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Remember Audi's perfectly lovely Quattro Concept from the 2010 Paris Motor Show? Of course you do. The latter-day Ur-Quattro is laser-etched in our brains as well - and not just because Audi was kind enough to offer our man Michael Harley a mountain drive of its seven-figure showcar. At the time, Audi hinted that the coupe might have a showroom future, but the gossip pipeline has long since gone dry, leading us to believe that the car's production hopes had soured.
That 2010 concept was powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine yielding 380 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, a relatively modest but appropriate engine configuration in light of the Ur-Quattro's five-banger. Given the Quattro Concept's size and specs, it wasn't clear exactly where such a vehicle might fit into the company's lineup, though, as it already already offers the successful A5/S5/RS5 lineup.
Apparently, Audi might have a solution to that conundrum. A new report from Germany's AutoZeitung suggest that the automaker is posed to reveal a production version of the concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September - on the Ur-Quattro's 30th anniversary, no less. Word is that Audi is taking the Quattro Concept upmarket in a big way, with a tuned version of the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 from the RS7 churning up in the neighborhood of 650 horsepower. Naturally, all-wheel drive will get all that power to the ground, and new bodywork is expected as well. In addition to the powertrain switch-up, there is talk of extensive use of lightweight materials, including magnesium, carbon fiber and aluminum, with a target weight of under 2,900 pounds. Magnetic ride control suspension and carbon-ceramic brakes are also expected to find their way onto the model. Unsurprisingly, all of that extra equipment is likely to impact the car's bottom line - reports suggest its sticker price could crowd that of the mighty R8 at around $150,000.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Despite the fact that the 2014 Audi SQ5 you see here is quite a bit different than the one offered in Europe, we're still plenty glad that the folks from Ingolstadt have decided to offer a hotted-up version of its compact Q5 crossover here in the States. Now, Audi has announced that its US-spec SQ5 will be priced from $51,900 when it hits dealerships later this summer (*not including $895 for destination). That strikes us as a pretty favorable price - while the base Q5 in 2.0-liter TFSI trim starts at $35,900, the 3.0-liter Prestige model commands a full $51,400, and somehow manages to feel worth it.
We already enjoy driving the Q5 in its standard tune, and this SQ5 looks to be quite an entertaining thing. Audi has tuned its 3.0-liter supercharged V6 to produce 354 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque - gains of 82 hp and 52 lb-ft over the standard 3.0L Q5. No, it's not the awesome 313 hp and 479 lb-ft of the twin-turbo-diesel engine used in Europe, but our American SQ5 will certainly be a quick little thing. Audi is estimating a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds, on its way to a limited top speed of 155 miles per hour.
Like all S models, the SQ5 will be a bit different visually than its basic Q5 kin. Aluminum roof rails are standard, as are 20-inch wheels (21s are available). There are revised bumpers at the front and rear, with Audi's usual gray grille and diffuser, as well as aluminum mirror caps. Inside, leather- and Alcantara-clad sport seats are standard, though buyers can opt for a fine Nappa leather setup. Audi says that new aluminum/black wood inlays are also available, as is a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Have a look below to check out an official walkaround video from the model's Detroit Auto Show reveal, and to see the official press release.Permalink | Email this | Comments
People are always calling me saying, "Raphael! Raphael! Why do people buy Audis when rear-wheel-drive cars are so much better at drifting?" Well, you can drift an Audi, so long as you try hard enough.
Almost exactly five years ago, I named Carhenge as one of the top ten American automotive pilgrimages
According to a report from Autocar in the UK, the Audi R8 is set to get something of a swan song for its own going-away party in the form of an updated GT model for the 2014 model year. If Autocar is right, this even higher-performance Audi R8 will debut at the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.
The 2014 Audi R8 GT Plus will reportedly get a tuned version of the much-loved 5.2-liter V10 engine that Audi has used to good effect in past R8 models. A six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic would send power to the rear wheels, enabling a 3.4-second 0-62 mile per hour run and a top speed of 199 mph.
Judging from spy shots that we've already seen (reprised above), the new GT Plus will be fitted with an aggressive body kit that includes a massive rear wing, a more prominent front splitter and enlarged side blade ducts. A Spyder version of the GT Plus may be on tap for 2015. Pricing, obviously, is unknown, as is any potential launch date. In other words... stay tuned.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If we take a quick look back in history, we realize that the first time Audi mentioned the name E-Tron to the public was all the way back in 2009. Back then, the name was applied to an entire concept car, called simply the E-Tron, which was an R8 converted to an electric vehicle with a big battery pack and some powerful electric motors. It was a supercar for the plug-in set, and it went over so well that Tony Stark drove one in Iron Man 3 this year. With that kind of publicity for the marquee E-Tron, it's confusing that the E-Tron name has been applied to a seemingly endless stream of concepts, test vehicles and rumors over the past four years. At least a dozen, by our count.
The E-Tron name has been applied to at least a dozen concepts, test vehicles and rumors over the past four years.
There was the original R8 E-Tron, an A3 Sportback E-Tron (EV and PHEV versions), the R18 E-Tron Quattro racecar, an all-electric A2 E-Tron concept, an A6 L E-Tron PHEV that was shown off in Beijing and rumors of A4 and Q7 E-Tron Quattros. Then we had the E-Tron spyder concept and the city E-Tron concept, as well as news of an A5 E-Tron Quattro plug-in hybrid. And then there's the A1 E-Tron plug-in hybrid that is being tested in Germany. Got all that?
Audi is finally getting ready to take the E-Tron name out of the movies and the auto show circuit and start putting plug-in cars in customer driveways. As it gears up for the launch of the first E-Tron - the A3 Sportback E-Tron, coming in 2014 - we flew to Berlin to find out what's taken so long, and what's coming next.Permalink | Email this | Comments