Audi Toyota WEC

Audi wins 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans

Audi R18 etron, 24 Hours of Le Mans 2013

In a drama filled race Audi stood atop the podium for the twelfth time after winning the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans on the weekend. The #2 R18 e-tron quattro (Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish) completed 348 laps, one more than the #8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid (Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Stéphane Sarrazin), with the #3 Audi (Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gené, Oliver Jarvis) claiming third place, just under two minutes behind the Toyota.

Of course, the 81st running of the classic endurance race will be remembered for the sad passing of Danish driver Allan Simonsen, who was killed after crashing his Aston Martin V8 Vantage on the fourth lap of the race.

Throughout the whole race inclement weather and accidents ensured the field spent more time behind the Safety Car than organisers and fans would like. Indeed, a record amount of time was spent under full course yellows—11 periods adding up to more than five hours.

Toyota put up a strong fight and had enviable reliability. While the winning #2 Audi ran faultlessly, too, concerns were raised in the Audi garage after the pole sitting #1 R18 suffered alternator problems and lost several laps while it was repaired. Around the same time the #3 car picked up a puncture following minor contact with a slower car. Unfortunately Oliver Jarvis, who was driving at the time, had to travel almost an entire lap on the damaged tyre and the lost time added up to a two-lap deficit.

Up to that point the three Audis were jostling for positions on the podium. The #1 R18 was never able to rejoin the fight for victory and finished fifth, 10 laps down. The #3 Audi fought back well from its earlier problems to put pressure on the #7 Toyota, which succumbed when Nicolas Lapierre slid off the track in slippery conditions with an hour to go.

A special note of acknowledgement for Tom Kristensen as well, who notched up a record ninth Le Mans victory. It was the third win for Allan McNish and the first for Loïc Duval.

The LMP2 category was won by the #35 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan. While Porsche took out both the GTE Pro and Am classes. The factory-backed Manthey team 991 911 RSRs finished first and second in GTE Pro, with the customer IMSA Performance Matmut team winning the GTE Am category.

So, we move on to 2014, hopefully learning from the death of Allan Simonsen, where the closeness of the barrier to a large tree may have contributed to his death. And we look forward to increased competition for Audi when Toyota will be joined by Porsche in the chase for LMP1 glory.

Audi Safety Issues Skoda Volkswagen

Audi, Skoda to join Australian DSG recall

Audi A1

The news just keeps getting worse for the Volkswagen Group with word that Audi and Skoda will be joining Volkswagen Australia in the voluntary recall to remedy problems with the 7-speed DSG (DQ200) transmission.

Nothing official has yet to emerge from the PR departments of Audi or Skoda but it is understood over 6200 A1 and A3 vehicles, as well as around 1750 Octavia and Superb models will be included in the recall. As with Volkswagen, the date range for the affected vehicles falls between 2008–2011.

That takes the total number of Australian sold vehicles to be included in the voluntary recall well beyond 30,000. That’s gonna take some time to work through!

[Source: Go Auto]


Audi SQ5 TDI – Australian pricing & specs

Audi SQ5 TDI

The world’s fastest diesel-powered SUV, that’s what Audi Australia is calling the new SQ5. And with a list price of $89,400 it won’t even break the bank. Relatively speaking, that is.

So let’s look at the performance of this SQ5, then. It’s powered by a 3.0 litre V6 biturbo, coupled to an 8-speed tiptronic gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive system. Peak power is 230kW and is achieved at 3900–4500rpm. Being a diesel torque is king, you’ve got 650Nm to play with in the SQ5 from 1450–2800rpm.

The 100km/h dash can be done in 5.1 seconds, which, these days, is not really that impressive for an SUV with “world’s fastest diesel” in front of its name. In the real world, it is fast enough, of course. So too is the electronically limited 250km/h top speed.

At 1995kg the SQ5 isn’t going to be the nimblest mode of transport in the village, but we expect, up to a point, it will be a very capable device, sure to meet the demands of the vast majority of it owners.

Audi Australia has ensured the SQ5 hits the market with a pretty good level of goodies included in the standard asking price. To start with the go-fast SUV sits 30mm lower than its lesser Q5 stablemates and rides on standard 20″ alloys. Satellite navigation, fully electric front seats, rear reversing camera, tyre pressure monitor and a model-specific flat bottom steering wheel are standard fare. Although, you are expected to pay an extra $1050 if you want an alarm on your flash new SUV.

Naturally, there is a raft of options which Audi would dearly love you to tick. So much so the first 60 SQ5s to land in the country have been loaded with goodies and called the Launch Edition. Don’t get carried away thinking this is a freebie, though, you’ll need to cough up an extra $14,720—bringing your new SQ5 comfortably into the six-figure price bracket.

Extras packed into the Launch Edition—available in Glacier White, Ice Silver Metallic, Monsoon Grey and Panther Black—include 21″ alloys, Bang & Olufsen stereo with digital radio, front and rear heated seats, dynamic steering, adaptive headlights, high beam assist, carbon atlas inlays and that alarm system, plus more.

We reckon SQ5 looks pretty good too, as the photos waiting for you after the break show. There’s more detail from Audi Australia as well.


2012 Audi Q3 photo gallery

Audi Q3

Audi has published photos and information about its new Q3 ahead of Auto Shanghai (21–28 April). What we see is an altogether predictable result with a few tweaks here and there for good measure. That’s not to say the latest wannabe SUV is a bad thing. On the contrary, we think it looks quite smart. The slight reworking of the front end, especially the new headlight treatment, gives the current Audi face a welcome lift.

Inside, too, we suspect we’re being granted a sneak preview of what to expect inside the next-generation A3. Again, we welcome the changes made. In the Q3, at least, the central controls seem to be slightly more ergonomically placed than the current A3. The centre-dash mount display screen is also more user-friendly.

There’ll be four familiar 2.0 litre turbocharged engine choices to power the Q3; two petrol and two diesel. The TFSI engines will be available in 125kW and 155kW spec. While the TDI will initially launch with a 120kW version, with a 103kW unit to follow.

UPDATE 15 April: New pics added at end of article.


2012 Audi A3 revealed in sketch form

Audi A3 sketch

Five sketches have emerged detailing the look of the new Audi A3 hatch and sedan. Next year the third generation A3 hatch will be released; it will be the first model built on the platform which will underpin the Golf VII and many other Volkswagen Group products. In 2013 the A3 sedan will follow, which we know will be launched in the US and Germany. We can only assume the sedan model will reach other markets, but this is yet to be confirmed.

We don’t really see anything in these sketches that we shouldn’t expect. The lines have been sharpened up a bit, but really, we’re seeing an evolution of the current 8P shape here, rather than revolution. Of course, we were given a big preview of what to expect with the A3 concept “notchback” at Geneva last month.

Audi Top Gear

Audi says: “No RS4 for you!”

Audi RS4

Here’s one story we had hoped we wouldn’t need to tell. Audi has no plans to build an immediate successor to its almighty RS4. AUSmotive heard this information several months ago, too, but we were hoping we were being led down the garden path. Despite earlier rumours to the contrary, it appears we weren’t.

Supposedly the 331kW RS5 is deemed to provide enough RS thrills on the current B8 platform (or derivative) of the current A4.

Assuming this latest word is correct, it need not mean the end of the RS4 nameplate forever. There have been two RS4 models created by quattro GmbH, one built on the B5 platform (2000–01), the other, and perhaps best of the RS models made to date, built on B7 architecture (2006–08). With any luck, we’ll see a B9 RS4 around 2014, give or take a year.

To remind you why RS4s are the business, even if the B5 wasn’t quite the real deal, you can access a couple of clips after the break.

[Source: Car and Driver]

Audi Safety Issues

Audi A1 granted 5-star crash rating

Audi A1

The Audi A1 is the latest car to be awarded a 5-star safety rating by testing authority Euro NCAP. The A1 scored 90% for adult occupants, 86% for safety assist, 79% for child occupants and 49% for pedestrian safety. You can read the full report on the Euro NCAP website. Meanwhile video footage and Audi’s press release are all your after the break.


Audi A1 – Australian pricing & specs

Audi A1

Audi Australia previewed the A1 at the Australian International Motor Show in October. Now, they have released full details on the local specification. Dealers around the country have been receiving stock over the last couple of weeks, as well.

To refresh, Audi will be kicking off the A1 with two offerings, both fitted with a fuel efficient 90kW/200Nm 1.4 TFSI. The entry level Attraction, with 6-speed manual, starts at $29,900 and the Ambition model is priced from $32,650. Buyers wanting the 7-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission will need to cough up an extra $2350. A 66kW 1.6 litre TDI will be joining the range in the middle of 2011.

Audi Australia has been a bit light on with images of its next big thing, so you’ll have to make to do with AUSmotive’s images from AIMS to start with. Following the Audi Australia press release is a gallery of images sourced from Audi UK. Keep in mind some of the details and specs in these cars may not translate directly to our market, but they do give a good feel for the A1 in right-hand drive.

A closer look at specifications and options pricing for the Australian market is available via two PDFs, which can be found following the presser.

Audi Green Machines

Audi A6 hybrid

Audi A6 hybrid

Audi will be adding a hybrid model to its new A6 range. The A6 hybrid will be powered by a 155kW 2.0 TFSI four cylinder and a 33kW electric motor. Audi claim the hybrid can achieve an average fuel consumption figure of 6.2l/100km, while emitting CO2 emissions of 142g/km.

The hybrid model will be driven by the front-wheels and the electric motor sits behind the petrol engine. A portion of the boot space is taken up by the lithium-ion battery.

While the car is designed to be powered by both petrol and electric motors, the A6 hybrid can run in a full zero emissions electric only mode. However, the range is an amusingly modest 3km, assuming a constant speed of 60km/h. Hmm, not much vorsprung durch technik going on there. Still, you have to start somewhere.


2011 Audi A6

2011 Audi A6

Here are the official pics of the 2011 Audi A6. Following this morning’s leak there’s no surprises in regards to the look, which is straight from the familiar Audi playbook.

Audi say the new model is lighter than the car it replaces. The figure published is 1575kg, but finding a reliable figure for the kerb weight of the previous generation is proving a bit tricky. Around one fifth of the new model is made from aluminium.

At launch, in Europe at least, there will be five engines on offer, with a mix of four and six cylinders. Peak power will range from 130kW (2.0 TDI) to 220kW (supercharged 3.0 V6). There will also be an A6 hybrid model on offer with a total power of 180kW.

The usual electronic gadgets and driver aids are included, of course. These are headlined by the optional MMI navigation plus system featuring Google connectivity and a Bang & Olufsen stereo.

Inside the expected level of finish and quality materials has been delivered once again. The “wrap around” dash also looks quite nice. On some models Audi has used timber veneer which has pushed that look away from the older style walnut look, and towards a stylish speedboat theme. It looks pretty good in the pics, too.

After the break you will find all the images you could hope for along with some intro press material. A detailed press release can also be downloaded for those that really want to sink their teeth into detail of the new A6. Those wanting to see and touch the new A6 for themselves will be able to do so early next year. Local buyers will have to wait a bit longer as usual, but for now, Audi Australia aren’t saying when.


Audi A6 images leaked

New Audi A6

Later today Audi will be taking the wraps off its new A6. Well, they needn’t bother now as the interwebz has already done it. Another round of leaked images, then, and here’s a few for you to check out.

From the side view the A6 doesn’t seem to have changed all that much, really. But taking the best bits from the Audi Sportback concept and the A7 Sportback means this new A6 will now fit in much better at family functions.

More details as they come to hand.



Audi RS3 promo video

Audi RS3

The Audi voiceover man is back; as lifeless as ever too. This time he is talking about the RS3 hyper hatch. There’s lots of facts and fugures, but, sadly, no driving footage. No 2.5 litre barking its way through a scenic European mountain pass. A bit of a let down, really. Hopefully there is more to come.