Audi Motor Shows

Geneva 2014: Audi TT quattro sport concept

Audi TT quattro sport concept

Audi clearly wasn’t content with unveiling the new production-spec TT in Geneva, so they brought along this 420hp (309kW) TT quattro sport concept as well.

You might think that this is a preview of what to expect in the next TT RS. Maybe it is. Audi isn’t really giving any concrete rationale for the model other than these words from Technical Development boss Dr Ulrich Hackenberg: “With our Audi TT quattro sport concept show car, we wanted to demonstrate what the new TT’s technology can do if you take it a step further. This car is designed for racing—an extreme driving machine for the motorsports enthusiasts among our customers.”

To that end, and with any luck, expectations this is a forerunner to a production TT RS are lost when it’s revealed the concept car is powered by a heavily worked engine based on the familiar EA888 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder and not an inline five cylinder. Yeah, we know the days of the unique five-pot may be over, but we can live in hope.

It’s clear this can’t really be considered an EA888 engine when you consider the quattro sport concept motor has a lightweight crank, revised pistons, a new cylinder head and a specially created cast alloy block.

All told there’s 309kW/450Nm on offer and it can propel the 1344kg concept to 100km/h in only 3.7 seconds, thanks also to its S tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive system. Audi proudly boasts the engine produces 155kW/litre, which it describes as “a new benchmark” for a 2.0 litre.

We’re a bit unsure about the aggressive and angular body styling, what about you?

Audi Video

A look inside Audi Sport’s storage facility

Inside Audi's storage facility

Last month Chris Harris gave us a brief history of Audi’s quattro legacy. Drive continues its Inside Quattro series with JF Musial taking a visit to Audi Sport’s storage facility which is not accessible to the public. This video is the result.


Audi S1 to be launched on 12 February

2014 Audi S1 teaser

Audi has released a couple of teaser videos to YouTube in recent days announcing the arrival of an all-new model and is playing the deliberately coy approach of the car being a mystery.

All they have told us, in words, is that the car will be launched in South Africa next week, on 12 February, and that the model name includes a number (so it’s not the new TT).

The second teaser video gives us some visual clues and with some still shots and some investigation via Photoshop we reckon it’s pretty clear the new car is going to be the S1, the go fast version of the A1.

The two-door body style and mirror shape in the above pic look A1-based and inside we see the car has a 6-speed manual transmission and bright yellow seat backs with “quattro” badging. Very similar to the limited edition A1 quattro released in 2011, itself based on the 2011 A1 clubsport Wörthersee special.

Recent speculation suggests the S1 will feature a 170kW 2.0 TFSI engine, quattro all-wheel drive system and a manual transmission. See, we can join dots too!

You can watch the reveal next week via Audi MediaTV. Bring it on.

Audi Video

The history of Quattro

Audi RS2 Avant

Chris Harris from Drive spends a few minutes looking back at the history of Audi’s quattro brand, which started out in the world of rallying before coming to life on public roads with models such as the legendary Ur Quattro and the devastatingly quick RS2 Avant.


2014 Audi S3 Sportback – Australian pricing & specs

2013 Audi S3 Sportback

We’ve known for several months that Audi Australia will be pricing the new S3 Sportback from $59,900. That’s a huge price drop compared with the outgoing 8P model which was over $70K list in its final form, with much less equipment than the new model too. And now the all-new S3 Sportback is here, in showrooms across the country and ready for delivery.

After initially thinking the 206kW/380Nm S3 would struggle against more powerful and faster competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz we’ve discovered through anecdotal evidence that plenty of buyers are seeing value in the new S3.

We lament that Australia won’t be getting the S3 in three-door form and that a 6-speed manual is a “no-cost” option. And losing 15kW due to Australia’s designation as a “hot climate” country seems a bit annoying when BMW and Mercedes don’t cobble their performance products. But we can’t really argue with the S3’s performance and standard equipment wrapped up in a sub-$60K list price.

Full details from Audi can be found after the break, including Australian press info.

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 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.


Audi A1 quattro prototype testing in Canada

Audi A1 quattro prototype

Audi Canada is currently running a Fascination quattro training event for its customers at Mont Tremblant, near Montreal. One of the unexpected stars of the show is this one-off A1 quattro development car.

Despite months of rumours, quattro for the A1 was officially confirmed just a few days ago. No detail is given as to the engine used in this prototype, although the body kit is the same as the 136kW 1.4 TFSI announced last September.

That was the car everyone thought was going to be called the S1, only to have expectations scuppered by Audi at the last minute. Of course, the main reason for saving the “S” badge was due to that car being front-wheel drive only.

Now, though, Audi are saying that, for the A1 range, quattro will be fitted to “future high performance variants”. Not the use of plural for variants. Is that a preview that Audi is planning both an A1 and an RS1?

Making this a truly international affair, you can read the Audi UK press release after the break.

Audi BMW

Autocar: Audi RS5 v BMW M3

Audi RS5 v BMW M3

It’s the classic German duel—Audi v BMW—and Autocar has been kind enough to play out the latest fight for us. It’s the 331kW 4.2 litre RS5 up against the 309kW 4.0 litre M3. Will the extra power and quattro all-wheel drive in the Audi give it an edge over the benchmark rear-wheel drive M3?

There’s no fancy timing equipment, no drag strip and no race tracks to decide the winner here. It’s just a seat of the pants match up on a closed road. Just as it should be.

UPDATE: Auto Express has also had a crack at this comparison, and they did take the RS5 and M3 to the track. It’s not the world’s most in-depth review, but it’s still worth a look.


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.


Oh baby drive away, to Malibu

Audi quattro concept

Last week we told you the Audi quattro concept was spotted in Malibu, west of Los Angeles. Now, we can see what they were up to. Audi has released new footage of the concept car and a Ur-Quattro driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. Interspersed with vision of the quattro concept in front of a city skyline there is a voiceover man telling us what’s what.

He did forget to slip in the bit about the car being locked in for production and the first example to roll of the production line being reserved for AUSmotive HQ, but aside from that I think he got everything else right. Find out for yourself after the break. Also included is a longer video without narration.

Apart from the two clips Audi hasn’t released any extra text to explain why these videos have been released around two months after the car’s debut at the Paris Motor Show. Let’s just assume it’s to support the growing belief that Audi will turn concept into reality.