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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.


VW Believes it Can Repair 85k 3-liter Diesels

Move could help maker avoid second diesel vehicle buyback.

by on Jul.01, 2016

The Audi Q7 TDI is one of the numerous Audi, Porsche and VW models affected by the stop-sale.

Volkswagen believes it can fix the problem with about 85,000 vehicles using a faulty 3.0-liter diesel engine, the maker told a federal judge in San Francisco.

The revelation came shortly after VW and several federal agencies reached a $14.7 settlement on charges the maker had rigged a smaller diesel engine to pass U.S. emissions tests even though it grossly exceeded emissions rules in real world operations. That deal includes about $10 billion to buy back the 475,000 vehicles sold between the 2009 and 2015 model-years using a 2.0-liter turbodiesel.

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If it can convince the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, or CARB, that the proposed fix works, VW would be able to avoid a second costly buyback.


First Look: 2017 Audi A5

Midsize coupe makes splashy debut in Ingolstadt.

by on Jun.02, 2016

The 2017 Audi A5 makes its splashy debut at the automaker's headquarters in Ingolstadt.

Audi’s original A5 set a high benchmark, winning raves and drawing many buyers back to coupes. So, when Audi dimmed the lights at its Ingolstadt headquarters for the reveal of the new 2017 A5 remake, it was clearly going to have to clear some tough hurdles.

Based on initial reactions at the event, it seems the German maker may have pulled it off, the 2017 Audi A5’s exterior design marking the first time the luxury brand has translated the well-reviewed Prologue concept vehicle into a production model.

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The new coupe is “the perfect fusion of form and function,” declared CEO Rupert Stadler, during the flashy evening event at Audi HQ. While many coupes sacrifice practicality for styling, he stressed, the new A5’s design “doesn’t mean compromise.”


Automakers Continue to Install Defective Takata Airbags on New Vehicles

And 2.1 mil defective inflators have been installed as replacements in older vehicles.

by on Jun.01, 2016

A Takata airbag after a crash.

(This story has been revised to include comments by FCA and Toyota.)

Even as federal safety regulators expand the ongoing recall of defective Takata airbags, four major automakers continue to install some of the potentially deadly devices on their newest vehicles, according to a new Senate report.

A number of manufacturers also are using defective Takata inflators as replacements for older airbags in about 2.1 million recalled vehicles. Federal regulators have approved that move as a temporary measure due to a shortage of replacements parts using newer, safer designs.

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The four manufacturers that acknowledge they are continuing to use defective Takata bags in new products are Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volkswagen, according to the report released today by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee.


Audi Developed Diesel Cheat Software in 1999, Reports German Paper

“Defeat Device” went unused until adopted by parent VW.

by on Apr.20, 2016

VW officials have been apologizing profusely about the diesel scandal, but it appears it was Audi engineers that actually developed, but never used, the device.

The so-called “defeat device” used to help millions of Volkswagen diesel vehicles illegally pass emissions tests was first developed in 1999 by the maker’s luxury arm Audi, according to a report published today by the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

The technology, which could detect when a vehicle is undergoing emissions tests and then modify certain engine functions to clean up the exhaust, was not put into use by Audi, however. It was instead adopted six years later by the Volkswagen brand when it was unable to meet toughened U.S. clean air standards.

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That decision came back to haunt the German giant. Last September, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused VW of rigging more than 400,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. – the maker subsequently confirming it used the illegal software on 11 million vehicles sold worldwide. It is now facing a raft of lawsuits in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world and may eventually pay billions of dollars in fines and legal settlements. (more…)