audi SQ5 will hit dealerships in Germany in Summer 2019 with a base price of 67,750€ , about $76,898.  While we in the US get the gasoline version of the SQ5, Audis recent diesel troubles mean the TDI version is unlikely to come to the states. 
    Audi Press Release on Page 2
    The new Audi SQ5 TDI: Instant performance thanks to electric powered compressor
    700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque, output 255 kW (347 hp): The new Audi SQ5 TDI* once again has a powerful V6 engine under the hood, just like its successful predecessor of the first generation. An electric powered compressor ensures that maximum torque is available to the sporty SUV at just above idle; a mild hybrid system further enhances efficiency.
      The 3.0 V6 TDI engine in the new Audi SQ5 TDI combines instant and supreme power with high efficiency. 255 kW (347 hp) and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) – this massive torque is available continuously across a broad range from 2,500 to 3,100 rpm. The V6 diesel accelerates the sports SUV to highway speed in 5.1 seconds on its way to an electrically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). In the NEDC it consumes between 6.6 – 6.8 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (35.6 – 34.6 US mpg), corresponding to 172 – 177 grams of CO2 per kilometer (276.8 – 284.9 g/mi). The SQ5 TDI is certified according to the Euro 6d-temp emission standard.
    Audi has systematically refined the drive concept from the full-size SQ7 TDI* for the new SQ5 TDI. The 48-volt main electrical system includes an electric powered compressor (EPC) and a mild hybrid system. Energy is stored in a compact lithium-ion battery with an electrical capacity of 10 Ah located beneath the luggage compartment floor. An AC/DC converter connects the conventional 12-volt electrical system.
    New assistant for the turbocharger: the EPC
    The electric powered compressor is the ideal assistant for the turbocharger. It helps out whenever the exhaust gas flow provides too little energy to drive the turbocharger, i.e. when starting off and accelerating in the low-rev range up to 1,650 rpm. High torque is available immediately with no turbo lag whenever the driver needs it, whether starting off, passing or exiting a curve. In everyday driving situations, the early and rapid torque development made possible by the technology keeps revs and fuel consumption low.
    The electric powered compressor is located in the intake air path downstream of the intercooler and close to the engine. If the load demand from the accelerator is high but there is still too little boost from the turbocharger, the EPC comes into play. A compact electric motor with an output of 7 kW accelerates the compressor wheel to 65,000 rpm in roughly 300 milliseconds, producing a relative boost pressure of 1.4 bar.
    Recuperation, coasting and smooth starts: MHEV technology
    The MHEV system (mild hybrid electric vehicle) in the new Audi SQ5 TDI can reduce real-world fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers. At its core is a belt alternator-starter (BAS) connected to the crankshaft. During deceleration, it can recuperate up to 12 kW of energy. This electrical energy is stored in the lithium-ion battery, from where it is dynamically distributed to the consumers in the electrical system.
    If the driver lifts off the accelerator at a speed between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph), the new Audi SQ5 TDI can, depending on Audi drive select setting and driving situation, either recuperate, roll at idle with the clutch disengaged or coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds. The BAS restarts the engine the next time the accelerator is depressed, and that noticeably faster and more smoothly than a conventional starter. MHEV technology allows for start/stop operation at a speed of up to 22 km/h (13.7 mph). If the vehicle is equipped with the adaptive cruise control (ACC), the engine restarts while the brake pedal is still depressed as soon as the vehicle in front of the SQ5 TDI begins to move.
    Optimized for supreme pulling power and maximum efficiency: the engine
    This top output version of the 3.0 V6 TDI engine has been further developed and modified in numerous areas. Crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods and oil management have all been specially configured for the more stringent demands. The thermal management system is highly versatile. The crankcase and the cylinder heads have their own cooling circuits, allowing the engine oil to warm up quickly after a cold start. The coolant flow is directed to the oil cooler, the EPC, the BAS and the turbocharger as needed. The large exhaust gas turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG) produces a relative boost pressure of up to 2.4 bar. A sound actuator in the exhaust system gives the TDI a sonorous sound.
    Fast, smooth and efficient: the eight-speed tiptronic
    A fast and smooth-shifting eight-speed tiptronic handles the power transmission. Its lower gears feature short, sporty ratios, while the upper gears are long to reduce revs and fuel consumption. New detailed solutions enable the tiptronic to work effectively with MHEV technology. If the sport SUV is rolling and the engine is idling or shut off entirely, a clutch in the central transmission opens and interrupts the power connection. An electric oil pump enables the tiptronic to engage the gear while coasting that will be needed at restart.
    quattro and sport differential
    Like every S model from Audi, the new SQ5 TDI comes standard with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. In normal driving conditions, its self-locking center differential distributes torque between the front and rear axle in a 40:60 ratio. When slip is detected, the majority of the power is directed to the axle with the better traction. Depending on the driving situation, a maximum of 70 percent can flow to the front or 85 percent to the rear.
    Wheel-selective torque control, an intelligent software function complementing the quattro drive, is active on all kinds of surface. During dynamic cornering, it brakes the wheels on the inside of the curve minimally before they begin to slip. The power is thus directed via the differential to the wheel with the better traction. The sports SUV turns into the curve ever so slightly. Its self-steering behavior remains neutral for a long time, and handling remains stable, precise and agile.
    Customers can also order the SQ5 TDI with a sport differential on the rear axle. It actively distributes the power between the rear wheels during dynamic cornering. The sport differential literally pushes the car into the curve, nipping understeer in the bud. It sends more torque to the outside rear wheel when accelerating out of tight radii to further improve agility.
    Sporty and precise: the chassis of the new SQ5 TDI
    Sophisticated five-link suspension at the front and rear lays the foundation for the sporty driving characteristics of the new Audi SQ5 TDI. Audi also offers optional dynamic steering, which uses strain wave gearing to vary the steering ratio over a very wide range as a function of speed and steering angle. The suspension with damper control comes standard in the new SQ5 TDI. It lowers the body by 30 millimeters (1.2 in) compared with the Q5 with standard suspension. It offers a particularly wide spread between comfort and dynamics.
    Along with the sport differential, engine, steering and tiptronic, the dampers are integrated into the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. With Audi drive select, the driver can vary the function of these systems via multiple profiles. Audi also offers the S-specific adaptive air suspension as another option. It adapts not just the damping but also the body’s trim to the respective driving situation.
    The new Audi SQ5 TDI comes standard with 20-inch cast aluminum wheels and 255/45-series tires. 21-inch wheels are available as an option. There is also a choice of three different 21-inch wheel designs from Audi Sport GmbH. Aluminum six-piston calipers on the front axle grip steel discs with a diameter of 375 millimeters (14.8 in). The black calipers (red optional) sport S logos.
    Convenient and safe: the driver assistance systems
    The new Audi SQ5 TDI offers a broad portfolio of driver assistance systems. The predictive efficiency assistant provides specific tips to help the driver save fuel. Audi active lane assist makes it easier to stay in your lane and can handle some of the steering task in slow-moving traffic.  The distance warning display alerts the driver when the distance to the vehicle ahead drops below a safe distance. These and other functions are brought together in the optional Tour assist package.
    The optional functions rear cross traffic assist, exit warning, collision avoidance assist and turn assist also enhance safety in everyday driving. The same applies to the pre sense systems; Audi pre sense city comes as standard. It warns the driver about pedestrians and vehicles, and if necessary initiates automatic emergency braking within system limits. Park assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition and hill descent control round out the optional features.
    Logical and intelligent: controls infotainment and Audi connect
    The MMI control concept in the Audi SQ5 TDI is easy to understand and features an intelligent free text search function. The natural-language voice control function also recognizes inputs from everyday speech. The third control level is the leather multifunction steering wheel, which is used to operate the driver information system or the optional Audi virtual cockpit. Depending on the setting, its 12.3-inch display shows an S-specific mode centered around the rev counter. Audi supplements this with a head-up display.
    The infotainment lineup in the Audi SQ5 TDI follows a modular concept. At the top is MMI navigation plus with MMI all-in-touch and an 8.3-inch display. A standard component of the top system is Audi connect, which connects the SQ5 TDI to the internet via LTE and provides a WiFi hotspot for the passengers’ mobile devices.
    The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna by near-field coupling and simultaneously charges them inductively using the Qi standard. The Audi smartphone interface brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into the car. For particularly discerning hi-fi fans, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound is available.
    Sportily distinctive: the exterior design
    Numerous exterior design details hint at the sporty character of the Audi SQ5 TDI. The bold bumpers feature strongly contoured air inlets up front and a diffuser insert with a honeycomb grille at the rear. The Singleframe grille features double aluminum slats and contrasting trim elements in twilight gray matt. The S logo with red rhombus is used in numerous locations to set additional accents.
    The headlights and rear lights of the Audi SQ5 TDI come standard in LED technology; the dynamic turn signals at the front and rear send unmistakable signals. The exterior mirror housings and the clasp on the diffuser sport a shining, aluminum-look finish. Door trim strips in the body color underscore the sportiness. The exterior color panther black is reserved exclusively for the Audi SQ5 TDI.
    Elegant ambiance: the interior
    The dark-toned interior welcomes the driver and passengers with illuminated door sills bearing exclusive S logos. Contrasting stitching on the leather steering wheel and sport seats conveys a dynamic and elegant ambiance. The S sport seats in leather and Alcantara can be upgraded to fine Nappa leather with rhombus pattern and a pneumatic massage function. Brushed aluminum inlays are standard, with elegant wood applications or an exclusive carbon inlay available as options. The shift paddles on the steering wheel sport an aluminum-look finish; there are stainless steel applications on the pedals and footrest.
    The optional rear seat bench plus in the new Audi SQ5 TDI is split into three segments. Longitudinal and seat back angle adjustment are optional. The luggage compartment has a basic capacity of 550 liters (19.4 cu ft), which can be increased to 1,55sss0 liters (54.7 cu ft) by folding down the rear seat backrests.
    Equipment
    Standard equipment in Germany includes 20-inch cast aluminum wheels in a 5-twin-spoke star design, LED headlights and suspension with S-specific damper control. The eight-speed tiptronic transmission, quattro permanent all-wheel drive, sport seats in leather/Alcantara and a three-spoke, leather-covered multifunction steering wheel are also standard equipment. The new Audi SQ5 3.0 TDI will begin arriving at German dealerships in Summer 2019 and have a base price of 67,750  euros. 
     
    Fuel consumption of the models named above
    (Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures given in ranges depend on the chosen equipment level)
    Audi SQ5 TDI
    Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.8 – 6.6;
    Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 177 – 172
    Audi SQ7 TDI
    Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.6. – 7.2;
    Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 199 – 189

    Drew Dowdell

    Riding a green wave to smooth driving

    Previous Page Next Page Audi is expanding its Traffic Light Information system to now include speed recommendations to minimize stops.  Audi is the first manufacturer to launch Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA) in the U.S. 
    GLOSA uses the position of the vehicle and traffic signal information to display a speed recommendation on the dash to reduce the number of stops at red lights.  The distance to the stop, signal timing, and speed limit are all combined to produce an optimized speed.
    Over 4,700 intersections in 13 U.S. metro areas support the technology. 
    Select 2017 and 2018 and newer models use an onboard 4G LTE connection to monitor live traffic signal information. When the light is red, the system will display a Time-to-Green indicator on the dash. 
    In future, this Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology could be used to optimize navigation routing, vehicle start/stop function, and other predictive services to reduce traffic congestion.
    Audi press release on page 2.
    Audi expands Traffic Light Information - now includes speed recommendations to minimize stops
     
    Audi first manufacturer to launch Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA) in U.S. GLOSA provides speed recommendations to minimize stops at red lights and helps reduce driver stress Audi Traffic Light Information (TLI) now available in 13 metro areas HERNDON, Va., February 19, 2019 – Audi of America announced today an expansion of Traffic Light Information to include Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA), another industry first in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies from the brand. GLOSA can provide speed recommendations to Audi drivers of select 2017 and newer models that can assist drivers in catching the “green wave,” helping to reduce the number of stops at red lights.
    GLOSA uses traffic signal information and the current position of a vehicle to display a speed recommendation intended to allow drivers to pass traffic lights during a green interval, in order to help reduce the number of stops at red lights. The distance to stop, the speed limit profile for the area, and the signal timing plans, are all used to calculate the speed recommendation displayed to the driver.
    Survey data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that the average American driver spends nearly 300 hours a year behind the wheel, the equivalent to seven 40-hour weeks at the office. Providing drivers with additional information, such as green light optimized speed advisories, can help reduce anxiety and improve a driver’s comfort during their time behind the wheel.
    “Audi is committed to moving America in many ways, including through the development of industry-leading connectivity and mobility solutions,” said Mark Del Rosso, president, Audi of America. “Not only do vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies like GLOSA benefit drivers today, they’re also the critical steps needed as we continue toward an automated future.”
    In 2016, Audi, in collaboration with Traffic Technology Services (TTS), launched Traffic Light Information, an Audi connect PRIME feature that enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. Today, more than 4,700 intersections support both the “time-to-green” and GLOSA functionalities. Enabled metro areas include: Dallas, Denver, Gainesville, Fla.; Houston, Kansas City, Kansas; Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix, Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia.
    “VDOT’s collaboration with Audi, TTS, and other innovative companies leverages the Commonwealth’s data and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, preparing us for more connected and automated vehicles on our roadways,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “We are committed to improving safety, reducing congestion and exploring opportunities to partner with the private sector.”
    Time-to-Green
    Traffic Light Information, an Audi connect PRIME feature available on select 2017, 2018 and newer models, enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S.
    When one of these select Audi models approaches a connected traffic light, it receives real-time signal information from the traffic management system that monitors traffic lights via the on-board 4G LTE data connection. When the light is red, the TLI feature will display the time remaining until the signal changes to green in the instrument cluster in front of the driver or in the head-up display (if equipped). This “time-to-green” information helps reduce stress by letting the driver know approximately how much time remains before the light changes.
    Future iterations of V2I technology could include integration with the vehicle’s start/stop function, optimized navigation routing, and other predictive services. All of these services are designed to help reduce congestion and enhance mobility on crowded roadways.
    Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    On second thought...

    Earlier this month, we reported in the rumorpile that Audi was working on making the next-generation TT a four-door coupe. It would become the sole TT model within the next couple of years as the brand found it hard to justify doing a next-generation coupe and convertible. But it seems Audi isn't planning one.
    "Where the recent stories came from, I don’t know. I don’t know about a four-door TT," said Peter Oberndorfer, Audi's head of communications to CarAdvice.
    Oberndorfer did reveal that Audi at one time was considering a TT family that would have included a sedan. But plans would be scrapped due to the problems in trying to make it somewhat practical.
    “I think the TT is an icon, and to do a family [car] out of that is quite difficult. And especially in these times where we have to concentrate more and more, because we have to do gasoline and diesels on the one side, and electrification on the other side. So you have to concentrate more and more and think about what you can do and what you can afford. So we’re quite happy with one TT at the moment," he said.
    Source: CarAdvice

    William Maley

    Goodbye coupe and convertible

    Audi unveiled a four-door TT concept called the Sportback at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Taking the overall sleek shape of the coupe, designers stretched the overall length and width to allow for two extra doors and a larger back seat. A new report from Auto Express says the four-door TT is coming and will take the place of the coupe and convertible within the next two years.
    The reason for the departure of the TT coupe and convertible is due to the diesel emission scandal. Due to the various penalties and fines, the Volkswagen group had to cancel a number of models and projects to save money. The next-generation TT coupe and convertible were likely on the chopping block due to low sales as buyers aren't interested in small sport cars. But Audi was somehow able to make a case to keep the TT as four-door 'coupe'. Auto Express says the design has been approved by management.
    The report doesn't say where the model will fit into Audi's lineup, but we suspect it will be priced slightly higher than the A3 sedan.

    William Maley

    Will it ever end? -Audi

    Audi finds itself in more legal trouble, but not fully related to the diesel emission scandal.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that German prosecutors have opened an investigation into three employees of Audi for possible falsifying of documents to get roadworthiness certifications for vehicles heading to South Korea. Karin Jung, a Munich prosecutor told the paper that the three people are suspected of falsifying serial numbers, and manipulating test and mileage readings.
    This investigation stems from raid done by Munich authorities of Audi's offices last year. One of the documents they found was an internal report about an investigation into a situation in South Korea. That situation saw an executive in Audi's Korean office be sentenced for 18 months in prison "falsifying documents to achieve certification of the vehicles for export to South Korea." After looking through the report and the investigation in South Korea, Munich prosecutors began a new investigation.
    Jung said there could be more suspects as the investigation continues on.
    The is the latest in Audi's misfortunes. Earlier this month, Rupert Stadler was terminated as CEO of Audi. He has been in Jail since June over possible evidence tampering. Sales of Audi vehicles in Europe has been falling as well, with a 56 percent drop in September. Overall sales for the year are down 7 percent.
    Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Could have a nice payday if cleared of any involvement in the diesel emission scandal

    Yesterday, Volkswagen terminated the contract of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. Since June, Stadler has been in prison due to possible  evidence tampering concerning the diesel emission scandal. As we reported last week, Volkswagen's supervisory board was expected to make a decision on Stadler's future, but couldn't come to an agreement.
    "Mr. Stadler is leaving the companies with immediate effect and will no longer work for the Volkswagen Group. Mr. Stadler is doing so because, due to his ongoing pretrial detention, he is unable to fulfil his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defence. The contractual execution depends on the course and outcome of the criminal proceedings," the company said in a statement.
    The last line in the statement is very important. According to German business paper Handelsblatt, Stadler could receive up a 7 million euro ($8 million) payout if he is cleared of any involvement in the diesel emission scandal.
    Source: Volkswagen, Handelsblatt


    Rupert Stadler leaves Volkswagen AG and AUDI AG boards of management
    The supervisory boards of Volkswagen AG and AUDI AG have today consented to the conclu-sion of an agreement with Rupert Stadler on the termination of his offices as a member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG and chairman of the board of management of AUDI AG as well as of his service agreements. Mr. Stadler is leaving the companies with immediate effect and will no longer work for the Volkswagen Group. Mr. Stadler is doing so because, due to his ongoing pretrial detention, he is unable to fulfil his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defence. The contractual execution depends on the course and outcome of the criminal proceedings.
    Rupert Stadler began working for AUDI in 1990 and has worked for the Volkswagen Group ever since. He joined the board of management of AUDI AG on 1 January 2003 and was made chairman on 1 January 2007. He was also appointed to the board of management of Volkswagen AG on 1 January 2010.

    William Maley

    Has been in jail since June

    Today, the supervisory board of the Volkswagen Group was planning to make a decision as to the future of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. Since June, Stadler has been in jail over concerns of evidence tampering with the diesel emission scandal. But a decision could not be reached and the decision has been postponed.
    Sources tell Automotive News that representatives for Stadler and Volkswagen's board were unable to to negotiate a solution that would see Stadler step down as Audi CEO. No reason was given as to why an agreement could not be reached.
    Bram Schot, Audi sales executive has been acting as interim CEO.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Part of a new retail strategy

    If you're expecting to see an Audi e-tron at your local dealership next spring, we have some bad news for you.
    According to Automotive News, Audi is testing a new retail model where dealers will not stock the model. Instead, they'll handle reservations for customers on the e-tron that begin with a $1,000 deposit. The hope is that will improve profitability of the e-tron.
    "I think it would be a beautiful world if you can go to a dealer — and we'd like to find that beautiful world — with zero floorplan [expense] and proper, full gross on the car. This would be a beautiful state; so let's go see if we can find this dream state,"  said Audi of America President Scott Keogh.
    This approach will allow all of Audi's dealers in the U.S. to sell the e-tron with worrying vehicle allocation and being stuck with trying move them off their lot. 
    "The same network that got us to double our sales, and got us to 200,000 units [annually], is going to be the same network that's going to lead this electric revolution for us. And that's a massive competitive advantage — an onboard and engaged network," said Keogh.
    That isn't to say dealers will not be allowed to stock e-trons. A spokesman told Automotive News that dealers will be able to order e-trons for their inventory should they desire. They will also have demos available to buyers to check out.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Something along the lines of Mercedes' Maybach

    Audi is planning to bring back a long-defunct name for an ultra-luxurious version of the A8. Automotive News has learned from sources that the luxury automaker is planning to introduce top-line A8 with the Horch name.
    Horch was a successful luxury brand in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1932, it would merge with Audi, DKW, and Wanderer to create Auto Union - what we know as Audi. Production of Horch vehicles would halt when World War II broke out. The brand would briefly would produce vehicles after the war before being shuttered. Audi has briefly toyed with the Horch name is the past two decades, going as far as creating mock-ups, but didn't go any farther.
    The A8 Horch is expected to get more luxury features, along with a Horch logo on the flanks or C-Pillar - similar to what Mercedes-Benz does with the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Power is expected to come from twin-turbo W12 engine. According to AN, the regular A8 W12 is on hold, despite being market-ready. There is the possibility of an V8 being on offer as well.
    Audi is planning to launch the Horch version of the A8 in two to three years, when the model is expected to be refreshed.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Begins at $75,795 when it hit dealers next spring

    September has become electric-vehiclepalooza as various automakers have revealed either production or concept electric vehicles. Audi is the latest automaker to join this as last night, they unveiled the 2019 e-tron crossover.
    Unlike the Jaguar I-Pace or Mercedes-Benz EQ C, the e-tron looks very conventional. The basic shape, grille, and lighting fits in line with Audi's other crossovers. There are some little touches that reveal this isn't your normal crossover such as the closed-off grille and aerodynamically optimized 20-inch alloy wheels. One item that the U.S. version will miss out on are the cameras that take the place of the side-view mirrors. Audi is working with regulators to get approval for them.
    The interior is instantly recognizable as an Audi with a modern design for the dash and dual-screen layout for the infotainment. One interesting touch is the uniquely styled wrist-rest on the center console that has a toggle on the edge for switching gears.
    The e-tron's drive system is comprised of two electric motors, one powering each axle. Audi hasn't published official power figures for the e-tron, but said it will hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 124 mph. Audi will also be offering a towing package for the e-tron that will allow it to tow a max amount of 4,000 pounds. Depending on the load, the e-tron can be driven on just the rear motor. The front motor will kick on when more power is needed or the quattro system detects a loss of traction.
    A 95-kWh battery pack sits between the two electric motors. Audi hasn't revealed range for the U.S. e-tron, but did say the European-market version will travel up to 248 miles based on WTLP testing. All e-trons will come with a home charger that can support charging via 120-volt or 240-volt outlets. The model also supports DC fast charging via the SAE Combo plug and will be the first vehicle that can take advantage of 150 kW charging - currently the max amount is 90 kW on the SAE Combo plug. Audi is partnering with Electrify America (the company set up by Volkswagen as part of the diesel emission settlement) to provide 1,000 kWh of no-cost charging to e-tron buyers. Electrify America is planning to build out 500 charging stations throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. 
    Pricing for the e-tron is as followed,
    Prestige: $75,795 Prestige Plus: $82,795 Edition One: $87,695 All prices include a $995 destination charge. Audi says the e-tron will be eligible for $7,500 Federal tax credit.
    Those interested in picking up an e-tron can head down to their Audi dealer to pre-order one a place $1,000 deposit. Deliveries are expected to begin next spring.
    Source: Audi


    Electric goes Audi: all-electric Audi e-tron SUV unveiled and available for US customers to place reservations
    First all-electric, fastest charging Audi e-tron SUV makes global debut and is available for customers to place reservations Audi e-tron is a spacious five-seater, electric mid-sized premium SUV that is very well equipped to meet premium buyer expectations Innovative battery design engineered for repeatable performance, longevity, and safety as well as highest levels of Audi infotainment and driver assistance systems Customers can enjoy the convenience of exclusive home charging installation through Amazon Home Services and complimentary 1000 kWh of charge powered by Electrify America. HERNDON, Va., September 17, 2018 – With the introduction of the Audi e-tron, the Audi brand presents its first fully electric production model. The mid-size SUV is electrified, performance oriented and fit for every aspect of daily life. In combination with a comprehensive range of available charging solutions for home and on the move, customers can enjoy fully electric driving without compromise.
    The Audi e-tron is an electric SUV for sport, family and leisure. It is 193 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 65.5 inches high. It offers the spaciousness and comfort commensurate with an Audi. With a wheelbase of 115.1 inches, the Audi e-tron has ample space for five occupants and cargo. The total luggage capacity is 28.5 cu ft. (57.0 cu ft. seats down), equipping the electric SUV for short jaunts and long road trips.
    Electrification visualized: the exterior design
    The Audi e-tron reflects the fundamental idiom of Audi design – translated into the electric age by new, stylistically refined aerodynamically focused details. Consistent with one of the brand’s SUV models, the Audi e-tron bears the octagonal-design Singleframe grille with vertical struts. Its uniquely enclosed grille is presented in platinum gray – identifying it as a fully electric model. At the lower edge of the standard LED headlights, four horizontal struts, reminiscent of a charging status indicators, create the e-tron-specific signature in the daytime running lights. For the first time this is integrated directly into the headlights. Light is used as a signature design feature.
    Another important design element is the continuous shoulder line. It extends from the headlights, along the flanks, to the rear lights, giving the Audi e-tron a sense of stature and presence. The expressive design approach of the sill area with the black inserts on the door trim visualizes the location of the battery and thus the energy center of the Audi e-tron. Meanwhile, the roof stretches across the muscular body, which displays clear SUV attributes with its quattro blisters over the wheels and prominent D-pillars.
    At the sculptural rear, the long roof spoiler and wide diffuser accentuate the sporty look. One distinct element on the e-tron is the light strip connecting the LED rear taillights, consistent with the brand’s D segment offerings including the Audi A7, A8 and Q8. With their horizontal emphasis, the tail lights echo the graphics of the daytime running lights that are graphical representation of full battery charge. Meanwhile the four cross-slats in the diffuser draw attention to the absence of tailpipes, another reference to the fully electric drive.
    Every detail matters: aerodynamics and efficiency
    When developing the Audi e-tron, the exterior designers worked in close collaboration with the aerodynamics experts. The result of this attention to aero is an array of high-tech efficiency solutions, such as the regulated cooling air inlet with ducts for cooling the front brakes and the adaptive, speed-dependent air suspension that is standard on the Audi e-tron. The standard-fit 20-inch wheels are aerodynamically optimized and fitted with 255/50 tires. These are especially engineered for their ultralow rolling resistance. The fully clad underbody including aluminum plate to help protect the high-voltage battery likewise plays a vital role in lowering drag. The screw connection points are recessed to deliberately create minor vortices so that the air flows even better.
    In addition to aerodynamics, thermal management has an important role to play. The standard equipped heat pump uses the waste heat from the electrical components – up to 3 kW of the actual power loss are used for cabin heating and air conditioning as well as cooling the electric motor. Depending on ambient temperature, the heat pump’s design at can help contribute to the Audi e-tron range by up to ten percent. Highly flexible thermal management also allows fast direct-current charging to help maintain a long battery operating life and repeatable road performance.
    Sporty efficiency: drive and recuperation
    From high-efficiency to high-performance – the particularly appealing component of the Audi e-tron’s drive is its breadth. The two electric motors accelerate the e-tron from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 mph.  The advantage of the electric motor is felt especially in its impressive off-the-line starting performance from a standstill. The maximum drive torque is reached in 250 milliseconds – a performance worthy of a sports car. US horsepower and torque figures will be available closer to launch.
    The two asynchronous motors (ASM) of the Audi e-tron are especially robust. Their sophisticated cooling concept is designed to keep the temperature level low. Single-stage transmissions transfer the torque to the axles via the differentials. Each motor is supplied by power electronics that act in close consort with the powertrain control unit. When the Audi e-tron is traveling at moderate speeds, in the interest of efficiency it is powered mainly by the rear motor. When coasting, the motors operate free from magnetic drag torque – another strength of ASM technology.
    The Audi e-tron uses an innovative recuperation system encompassing both electric motors, to boost efficiency. On average, our engineers estimate that this system is responsible for as much as 30 percent of the e-tron’s range depending on the conditions, terrain and driving style. The electric SUV can recover energy in two ways: by means of coasting recuperation when the driver releases the accelerator, or by means of braking recuperation by depressing the brake pedal. When pressing the brake pedal, the electronic control unit computes within milliseconds how much pressure the system needs to build up for the specific braking process required. A high-performance electric motor supplies the necessary energy. The integrated brake control system is approximately 30 percent lighter than a conventional system thanks to its more compact design. The conventional vacuum pump is no longer needed in this configuration.
    According to the driving situation, the brake control system decides whether to use the electric motors as alternators or to use the friction brakes – all without the driver noticing. Up to 0.3 g, the Audi e-tron is decelerated solely by the electric motors – that covers over 90 percent of braking scenarios. So energy is returned to the battery in practically all normal braking instances. Above this deceleration value, for example in a full brake application, the friction brakes come into play. Thanks to a newly designed electro-hydraulic activation principle, they are particularly quick to respond. The driver can select the degree of energy recovery in three stages by means of paddles on the steering wheel. In the lowest setting, the Audi e-tron glides with no additional braking torque. At the highest stage the electric SUV is slowed more noticeably – the driver can slow down and accelerate solely via the acceleration pedal, if desired. This creates what is referred to as a one-pedal feeling.
    The efficiency assist additionally promotes an economical driving style by prompting the driver when he should move his foot off of the accelerator pedal. It does this by using the navigation system’s route data, radar information and camera images, Depending on the traffic situation the predictive system makes the Audi e-tron slow down proactively and in turn, recuperate.
    Strong performance on a variety road surfaces: electric all-wheel drive and suspension
    In the Audi e-tron, the brand introduces a new generation of quattro drive as standard: electric all-wheel drive. This new system enables the electric SUV to achieve optimum traction in a variety of weather conditions and on challenging road surfaces. In a similar way to the mechanical quattro with ultra technology, the second axle – in this case, the one at the front – can be connected predictively. This happens if the driver requests more power than the rear electric motor can supply, or predictively even before grip noticeably declines in wintery conditions or in dynamic cornering. The electric motors are an ideal power source for the high-precision, ultrafast electric quattro. Torque can be controlled spontaneously – the output can be redistributed between the axles within a fraction of a second.
    Towards the limits of driving dynamics, torque vectoring enhances handling by means of brief wheel brake applications. The dynamic talents of the Audi e-tron are especially apparent on a low-friction surface, such as snow. For the first time in the e-tron, the quattro torque vectoring are integrated on the central suspension controller, distributing the torque with a slight rear bias.
    The innovative traction control regulates wheel slip by the millisecond directly via the electric motors’ power electronics. The powertrain control unit is integrated with the built-in brake control system and helps maintain an optimum power flow between tires and road surface. Together with the electric all-wheel drive, this produces the high traction and directional stability that are typical of an Audi. This is especially evident in the four-stage Electronic Stabilization Control, which offers the “sport” and “offroad” modes and can also be fully turned off when desired.
    The SUV’s driving character can be adjusted with the standard Audi drive select across seven profiles – from comfortable, through efficient, to distinctively sporty – according to the driving situation, road condition or personal requirements. Some of the modes also influence the standard air suspension with adaptive dampers.
    Depending on road speed and driving style the suspension adjusts the body’s ride height by up to 76 millimeters (3.0 in). Especially on long journeys, a lower ride height improves the air flow around the body, thus helping to increase range. In the “offroad” mode, the Audi e-tron is primed for driving away from paved roads: Its ground clearance is increased by 35 millimeters (1.4 in) compared with the standard level. If the driver activates the additional function “Raise” in Audi drive select, the body can adapt to another 15 millimeters (0.6 in) higher.
    The electric SUV is both uniquely dynamic and stable in changing driving conditions. The low position of the drive components helps in that regard: The battery system is optimally matched to the dimensions of the Audi e-tron body and is located between the axles in the form of a flat, broad block beneath the passenger compartment. That places the Audi e-tron’s center of gravity a few centimeters lower down than in a conventional SUV.
    The axle load distribution is balanced at approximately 50:50, and self-steering behavior is neutral. The front and rear suspensions take the form of five-link designs. The standard progressive steering adjusts its ratio according to steering angle and provides speed-dependent assistance. The further the steering is turned, the more direct it becomes – this helps make the vehicle agile and precise to move with little effort. This advantage comes into play in city driving and for tight maneuvering.
    The optionally available trailer tow hitch can increase the Audi e-tron’s versatility, for example as a sport and leisure vehicle. When equipped with the tow package, the Audi e-tron has a maximum tow rating of 4000 lbs. It can also be used for mounting a cycle carrier, for example.
    95 kWh of energy: the high-voltage battery system
    The battery system in the Audi e-tron is located beneath the cabin and is 2.28 meters (90 inches) long, 1.63 meters (63.6 inches) wide and 34 centimeters (13.4 in) high. It comprises a total of 36 cell modules in square aluminum housings, each of which is roughly the size of a shoe box. They are arranged on two levels, known as “floors” –a longer lower floor and a shorter upper one. At market launch, each module is equipped with twelve pouch cells having a flexible outer skin of aluminum-coated polymer. The battery operates with a nominal voltage of 396 volts and stores 95 kWh of energy.
    A cooling system of flat aluminum extruded sections divided uniformly into small chambers has the task of maintaining the battery’s high-performance operation over the long term. Heat is exchanged between the cells and the cooling system beneath them via a thermally conductive gel pressed beneath each cell module. In what is a particularly resourceful solution, the gel evenly transfers the waste heat to the coolant via the battery housing.
    A strong surround frame and lattice-type aluminum structure that holds the cell modules is designed to protect the battery block. A substantial aluminum plate provides protection against damage from flying stones or curbs, for instance. These measures demonstrate how the Audi engineers have developed the batter and cooling systems with safety in mind. The weight of the battery system including the housing pan with intricate crash structures is roughly 700 kilograms (1543.2 lb). It is bolted to the underbody of the Audi e-tron at 35 points. This increases the torsional rigidity of the body, which in turn integrates numerous aluminum parts such as the floor plate in the rear structure, the doors, as well as the hood and tailgate. The cabin features components made from heat-formed ultra-high-strength steel.
    At up to 150 kW: charging on the move and at home
    Designed for efficiency and integration, the e-tron is engineered for both AC and DC charging via the widespread SAE J1772 and Combined Charging System (CCS) standards. In an industry first to-date, the e-tron debuts a DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW available at select high-speed public charging stations, this capability can deliver up-to an 80 percent charge in only approximately 30 minutes.  For customers’ residential charging needs, a standard 9.6 kW AC capsule charger (Level 2, 240-volt/40 amps) is provided and designed to deliver a fresh charge overnight. This charger will include plugs that can utilize both a standard 120-volt household outlet (1.2 kW) as well as a fast-speed 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet (9.6 kW).
    Audi e-tron buyers will have the opportunity to ready their homes for their all-electric SUV with available Amazon Home Services in the first-ever home charging collaboration between Amazon and an automaker. “Audi Home Charging powered by Amazon Home Services” offers e-tron buyers a fully-digital experience for in-home electric vehicle charging installations, designed to make the process of home charging set up as easy as ordering the millions of others items and services U.S. customers depend on from Amazon.
    Furthermore, customers can define their own personal priorities, such as charging when electricity is less expensive where available. With the myAudi app, it can be accessed from the convenience of the home. It can be used to plan, control, and monitor the charging and pre-heating/-cooling of the electric SUV. The customer can set a departure time, for example, so that the Audi e-tron is charged and/or heated/cooled at the desired time. Customers can even choose to heat or cool certain zones in the car. On cold winter days, for example, customers can turn on the optional seat heating. The app also displays charging and driving data.
    For charging on the go, the e-tron will be supported by a nationwide charging network, “Powered by Electrify America.” By July 2019, this network will include nearly 500 fast-charging sites complete or under development throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. Offering advanced charging, Electrify America’s chargers are capable of delivering up to 350kW. With the purchase of the Audi   e-tron customers will receive 1,000 kWh of charging at Electrify America sites over four years of ownership.
    Place of relaxation: the interior
    The interior of the Audi e-tron represents performance, intelligence and lightness – attributes that are manifested in an array of details. A generous arc, the wraparound dash, envelops the stepped dashboard as far around as the sculptural door trims. The entire cabin has a strong driver orientation and in addition to the central Audi virtual cockpit featuring a slim, visually free-standing display, the two MMI touch response displays are angled towards the pilot. When off, the upper screen blends almost invisibly into the large black-panel surface. In clear contrast, the lower display sits on the broad center console. The central tunnel rests on open side panels and incorporates a storage compartment, cup holders as well as the standard Audi phone box for inductive smartphone charging. This solution combines lightness with functionality. The hand rest that incorporates the gear selector appears to float above the console. The driver selects the drive position in a one-touch action with a movement of the thumb and index finger.
    In every equipment line, the interior of the Audi e-tron presents exceptional upholstery materials, colors, and inlays. The Audi e-tron meets our highest quality standards in terms of interior build quality and choice of materials such as the available Valcona leather seats or the natural wood inlays. The stitching on the seats creates a motif that evokes the precision of electric circuit boards.
    Typically full-size: spacious and comfortable
    Not only does the interior have an airy design, it genuinely offers ample space. The Audi e-tron offers excellent interior packaging –interior length, second-row leg room, and headroom front and rear provide comfortable seating for five adults. In the rear, there is a flat plateau instead of the center tunnel usually found in conventional models –resulting in additional space.
    The luggage capacity totals 28.5 cu ft, including an additional handy storage compartment beneath the front lid. This storage space is designed to accommodate the vehicle tool kit and mobile charging cable. With the rear seat backs folded down, the Audi e-tron has up to 57.0 cu ft of luggage space. The tailgate can be opened and closed electrically as standard for ease of loading, and can be operated by a foot gesture when the key is in your pocket or purse.
    As well as the car’s spaciousness, its standard of comfort and convenience is what you would expect from a typical Audi. The standard panoramic glass sunroof helps keep the interior bright and intensifies the impression of airiness and space. In addition, four-zone automatic air conditioning is standard with the option for available air quality package. The latter helps to maintain premium air quality by means of an ionizer and aromatization, the intensity of which can be adjusted over several levels. Multi-adjustable customized contour front seats with massage function are available as well. The available contour/ambient lighting package creates highlights after dark: It illuminates surfaces softly, edges sharply, and also back-lights the e-tron badge on the dashboard.
    A new level: acoustics and sound
    With its combination of electric drive and a comfortable, sophisticated interior, the Audi e-tron creates a new feeling for mobility. Especially when driving in the city, it radiates an almost perfect sense of calm. The only sounds are from its tires and the gentle hum of the electric motors.
    The body has special soundproofing in all zones that could transmit noise interference and help reduce wind vibrations. This makes the Audi e-tron the perfect platform for the standard Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with 3D sound in the front. It allows the music to be enjoyed precisely how it was recorded.
    Digital world: operation and displays
    In keeping with the all-new Audi C and D segment portfolio, the Audi e-tron features the MMI touch response operating system. Its two large, high-resolution displays – the upper one with a diagonal of 10.1 inches and the lower one 8.6 inches – take the place of almost all conventional switches and controls. Operation is swift and simple: When the finger activates a function, it triggers a tactile and acoustic click by way of confirmation. The few remaining buttons, for example for the lights, are also available with touch response technology if desired.
    In the upper display, the driver controls the infotainment, telephone, navigation, and special e-tron settings – this allows the activation of a charging timer or specifying the type of desired recuperation, for example. In the lower screen text input, comfort function selections and the HVAC are all managed with the wrist resting comfortably on the gear selector lever with integrated support. The menu structure is intuitively logical and flat like on a smartphone, including freely configurable favorites and start screens.
    In addition, the driver can activate a wide range of functions using natural language recognition. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or can be delivered from the cloud at LTE speed. The system understands spoken commands; the dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices, and also defers to the speaker when interrupted.
    Alexa has been fully integrated into the MMI system and is on board for customers to access the many of the same features and services in the Audi e-tron as they can in their home or through other Alexa-enabled devices. You can check news, weather and sports scores, order groceries and add things to your to-do list, stream music and audiobooks via Audible, Amazon Music and TuneIn. And you access the wide variety of Alexa skills. And with smart home controls, you can lock the doors, turn off the lights, and close the garage door directly from the vehicle – all you have to do is ask.
    The digital display and operating concept in the Audi e-tron is rounded off by the standard feature of the Audi virtual cockpit, which can be operated from the multifunction steering wheel. Its display benefits from the very high resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels and new e-tron-specific graphics. The driver can choose between three views: In the classic view, the power meter and speedometer are presented as large dials; in the infotainment view, they appear smaller and the focus is on the navigation map. Additionally, with the standard Audi virtual cockpit plus an additional view is shown that puts the power meter center stage. The head-up display complements the displays as an option. It projects important information straight onto the windscreen.
    Top-caliber connectivity: navigation, Audi connect
    The Audi e-tron is equipped with MMI Navigation plus as standard. The top-end media center supports the high-speed data transmission through LTE Advanced with integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers’ mobile devices through a 6-month unlimited Audi connect PLUS trial subscription. The navigation system can make predictive destination suggestions based on previous journeys. The route is calculated both on-board in the car and online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the overall traffic conditions.
    The online services of Audi connect PRIME ideally complement the navigation system, especially the e-tron route planner. The customer can use it either in the in-car MMI touch system or in the myAudi app. In both cases they are shown the suggested route with the available charging points. The navigation system considers not only the battery’s charge but also the traffic conditions and includes the required charging time in its arrival time calculation. The e-tron route planner provides charge locations as part of the route planning.
    Arrive more relaxed with comprehensive driver assistance systems
    Whether parking, in the city or on long journeys, the Audi e-tron can make life easier for its driver in life’s many situations. The system at the heart of the optional Driver Assistance Package is adaptive cruise assist, which comfortably provides longitudinal and lateral control in traffic jams or at highway speeds. It supports the driver with accelerating, braking, maintaining speed, keeping distance. The system can detect lane markings, roadside structures, vehicles in adjacent lanes and vehicles driving ahead. In construction zones, the Audi e-tron automatically adapts its speed to the traffic situation, taking into account the speed limit. If the lane is too narrow to allow side-by-side driving, adaptive cruise assist enables offset driving through narrow stretches. In conjunction with efficiency assist it predictively slows down and accelerates the Audi e-tron based on its evaluation of sensor and navigation data as well as road signs. It automatically adjusts to the current speed limit, reduces the speed before corners, during turning and on roundabouts. The system can maintain a driving style that reflects the driving program selected – from every day to sporty.
    Driver assistance features for urban areas include intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist as well as lane change and vehicle exit warning. The 360 degree cameras provide multiple views to facilitate centimeter-precision maneuvering, while showing crossing traffic. The 3D view with freely selectable perspective is the highlight. Park steering assist eases the parking process. It steers the Audi e-tron independently into parallel parking and perpendicular parking spaces – forward or backward. The driver only has to accelerate, select the gear and brake.
    Operating as standard behind the driver assistance systems in the Audi e-tron is the central driver assistance controller. It continuously computes a differentiated picture of the surroundings. The required data is obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner.
    e-tron Reservation System
    Accompanying the debut of the e-tron, customers are now able to configure their e-tron and reserve their vehicle with a fully refundable $1,000 reservation fee ahead of delivery in mid-2019.
    This new Audi reservation system is part of how Audi of America will create a digital ecosystem for Audi owners to confidently go electric. After customers place a reservation, they will be able to track it online and with their local dealer.
    As an electric SUV that includes integrated digital tools, in-home charging solutions, and the support of Audi of America’s 303 dealer partners —e-tron owners can confidently choose electric performance knowing they have the support of a full Audi ecosystem.
    Pricing & Equipment:
    The Audi e-tron is being will arrive in the US during the 2nd quarter of 2019. The entry Premium Plus trim is very well equipped to appeal to premium buyers and make going electric easier than ever. Available premium equipment such as available massage and cooled seats no longer need to be left out when going electric.  
    To celebrate our first electric vehicle, we are introducing a limited build First Edition model in the US, with only 999 units making their way to the US market. The special equipment combination includes Daytona Gray exterior, 21-inch bi-color Black wheels, Alu-Optic exterior trim complemented by Dynamic orange brake calipers matching the Dynamic orange highlights surrounding the e-tron nameplate lettering located near the charge port. The interior is further elevated from the standard e-tron offering through Black Valcona leather with gray contrast stitch and Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays.
    Model year 2019 e-tron manufacturer suggested retail prices are listed below:
    PREMIUM PLUS
    PRESTIGE
    FIRST EDITION
    $74,800
    $81,800
    $86,700
    20-inch wheels w/ all-season tires Top view camera system Comfort pre-conditioning Audi side assist w/ cross-traffic alert Full LED exterior + interior lighting Matrix design headlamps MMI Navigation plus w/ virtual cockpit 3D 705W B&O Sound w/16 speakers Audi phonebox + smartphone interface 12-way power front seats, heated + cooled 4-spoke power adj. steering wheel Leather seating surfaces Illuminated aluminum door sills Panoramic sunroof Premium Plus equipment and the following:
    Head-up display Driver Assistance package Individual Contour seats w/ massage Power-door closers Rear window sunshades Dual-pane acoustic front side windows Valcona Leather + extended leather Memory for front passenger seat Air quality package + ionizer  
    Prestige equipment and the following:
    21-inch bi-color Black wheels, A/S tires Daytona Gray pearl effect paint Alu-Optic exterior trim (sills, air inlet, diffuser) Dynamic orange painted brake calipers Black Valcona leather interior w/gray contrast stitching Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays LED puddle lamp “edition one” projection Night Vision Assistant  
    Prices listed are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices and do not include destination and delivery ($995), taxes, title, options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.
    Production and U.S. Market launch
    The Audi e-tron will be manufactured in the brand new Audi Brussels facility, which was certified as CO2 neutral by the Belgian testing company Vincotte and will begin deliveries in the U.S. market in the 2nd quarter of 2019.

    William Maley

    It appears the R8 is back on

    Back in December, we reported that Audi had no plans on introducing a third-generation R8 sports car due to slow sales. But a new report says Audi is moving forward with the next-generation R8 and is planning to make it electric.
    According to Autocar, plans for the next-generation R8 were unshelled as the automaker is planning to build out a range of all-electric models for their e-tron sub-brand. An electric supercar would be an excellent way to cap off the lineup. The model is expected to take some ideas from the PB18 concept shown last month at Pebble Beach. Autocar speculates the model could produce up to 1000 horsepower from its electric motors (the report doesn't say how many motors).
    Production could begin at the company's Neckarsulm, Germany in 2022.
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    For a first concept showing at Pebble Beach, we're impressed

    The past few years has seen a number of automakers introduce new and concept vehicles at Pebble Beach. Audi is the latest automaker to join the fray with the introduction of the PB18 e-tron concept.
    Audi describes the PB18 e-tron as a "high-performance sports car of tomorrow." It looks like a mashup of the R8 supercar and the R18 Le Mans racer. One interesting trait is around back with a large glass tailgate. A set of 22-inch turbine wheels hide a set of 19-inch carbon disc brakes. The interior has a clever trick as it can be arranged to be a single seater or or two seater. This is due to a motorized sliding cockpit module and drive-by-wire controls for the steering and brakes. 
    “We want to offer the driver an experience that is otherwise available only in a racing car like the Audi R18. That’s why we developed the interior around the ideal driver’s position in the center. Nevertheless, our aim was to also give the PB 18 e-tron a high degree of everyday usability, not just for the driver, but also for a potential passenger,” said Gael Buzyn, Head of the Audi Design Loft in Malibu, California.
    Three electric motors provide the motivation for the PB18 e-tron. Total output is rated at 500 kW (670 horsepower) with an overboots function providing 570kW (about 764 horsepower). 0-60 mph is said to take around two seconds. A 95-kWh solid state battery provides the juice for the motors. Total range is said to be around 310 miles. Using an 800-volt charger, the PB18 e-tron only takes 15 minutes to recharge. 
    The body is a mix of aluminum, carbon fiber, and composites. Overall weight comes to 3,147 pounds.
    Source: Audi


    World premiere at Monterey Car Week - the Audi PB 18 e-tron concept car is unveiled at Laguna Seca
    High-performance sports car concept with electric drive Design and technical concept car for the enthusiast Envisioned as a monoposto on the racetrack with ability to center the driving position in the middle INGOLSTADT, Germany/MONTEREY, Calif., Va., August 23, 2018 – For the first time, Audi is presenting a design and technical concept car at Pebble Beach Automotive Week in Monterey, California. The all-electric Audi PB 18 e-tron presents a radical vision for the high-performance sports car of tomorrow. Broad and flat, visibly inspired by the wind tunnel and the race track, its very presence signals that it is destined to push boundaries. Its concept and exciting lines were created in the new Audi design studio in Malibu, California – where the brand’s design is consistently being updated for the future. The technical concept of the PB 18 e-tron has benefitted from Audi's many years of winning the Le Mans racing series. The experts at Audi Sport GmbH, the high-performance subsidiary of Audi, were responsible for implementation. The abbreviated name “PB 18 e-tron” refers both to the Pebble Beach venue for the premiere and to the technological DNA it shares with the successful LMP1 racing car Audi R18 e-tron.  
    Consistently focused concepts for use
    At first sight, the Audi PB 18 e-tron shows its kinship with another spectacular concept car from the brand – the Audi Aicon from 2017. This holds true not only for characteristic design elements like the side windows that angle inwards and the extremely extended wheel arches. The two concept cars from 2017 and 2018 also share their electric drive with solid-state battery as energy storage.
    But their respective, consistently focused concepts for use make them polar opposites. While the Aicon was designed as a fully automated, long-distance luxury vehicle – a business jet for the road – the creators of the PB 18 e-tron designed it as a radical driving machine for the racetrack and road. Dynamics and emotion top its list of specifications. Parameters like propulsive power, lateral acceleration and perfect ergonomics determine each detail. And driver-orientation is in a completely new dimension.
    The internal working title at Audi for the show car project was “Level Zero” – as an explicit way to differentiate it from the Levels 3, 4 and 5 of automated driving currently in focus at Audi. In the Audi PB 18 e-tron, the driver is the one steering and stepping on the accelerator or brake pedal. There are therefore no complex systems for piloted driving on board and no comfort features to add weight. In their place are a driver’s seat and cockpit that are integrated into an inner monocoque shell that can be slid laterally. When driven solo, the monocoque can be positioned in the center of the interior as in a monoposto – the perfect location for the racetrack. This is made possible not least by the by-wire design of the steering and pedals; a mechanical connection of the control elements is not needed.
    Gael Buzyn is Head of the Audi Design Loft in Malibu – where the Audi PB 18 e-tron was born. He describes the most important item in the specifications: “We want to offer the driver an experience that is otherwise available only in a racing car like the Audi R18. That’s why we developed the interior around the ideal driver’s position in the center. Nevertheless, our aim was to also give the PB 18 e-tron a high degree of everyday usability, not just for the driver, but also for a potential passenger.”
    When the driver’s monocoque is slid into the side position, from where the PB 18 e-tron can be steered in everyday driving like a conventional road vehicle, there is room for a passenger. An additional seat can be accessed on the other side-- integrated low above the ground and equipped with a three-point seatbelt. The driver also benefits when getting in and out from the easily accessible outside position of the monocoque, which can be moved when the door is open up to the sill.
    Inspiration drawn from motorsport
    The Audi PB 18 e-tron package follows the traditional architecture of a mid-engine sports car with a cab that is positioned far forward. The car’s center of gravity is located behind the seats and in front of the rear axle – which benefits the driving dynamics. This does not involve the engine-transmission unit, as in a car with a conventional drive system, but rather the battery pack.
    A mix of aluminum, carbon and multi-material composites ensures the body of the Audi PB 18 e-tron has a low basic weight. Not least thanks to the innovative and comparatively light solid-state battery, a total weight of less than 1,550 kg (3,417.2 lb) can be expected.
    The PB 18 e-tron is 4.53 meters long, 2 meters wide and just 1.15 meters tall (14.5 x 6.4 x 4.6 ft). These dimensions alone speak of a classical sports car. The wheelbase is 2.70 meters (8.9 ft) and the overhangs are compact. Viewed from the side, the eye is drawn to the gently sloping roof line which is pulled far to the back and features massive C-pillars. Together with the large and almost vertical rear window, this design is reminiscent of a shooting brake concept – the synthesis of a coupé with the rear of a station wagon. The result is not only a distinctive silhouette but also, with 470 liters (16.6 cubic ft), a clear bonus in terms of cargo space – usually a deficit in sports cars. An exclusive luggage set customized to fit the cargo space helps to make optimum use of the luggage compartment – even if the luggage in this car frequently consists of nothing but a helmet and racing overall.
    A flat red band of lights extends across the entire width of the rear and underscores the horizontal orientation of the vehicle body. The cabin, placed on the broad shoulders of the wheel arches, appears almost dainty from the rear. The rear diffuser air outlet has been raised high – another functional feature borrowed from motorsport. The diffuser can be moved downward mechanically to increase downforce. The rear spoiler, which normally is fixed, can be extended rearward for the same purpose.
    The widely extended wheel arches located opposite the central cabin are noticeable from every angle. They emphasize the extremely wide track of the PB 18 e-tron and thereby illustrate the lateral dynamic potential of the car and the obligatory quattro drive. The large 22-inch wheels, each with eight asymmetrically designed spokes are reminiscent of turbine inlets – together with the air inlets and outlets of the wheel arches, their rotation ensures excellent air supply to the large carbon brake discs.
    The front is dominated by the familiar hexagon shape of the Singleframe grille, with an emphatically wide and horizontal cut. The brand logo is placed above at the front of the hood, in the typical Audi sports car style. Large air inlets to the left and right of the Singleframe supply the necessary cooling air to the brakes and the front electric motor. Wide and flat light units with integrated digital matrix technology and laser high-beam headlights complete the face of the PB 18 e-tron.
    The laser high-beam headlight with its enormous range is especially emblematic of the transfer of know-how from motorsport: This technology made its debut in the Le Mans R18 racing car, where the maximum light output at speeds above 300 km/h offered a crucial safety advantage at night races as well.
    The Audi designers have taken a new tack for air flow through the front hood. The hood dips deeply and acts as a lateral bridge running across the nose, connecting the two emphatically accentuated fenders and also doubling as an air deflector. A design that is thoroughly familiar from racing prototypes.
    At the same time, this layout offers the driver a unique quality of visibility, and not just on the race track. Looking through the large windshield from the low seating position, the driver sees precisely into the opening of the ventilated hood and onto the road, and can thus perfectly target the course and apex of the curve. Mounted within the field of vision is a transparent OLED surface. The ideal line of the next curve can be shown on it, for example, precisely controlled with data from navigation and vehicle electronics. In normal road traffic, on the other hand, the direction arrows and other symbols from the navigation system are designed to find a perfect place here in the driver’s field of vision, analogous to a head-up display.
    The large-format cockpit itself is designed as a freely programmable unit and can be switched between various layouts for the racetrack or the road, depending on the scenario for use.
    Emotion without tailpipe emissions: three electric motors and quattro drive
    The concept uses three powerful electric motors – one up front and two in the rear. The latter are centrally located between the steering knuckles, each directly driving one wheel via half-shafts. They deliver power output of up to 150 kW to the front axle and 450 kW to the rear – the Audi PB 18 e-tron is a true quattro, of course. Maximum output is 500 kW, with boosting, the driver can temporarily mobilize up to 570 kW. The combined torque of up to 830 newton meters (612.2 lb-ft) allows acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in scarcely more than 2 seconds – a speed that differs only marginally from that of a current LMP1 prototype.
    In normal road traffic, the driver can limit the maximum speed in favor of range. This limitation is easy to deactivate on the racetrack and can be adapted to local conditions.
    The focus is on not just powerful performance but also maximum efficiency. While being driven, the Audi PB 18 e-tron is designed to recover large amounts of energy: up to moderate braking, the electric motors are solely responsible for decelerating the vehicle. The hydraulic brakes only come into play for heavy braking.
    The concept of separate electric motors on the rear axle offers major advantages when it comes to sporty handling. The Torque Control Manager, which works together with the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), actively distributes the power to the wheels of the front and rear axles as needed. This torque control provides for maximum dynamics and stability. Thanks to the virtually instantaneous response of the electric motors, the control actions are lightning-quick. The drive concept of the Audi PB 18 e-tron adapts perfectly to every situation, whether involving transverse or longitudinal dynamics.
    The liquid-cooled solid-state battery has an energy capacity of 95 kWh. A full charge provides for a range of over 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) in the WLTP cycle. The Audi PB 18 e-tron is already designed for charging with a voltage of 800 volts. This means the battery can be fully recharged in about 15 minutes.
    The Audi PB 18 e-tron can also be charged cordlessly via induction with Audi Wireless Charging (AWC). This is done by placing a charging pad with integral coil on the floor where the car is to be parked, and connecting it to the power supply. The alternating magnetic field induces an alternating voltage in the secondary coil fitted in the floor of the car, across the air gap.
    High-tech from the LMP1 sport: the suspension
    The front and rear have independent suspension on lower and upper transverse control arms, and, as commonly found in motor racing, a push-rod system on the front axle and pull-rod system on the rear – in both cases with adaptive magnetic ride shock absorbers. The suspension of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans racing car served as the model for the basic architecture.
    The wheels measure 22 inches in diameter and are fitted with 275/35 tires in the front and 315/30 in the back. Large carbon brake discs with a 19-inch diameter, in conjunction with the electric brake, safely and steadily decelerate the Audi PB 18 e-tron even in tough racetrack conditions.

    William Maley

    Hurry now!

    For a time, you could order an Audi A4 or A5 with a manual transmission at no-cost. But that option will be going away when the 2019 models begin arriving at dealers.
    Car and Driver reports that low demand for the option has Audi pulling off the option sheet. Audi points out that only five percent of U.S. buyers picked an A4 with a manual transmission. The news isn't that surprising as more automakers are dropping them due to low demand and automatic transmissions returning better fuel economy figures.
    If you really want to get your hands on an A4 or A5 manual, you might want to hurry to your nearest Audi dealer. Car and Driver says there is still a sizable amount in inventory.
    Source: Car and Driver

    William Maley

    Woah, it actually has some style

    Today, Audi unveiled an all-new Q3 that should help it in what is becoming a very competitive class.
    The most apparent change is on the outside. Audi didn't go as subtile in the design as they have with previous models. The Q3 actually has some character with an edgier body, a large eight-bar grille from the Q8 crossover, and more pronounced fender flares. It is also slightly bigger than the outgoing Q3 - 3.8-inches longer, 0.7-inches wider, and rides on a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase. Step inside and you'll find a two-level dash design and the choice of either an 8.8-inch or 10.1-inch touchscreen, The driver faces a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, while a 12.3-inch display with Audi's Virtual Cockpit is optional.
    For the time being, Audi is detailing powertrains for the European model. There will be four engines - three gas and one diesel. All engines will be turbocharged inline-fours. There will be a six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch available, along with Audi's quattro all-wheel drive.
    European markets will begin seeing the 2019 Q3 at dealers in November. Those in the U.S. will need to wait until next year to find out when it will go on sale and specs.
    Source: Audi


    The all-new Audi Q3: Delivering striking design, seamless technology, and thoughtful functionality to the entry SUV segment
    Bigger dimensions, more comfort: compact SUV with outstanding everyday utility New operating concept: digital displays and MMI touch display Connected like the full-size segment: smart infotainment and clever assist systems INGOLSTADT, Germany, July 25, 2018 – The new Audi Q3 is a family SUV with great all-round talents. In the second generation it appears not only visually more self-confident, but also roomier and more versatile. Just like the Audi top-of-the-line models, it features a fully digital operating and display concept, extensive infotainment solutions and innovative assist systems. They enhance comfort, as does the further developed suspension. The new Audi Q3 will begin arriving at European dealerships in November 2018.
    Strength and presence: the exterior design
    The new Audi Q3 looks much sportier than its predecessor. Thanks to the striking Singleframe in octagon design, which is divided up by vertical bars, along with the large air inlets. They characterize the masculine front-end with its intensive play of light and shadow. The narrow headlights run inwards with their wedge shape. Audi supplies them in three versions through to Matrix LED technology whose adaptive high beam intelligently illuminates the road. The side view epitomizes the balance of the exterior design with the symmetrical lighting graphics of the headlights and rear lights. The shoulder line connects them from a styling perspective and provides an athletic overall impression with strong muscles over the wheel arches. The contours draw their inspiration from Audi’s quattro DNA and make the SUV seem even wider; the color-contrasting wheel arch trims emphasize the offroad look. Supported by a long roof edge spoiler, which also flanks the rear window at the side, the steeply raked D pillars of the body line also create an appearance of forward thrust.
    Driver-oriented and sporty: the interior
    Taut lines, three-dimensionally styled elements – the interior continues the design of the exterior and echoes in many ways the brand’s full-size models. The architecture harmonizes perfectly with the new operating concept. Its central element is the MMI touch display with its high-gloss black glass-look surround.
    Together with the air conditioning controls underneath, it is tilted ten degrees toward the driver. All displays, buttons and controls are located ergonomically. The comfortable seats provide a sporty position; the steering wheel is steeply angled accordingly.
    Generous and variable: the space concept
    Compared with its predecessor, the new Audi Q3 has grown in virtually all dimensions. It is 4,485 millimeters (14.7 ft) long, 1,856 millimeters (6.1 ft) wide and 1,585 millimeters (5.2 ft) high. Its wheelbase, which has been stretched by 77 millimeters (3.0 in), is spacious yet, at the same time, extremely versatile: The rear seats can be moved fore/aft by 150 millimeters 
    (5.9 in). Their three-way split backrests in the ratio 40:20:40 can be tilted in seven stages. Depending on the position of the rear seats and backrests, the luggage compartment capacity is between 530 and 1,525 liters (18.7-53.9 cu ft). The loading floor can be adjusted in three levels and the parcel shelf can be stowed underneath the floor if not needed. An electric tailgate, which can also be opened and closed with a kicking motion, is also available as an option.
    Digital world: controls and displays
    The operating and display concept of the SUV has been overhauled from the ground up – Audi has done away with the analog instruments. Even the standard specification includes a digital instrument cluster with a 10.25 inch screen diagonal, which the driver operates using the multifunction steering wheel. With the top-of-the-line equipment MMI navigation plus, the displays appear in the Audi virtual cockpit, which offers many additional functions. There is also a 10.1-inch touch display. As an option, the driver can choose the larger Audi virtual cockpit plus with three different views, including a new, particularly sporty display. The intuitive operating concept with its flat menu structure is supplemented by natural-language voice control. It also understands freely structured wording. The ingenious dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices and defers to the speaker when interrupted.
    Intelligently connected: infotainment and Audi connect
    The top-of-the-line infotainment system in the Audi Q3 offers the same technical functions as in the higher segments. Its data transfer module supports the LTE Advanced standard with integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for the passengers’ mobile devices. The navigation system recognizes the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys, allowing it to generate suitable route suggestions. The Audi connect portfolio ideally supplements navigation guidance with traffic information online, the point-of-interest search and information on parking spaces and filling stations appearing directly in the navigation map. The Audi Q3 utilizes the Audi fleet’s swarm intelligence to forecast the availability of roadside parking space, to provide information on hazardous spots and current speed limits. Other options include Google Earth and the hybrid radio, which automatically switches between FM, DAB and the online stream to ensure optimum reception at all times. The voice control function accesses information stored in the vehicle as well as the detailed knowledge in the cloud to respond. The Audi Q3 is even more tightly integrated with the myAudi app. It seamlessly connects a smartphone to the car. The customer can, for instance, transfer navigation routes and the smartphone calendar to the MMI and locate where the Q3 is parked.
    A range of hardware modules supplement the infotainment portfolio, including the Audi phone box. It links the owner’s smartphone to the vehicle’s antenna and charges the phone inductively. The Audi smartphone interface links customers’ iOS and Android cell phones and places their Apple Car Play or Android Auto environment on the MMI display. The Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with virtual sound provides three-dimensional audio and drives a total of 15 loudspeakers.
    Convenience and safety: driver assistance systems
    The adaptive cruise assist is a highlight of the assist systems. It incorporates the functions of adaptive speed assist, traffic jam assist and active lane assist. In this way it assists the driver with longitudinal and lateral control – substantially enhancing comfort on long journeys in particular. The Audi Q3 makes maneuvering easier thanks to the four 360 degree cameras.
    They show on the large infotainment screen the SUV’s immediate surroundings. Here the driver can also follow the maneuvers completed by the park assist. The park assist steers the car automatically into and out of parking spaces. The driver only has to accelerate, brake and shift gears. If the driver wants to reverse out of a parallel parking space or a tight entrance, cross traffic assist is activated. The radar sensors, which the system uses to monitor the area behind the vehicle, also provide information to the standard-fit lane change warning. If the system detects a vehicle located in the blind spot or approaching quickly from the rear, a warning LED is lit in the relevant exterior mirror.
    Agility on- and offroad: engines and suspension
    As part of the sales launch, Audi is delivering the new Q3 with four engine versions, three gasoline and one diesel unit in combination with front-wheel or quattro drive. Their power outputs range from 110 kW (150 hp) to 169 kW (230 hp). All engines are four-cylinder direct injection units with turbocharging. They are powerful, refined and efficient. A six-speed manual transmission or a fast-shifting seven-speed S tronic is used to transmit the power. Offroad the permanent all-wheel drive delivers excellent driving pleasure with optimum traction and unshakable stability. Activated at the push of a button, the optional hill descent control maintains the preset speed on a steep downhill gradient. The driver can vary the characteristics of the Audi Q3 depending on the driving situation, road conditions or personal needs using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system with six profiles – from markedly comfortable, highly efficient through to out-and-out sporty. The system also influences the optional suspension with damper control where sensors measure the movements of all four wheels as well as the vehicle’s lateral and longitudinal acceleration and adjust the dampers as required. This results in enhanced driving dynamics with even more comfort. Alternatively, there is the sport suspension – standard with the S line exterior package – with tauter spring/damper tuning and progressive steering. Its ratio becomes increasingly direct with increasing steering angle, adding substantially to the light-footed handling of the new Audi Q3.
    The equipment, data and prices specified in this release refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted. U.S. model specifications to follow closer to launch in 2019.

    William Maley

    Good-bye Stadler

    Earlier this month, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was taken into custody by German prosecutors over concerns about evidence tampering. He is expected to be in jail for another week as investigators will conduct interviews about the diesel emission scandal. Whether or not he is released on bail remains to be seen, but sources tell Automotive News Europe that Stadler will likely not return as Audi's CEO.
    "The expectation is that Stadler cannot return to his post. You have to be careful, because it's not so easy due to German labor laws, but he needs to concentrate on his legal defense right now and clearing his name," said a source close to Volkswagen Group's supervisory board.
    The board has been protecting Stadler for some time, but a change in think on the board now see him as 'damaged goods'. According to sources, the last thing Audi needs is a CEO that is implicated in the diesel emission scandal returning to said position. It is hoped that when Stadler is released, he will step down as CEO. It would avoid the embarrassment of the company having to fire him.
    Who could take Stadler's place? Some believe it could be Bram Schot, Audi's sales chief who was named interim CEO. Sources reveal that Schot isn't acting like a caretaker CEO. A key example was the decision to cancel the media launch of the e-tron in Brussels in August, to the U.S. on a yet to be revealed date.
    "If Bram Schot does his job well, he has a chance to be the permanent successor. He has all the abilities he needs to act and Schot isn't postponing anything, he's making decisions -- de facto he's the CEO," said a source.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Slight issue with the CEO currently under arrest

    August 30th was going to be a momentous occasion for Audi. It would be unveiling the long-awaited e-tron crossover at an event in Brussels. Invitations to journalists had been sent out. But Automotive News reports that the event has been cancelled.
    Audi made the announcement yesterday, citing "organizational reasons". The event would now take place in the U.S. at a later date.
    Those "organizational reasons" are most likely due to the arrest of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler last week. Prosecutors took him into custody over concerns of evidence tampering. According to Bloomberg, Stadler will be spending another week in prison as he continues to be interviewed by prosecutors into his involvement in the diesel emission scandal.
    This is a big blow for Audi as they would have been the first German automaker to introduce a Tesla fighter. Mercedes-Benz will now get to be the first one with the introduction of the EQC crossover on September 4th in Stockholm.
    An Audi spokeswoman told Automotive News that the delay to the e-tron's unveiling will not affect the sales launch of the model, expected to happen later this year.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Becomes the highest-profile person to be arrested in the diesel emission scandal

    Early this morning, German authorities arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler at his home in Ingolstadt. Prosecutors said in a statement that Stadler's arrest is due to concerns about evidence tampering. 
    “There were clear signs that there was to be an effort to influence people and other suspects. Therefore we issued an immediate arrest warrant,” Stephan Necknig, a spokesman for the Munich prosecutor’s office to German Tabloid Bild.
    The arrest of Stadler comes a week after prosecutors accused him of fraud and false advertising. Stadler and Audi's head of procurement, Bernd Martens had their homes raided by prosecutors this past week as well. According to Bloomberg, Stadler is willing to be questioned later this week and his lawyers aren't challenging the arrest at the moment.
    The New York Times reports that Volkswagen's supervisory board has been holding meetings today to decide on an interim replacement for Stadler. In a statement, Audi said "For Mr. Stadler, the presumption of innocence continues to apply."
    Stadler becomes the highest-profile employee at the Volkswagen group to be arrested in connection to the diesel emission scandal.
    Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required), New York Times, Reuters

    William Maley

    We're really stretching the definition of a coupe

    Today at an event in in Shenzen, China, Audi revealed the long-teased Q8 crossover.
    Audi describes the Q8 as a vehicle that "combines the elegance of a four-door luxury coupé with the practical versatility of a large SUV." We're really thinking that Audi stretching the definition of a "four-door luxury coupé" because the only the only coupe like features we can see are the lowered roof line and wider stance. The front end is a bit too busy with a large single-frame grille and vents for the bumper. Along the side, Audi's designers squared off many of the corners and there is a massive C-Pillar.
    The interior is similar to the new A6 and A8 sedans with a modern design for dash, dual-touchscreens that control many aspects of the vehicle, and Audi's Virtual Cockpit system. There will be a fair amount of cargo space in the Q8 with Audi quoting measurements of 21.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 61.9 cubic feet when folded.
    All Q8s will come equipped with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that acts as a starter motor and providing more oomph in hard acceleration. The system can also recover energy when braking. At the moment, Audi has only announced two engines for the Q8 - both 3.0L turbocharged V6s. One is a diesel that will be sold in Europe, and the other being a gas engine. quattro all-wheel drive will come standard.
    Adaptive dampers will come standard, while an optional air suspension system can raise or lower the ride height by 3.5 inches. All-wheel steering is available as an option and can turn the rear-wheels up to 5 degrees.
    Sales of the Q8 kick off in the third-quarter of this year for Europe. Expect the U.S. to follow either late this year or early next year.
    Source: Audi


    The new face of the Q family: the Audi Q8
    Expressive design with new Singleframe and features from the original Audi quattro Generous, elegant interior, touch operating concept and high-tech navigation All-wheel steering and quattro drive for agile handling and best traction The Audi Q8 combines the elegance of a four-door luxury coupé with the practical versatility of a large SUV. Richly equipped, comprehensively connected and tough enough for off-road duty, it is a confident companion for business and leisure. The Audi Q8 launches on the European market in the third quarter of 2018.

    Versatile, sporty, elegant: the dimensional and space concept
    The Audi Q8 exudes sporty dynamics and upscale prestige like no other SUV from the brand with the four rings. 4.99 meters (16.4 ft) long, 2.00 meters (6.6 ft) wide and 1.71 meters (5.6 ft) tall, the SUV coupe is wider, shorter and lower than its Q7 sister model. With a wheelbase of nearly 3.00 meters (9.8 ft), it offers a spacious interior that beats of its direct competitors in most relevant dimensions, including interior length and headroom. There is a three-seat system in the rear with longitudinally adjusting upon request. With the seatbacks folded down, the luggage compartment under the power rear hatch holds up to 1,755 liters (62.0 cu ft).
    New presence for the Q family: the exterior design
    With the imposing Singleframe in octagonal design, the Audi Q8 is the new face of the Q family. The brawny radiator grille stands upright and, together with the spoiler that has been drawn toward the front and the large, highly contoured air inlets, emphasizes the self-confident look. The elegantly sloping roofline terminates in gently inclined D-pillars and rests against the quattro blisters above the wheel arches, which house up to 22-inch wheels. Numerous details hint at the design of the original quattro. Strong contours and athletically tight surfaces convey a feeling of power, sophistication and the special dynamics of the permanent all-wheel drive. The spoiler, wheel arch trims, door trim strips and diffuser are in a contrasting color, to further emphasize the off-road look.
    Standard LED headlights illuminate the road, with HD Matrix LED technology available as an option. Here both the three-dimensional signature of the daytime running lights and the taillights have a digital character. A light strip connects the units at the rear. As in the original Audi quattro, a black surface underlays this strip. Q8 owners can use the myAudi app on their smartphone to activate various lighting functions and experience them from the outside.
    Sporty driving experience: suspension and drive
    Audi is quattro and quattro is Audi – of course this applies in particular to the Q8, the top SUV of the brand. The purely mechanical center differential transfers the forces to the front axle and rear axle at a ratio of 40:60 as standard. When required, it transfers the majority to the axle with the better traction. That plus as much 254 millimeters (10.0 in) of ground clearance, short overhangs and hill descent control means the Audi Q8 can keep going even after the pavement ends. The suspension with damper control is standard. Audi offers the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping as an option, with either comfort or sport setup. It adjusts the ride height depending on the driving situation and the driver’s preference by as much as 90 millimeters (3.5 in).
    Besides the standard progressive steering, whose steering ratio becomes increasingly direct the further the steering wheel is turned, Audi also offers the option of all-wheel steering. It can turn the rear wheels as much as 5 degrees – counter to the direction of the turn at low speeds to increase agility and at higher speeds in the direction of the turn for better stability.
    All drive systems are particularly efficient thanks to the new mild hybrid technology (MHEV). The 48-volt primary electrical system incorporates two important technology modules: a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter. During braking, it can recover up to 12 kW of power and feed it back into the battery. The MHEV technology enables long coasting phases with the engine deactivated and a start-stop range that begins at 22 km/h (13.7 mph).
    Clarity is the new premium: the interior
    Easy-to-understand symbols stand for the digital precision from Audi and for the high level of integration of architecture and operation. The central element is the top MMI touch response display. With its black-panel look, it almost dissolves into a large, black surface when switched off. All elements refer logically to one another, from the flat air vent strip to the wide console on the center tunnel bearing the tiptronic selector lever. In the dark, the optional contour light traces the distinctive design lines of the interior and provides backlight for the three-dimensionally lasered quattro badge above the glove compartment – an example for the love of detail at Audi. Options including customized contour seats with massage function and ventilation, four-zone automatic air conditioning and the air quality package further enhance the elegant ambiance.
    Sensitive and concise: controls and displays
    With the MMI touch response operating concept of the new Audi Q8, nearly every function can be accessed via two large displays. The upper 10.1-inch display is used for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system. The driver uses the 8.6-inch display below that for heating and air conditioning, convenience functions and text input, the latter with his or her wrist resting comfortably and ergonomically on the selector lever.
    Operation is swift and simple: A tactile and acoustic click confirms when a finger activates a function. In addition to all this, the natural language voice control turns the Audi Q8 into an intelligent dialog partner. Drivers can word their commands freely. The voice control can, for example, understand the sentence “I am hungry” and in response suggests restaurants close by.
    The instruments are shown in the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit. Its high-resolution 12.3-inch display can be switched between two views via the multifunction steering wheel. The optional plus version includes a third, particularly sporty view. The head-up display also projects important information onto the windshield, including detailed lane guidance for navigation.
    Clever networking: Audi connect and driver assistance systems
    On the German market, the Audi Q8 comes standard with the top-of-the-line infotainment system, MMI navigation plus. It includes the Audi connect data transfer module with the LTE Advanced standard and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation system recognizes the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys and therefore can make intelligent suggestions. The online services from Audi connect add predictive features to the route planning process. This lets the two Car-to-X services for traffic sign information and hazard information benefit from the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. The optional Audi connect key lets the driver lock/unlock the vehicle, and start the engine using a compatible Android smartphone. Individual user profiles allow as many as 400 preferred settings to be stored for multiple drivers. With the myAudi app, drivers can also transfer special destinations to the navigation system, stream music or transfer the smartphone calendar to the MMI.
    The Audi Q8 is top-notch with respect to sound and connection quality thanks to the Audi phone box and voice-over LTE. The same applies to the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. It delivers fascinating 3D sound with height information to all five seats. The music unfolds exactly how it was recorded in the concert hall.
    Whether parking, in the city or on long journeys – the Audi Q8 supports its driver in many situations. Among the systems contributing here are the adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, crossing assist, lane change warning, curb warning and 360 degree cameras. One highlight is the remote garage pilot, which will follow in early 2019. Under the supervision of the driver, it guides the SUV into a garage and back out again autonomously. The driver gets out of the car beforehand and activates the process using the myAudi app on their smartphone. The (remote) parking pilot offers a similar level of convenience. Behind all of these features is the central driver assistance controller. It continuously computes a differentiated model of the surroundings and uses this to manage the assistance systems. The required data are obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner. 

    William Maley

    Joining alongside BMW and Mercedes-Benz

    The list of automakers skipping the 2019 Detroit Auto Show continues to grow. Automotive News reports that Audi is the latest automaker to skip next year's show. The company wrote in a statement that it "has had a long and successful history at NAIAS, debuting countless models that Audi customers enjoy today. For 2019, we have decided that we will not participate in NAIAS. We will continue to evaluate Auto Shows on a case by case basis relative to the timing of our product introductions and the value the show brings from a media and consumer perspective."
    Just within the past few months, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have announced they would be no-shows for the 2019 Detroit Auto Show for similar reasons. Other reasons cited by automakers include reallocating money for marketing, not wanting to compete for attention with other automakers, and more competition from other shows such as the Consumer Electronics Show.
    The Detroit Auto Dealers Association, the group who puts on the show is trying their best to lure automakers to the show once again. A spokesman told Automotive News that plans are underway to change up the show and provide automakers "a global stage that delivers cost-effective opportunities to audiences" that "only Detroit" can offer. There is also talk of moving the show to October.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Good-bye A8 W12, we hardly knew you

    Audi is one of the few brands that offers a 12-cylinder engine in the form of the A8 W12. But after this new-generation A8, the W12 will be no more for the four rings. 
    “We will not have the 12-cylinder forever. There are customers who really want the 12-cylinder and they are happy with it and are going to get it. But this is going to be the last installation,” said  Peter Mertens, Audi’s R&D boss.
    This decision won't affect the U.S. since Audi retired the W12 in 2017.
    The W12 engine has only been modest seller since it was launched in 2011 for Europe and Asia, and in 2005 for the U.S.
    Bentley will continue to use the W12 in the Bentayga and Continental GT. 
    Possibly on the cutting block is Audi's 5.2L V10 engine used in the R8. Various reports say Audi is working on a twin-turbo V6 for their supercar, which would likely divert a lot of the demand for the more expensive V10.
    Source: Car and Driver

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