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.

Audi releases Episode 2 of Next Big Thing (+video)

May 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Audi has continued its self-promoting A1 short film featuring Justin Timberlake with the second installment of The Next Big Thing.

The German company will be releasing a fresh episode each week until a climax next month. The mysterious plot of The Next Big Thing film features both Timberlake and token hot chick Dania Ramirez who will both be present for all five episodes. The upcoming Audi A1 will also play a role in each installment with the timing of the short film’s release set to gather interest in the new hatchback.

The first episode laid the groundwork for the storyline and now Timberlake and Ramirez are off to uncover the mystery and show off the A1 and it’s various features. Makes for entertaining viewing but hard man Timberlake drops a swear word in there so don’t be too offended.

To watch episode 2 of The Next Big Thing click on the video box below.

Click here to watch the first episode. Continue reading “Audi releases Episode 2 of Next Big Thing (+video)” »

Audi A7 Sportback to be revealed in Paris

May 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The much-anticipated Audi A7 Sportback is nearing the end of its development. According to recent reports the grand unveiling will take place at this year’s Paris Motor Show in September. European sales would most likely start in the first quarter of 2011.

Alongside some smaller-engined variants like V6 petrols and diesels, the A7 is also predicted to come in a hard-charging RS 7 model. It will most likely use Audi’s 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine which will churn out 433 kW (580 bhp), although the 5.0-litre TFSI V10 from the RS6 with its 572 bhp (427 kW) could be another candidate. Powering all four wheels would be a 7-speed double clutch gearbox.

The four-door Sportback has been in the making for some time after the concept was first unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show. The production version, will be a natural rival to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and also the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide.

Audi to display seven customised A1s in Europe

May 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

For the fourth year in a row, Audi will have a dedicated display at the GTI tuner meet at the Wörthersee Tour in Germany and Audi/VW fans from throughout Europe are expected. The star of the show for Audi will be its new A1 and the German automaker is to show various customisation options. Though the use of adhesive film designs, vibrant paint finishes and exterior add-on parts potential customers can easily differentiate their A1 cars.

Audi head designer Stefan Sielaff and his team of staff have created seven different models for the Wörthersee Tour, including a Football themed model sporting an “FC Bayern” look. This particular car has the Number 10 of FC Bayern star Arjen Robben on the roof and on the doors.

It’s more than just the exterior that differs these Audis from the standard production vehicles. The Audi design team also styled the interior of the worked vehicles, with changes to the center console, door handles, and even the rearview mirror.

Furthermore, the new limited-production Audi R8 GT (read news), will be presented to the general public for the first time.