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Audi Shows Autonomous Form on Track, Promises to Deliver on Road With Next A8

Luxury brand keeping self-driving pace with competition.

by on Jul.16, 2015

Audi committed to have its next-gen A8 laden with technology allowing a level of autonomous driving.

With a variety of manufacturers already testing the technology on public roads, it’s becoming a matter of when, not if, autonomous vehicles will land in your local showroom.

Add Audi to the list of makers committing to introduce a self-driving vehicle in the near future. The luxury arm of Volkswagen AG says it will offer the technology on its next-generation A8. And it showed just what autonomous vehicles are capable of during a demonstration this week at California’s Sonoma Raceway.

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“In Sonoma, we took the Audi RS7 piloted driving concept to its physical limits lap after lap, and it handled the task with uniform precision,” said Thomas Müller, who oversees the development of driver assistance systems for the German luxury brand. (more…)

Consumer Report Calls Out Oil Burners

Magazine notes Audi, BMW and Subaru biggest offenders.

by on Jun.30, 2015

The BMW 5 Series is 27 times more likely to need oil between service intervals than other vehicles.

If you’re adding oil to your car’s engine between oil changes, something may be askew, according to Consumer Reports.

The advocacy magazine found that some cars built between 2010 and 2014 are not just needing a little top off between service intervals, but burning through as much as a quart a month.

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Taking Audi, BMW and Subaru to task for the issue, it notes that Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder and 3.0-liter V6; BMW’s 4.8-liter V8 and 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8; and Subaru’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder and 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines all burned oil at a higher than normal rate, although the Subarus burned less oil than the others. (more…)

Audi Reveals New A4 Ahead of Formal Frankfurt Debut

Evolutionary exterior hides more revolutionary changes.

by on Jun.29, 2015

The exterior of the 2016 Audi A4 doesn't change much - but there's more here than meets the eye.

You might need to take a second glance if you see the 2016 Audi A4 glide by. But while the German maker has opted for a relatively subtle and evolutionary exterior update, this all-new model delivers a number of more revolutionary changes.

Despite growing longer and wider, the 2016 Audi A4 is as much as 265 pounds lighter than the outgoing sedan. And it offers a variety of new technologies, including an updated infotainment interface that will recognize your handwriting as well as your voice.

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With a variety of new four- and six-cylinder gas and diesel engine options, the fifth-generation Audi A4 will make its official debut a few months from now at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Audi’s “Mobility” Program Allows Rentals with Swipe of iPhone

New “on-demand” service kicks off in San Francisco.

by on Apr.28, 2015

Audi on Demand gives customers a chance to rent the Audi of their choice using a simple iPhone app...and a credit card.

Want to know what it’s like to get behind the wheel of Audi’s R8 supercar? It may soon be available with a few swipes on your iPhone.

The German premium brand is piloting a new service in San Francisco called “Audi on Demand.” Users can simply go to iTunes and download the app to their iPhone and rent the Audi of their choice for as long as 28 days.

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Once you get the app, you can peruse the line-up and availability of the car you want and then for prices ranging from just under $200 to more than $1,200 a day, you can get an Audi delivered to your door or pick it up from a central parking lot. (more…)

Audi Unveils Third Take on Prologue Concept

Audi Prologue Allroad to get public showing at Shanghai Motor Show.

by on Apr.16, 2015

The Audi Prologue Allroad is the third iteration of the concept to show up an auto show. They hybrid hits the stand at Auto Shanghai next week.

Audi offered up a hint of its future when it lifted the wraps off the striking Prologue concept at the L.A. Auto Show last autumn, then followed up with a second take at the Geneva Motor Show last month in the form of the Prologue Avant. A third iteration will make its debut at Auto Shanghai next week, and like the two earlier concepts, it is expected to offer a glimpse of the future for the German luxury brand.

Dubbed the Audi Prologue Allroad, it is meant to show how the maker’s current soft-roader is set to evolve. And that’s not just from a design standpoint. The new model also gets a 724-horsepower plug-in hybrid drivetrain, and a wide variety of high-tech safety, comfort and convenience features.

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Calling it, “a car combining the comfort and dynamics of the luxury class with maximum variability and masterful off-road capability,” Audi says the Prologue Allroad concept “reflects a fresh interpretation of the typical Allroad themes, providing a clear glimpse into the brand’s design future. The design of the Audi Prologue Allroad accentuates the elegance and uniqueness of the Allroad concept.” (more…)

Porsche May Add EV to Line-Up

Latest maker to take aim at Tesla.

by on Mar.16, 2015

Porsche showed the potential for battery power with its 918 Spyder - but may now go pure battery-electric.

Porsche may become the latest automaker to enter the high-performance electric vehicle market – and to take on battery-carmaker Tesla Motors.

The German sports car company already has introduced several hybrid and plug-in models, but it is considering a purely battery-based option, its chief executive suggested during the company’s annual meeting.

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“In the not-too-distant future, we will present a seventh model line,” said CEO Matthias Mueller, noting the goal is to have an additional product line in showrooms by 2020. “There are already promising plans,” he added, “but no board decision yet.”

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Audi Readying All-Electric, 300-Mile e-tron SUV

Battery-ute could be dubbed the Q6, hints German luxury maker.

by on Mar.10, 2015

Audi offers a tease of what may be called the Q6 e-tron, a 300+ mile range battery SUV..

Barely a week after confirming plans to launch the all-electric R8 e-tron sports car at the Geneva Motor Show, CEO Rupert Stadler reveals the luxury carmaker is working on another pure electric model, this one a new SUV that could be designated the Q6.

A teaser image of the electric SUV was presented Tuesday during a corporate briefing in which Audi officials announced they had “delivered more…than promised,” handily setting a new sales record last year. And Stadler made it clear that with the wealth of new products Audi has coming, it expects to set new records.

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During a briefing, he said Audi will add a new Q1 model at the bottom of its SUV spectrum, with a “sporty Q derivative,” the Q8 set to top the line-up. But perhaps the biggest surprise was the announcement that Audi would add a pure battery-electric sport-utility vehicle early in 2018.

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Audi Shatters 2014 Sales Predictions with New Record

China, U.S. results forge path to profitability.

by on Mar.10, 2015

Audi's Board of Management Chairman Rupert Stadler highlights the fact the brand sold 1.74 million units globally in 2014.

Audi enjoyed another record year in 2014, selling more than 1.74 million vehicles globally – a 10.5% jump – with auto powerhouses China and the U.S. leading the sales charge.

The result bested the company’s predictions by nearly 500,000 units. Audi saw sales in China rise 17.7% and jump 15.2% in the U.S., which were the biggest increases of any of the countries where Audi sells vehicle with one exception: Brazil. The German maker nearly doubled sales in the country, where it sold fewer than 9,000 units in 2013.

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“We delivered more in 2014 than promised,” said Board of Management Chairman Rupert Stadler. “After a very positive start to this year, we aim to achieve a new record for unit sales in 2015.” (more…)

Audi Powers up the R8 e-tron, Takes Aims at Tesla

Extended-range electric vehicle with supercar performance.

by on Mar.04, 2015

The new Audi R8 e-tron shown on the maker's stage at the Geneva Motor Show. The new 2016 Audi R8 V10 Plus is in the background.

Tesla isn’t the only automaker out to prove that battery-cars can deliver serious levels of performance. After a long delay, Audi has revealed an all-electric version of its newly redesigned 2-seat sports car, the R8 e-tron.

Making its debut alongside the new, gas-powered R8, the e-tron tucks a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack into the sports car’s low body, along with two electric motors. The combination not only can launch from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, but it can deliver as much as 280 miles of range per charge, nearly triple what most of today’s electric vehicles can manage.

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Likely to be priced above the rest of the new R8 line-up, Audi says it will produce a small number of largely hand-built e-trons “upon customer request” this coming year.

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Updated Audi R8 Muscles Up

German supercar gets 610-hp V-10, tops out at 205 mph.

by on Mar.02, 2015

Audi's new R8 gets a freshened look on the exterior, but under the hood is where the biggest transformation takes place.

Audi’s strikingly stylish R8 supercar is up for a remake, and while there will be a number of visual updates to 2016, the big news is added performance. The R8’s big V-10 will now churn out 610 horsepower and launch it to a top speed of 205 mph, making it a serious challenger to exotic brands like Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini

Perhaps best known as the car of choice for silver screen superhero Iron Man, Audi has launched a steady stream of enhancements since introducing the original R8, taking advantage of the company’s successful racing program.

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“Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, it has always been a permanent feature of our brand’s character,” says Audi technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg said in a statement. “With the new Audi R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road.” (more…)