Audi unveils Quattro Concept to celebrate original’s 30th birthday

October 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Audi has just revealed its ‘quattro concept’ in Paris as a tribute to the 30th anniversary of the original car’s debut back in 1980. There’s plenty to like about the concept machine but what’s extra hot is that, like the original, it’s powered by a turbocharged 5-cylinder.

In this case, though, the 2.5-litre mill makes a stonking 300 kW and uses a 6-speed manual transmission to, of course, power all four 20-inch wheels with 480 Nm of torque. Stopping the bease are chunky carbon-ceramic discs wearing 6-piston grippers.

With its high-output 5-cyl and lightweight construction, this new concept can hit 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and return an impressive fuel economy of 8.5 liters/100 km.

Based on the much-loved RS5, Audi’s top designers shaved 150 millimeters off the wheelbase – now 2.6 meters – and chopped the roof by 40 mm in an attempt to immediately save weight. Dimensions are stated as 4.28 m long, 1.86 m wide, and 1.33 m tall.

In order to reach the 1,300 kilograms target, Audi used aluminum and carbon fibre in liberal doses. The bonnet, hatch and spoiler are made from carbon fibre and the rear seats have also been thrown out and replaced with a small luggage shelf.

In terms of exterior styling the front fascia is an all-LED light setup, in between sits Audi’s signature wide-mouth grille and the retro-inspired bonnet scoop is above.

The interior is well detailed but suitably spartan with two 18-kilo passenger seats with either three- or four-point harnesses. The driver will make use of a fully digital display which has two modes, “normal” and “race”. When choosing race mode, Audi says the graphics “revisit and refine” original Quattro’s digital display.

Continue reading “Audi unveils Quattro Concept to celebrate original’s 30th birthday” »

Audi’s ’50s street racing photoshoot video – behind the scenes

September 9th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

This unique release of Audi working on a photo shoot for its new A1 subcompact is rather odd yet interesting. The models for the shoot were two members from the German band Tokio Hotel, packed together in a warehouse filled with 22 classic pieces of steel.

The integration of Audi’s A1 pre-’60s hardware and the ‘50s drag race flavour they have tried to create comes down to the individual’s opinion on whether it works or not. Maybe Audi is looking to flex the customizable side of the A1, or maybe the ad department was just looking for an excuse to meet a couple of members of Tokio Hotel (whoever they are). At least the song isn’t half bad.

Senner Tuning first to get stuck into Audi A1

September 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The arrival of the A1 in European markets has meant the tuning of Audi’s baby hatch officially begun. Germany’s Senner Tuning is one fo the first to take on the scowling three-door and has beefed up the 1.6 TDI model, boosting output from 77kW to 102kW. But it doesn’t come cheap with just the engine mods alone costing €899.

If you have even more cash burning a hole in your pocket the comprehensive Senner Tuning Package will see you right for €4,999. This includes a bolts on adjustable KW suspension set-up, 18-inch Barracuda Voltec T6 wheels, stainless steel sport exhaust and a special paint job. Continue reading “Senner Tuning first to get stuck into Audi A1” »

BMW X1 becomes Europe’s top-selling premium SUV

August 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

In a reversal of form and by a margin of just 407 vehicles, the BMW X1 has fended off the Audi Q5 to be Europe’s highest-selling premium SUV for the first six months of 2010. BMW gladly sold 44,067 units of the X1 from January to June, compared to 43,660 units of the Q5.

The Volvo XC60 (29,616 units), Land Rover Freelander (20,138 units) and the BMW X5 (16,565) were the others in the five top selling SUVs in Europe for that time period.

Sales of the X1 have certainly not slowed down and the X1 is the cheapest vehicle in the top five premium SUVs which has clearly helped.

However, the list could get quickly rewritten once 2011 model year vehicles go on sale.  This new breed could include X1 competitors from Mercedes-Benz, along with the Audi Q3 and Saab 9-4X.  The MINI Countryman may also steal some customers away from the X1, even though it may not be labelled a premium SUV.

To read a Car and SUV review of the new BMW X1, click here. Continue reading “BMW X1 becomes Europe’s top-selling premium SUV” »

MTM offers light upgrades for the Audi RS5 Coupe

August 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The tuning masters at MTM have just revealed a new line of upgrades for the new Audi RS5 Coupe. While MTM still hasn’t released performance upgrades, the tuner has released new software for the factory speed limiter that will allow the RS5 Coupe to reach a far more illegal top speed of 303km/h.

MTM’s other offerings include a custom exhaust system, a large variety of 19- and 20-inch wheels with or without spacers and a TV-set. The German tuner has said a full suspension upgrade will follow shortly.

New Audi A7 Sportback – images revealed

July 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The first official images of the all new Audi A7 Sportback have found their way on to the internet ahead of the models official debut later today. These photos prove that the production car has stayed remarkably true to the original concept that first appeared at the 2009 Detroit Show.

The only real differences are in the details, like the shape and size of the exterior mirrors, and the air-inlets on the front bumper. The car also rolls with the show car’s five-door body style with a practical rear hatchback.

It’s the same story inside where the styling is almost identical to the concept, without the radical colors and the decorative trim. According to reports at just-under 5-meters long A7 Sportback will be strictly for four passengers.

Mechanically, the A7 Sportback is heavily based on the next generation of the A6 and apparently at launch will be offered with both diesel and gasoline V6 engines including Audi’s latest 3.0-litre TSI unit with around 290-horsepower. The Sportback will also be available with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system and S-tronic dual clutch transmissions.

Expect to see performance-focused S7 and RS7 variants, as well as a hybrid model being added to the line-up in the future.

Audi may put A1 crossover into production

July 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It would appear that Audi isn’t willing to just stand by while Mini prepares to dominate the small premium crossover segment with its new Countryman. To combat this threat Audi is reportedly working on an Allroad version of the A1.

The A1 three-door hatchback goes on sale later this year with a five-door scheduled to arrive in 2011. A higher-riding crossover variant could make an appearance by 2013 and follow in the path of previous Audi Allroad editions with bigger wheel arches, larger wheel and tyre packages and possibly even all-wheel drive. A quattro variant hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it would seem likely considering Audi’s commitment to quattro and VW already developing an all-wheel drive variant of the Volkswagen CrossPolo which shares its platform with the small Audi.

Audi R8 Spyder ‘Beauty and the Beasts’

June 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Directed by Sam Brown from Rogue Films it uses 24 precision drivers, 22 heavily modified ‘beast cars’, 2 R8 Spyders (just in case) and two pieces of music.