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Audi RS Q3 Performance Amps Up SUV Competition

Luxury performance SUV segment getting a new entrant.

by on Mar.02, 2016

The Audi RS Q3 Performance boasts a 367 horsepower five-cylinder engine and will do zero-to-62 in 4.4 seconds.

Audi is one of many automakers looking to up its game in the luxury performance SUV segment and the new RS Q3 Performance appears to be ready for the challenge.

Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, the new compact sport-ute is just another component in Audi’s plans to continue its current growth curve. Like it’s competition, it’s certainly nice on the inside and pleasing to the eye on the outside, but its what’s under the hood that is often the differentiator.

A Real Performer!

The German brand beefed up the 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine by 27 hp so it now puts out 367 horsepower and 343 ft-lb of torque. With a top speed of 167.8 mph, it’ll sprint from stop to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds. The engine is tied to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic and gets 27.4 mpg combined. (more…)

New Audi Q2 – Big Things in a Small Package

Audi takes on the hot-selling Mercedes-Benz GLA.

by on Mar.01, 2016

Audi is ready to take on Mercedes-Benz, BMW and other players in the compact utility segment with the new Q2.

Here’s a riddle: how do you get bigger and smaller at the same time? Hint: it doesn’t involve any of the pills Alice took in Wonderland. The secret? Just ask Audi which is expanding its line of SUVs with the addition of its smallest model yet, the new Q2 making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Audi still has a long way to go to catch up with either Mercedes-Benz or BMW, two German rivals that have yet larger fleets of SUV models, but the arrival of the Q2 plants the Audi flag in the middle of one of the global luxury markets fastest-growing segments, small crossovers. The Audi Q2 will take direct aim at the Mercedes-Benz GLA, one of that maker’s most successful products in recent years.

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The Audi Q2 is the first major product to come to market that was helmed by Marc Lichte, the design chief brought onboard in 2013. But according to one report, the Q2 came about almost by accident, a very early sketch by a junior designer just happening to catch the eye of an Audi board member who quickly convinced the rest of his colleagues that it had to be a part of the brand’s line-up. (more…)

Latest Audi Prologue Concept Hints at New Avant Model to Come

Show car also features a new virtual concept, and an all-knowing “butler.”

by on Feb.25, 2015

The Audi Prologue Avant concept debuting at the Geneva Motor Show is not quite a wagon or is it really a coupe.

When Audi revealed its show-stopping Prologue concept vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, styling chief Marc Lichte suggested it was “a teaser for our next generation A6, A7 and A8” models.

Audi will be dropping still more hints of its future design direction next week when it pulls the wraps of the Prologue Avant concept during a news conference at the Geneva Motor Show. Not quite a wagon, clearly not a sedan, the distinctive five-door is intended to create a unique and dynamic new design form all its own.

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“The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile,” said Audi tech chief Ulrich Hackenberg, in a statement. “With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability.” (more…)

Audi Takes Global Luxury Sales Lead

But BMW isn’t ready to concede defeat.

by on Mar.11, 2014

The redesigned Audi TT makes its Geneva debut.

Two months does not a year make, but in a significant breakthrough Audi AG is claiming to hold the lead in the hotly contested global luxury car maket.

The largest of the luxury brands of Volkswagen AG, Audi has been gaining ground on traditional rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz in recent years, and is hoping to solidify its first-place position with a flood of new products planned for the coming year, an assortment of which were previewed at the Geneva Motor Show last week.

A Sporting Choice!

For the first two months of 2014, Audi delivered 242,000 vehicles, giving it a modest 383-unit lead over BMW.  It fell 429 cars short of its Bavarian rival during the same period last year.

And Audi intends to widen the lead, Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler said Tuesday at the brand’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, promising that, “We will increase deliveries in all regions of the world, including Europe.”

But Audi’s rivals aren’t ready to concede defeat.

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Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron to Be Maker’s First Plug-in Hybrid

But there’ll be plenty to follow, with a diesel plug-in also under development.

by on Mar.07, 2013

Audi's A3 e-tron will be just the first of a planned assortment of plug-ins to come from the maker.

Luxury automaker Audi has taken the first step in what it promises will be a major commitment to plug-in hybrid powertrain technology.

The new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron making its public debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show is being billed as the first in a procession of clean, high-mileage PHEVs the Volkswagen AG luxury subsidiary plans to roll out over the coming years. It marks a shift away from Audi’s earlier interest in pure battery-electric technology, company officials insisting plug-ins better meet the needs of today’s motorists.

(Electric) Power to the People!

Using the most sporty of the compact Audi A3 body styles, the new e-tron offers “the power of two hearts,” proclaimed Rupert Stadler, Audi’s CEO, during a Geneva news conference. There’s a 150-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four gasoline engine paired with a 100-horsepower electric motor.

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Audi A3 Images Leaked

Downsized, up-marketed.

by on Feb.23, 2012

Audi's next-generation A3 will be offered in a wide array of body styles.

Weeks ahead of the upcoming Geneva Motor Show we’re getting our first good look at the next-generation Audi A3 thanks to some fortuitously leaked photographs.

As with the outgoing model, Audi will offer the subcompact model in a mix of body configurations – starting with the 3-door Avant, or wagon, we see here.  It’s expected to add a 5-door Sportback as well as a conventional sedan and a convertible.

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The look is likely to be familiar to Audi fans, the new A3 adopting a face much like the marque’s recently updated mainstay model, the A4, with a large grille that rises from the chin spoiler up to the hood. The headlamps now incorporate the familiar Audi LED accent lights.

While it may resemble the previous Audi A3, there’s a big difference under the skin, the 2013 model adopting the Modular Tranverse Matrix platform, (known internally as MQB) that will be shared with a wide range of Volkswagen AG products, all the way down to the base Skoda brand.

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First Look: Audi A3 Avant

The wagon they didn't show in Geneva.

by on Apr.11, 2011

Audi shows off a rendering of the next A3 Avant.

Audi pulled off something of a surprise at last month’s Geneva Motor Show, introducing a new sedan version of the popular A3 line.  Until now, most of the emphasis has been on the A3 wagon.

Two-box sedans needn’t worry.  As this sketch illustrates, the A3 Avant, as the maker calls its wagons, will be back , albeit with a new and more contemporary look that better matches the A3 sedan revealed in Geneva.

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How the sketch will translates into production remains to be seen, but if the rendering is any indication, the new model will feature crisper lines and an overall more angular look.

A second sketch reveals a surprisingly simply cabin design from a maker known as the benchmark for interior styling.  But Audi also intends to offer a wide range of the high-tech features now available in more up-market products, reflecting the fact that many otherwise affluent buyers are downsizing their choices when it comes to cars. (more…)

First Look: Audi A1 and A1 etron

Diminutive, but still luxurious...and possibly battery-powered?

by on Mar.02, 2010

A Geneva Motor Show debut for the downsized 2011 Audi A1, shown here with designer Stefan Sielaff.

Okay, we get the stylish models, but we’re never quite sure what to make of it when automakers bring celebrities on stage at their auto show previews.  We didn’t even recognize Lenka, the Euro-pop singer who tried to prop up the otherwise lackluster Chevrolet news conference, at the Geneva Motor Show, though at least we know who Justin Timberlake is.  But the connection to the new Audi A1 is tenuous, at best.

In fact, the new entry from Ingollstadt did a fine job standing up on its own, so to speak, as it made its formal auto show debut at the PALExpo convention center.  All signs suggest it will prove a popular offering…in Europe, where it will go on sale in the weeks ahead, propping up the bottom end of Audi’s line-up.

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Despite its small footprint, the 2011 Audi A1 offers a reasonably roomy interior package.  And a well-equipped one, in line with the maker’s effort to decouple the concept of linking size and luxury. One version offers colored air vents and LED interior lights.

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