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  Audi cars news, reviews, concept cars, Specifications, safety rating and recalls


If you’ve ever leafed through the pages of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of erotica involved between the two stars of the book, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. We’re not going to dive into that; instead, we’re focusing on another part of the book that bears more relevance to the auto industry.

It seems that for all of his quirks, Christian Grey also has a fascination for cars, in particular, Audis . A number of Audi models were mentioned prominently in the trilogy, particularly the A3 , which Christian gave to Anastasia for her birthday.

On top of the A3, the R8 was also mentioned, as well as an unnamed Audi SUV, and a host of other vehicles from the German automaker. The multiple references of Audi on one of the fastest-selling book trilogies of all time seems to have reflected on Audi’s US sales.

In a quote from AutoNews, Loren Angelo, general manager of Audi brand communications, said that while Audi had no involvement or knowledge that their cars would be prominently mentioned in the books, the company may have benefited from the unexpected exposure.

"As Audi continues to generate momentum in the U.S. market, we’re seeing our products utilized more and more within popular culture," Angelo said.

"Those organic results are always a sign that a brand is generating real cultural relevance. Obviously, the runaway success of this series has introduced Audi to consumers who might not have previously been thinking of the brand and that certainly has a positive impact for us."

For the month of July, Audi reported an all-time sales record, earning a 28% sales increase from the same time last year. The company did clarify that they don’t have any data to prove that the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy had a direct effect on the increased sales.

Then again, when something like this happens, you only need to trace it back to the source to find out that there just might be an explanation to all of this.

Source: AutoNews

Back in May, we announced that Audi was eliminating the traditional rearview mirror from its R18 Le Mans cars, due to its lack of rearward-facing glass. We also made it clear that a lot of additions to new cars come from successful experiences in the racing world. Well, the R18s ended up garnering a 1-2-3 finish in that race.

As expected, with success comes commercialization, and Audi has announced that its upcoming R8 e-tron will boast this digital mirror technology. This system will consist of a 7.7-inch AMOLED screen mounted in the traditional mirror’s spot. The “mirror” uses a rear-mounted camera to send a video feed, giving the driver a slightly wider field of vision than the average rearview mirror.

Here’s the issue though, the NHTSA’s law book still requires a mirror made from reflective glass to be mounted to all passenger cars. The law specifically states “Each passenger car shall have an inside rearview mirror of unit magnification” and it defines a “unit magnification” as “a plane or flat mirror with a reflective surface through which the angular height and width of the image of an object is equal to the angular height and width of the object when viewed directly at the same distance except for flaws that do not exceed normal manufacturing tolerances. For the purposes of this regulation a prismatic day-night adjustment rearview mirror one of whose positions provides unit magnification is considered a unit magnification mirror. ”

The issue is in the verbiage is that the phrase “ a plane or flat mirror with a reflective surface...” eliminates an LED screen, as it is not a reflective surface. Now, the law becomes nullified is the car comes with side-view mirrors that have 49 square-inches of reflective surface and offer a complete view of the rear end of the vehicle. Those mirrors would be huge for this supercar, so we doubt that exemption will be valid.

We’ll have to see exactly how Audi plans to get around this, or if the NHTSA makes adjustments to its laws.

Click past the jump to read Audi’s press release.


This year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is finally just around the corner after being canceled because of the Waldo Canyon wildfire in Colorado Springs. With the race taking place in the next week - August 12th to be exact - Audi is now announcing their presence at the climb with a teaser image of their competition vehicle, the RS5 .

All we have for now is this teaser image revealed by Audi on their Facebook page, but details surrounding the racer should be revealed next week when it begins its ascent. Audi previously announced that Walter Rohl would return to Pikes Peak as the driver of the the original Sport Quattro S1 he raced to victory a quarter of a century ago. They even released a video of the car’s preparations, meaning Audi could have two vehicles competing.

More details on this Audi RS5 Pikes Peak will be unveiled next week, so stay tuned!

UPDATE 08/10/2012: After delivering the first teaser image the other day, Audi has now unveiled the first official images of the RS5 which will climb Pikes Peak next week. These images also come with the announcement that Audi will team up with Ducati at Pikes Peak to celebrate their common heritage at this iconic mountain.

We see a ton of automotive videos in a day’s work, but some just grab you by the neck and slap you around a little. One type of video that rattles our cage a little bit are ridiculous comparisons. One example of strange comparisons was the Ford Focus ST vs. WRX/GTI/Mazdaspeed 3 /M3 , as throwing the M3 in there was like some annoying dude at a party name-dropping just to sound cool.

Now, when auto manufacturers start comparing their production cars to race cars, that is really aggravating. Rarely, if ever, does a production model car share anything but basic exterior styling with its racing brethren, so comparison is just ridiculous. Now, to take a new car that is cool in itself and compare it to one of the most important, yet unrelated, racing cars in an automaker’s history is just idiocy.

That said, however, Audi managed to compare the 90 Quattro race car – likely one of the most importance race cars to don the four rings – to the TT RS , which is one of the baddest compact coupes on the market. These two cars share absolutely nothing, except that they both have five cylinders. However, Audi did it in such an awesome way that you totally forget the lunacy of comparing the two and just get caught up in the video.

Have a look at the above video and you’ll see exactly what we mean. We’ve gotta give it to Audi’s production team for this video, as it definitely got us all amped up, despite the fact they are comparing a 700+ horsepower racecar to 360-horsepower compact coupe.

Source: YouTube

Audi has already launched the 2013 R8 line-up , but these models won’t arrive on the US market until the end of 2012. Until that happens, American customers will have to make due with a series of Exclusive Selection Editions created exclusively for the U.S. market. These editions will be based on both the V8 and V10 models and will be limited to just twenty units for the V8 and thirty for the V10.

No changes were made in terms of power, but the new Exclusive Selection Edition will be distinguished by a choice of new exterior colors and stunning exclusive interior finishes. For the V8 version, Audi will debut a special Daytona Gray matte paint combined with a carbon fiber exterior splitter and diffuser, 19" titanium five-arm double spoke wheels, a black grille surround, black exhaust finishers, R8 GT tail lamps, and red brake calipers. For the interior, there will be an exclusive leather package with Crimson Red elements and contrast stitching, exclusive leather Navigation surround, and a thicker contoured leather multifunctional steering wheel for a sportier grip.

The V10 version will be offered in either Ibis White or Brilliant Black finishes, combined with R8 GT tail lamps and 19" bi-color e-tron wheels. For the interior, the Exclusive R8 will get a carbon fiber monoposto driver’s cockpit, an exclusive leather Navigation surround, and a contoured steering wheel.

Prices for the new Audi R8 Exclusive Selection Edition will depend on the engine and transmission chosen. For the V8 models, it will be $137,700 for the R8 V8 with a manual transmission and $146,800 for the R8 V8 with an R tronic transmission. The V10 model follows along the same trend with a $161,500 price tag for the R8 V10 with a manual transmission and $170,600 for the R8 V10 equipped with the R tronic transmission .

The 3.0-liter BiTDI engine that Audi has developed has pretty much flipped what we think of diesel engines – that they are torque-loaded but underpowered – on its rear. MTM has taken the A6 3.0 BiTDI, which we don’t see in the U.S., and turned it into even more powerful of a ride, as well as helping look and handle a little better.

The A6 3.0 BiTDI’s body remains essentially unchanged with MTM’s package and we don’t mind one bit. The A6’s body is pretty sexy, for a station wagon, so we are happy to see that MTM didn’t go overboard with the body kit for it. The only styling change added to the A6 are a set of custom wheels. There are actually a variety of Bimoto wheels available from MTM for this package, which range from €1,729 to €5,230 ($2,140 to $6,471 at current rates).

Helping the handling and ride height is an aftermarket F-Cantronic ECU for the air suspension, which allows you to drop the car’s center of gravity up to 25 mm (0.98 inches). This increases both handling and gives the A6 a more stylish look. This ECU runs €1,740 ($2,153 at current rates).

Helping the A6 come to a halt is a brake upgrade that includes 380 x 34 mm (14.96- x 1.33-inch) rotors with 8-piston calipers squeezing them. This kit runs €4,900 ($6,063), but you can opt for another upgrade that includes 405 x 36 mm (15.94- x 1.41-inch) rotors for an additional €1,500 ($1,856), but to get this size, you must opt for at least 20-inch wheels.

The engine sees some significant increases too, as the base ECU modification, which costs €1,700 ($2,103) will net you 365 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. This is a 57-horsepower and 81 pound-feet bump from stock. You can pump this up to a full 381 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque for an extra €100 ($123).

In all, this package will run between €10,069 ($12,464) and €15,170 ($18,771), depending on the options you choose. That’s quite a hefty fee, but this will make your A6 a true screamer.


After the E-tron concept and the E-tron Detroit Show car , Audi has brought us the e-tron technology platform based on the R8 from the 24 Hours of Le Mans race . This has turned out to be more than just a publicity stunt or science experiment. Audi is serious about bringing this car to market and has taken the time to develop a completely new ideology behind this electric R8 and the normal gasoline version.

Having the exterior design of the car already completed and in supercar form it was an easier job for the Audi engineers to develop an electric version than if they would have had to start from scratch. The mid-engine design of the R8 provides the perfect location to store heavy batteries without distorting the weight balance that Audi wanted to achieve. In essence, this electric version should be able to compete on the same levels as its V8 and V10 brothers, but will it be as exhilarating?

That all depends on what the driver sees as excitement – The V10 version will provide an unbridled amount of power and harmonious soundtrack to go along with it, but the electric version will incorporate some of the most innovative technology available today. Being able to reach high top speeds in the least amount of time is the most important thing that a sports car can deliver, if it can do it by using batteries than we don’t really see a problem. If Audi can truly create an exciting Quattro experience with its new E-Tron R8 than they will have accomplished something truly special in this emerging market.

UPDATE 06/29/2012: Even though the Audi R8 e-tron hasn’t officially been launched yet, it is already a world record breaker. With a lap time of 8:09.099 minutes, the R8 e-tron has just become the fastest production vehicle with an electric drive system around the Nurburgring. The car was driven to success by racing driver Markus Winkelhock.

"The R8 e-tron has given a magnificent demonstration of its potential on the toughest race track in the world," said Michael Dick, Audi AG Board Member for Technical Development. Dick, who completed a fast lap himself in the R8 e-tron, added: "The record-setting drive confirmed that we are on the right track. To us, electric mobility has never been about sacrifice, but rather is about emotion, sportiness and driving pleasure."

UPDATE 08/07/2012: It’s been a little over a month since the Audi R8 e-Tron lapped the Nurburgring in record time (see previous update), but Audi has just released the video of the epic achievement. Check out Markus Winkelhock and the Audi R8 e-Tron as the record is created by clicking on the image above.

Hit the jump for more details on the Audi R8 E-Tron.

Audi officially buys Ducati

Okay, for ease of understanding we always just place Lamborghini under Volkswagen AG’s umbrella, but in reality, VW owns 99 percent of Audi AG who in turn owns Lamborghini ... got it? In a third party, back-door kinda way, yes, VW does own Lamborghini... sort of. So earlier in the year, we mentioned that Audi had secured the Italian motorcycle builder, Ducati, for about $1 billion.

According to Audi’s financial report, it is not the owner of Ducati . How in the world does that kind of error slip through the cracks, right? Well, apparently, Audi follows the same school of thought as its parent company, Volkswagen AG, and tries to push the bounds of legality to get things done, a la Porsche getting a share of VW to exempt VW from paying taxes on the buyout .

Instead of Audi buying Ducati, Lamborghini actually bought it. This does two things for VW, Audi, and Lamborghini. First, it allows it to retain its Italian roots and secondly, it helps push Lamborghini’s overall fuel economy and emissions closer to the European standards that have plagued it in recent years.

So VW has found a way to slither its way through the EU rulebook and find a way around a very important law. Touché, VW, we bow to your supreme rule-bending abilities and the way you do it without us even noticing sometimes.


The 2012 London Olympics is now in full swing and German automaker is lending its support to the German National Team by providing a special edition, one-off A1 E-Tron model to serve as the company’s exhibition model.

We all know that the A1 E-Tron carries an internal combustion engine that charges the car’s batteries and can produce a total of 102 horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of 10 seconds and a top speed of just over 80 mph. Clearly, the A1 E-Tron isn’t exactly a rubber smoker, but nevertheless, it does make for a good celebratory piece for the German National Team at the Olympics. As an official partner of Germany’s Olympic Sports Confederation and the National Paralympic Committee Germany, Audi has even sent 60 A1 E-Tron models to London where they are being used as a shuttle service running between the MS Deutschland cruise ship and the German House.

As for the A1 E-Tron Germany Olympic Team Edition, the car carries the colors of Germany loud and proud in its support of its athletes. The one-off model also sports black bezel headlamps, ’2012’ in scripted on the side mirrors and roof, a new set of white multi-spoke wheels with touches of Germany’s national colors, and an exclusive interior trim with the same patriotic highlights reserved only for this particular model.

The Audi S7 Sportback is a car that holds up when compared to a car like the Mercedes CLS-Class . But once AMG gets into the picture and releases the CLS AMG , there’s no way that the S7 Sportback can compete with it.

That’s where ABT Sportsline comes into the picture.

The German tuner has just released a new performance program for the luxury Audi sedan, an upgrade that will give it enough added power to give Mercedes’ CLS AMG line a serious run for its money. The upgrade, which has been christened the "AS7" takes the S7 Sportsback’s 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged TFSI V8 engine and increases its output from the standard 420 horsepower and 406 lb/ft of torque figures all the way up to 520 horsepower and 442 lb/ft of torque. This allows it a new top speed of 183 mph, up from the standard 155 mph top speed of the stock model. Do the math and that equates to a 100-horsepower and 36 lb/ft of torque increase from the standard S7 Sportback and an improvement of 28 mph.

In addition to the engine modifications, ABT Sportsline also fitted the S7 Sportback with a new set of either 20" or 21"CR or CD alloy wheels to go with new suspension springs, an optional lowering module, and the ABT Level Control air suspension setting.


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