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After months of rumors and speculation, Audi has officially confirmed the acquisition of the Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. The acquisition was approved today in Hamburg and will be completed as quickly as possible once authorized by the competition authorities.

While it hasn’t been confirmed just yet, rumors say that Audi paid approximately €860 million, or $1.13 billion at the current rates, in order to buy Ducati. This is a fabulous deal considering Ducati sold around 42,000 motorcycles and generated revenue of some €480 million (about $631 million at the current rates), employing around 1,100 people.

Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, declared: "Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles. It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world’s most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi."

Audi RS6 Avant

Audi is preparing to add a new RS model to its line-up as shown by these images of the future RS6 Avant . The sports-focused mid-sized vehicle was caught testing at the Nurburgring race track in Germany, donning some heavy camouflage. This just means that the mule that was testing previously has been tossed out and the production version is now making its testing rounds.

As previously reported, the Audi RS6 will be powered by the same 4.0 TFSI bi-turbo V8 as the S6 , the S8 , and even the new Bentley Continental GT V8 . However, the final output is expected to be increased to the 500 HP area, so the RS6 should be a real monster.

The future Audi RS6 will also feature a wider track and more aggressive brakes, as well as a meaner overall look. The bad news is that Audi doesn’t plan on offering it as a sedan just yet, so station wagon haters will have to give in or wait that much longer.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 2
Audi R8 V8 Coupe

The Audi R8 has been an extremely successful car for Audi, as it was originally launched as their first real attempt to compete with modern-day supercars. And boy did they deliver. The R8 is now offered in an array of versions, including the popular R8 V10 which uses the same 5.2-liter engine as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 , but just like every other car, there comes a time when it has to be updated and the facelifted R8 is set to debut in just a few months.

Various spy shots have been captured of the stunning supercar, and the biggest visual changes are set to be its redesigned headlights and taillights. Although they’re expected to largely maintain their shape, the design of the actual lights within will be very different. A difference which will only be clearly noticeable at night, but a change nonetheless.

However, the biggest change will happen underneath, as the 2013 model is set to feature a twin-clutch transmission, if Autocar is to be believed. Up until this point, the R8 has only been offered with either a traditional six-speed manual or a paddle-shift operated ‘box, but the inclusion of a DCT should do wonders for sales of the R8.

Even though the R8’s successor is being prepped for a release in the next two years, Audi went all out to redesign the tub, suspension, and engine carrier to support the larger gearbox, and this has us coming to one solid conclusion. We’re doubtful Audi would go to that much effort just to get a few more sales and keep up with the competition, and instead believe that the R8’s successor will make use of the same tub and S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox.

Additionally, the R8 V10’s engine is set for a slight horsepower increase up from 525BHP to 540BHP, but it’s currently unclear if this engine will be retained in the future model.

Either way, it’s great to see Audi updating the R8 to keep up with the times and we’re extremely excited about the 2014 or 2015 model also, which is set to be a true evolution of the car.

Source: Autocar

The new Audi R8 LMS Ultra will be making its racing debut at the 24 hours of Le Mans race. But until we will finally see how cool the car is and what an impressive level of performance it is delivering, lets see a very cool video from a test track day at Monza racetrack.

The new R8 LMS Ultra is powered by a 5.2 liter V10 engine that delivers a total of 570 HP and has received an optimized cooling system, a larger engine oil cooler and transmission fluid cooler. The car is priced at $445,000.

The video has been brougth to us by Youtube user NM2255 and we have to admit he did quite an impressive job. It includes an amazing engine sound with lots of loud accelerations and fast fly bys on a very wet track!

Jon Olsson is famous for the amazing cars, like the Rebellion R1k Ultima GTR or the Lamborghini Gallardo Ski Transporter . Now, it’s time to add another great car to his impressive garage: a specially designed PPI Design R8 Razor GTR .

According to his official blog, all Olsson wanted to do was add "a nice little spoiler on it and do a nice little "quick" pimp," but PPI kind of ruined his plans. They added a full carbon fiber body kit that weighs only 600 grams. Knowing about his passion for skiing, PPI also added a ski box at the top of the R8.

The standard PPI Razor GTR features a normally aspirated V10 engine that provides over 601 hp at 7,400 rpm and a maximum torque of 416 lb-ft at 6,400 rpm. However, from what we know about Olsson’s rides, we wouldn’t be surprised to see at least 700 HP under this hood.

Source: Jon Olsson

One of the biggest allures people have of supercars is the ear-splitting noise these cars produce. After all, nothing speaks to a car’s power than all those ponies working in harmony to produce a roar like no other.

But what happens with a car like the Audi R8 E-Tron , a supercar that’s powered by silent electric motors?

In the case of Audi , it involves a few compromises. In this video, Audi talks about the challenges of producing that emotional sound supercar owners love on a car that’s run by electricity. The solution, as far as Audi engineers are concerned, was to develop a synthetic sound signature that can be played with a loudspeaker attached to the car’s undercarriage.

Take note of the word "synthetic" because that in itself means that the sound is fabricated and not directly derived from the engine. Nevertheless, the objective with the "E-Sound" was to generate enough noise to allow drivers to enjoy the thrills of a supercar with an electric powertrain.

Check out the videos - one of which you can find after the jump - to find out how Audi accomplished giving the Audi R8 E-Tron the supercar-like sounds similar to its gasoline-powered siblings.

There are a lot of new car scams in the world and most of them are initiated by the new car dealer, not the buyer. A group of buyers flipped the script on several Los Angeles dealerships, by using fake identities to purchase 20 cars and were shipping them to Hong Kong and Vietnam to sell them for two to three times their U.S. value.

It was a laundry list of luxury vehicles, such as a $280,000 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia , an Audi Quattro , 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 , along with several Mercedes , Lexus , Infiniti , and BMW SUVs among others. For some reason, the thieves even threw in a Toyota Tundra .

The one that got these fraudsters busted was the Ferrari 458 Italia , as Ferrari fitted the supercar with a GPS system as standard, which Ferrari used to track the car once they found out they were defrauded. This led U.S. Customs and the California highway Patrol to conduct a full investigation and find the cars on a ship that had already pulled away from the port.

Needless to say, that ship was forced to come back and all but four of the cars were recovered. The four non-recovered cars are due to be shipped back by Vietnamese Customs.

According to the report, had the fraudsters not gone after the Ferrari, chances are they would have gotten away with this scam and made a ton of money in the process. The total amount of the vehicles seized by U.S. customs is estimated at $1.5 million, which would have pulled in around $3 million in Hong Kong and Vietnam.

We are still trying to figure out what in the world a Toyota Tundra was doing in the mix with all of these high-end luxury cars. We also wonder which thief drew the short straw and was stuck going to the Toyota dealership to pick this thing up?

Audi’s auto racing influence is felt in a number of racing series all over the world. And while they don’t count themselves as part of the Formula One grid, the German automaker’s presence in the touring car series is unmistakable.

For the 2012 season, Audi is bringing a pretty snazzy race-tuned sports car to Italy’s version of touring car racing, called the Superstars Series. Similar to the UK’s British Touring Car Championship, the Superstars Series is made up of a grid that features a plethora of automakers, Audi being one of them.

Looking to return to past glory that saw them cop the 2007 Driver’s title and the 2008 Drivers and Constructors titles, Audi will be bringing a race-tuned model of the Audi RS5 back to the series. This model has been carefully fitted with an aggressive aerodynamic body - the intimidating grilles are a sight to behold - and a V8-powered engine that produces a mighty 450 horsepower.

All in all, three RS5 models will comprise the 2012 Superstars Series grid, including one from German tuner MTM, one from Audi Sport Italia, and one from Swedish team KMS.

BMW’s 5-Series GT hasn’t been as successful as the company hoped it would be. However, the Bavarian company will expand its Gran Turismo line-up with the addition of two new models, one based on the 3-Series and one on the 1-Series . Audi hopes it can stunt the success of these models as well with its new A4 Superavant.

Audi’s new model will be built on the A4 platform and will be built to fill the gap between the A4 Avant , the Q5 , and the up and comingBMW X6 -competitor, the Q6 crossover. As for the name, there are three different possibilities: A4 Sportback, A4 Avantissimo, or A4 Superavant, the latter being the most likely.

Under the hood, expect to find a 255 HP 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter TDI rated at 197 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

The new A4 Superavant will be offered as a concept sometime in 2014, with a production version to follow two years later.

Audi Q5

While Mercedes has officially unveiled the 2013 GLK , Audi is still testing the facelift version of their Q5 . The prototype caught testing is wearing the real lights in the front and back this time, and is only being covered up with a thin stripe of tape as camouflage; the new grille and bumpers were all free of camouflage. As you can see in one of these images, the driver was none too happy about being caught behind the wheel. That’s the risk they take!

As previously announced, the new Q5 facelift will receive new headlights, a modified front grille, a redesigned front bumper with larger air intakes, and new taillights. Minor modifications will also be made on the interior and the car’s overall driving dynamics. Audi will also offer a few options in terms of power, which is a good thing considering the current model only offers one gasoline engine and two TDI units.

Expect to see the new Audi Q5 facelift launched in the coming months.

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