Audi RS3 due in April 2011?

Audi RS3 - due in April 2011?

Some new information regarding the greatly anticipated Audi RS3 has found its way on to the German Car Forum. Accordingly we can expect the RS3, in Sportback form only, to be released in April next year. Assuming this is the case, then a public debut for the RS3 at next year’s Geneva Motor Show in March has most likely been locked in by Audi’s top brass.

There has previously been some confusion over the peak power figure of the RS3; rumours in September suggested the 2.5 litre inline five cylinder in the RS3 could get as much as 10bhp more than the TT RS, with the TT RS to receive a similar power upgrade as part of a mid-cycle refresh. However, those numbers could possibly be explained by conversion from bhp to PS to kW, or variations thereof. If the above document is correct, then 340PS = 250kW, which is the same as the TT RS.

The info appears to be some form of internal dealer communication (click on the image above for the full version you check out the full version on the German Car Forum link below), so there is cause to give some credence to the data shown. All we need to do now is keep waiting.

[Source: German Car Forum | Thanks to Wayne for the tip]

Green Machines Porsche

If Porsche builds it, they will buy it

Porsche 918 Spyder

The wonderful looking Porsche 918 Spyder which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March is one step closer to reality according to a report published by Bloomberg.

Speaking last week at Auto China in Beijing, Wolfgang Duerheimer, Porsche development boss, said, “I’m confident that we will soon reach the threshold of 1,000. We need 1,000 seriously interested people to make a sound business case.”

Porsche say they already have 900 expressions of interest so I guess this one is done and dusted. Lock in the 918 Spyder for series production and look for it a Porsche dealer near you in the next year or so.

All that’s left to be answered is how green is a car that offers up a maximum of 730bhp, but only has a full zero emissions range of 25km? To be fair, the hybrid powered 918 can achieve a fuel consumption rating of 3l/100km when tested against latest Euro standards. And CO2 emissions from the same test are as low as 70g/km. Yeah, go on, I’d have one too.

Although, perhaps a bigger question remains; will a variation of the 918’s 3.4 litre V8 ever find its way into a 911 chassis? Nah, that’d never happen, would it?



Walter drives down memory lane

Walter Rohrl, Audi Quattro

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Audi Quattro motor racing legend Walter Röhrl has stepped behind the wheel of a beautifully maintained 1984 Group B Quattro for the first time in 26 years. Fortunately the stretch of road chosen for this leisurly drive is the Col de Turini, from the Monte Carlo Rally. And, more fortunately, there were cameras there to catch the action.

Take the jump now to see the clip in full.

[Source: Autocar]


Geneva: Countryman stars in MINIWOOD

MINI Countryman - MINIWOOD

MINI have proved yet again they have one of the best marketing teams of any automotive brand with their latest publicity stunt to promote their new four-door Countryman model. Bringing a little bit of Hollywood to Geneva, they have projected the word “MINIWOOD” in letters 30 metres high and over 190 metres wide onto Mont Salève over the French border. Like Hollywood itself, this stunt all looks a little bit plastic, but it makes a good story nonetheless.

Back to the car, then, you can see a clip of the Countryman’s Geneva Motor Show debut after the break. Along with a few other goodies.

Australian readers may be interested to know the Countryman is scheduled to go on sale locally in the first quarter of next year.

Audi Motor Shows

Geneva: Audi Quattro celebrates 30th birthday

Audi Ur Quattro

It was 30 years ago today that Audi launched the Quattro. Dr Ferdinand Piëch, Development Director of the original Quattro, presented the car at the Geneva Motor Show on 3 March 1980. In his speech he stated, “This is the dawning of all-wheel drive in roadgoing passenger cars.”

Power for the Quattro came from a super sweet inline five cylinder engine that had a character all of its own. By today’s standards the 200bhp headline figure is quite modest. But, three decades ago, having a coupé derived from a family sedan that could accelerate to 100km/h in 7.1 seconds was big news.

So, too, was the addition of all-wheel drive to the world rallying scene where the Quattro left an everlasting legacy by winning the World Rally Championship in 1983 and 1984.

Memories of the Quattro have been revived with the recent launch of the TT RS, featuring a 2.5-litre inline five cylinder that sounds sublime.

For more on the original Quattro check out the AUSmotive past master feature. As well, you can read Audi’s extensive press release below which covers the both the history and future of its quattro technology.

Motor Shows Porsche

Geneva: Porsche 918 Spyder with hybrid drive

Porsche 918 Spyder

Just a couple of months after Porsche CEO Michael Macht declared they didn’t want hybrid technology in their sportscars comes this superb looking 918 Spyder concept model. Announced at the Geneva Motor Show, the 918 Spyder features a race-inspired 500hp V8 and is supplemented by 230hp of electric power.

The 918  joins the GT3 R Hybrid announced last month. Add in the Cayenne S Hybrid and you now have three Porsche model lines featuring hybrid technology.

Back to the 918 Spyder, though, and, well it is clearly the most stunning of the trio. All that power is said to propel the car to 100km/h in around 3.2 seconds. Proving further that hybrid doesn’t mean slow and steady wins the race, the 918 can (supposedly) lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under 7 minutes 30 seconds. Faster than a Carrera GT, no less.

When you’re not exploiting all that power, Porsche reckon you can return a fuel consumption figure of 3l/100km with CO2 emissions of just 70g/km.

Pretty tidy numbers all round for a mid-engined two-seater with a very tasty 3.4-litre V8 from the RS Spyder racecar.

Check the pics and press release after the jump.

UPDATE 3 March: Two new “next spark” promo videos featuring the Porsche 918 Spyder have been added below.

UPDATE 29 July: Porsche have confirmed the 918 will go into limited series production.


Audi A1 promo refresher – part 1

Audi A1 - The next big thing

Late last year Audi started to build the hype for it’s upcoming A1 model. They even recruited Justin Timberlake to be the car’s brand ambassador. He repaid that faith by allowing the paparazzi to snap some undisguised pics of the A1.

This is a car that Audi says will be the first premium model in the compact car segment. You might think BMW’s 1 Series could lay claim to that title, but it is more of an Audi A3 rival, in what would now be called the small-medium car segment.

Since launching their A1 microsite Audi have been drip feeding promo pics and videos in the lead up to the car’s official premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. If you’ve missed them, here’s the first of a two part update that will bring you back up to speed.

In this update you will see a few Audi big wigs setting the scene for the A1. They explain what it will look like and why it is being made. You’ll also find out about the LED headlight technology filtering down from the R8, before seeing more info on the car’s exterior design.

Stay tuned for more on Audi’s “next big thing”.


Audi TT RS – Return of the famous five

Audi TT RS

Images of the Audi TT RS have spread across the interweb overnight, and here’s a few for you to take a look at. The TT RS will be revealed, officially, in Geneva next month. That’s if Audi doesn’t counter this leak by releasing official images and specs beforehand.

In the meantime, what we “know” is that the TT RS will return to the UR Quattro‘s roots and be powered by an inline five cylinder. The 2.5 litre is good for 340hp (250kW) and a very tasty 450Nm of torque. With a six speed manual and, of course, an all-wheel drive system, one should be able to propel the TT RS from rest to 100km/h in under 5 seconds.

The bigger front air dam on the lower edges of the front grille are the biggest visual clue separating the TT RS from the regular S model. There’s also a more aggressive rear spoiler.

More details and wallpaper sized images as they come to hand. For now, there’s a few more pics below and a YouTube clip which is said to be the engine note of the TT RS. If that’s true, then … Schwing!

Source: CarScoop &

Aston Martin

Aston Martin gives Vantage a dirty dozen

Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Aston Martin will reveal a V12 Vantage at the Geneva Motor Show next month. By shoehorning a V12 into the Vantage shell Aston has created what they claim to be their “most exhilarating sports car” yet.

The 6.0 litre 12 cylinder produces 380kW (510bhp) and a very tidy 570Nm of torque. All that power is good for claimed performance of 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds and a 305km/h (190mph) top speed. All achieved through the use of a trad six speed manual, there will be no flappy paddle option, either. Helping bring a halt to proceedings are the Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes, and with a 51:49 weight ratio Aston is pretty confident of the car’s handling abilities. They reckon you can corner the V12 Vantage at 1.3g.

The V12 Vantage concept was released a little over 12 months ago, so it’s some task by the British company to have the car ready in such a short amount of time.

Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, is a bit excited, “This is the ultimate performance interpretation of the Vantage range, combining our most agile model with our most powerful engine.

“The V12 Vantage has a unique character, unlike our other cars. This will appeal to different people with different tastes, allowing more people to enjoy the Aston Martin experience.”

I have to say, and I’m almost afraid to admit it, but I find this car a little crass. The lashings of carbon fibre and almost vulgar fluted bonnet seem a bit too much out of character for the Vantage. It’s almost like Audrey Hepburn having death metal tattoos down her arms. Sure, there’d be people that would go bonkers for that, but, it just wouldn’t be the same. Even the wheels have a hint of Tempe Tyres about them.

Of course, given an opportunity, I am sure I could learn to love the V12 Vantage.

Pricing for the V12 Vantage will be confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show and the car is expected to go on sale some time after June.

Extensive press blurb and seven more 2000px super images after the jump.


2009 Mazda3 MPS teaser video

Not much else to say other than, here is a 30 second teaser video for the new Mazda3 MPS.


Mazda3 MPS scoops Geneva

2009 Mazda3 MPS

The all new Mazda3 MPS, and its massive WRX-inspired bonnet scoop, will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

After recently being spotted at the Nürburgring, in full auto disguise, Mazda has unwrapped the new pocket rocket to reveal the wild new look. The new car will feature the same 2.3 DISI turbo powerplant from the current 3 MPS. We just have to hope Mazda has done a better job of harnessing every one of those 190kW that are fed through the front wheels.

The regular Mazda3 looks a bit quirky and ungainly with its big open mouth smile, the addition of the extroverted scoop seems to give the Mazda3 face more purpose.

Also making its first appearance in Geneva will be the Mazda3 i-Stop, the next car to have fuel saving stop-start technology.

Brief presser and more pics after the jump.

Motor Shows Porsche

2010 Porsche 911 GT3

2010 Porsche 911 GT3

The next release of the Porsche 911 GT3 will officially take place at the Geneva Motor Show on 3 March. European sales will commence in May.

If, like me, you’re unable to make the Geneva shindig, you’ll just have to make do with looking at the pretty pictures and reading the nice words Porsche have put together for us all.

Porsche, as ever, have kept the improvements under the skin. Of course, there are a few external tweaks, but not enough that anyone would really care, or notice immediately. Unlike its mad RSR brother, there’s no wild guards or cut out bonnets.

What this new 911 GT3 has, though, is more. More engine. More power. More grip. More speed. And, more gadgets. In this context Mies van der Rohe got it wrong, we like more. More is good.

Powered by a newly developed 3.8 litre flat six, the GT3 produces 320kW (435bhp), 15kW more than its predecessor. It will go from 0-100km/h in a wee 4.1 seconds, reaching 160km/h in a mere 8.2 seconds before reaching a v-max of 312km/h.

The white lab coats have also had a play with the electronic aids, and the stability and traction control systems can be switched off independently. According the press guff this gives “the driver unrestricted, individual control over the driving dynamics of his car”. Sabine Schmitz need not apply, it seems.

The lab coats didn’t stop there, either, as they found the time to add an optional lift system for the front axle, which can give sir 30mm more ground clearance at the touch of a button.

I want one!

UPDATE: Video footage of Walter Röhrl driving the GT3 can now be seen at