Audi is prepping the automotive industry for the next year with a new documents detailing its future plans. The first item on the agenda are plans to invest a total of €13 billion, in new products and technologies, as well as in expanding its sites by 2016.
"To maintain our profitable growth, we will step up investment spending on new products," said Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at AUDI AG. "The Audi Group plans to invest over € 2 billion annually in new products and technologies."
In their immediate future, Audi will be putting their new A8 hybrid on sale, which will then be followed by the launch of the Audi A3. Of course, the most awaited model is the R8 e-Tron which will be unveiled at the end of 2012. When the new R8 e-Tron is released, it will make Audi the first premium manufacturer to bring an all-electric sports car onto the market in a small series.
The next generation Audi A3 has been caught testing yet again, this time during some winter testing. Audi was the first automaker to take full advantage of the winter testing grounds in Northern Sweden, right when the weather was just right. This marks the vehicle’s final testings, which means the launch date is right around the corner.
The new A3 will come in four different body styles. The first to arrive will be the three door hatch, which will then be followed by a five door hatch, - called the Sportback - a convertible, and for the first time, a four door sedan. The new model will be slightly larger than the current model and will be built on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform. The engine line-up will include a choice between six enginesc consisting of both TSI and TDI variants. Power will range between 105 HP and 210 HP, and all engines will bring a 20% improvement in fuel economy. Audi has also announced that they will be be bringing in all-electric and hybrid models for 2013.
Audi may be sending out the current generation TT-RS with one final special edition - the TT-RS Plus - but they are introducing another with that same package. At least, that is what a leaked document is suggesting.
Back in June 2011, Audi reported that all of the 2,700 units of the highly anticipated RS3 Sportback had been sold out, but if this document is to be taken seriously, then customers may have another chance to snag the sports hatch in an even cooler package. The RS3 Plus will take the turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine - also found in the TT-RS - and jump-start it by 20 HP, leaving it with a total of 360 HP and 342 lb-ft. of torque. And just like with the TT-RS Plus, the RS3 Plus will be a few pounds lighter, thus making it a little bit faster. Expect to see different carbon fiber elements as well, most likely a specially designed wheel and a fixed rear wing.
The Audi RS3 Plus will be unveiled in May 2012, a month after the TT-RS Plus.
After being previewed by the A3 Concept version at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Audi A3 is preparing to enter its third generation sometime in the middle of 2012. With this generation, Audi is overhauling the A3’s design and our spy photographers have captured the new and improved model testing somewhere in Argentina. When the Audi A3 does hit the market, it will be offered in both hatchback and sedan versions. The sedan will mostly be offered in the US market where Audi hopes to boost the A3 sales with the new version.
The new A3 will be built on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform and will be offered with a choice of six different engine options, all of them delivering up to a 20% improvement in fuel consumption. There are even rumors of hybrid and electric versions, but, if true, those won’t see the light of day for a couple of years.
When discussing the next A3, Audi’s design boss, Stefan Sielaff said: "Three-door cars will be more compact and sharper in design, while the four-door will have different dimensions and detailing around the car – it’ll be a sporty, peppy design with a sexy back end!"
With that said, expect to see a design inspired by the A3 Concept, but from the looks of these spy shots, nowhere near the extravagance of it.
Audi has turned the corner on their new "Audi balanced mobility" moto with the launch of a new project called the TCNG e-gas project. The e-gas project will go into production starting 2013 and is the world’s first automotive manufacturer to set up an entire portfolio of sustainable sources of energy.
The TCNG e-gas project will use wind-generated electricity to manufacture hydrogen by means of electrolysis. Hydrogen can be used in the future as a source of energy for fuel-cell vehicles or, in an additional step, can be used to manufacture methane. Such methane is known as Audi as e-gas. It is chemically identical to natural gas and can power combustion engines. More important, it is completely CO2-neutral.
"Ecology and economy in unison: that is the greatest challenge of the future. To attain this we must bring mobility completely into equilibrium – with people and their new values and with the environment. CO2-neutral mobility is our goal," says Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler. He continues: "On the way to achieving this we are systematically using clean power. We are producing climate-friendly fuels and forming a new mindset for which our entire company stands. That’s the objective of Audi balanced mobility."
Audi has taken their E-tron concept a step forward with the unveiling of the E-tron A3 concept - a compact car featuring a powerful electric motor and a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Although the concept looks almost identical to the production A3, there are a few elements that will help distinguish it. The concept has received a revised instrument cluster, leather Alcantara seats, a heated windshield, and an optimized air conditioning system.
The most important difference between the two concepts can be found in the powertrain. As a hybrid concept, Audi decided to use a different engine than the one found in the A3 Sedan Concept. Instead of the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine of the A3 concept, the E-tron version has a slightly less powerful 1.4-liter TFSI turbocharged gas engine that doesn’t come close to the output the former has.
Of course, being a hybrid concept, performance takes a back seat to fuel efficiency and that’s where the E-tron A3 Concept has the upper hand over the gasoline-powered A3 Concept.
Details on the Audi E-tron A3 after the jump. Full story
Throughout the past several weeks the economy of the United States and other large importers of oil have struggled to maintain positive amidst the turmoil in the middle-east. Civil unrest and pressure have led to a decrease in oil production and increase in the price for a single barrel. We have seen prices reach the $100 mark and beyond, and there are no signs of a ceiling.
These two year highs for the price of crude oil have led to OPEC releasing more supplies from our reserves, but it has not quelled the price hike. California is currently suffering from the highest prices nationwide and they have reached within a cent of $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded. This has put added strain on a struggling economic environment for many people and, if this continues, it will drag our economy further down. With cars like the Toyota Prius and other hybrids hitting the market every week, it is good to see that the manufacturers are realizing that gasoline will not be the answer to our future problems.
The major auto shows and car introductions across the world, including the biggest in the United States, Detroit, are where auto manufacturers try to sell the public hot-air. Most of the amazing and futuristic concept cars are so far on the other side of being a production possibility they might as well be alien. The recent economic climate across the world has shifted the car companies in a new direction and the consumer continues to pull them even further. People are eager for cars that are economical and exciting – most people enjoy driving, just not having to pay $4.00 per gallon to do it. Full story
Audi has officially lifted the covers off of an attractive technological concept car based on the coming generation of the Audi A3 at the 81st International Geneva Motor Show. The four-seater notchback sedan offers a glimpse of the future expansion of the A3 family.
Given that the company is undergoing a design upheaval with some of their newer models, the Audi A3 Concept is the latest example of what a sporty and elegant design will look like when you combine it with the brand’s state-of-the-art technological capabilities.
The A3 Concept’s design is every bit as good as advertised, thanks to a design that emphasizes an aggressive front fascia with the brand’s iconic grille. The company’s latest LED technology, gives off a look that’s both sporty and elegant at the same time - qualities that have been a hallmark for Audi and it’s A3 line of vehicles.
Details on the Audi A3 Concept after the jump. Full story
The journey towards developing alternative fuel sources took another step after two Audi A3s successful traveled 1,000 miles by using a new synthetic diesel fuel. Pretty impressive, if we do say so ourselves.
The two 2011 A3 TDI models were using RenDiesel, a synthetic fuel that’s made from organic compounds and green waste that are most commonly found in landfills. The fuel, which supposedly produces less volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than regular diesel fuel or ethanol, is being produced by RenTech in Rialto, California. RenTech, together with Audi of America and Green Car Journal, managed to successfully fuel the two A3 TDI models from Eureka, California all the way to San Diego, California – a distance of somewhere around 1,000 miles.
This project not only proved that the new type of synthetic diesel fuel is capable of fueling a car at great distances, but it also was able to boost up the A3 TDI’s mileage rating at 42 miles per gallon – one car was able to average 43 mpg while the other A3 TDI scored 39.7 mpg.
This latest development may not hit home to a lot of people, but the development of a clean-burning synthetic diesel fuel like RenDiesel is one way to make the purchasing of diesel vehicles more worth it. After all, in a world where fuel-efficiency is of paramount importance to a lot of people, the development of a synthetic diesel like RenDiesel could pave the way for more diesel cars to be enjoyed out on the road.
Press Release after the jump. Full story
It’s taken a while for Americans to smarten up, but it seems they are taking to the versatility of the hatchback more and more. The new Ford Fiesta, the Honda Fit, and the Nissan Versa are just a few examples of hot selling hatches in the United States. Yet, even we aren’t sure if the Audi A3 is worth the expense, when you can just get a GTI.
To try and solve this sales issue, Audi might be bringing the A3 sedan to the U.S. That would give the German automaker an entry-level sedan below the A4. We don’t have any details on the A3 sedan yet, but there should be some coming soon.
If these rumors are true, an A3 sedan would compete with the BMW 1-Series and possibly the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. That is, if it comes stateside. We should expect to see the A3 sedan around 2013 if not later.