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Audi Launches 1st U.S. Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Project

Las Vegas system will alert drivers when traffic signals are set to change.

by on Dec.07, 2016

Audi is partnering with Las Vegas to use V2I technology to help Audi drivers avoid traffic congestion.

Driving down the Las Vegas “Strip” can be a maddening affair, with long lines of cars and seemingly endless waits for traffic signals to turn green. But Audi wants to de-stress the situation, at least a little, by alerting drivers when those lights are about to change.

Sit behind the wheel of a 2017 Audi A4, Q7 or Allroad and you’ll notice an icon on the instrument panel shaped like a traffic light. Come up on a red light when driving through Las Vegas and a timer next to the icon will begin to count down. As if by magic, when the number reaches “0,” the light will go green.

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That’s because Audi has tied into a new Vehicle-to-Infrastructure, or V2I, system designed to help motorists keep track of local road conditions, starting with traffic light information for Clark County, an 8,100 square-mile area that includes the City of Las Vegas. Similar V2I systems, as well as Vehicle-to-Vehicle, or V2V, technology, could soon become commonplace across the U.S. (more…)

Audi Gets Sporty with New A5 and S5 Sportback

Maker continues growth of the line-up with next-gem versions.

by on Nov.16, 2016

Audi unveiled the 2018 A5 Sportback laden with new technologies at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Audi’s aggressive product assault continues, the maker giving American motorists a look at three new models at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show. That includes the completely redesigned Q5, as well as the all-new Audi A5 and S5 Sportback models.

All three models took their first bows at the Paris Motor Show earlier in the annual show season, but U.S. shoppers may find themselves particularly curious about the Audi A5 Sportback as the fastback model is just joining the maker’s American product portfolio for the first time.

Product News!

As with the standard A5, the Sportback feaqtures the maker’s distinctive singleframe grille, though on the latest Audi models, the face is lower and wider. There’s a bit more sculpting than in past 5 variants, which tended to be rather slab-sided. Add new, wider wheel arches and a broad hood and the overall appearance is more planted and powerful. (more…)

Audi Sued, Facing Possible Probe Over Cheating on Gasoline Engine Emissions

Focus is on possible new “defeat device” to cheat emissions tests.

by on Nov.14, 2016

A new class action lawsuit claims some Audis, including some A6 and A7 models, may have emissions cheats on their gasoline engines.

Despite sharing two rigged diesel engines with the larger Volkswagen brand, luxury marque Audi has largely managed to sidestep the ongoing scandal that has cost parent Volkswagen AG about $20 billion so far.

But Audi could be heading into a heap of its own troubles. Four American legal firms have just filed a class action lawsuit against the brand, this time alleging the automaker has also rigged a gasoline engine to meet emissions standards. A German newspaper, meanwhile, is reporting that the discovery is leading to a new investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as California clean air regulators.

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The problem could exponentially increase the problems facing the automaker and parent VW. Volkswagen is currently unable to sell any of its diesel models in the U.S. until it can come up with an approved way to lower their emissions. If one or more gasoline models are found to be rigged, as well, the company could find a large portion – perhaps its entire line-up – barred from the market. (more…)

Audi Lights Things Up: New R8 to Get First US Laser Headlamps

System claims to significantly enhances night visibility.

by on Nov.02, 2016

Audi is the first automaker to get regulators' nod to use laser lamps in the U.S. market.

American motorists have been living in the dark ages, at least when it comes to getting the latest and most advanced automotive headlight technology. The often inflexible Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards have, until now, made it impossible for automakers to bring to the U.S. new laser lighting systems. But that’s about to change.

Audi has won approval to equip the top-end of its R8 sports car with new laser high beams. They will supplement the standard LED headlamps on the 2017 Audi R8 V10 plus exclusive. Unfortunately, only 25 of these models will be produced, but odds are we’ll see the laser tech now appear on some other Audis, as well as products from other manufacturers.

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There’s growing pressure on automakers to improve their headlights. Even with the latest HID and LED systems, a number of vehicles haven’t fared all that well in the new headlight tests run by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Laser lamps could help solve that problem. (more…)

Audi Reveals Trio of New Models in Paris

Modial de l’Automobile spotlights new Q5, S5 Sportback and RS3.

by on Sep.29, 2016

Audi is shifting production of the next-gen Q5 ute to its new plant in Mexico.

With a record number of new products in the pipeline, Audi had plenty to show off during its Paris Motor Show news conference Thursday, a trio of new offerings targeting a wide range of global product segments.

Already the most popular luxury crossover on the market, the Volkswagen subsidiary is hoping to build even more momentum with the launch of a completely new Q5 sport-utility vehicle. Also on hand, Audi rolled out the new S5 Sportback. The third global premier not only marked the launch of the new RS3 Sedan but the debut of the maker’s new Audi Sport sub-brand.

The Journal of Record!

“These three new models symbolize what our brand stands for,” said Rupert Stadler, the Audi AG CEO. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Unlike its two major German rivals, Audi put much of the focus on performance during its news conference, something of a surprise considering how much it has emphasized battery-car and other green technologies in recent years.


VW Diesel Scandal Takes Down Audi Exec, Spreads to Supplier Bosch

Audi’s top engineer suspended.

by on Sep.19, 2016

Stefan Knirsch is the latest executive to the step down as a result of the ongoing scandal.

The head of R&D for German luxury car brand Audi is the latest to fall as the investigation into parent Volkswagen AG’s diesel emissions scandal moves forward.

An outside investigation commissioned by VW found that Stefan Knirsch, who also served as an Audi board member, knew about efforts to rig diesel engines with a so-called “defeat device,” and then lied about the subterfuge under oath. His suspension, first reported by German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, comes about a week after a U.S.-based Volkswagen engineer became the first company official to plead guilty as part of an expanding investigation by the Justice Department.

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Separately, Justice investigators have begun probing the role of some Volkswagen suppliers, notably including German partsmaker Bosch, to see if they also participated in – or were at least aware of – the emissions test-rigging efforts. Bosch, is high on that list, according to a report by the Bloomberg News Service, as one of the suppliers of emissions technology, including software.


Audi Vehicles Talking to U.S. Traffic Signals

Q7, A4 and A4 Allroad using V2I technology.

by on Aug.15, 2016

Audi's new Traffic light system will give Q7 and A4 drivers warnings about when traffic lights will change.

Hate waiting for the stop light to change or get that pit in your stomach when as you stomp on the gas pedal because a light has just turned yellow? Audi is ready to alleviate that anxiety for its customers.

The German maker’s 2017 Q7, A4 and A4 Allroad models will feature the first commercial use of “V2I” – vehicle to infrastructure – technology. The technology allows Audi vehicles to “talk” to traffic signals, giving drivers a little advanced warning about what’s to come.

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It will be available on the aforementioned models built after June 1. (more…)

Federal Regulators Find Problems with More VW Diesels

EPA finds unapproved software on 3.0-liter diesels.

by on Aug.09, 2016

The EPA found unapproved software on Volkswagen's 3.0-liter diesel engines, according to reports.

Press reports in Germany indicated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found three unapproved software programs in 3.0-liter diesel engines made for Volkswagen by Audi.

German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported the software allowed the turbocharged direct injection, or TDI, engines used in Audi’s Q7, Porsche’s Cayenne and VW’s Touareg models to shut down emissions control systems after about 22 minutes.

The Journal of Record!

Volkswagen has admitted it cheated on U.S. diesel emissions tests for years and said in June it would spend as much as $15.3 billion buying back vehicles from consumers. However, the settlement did not cover roughly 85,000 larger 3.0 liter Audi, Porsche and VW vehicles that emitted less pollution than 2.0-liter vehicles, but were also fitted with illegal emissions-control equipment. (more…)

Judge Approves $15 Bil VW Diesel Deal

But more legal problems await.

by on Jul.26, 2016

Judge Charles Breyer gives the deal a tentative go.

The $15 billion settlement last month in the Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal has won the tentative approval of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer — but despite the record price tag, it doesn’t end the automakers legal problems.

The deal includes $10 billion to buy back or repair about 475,000 VW vehicles equipped with diesel engines that were rigged to illegally pass emissions tests. The rest of the settlement will go to various programs meant to compensate for the excess pollution those vehicles produced.

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“Volkswagen appreciates the constructive engagement of all the parties,” the maker said in a statement that followed Breyer’s ruling, “as the settlement approval process moves forward. The parties believe that the proposed settlement program will provide a fair, reasonable and adequate resolution for affected Volkswagen and Audi customers.”

The ruling brought an equally positive response from those on the other side of the courtroom.


Aiming at Tesla, Audi Planning Three Battery-Cars by 2020, CEO Says

Porsche boosts hiring plans for Mission E sports car project.

by on Jul.26, 2016

The Audi e-tron Quattro SUV Concept will be followed by a production model around 2018.

As the brand shifts attention away from its diesel line-up to new, greener technologies, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler wants to have three pure battery-electric models in the line-up by 2020, even if that means dropping some conventional models to come up with the necessary R&D dollars.

Audi has already confirmed plans to launch a battery-electric SUV by 2018 and, in a new interview with German newspaper the Heilbronner Stimme, Stadler confirmed the maker wants 25 to 30% of its total sales to come from electrified models by 2025.

Clearing the Air!

In the wake of parent company Volkswagen AG’s diesel emissions scandal, Audi and other VW brands have been shifting emphasis to battery-based models. Porsche, which is developing the Mission E electric sports car, said on Tuesday that it now expects to create 40% more jobs to handle that project than originally planned.