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Audi Unveiled: Maker Shows Off New A6 and A7 Models

Upgrades set to debut at LA Auto Show.

by on Nov.12, 2014

The 2016 Audi A7 shown in Euro-spec.

Audi’s popular A6 and A7 models will both be getting mid-cycle upgrades, and the German luxury maker is offering a sneak peek at what’s to come when the 2016 models make their formal debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week.

We got a first glimpse at the Paris show, a month back, but the L.A. introduction will focus on the U.S.-spec models which will, among other things, bring to the States Audi’s new 2.0-liter TFSI inline-four engine. The S-models will get increased performance, and both the A6 and A7 will feature what Audi calls a more “athletic, taut design.”

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There’ll also be more technology coming, including standard LED headlights on the 2016 Audi A7, an optional night vision system, and the new Secondary Collision Assist technology which, Audi explains, “can automatically apply the brakes to help avoid secondary collisions.”

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Audi Developing Hydrogen-Powered A7

Fuel cell technology regains momentum.

by on Jun.03, 2013

Audi will begin testing a hydrogen-powered version of the A7 this summer.

With automakers showing a renewed interest in hydrogen, Audi appears to be the latest manufacturer to be looking to develop a car that can use the light, clean-burning fuel.

According to a report from Europe, Audi plans to begin testing a prototype fuel-cell vehicle based on its popular A7 coupe-like sedan. It would become the latest addition to an expanding line-up of “tron” vehicles from Audi using alternative propulsion systems including battery-power and compressed natural gas.

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The new hydrogen-powered A7 would debut in August, according to Britain’s Autocar magazine, quoting an interview with Audi’s technical director Wolfgang Durheimer.

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Silicon Valley Makes its Move on the Instrument Panel

Audi scores with a little help from its friends at NVIDIA.

by on Jun.08, 2012

Audi's A7 was the first truly "web-connected car."

More and more, your car has a lot in common with your desktop computer or iPad – which is just great with the folks in Silicon Valley — and with Audi, which drove home with an award for having the top Infotainment Solution used by an automaker at the annual Telematics Detroit Conference.

The maker had some significant help developing the Audi Connect system, but not from the traditional line-up of automotive suppliers.  Audi, which operates its own electronic research lab in near San Francisco, turned to the Silicon Valley firm NVIDIA, which is noted for producing high-end computer graphic systems used on everything from aircraft to video games.

NVIDIA produced the processor used to power the A6’s impressive navigation system which is capable of displaying Google maps in real-time.

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In the last year, NVIDIA-powered in-vehicle technology has garnered numerous awards.  The Audi A8 won the 2011 Technology Breakthrough Award from Edmunds, and the 2012 Connected Car of the Year Award from Connected World, while the Audi A7 won the 2012 Automobile of the Year Award by Automobile Magazine.

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Subaru, Lexus Tops at Retaining Residual Value

Japanese lead the pack though Audi also comes on strong.

by on Nov.16, 2011

The 2012 Subaru Legacy tops the list among midsize models when it comes to anticipated residual value.

Japanese brands, though facing increased competition, continue to be best at holding onto their residual – or trade-in – values, according to a new study, with Subaru topping the list among mainstream manufacturers while Lexus led the line among luxury brands.

Japanese makers topped 10 of the 19 individual vehicle segments in the 13th Annual Residual Value Awards presented by ALG, long known as the Automotive Leasing Guide.  But Audi, which took the lead in three categories, had more individual segment wins than any other manufacturer.

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The study is significant in that it suggests which automotive marques will do the best job of maintaining value when it’s time to trade in or to return a leased vehicle.

“Residual value is a great indicator of brand strength which in turn contributes to greater sales and profitability,” said Raj Sundaram for ALG. “We have seen a strong focus this year on producing high-quality products with great pricing and packaging delivering real value for vehicle buyers.”

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MPG Picks “Vehicle of the Year” Finalists

Awards season gets underway.

by on Oct.07, 2011

The Fiat 500 is one of the finalists for the inaugural MPG Vehicle of the Year award.

Billing itself as the largest automotive media association in North America, MPG members have selected cars from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Group as finalist for their first MPG Vehicle of the Year Award.  The presence of each of the domestics is significant considering California is the home of the imports, a market where you might go all day without seeing Detroit sheet metal.

The finalists for the new honor, which is certain to command broad attention, include the 2012 Audi A7, 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, 2012 Fiat 500, 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Hyundai Elantra. The Fiat 500 is sold by Chrysler across North America — and built at a Chrysler plant in Mexico.

Award Winner!

The five finalists for the “VOTY” were chosen by a panel of 18 MPG journalist members who drive and review new vehicles on a regular basis. All MPG journalist members will evaluate the final five vehicles and vote on the winner at the organization’s annual Track Day event in mid-October. The winner of the award will be announced during the LA auto show’s press days, next month.

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A Hatchback Comeback?

No longer just econoboxes.

by on Jul.20, 2011

Redefining the hatchback, the new Audi A7

When Chicago’s Dee Brustein graduated college earlier this year, her parents chipped in to help her buy a new Ford Fiesta.  The one they had in mind was a sedan.  Dee, with her degree in engineering, wanted something that was both more practical and hip.  So she opted for the 5-door hatchback.

“They just couldn’t understand,” laughs the 22-year-old.  “They’re Boomers, and to them, hatchbacks aren’t cool.  But I think it looks nicer and it has a lot more room and that will help me because I figure I may wind up moving a few times as I start my career.”

The Inside Story!

Hatchback or sedan?  That’s a debate a lot of folks are having these days, and not just on the consumer side.  Ford officials acknowledge they were originally unsure about offering a five-door body style when they introduced their first subcompact into the U.S. market in decades.  But so far, it’s proven unexpectedly popular, accounting for about half of all the Fiestas sold in the U.S. – and hatchbacks make up 41% of the sales for the larger, newly-redesigned Ford Focus.

Ford is anything but unique.

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First Look: 2013 Audi A5

German maker reveals updated coupe.

by on Jul.14, 2011

The 2013 Audi A5 will pick up new A7 front end cues.

The popular Audi A5 coupe, as well as its sporty sibling, the S5, will get some modest updates for the 2013 model-year, the most notable changes designed to pick up some of the design cues from the newest entry into Audi’s growing stable, the A7 coupe.

Though by no means the brand’s best-seller, the A5 line has nonetheless served as a halo for the Audi brand since its introduction three years ago, underscoring the claim by Walter da Silva, the brand’s former design chief and now head of styling for all of parent Volkswagen AG, that it was the best design he ever came up with.

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The 2013 A5 and S5 models will adopt the face of the new A7, with a new bumper, more angular fog lamps and redone LED running lamps.

The taillamps will also be revised, though it will likely only be noticeable to Audi aficionados.

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First Look: Audi A7 5-Door Hatchback

New A7 five-door "coupe" debuts in Europe this fall for €51,600.

by on Jul.27, 2010

Audi is trying to sell some utility and some styling sizzle in an odd configuration at a premium price.

Audi has pulled the wraps off its latest full-size model – the A7 Sportback. The sleek five-door is an attempt to see if there is a growing market for a large, luxurious hatchback design.

Typically hatchbacks are associated with inexpensive compact cars, particularly in the United States.

However, Honda and Acura are working the same area of a thus far unknown market segment with the Crosstour and ZDX models that are currently on sale and very close in dimensions to the A7. BMW is also very much a factor here with its X6, err, SUV. (See First Drive: 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour and BMW X6 M Debuts in New York )

Audi claims the A7 has “the sporty elegance of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan and the practicality of a station wagon.” The German company will find out if potential buyers agree when the quasi-sporty, quasi-luxury car appears this fall in dealers with a € 51,600 ($67,255) starting price.

Open wide for 49 cubic feet of cargo capacity when both rear seat backs are folded forward.

How this segment is classified – crossovers, SUVs, fastback wagons, 4-door hatchbacks, 5-door hatches – will no doubt be the subject of an interminable industry debate, as marketers look for the magic words that will motivate people to spend premium dollars for utility that is less expensively and more efficiently obtained in mainstream offerings.

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Sorting the Nomenclature!

While the A7 has the signature Audi grille and option LED headlights that are becoming a distinctive design cue, focus will be on the large rear hatch that provides access to a 535-liter (18.89 cu ft) capacity, which increases to a volume of 1,390 liters (49.09 cu ft) with the rear seatbacks folded forward. The styling works against optimizing room here.

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