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In the past, Audi has dazzled the crowds in Detroit with a number of vehicles, but in 2012, they have opted to only bring a Q3 Vail Concept equipped for the winter season. The concept was named after the famous winter sports venue in the United States and has been designed for young fans of winter sports who love skiing or snowboarding.

The Audi Q3 Vail is painted in a very cool Energy Red combined with add-on body parts in a matte gray quartz-based paint and vertical struts made from aluminum. The most striking elements, however, are the flared wheel arches and running boards, which Audi will incorporate into the extensive range of Q3 accessories. The front roof-rail support integrates compact, energy-efficient, wide-angled LED lights that illuminate the area around the Audi Q3 Vail. The concept sits on 8.5 J x 20 five-arm wheels.

For the interior, Audi is offering a combination of black, gray, and red. The headlining is made from titanium gray Alcantara and large parts of the interior, including the carpet, are black and edged with narrow strips of red velvet-finish leather.

The Q3 Vail Concept is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder TFSI engine with direct injection and turbocharging that generates an output of 314 HP and 295.02 lb-ft of torque. The power is transferred to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The concept will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 162.80 mph.

Automakers are constantly looking for a sales edge wherever they can get one and with a big tenth victory in this month’s grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans now sitting in their fruitful laps, Audi is prepared to cash in. In celebration of their marathon win, Audi UK has prepared the R8 V8 Limited Edition with only 100 units being offered to UK customers. Each model will be priced at £93,935 - or around $150,000 at the current exchange rates - and the first deliveries will be made in October 2011.

The R8 V8 Limited may be seeing a £7,000 (about $10,000 at the current rates) increase in price, but it benefits from an array of features worthy of the hike. The sports car will have an exclusive titanium effect paint finish and R8 GT-inspired titanium-look alloy wheels with red brake calipers, as well as carbon fiber options. The interior is dressed up with Black Fine Nappa Leather-upholstered seats and headrests and highlighted by crimson red accents on just about everything. From the flat bottomed, leather-covered multi-function steering wheel to the instrument cowl, leather finish monoposto, knee pads, and passenger door handle, red streams throughout the interior like blood coursing through its veins. Other additions include stainless steel pedals and illuminated door sills with bright aluminum inserts carrying the R8 logo. Power will come from the standard 4.2 liter 424 HP V8 FSI engine and can be mated to either a manual or R-tronic transmission.

The limited edition R8 also comes with equipment that isn’t standard for the regular R8 , but gets thrown in the mix at no extra charge for the special edition. This equipment consists of the Audi magnetic ride, satellite navigation, the Audi Music Interface (AMI), interior light package, a Bang and Olufsen sound system, and Bluetooth mobile phone preparation with integrated seat-belt microphones.

Updated 01/02/2012: Its been quite a while since we last heard something about this R8 V8 Limited Edition, but now Audi has unveiled a new video that promotes this sports car. The video comes with another good news: we will see the R8 Limited Edition in USA too. Enjoy!

Audi is currently working on the second generation Q7 - it will be unveiled sometime in 2013 - but until then, there are some tuners that have found new ideas on how to improve the current model. One example of such a tuner is Je Design, who is offering a new tuning kit with both exterior and interior upgrades, as well as a power increase.

The Q7 tuning package is based on the S-Line model and adds an even sportier feel to the SUV. It includes new high-class wheel arches that increase the SUV’s width by 30 millimeters per side at the front and 40 millimeters per side at the rear. The German tuner is also offering front-spoiler corners, a Park Distance Control rear-apron extension, two Je Design double-tailpipe covers, and a dynamic roof wing with side covers above the C pillars. The complete styling package is available for 7,438 euros, or about $9,624 at the current rates.

The final touch for the exterior of the Audi Q7 is a new set of single-part 10 x 22 inch SUV Select alloy wheel rims. The five-spoke design wheels are wrapped around fitted 295/30R22 tires and available in three different color schemes: matte-black, front silver matte/shadow silver, front polished/graphite matte, polished lip. Customers can also choose the new JE DESIGN SCORPIO complete 10 x 22 inch wheel set in a new double-spoke design. This set can also be had in size 9 x 20 inches in matte-black with polished-silver rim flange. Both 22-inch complete wheel sets are available from 5,190 euros, or about $6,715 at the current rates.

Under the hood, the 4.2 TDI engine has undergone optimized programming of the control electronics to deliver an extra 70 HP and 99 lb-ft of torque. This brings the total power up to 405 HP and 660 lb-ft of torque from the standard 335 HP and 561 lb-ft of torque. With the extra power, the Q7 will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. The new control-system software is available for an added price of 1,499 euros, or about $1,940 at the current rates. This software includes a one-year guarantee for the engine, turbocharger, transmission, and drive train, which can be extended by another year for just 199 euros, or $257 at the current rates.

All told, the complete Je Design package for the Audi Q7 will run the customer somewhere around $18,536, depending on the currency rates and any additional tweaks they want to add.

Posted on by Alexander + 6

Last year’s picks for the coupe of the year raged a war between the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang , but this year things are a bit different. In fact, neither one of these muscle cars made the list, simply because the new Camaro ZL1 isn’t available for purchase just yet.

With the two major muscle cars out of the running, we were still left with a ton of vehicles worthy of some time in the spotlight. Our choices for the top coupes of 2011 are kind of all over the place. From the Audi TT-RS’ return to the States to the Lotus Exige S and its road-going capabilities on the other side of the pond, there’s pretty much a flavor for anybody.

In fact, if we’ve missed one of your favorites, make sure to hit us up.

Hit the jump for our picks for the 2011 Coupe of the Year, in alphabetical order.

A few months ago, Audi announced that the R8 LMS race car was officially coming to America for its inaugural race at Daytona. That was followed by the introduction of the Grand-Am-spec R8 LMS racer that has been tuned specifically to adhere to "stricter" Grand-Am regulations.

Now, we can officially confirm that the first racing team to field the R8 LMS is going to be APR Motorsport, which will use the race cars at the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January of 2012.

The team, which is the race division of APR Tuned, has been known for entering Audi’s in US-based racing series and will continue with that tradition by bringing in the R8 LMS to make its US debut next January.

The R8 LMS was born in 2009 and has evolved to be one of the most powerful and reliable race cars in the world. Tuned to racing specifications to meet Grand-Am regulations, the R8 LMS Grand-Am will receive a number of new equipment, including a thicker roll cage, a new front splitter, rear diffuser and a custom rear spoiler. Similarly, the race car’s 5.2-liter V10 engine has been tuned to produce a ’limited’ output range of 450 horsepower to 470 horsepower.

APR Motorsport has released sketches of their R8 LMS race car, complete with all the graphics and decals that come with it. Hopefully, we’re going to see the car in all its race glory before it jumps into action at Daytona this coming January.

UPDATE 12/28/11: APR Motorsport has finally taken delivery of their Daytona-bound Audi R8 LMS. Check out the fresh batch of photos of the pair of R8 racers in the gallery below!

Audi R8 E-Tron

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.

We don’t usually get caught up in the overtaking of roles in the auto industry - for example, this Design Chief now working for rival company - but it looks like we may have to pay a bit closer attention from now on. In the new image of Audi ’s new Brand Design Chief, Wolfgang Egger, there appears to be a blurry front end of what may be the future generation Audi TT .

We know Audi is hard at work providing facelifts for all of their major models before cranking out the new generations of all in a couple of years’ time, but we never thought we may be able to get a quick glance at the future through an employee photo. The 2014 Audi TT was rumored to appear in concept form first at the Tokyo Auto Show, but it is now believed that the vehicle will show its face in Geneva. The blurry front end in this image looks to have the current TT’s nose, but the sloping headlights look to be a bit more elongated and the detailing of the lower fascia was altered.

Look, this may be a model of the current TT that is so blurry, it’s causing us to see things that aren’t there, but we’re betting on the fact that we’re looking at a work in progress. A work that may turn into the Audi TT Concept on the 2012 Geneva Auto Show floor. Only time will tell.

Source: Fourtitude

It didn’t take long for the Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro to be transitioned into an actual production vehicle, did it?

Give some thanks to Audi because they’re about to release the Audi A1 Quattro, a special edition model that takes the A1 ’s already impressive looks and turns them into a design masterpiece.

Not only does the A1 Quattro look stunning - special props to the red handlebar ’wing’ lights - but it’s also got some serious ponies under its hood. It’s not in the level of what the 500-horsepower A1 Clubsport was capable of, but it certainly packs a meaner punch than a lot of factory-built A1 models out on the market these days.

Creative and evocative design matched to an impressive 2.0-liter TFSI powertrain and the use of Audi’s very own quattro all-wheel drive has turned the Audi A1 Audi A1 Quattro into a serious must-have. The only downside is that Audi will be limiting the release of the car to just 333 units with prices still to be announced. But we like it so much that even if we don’t know how much it’s going to cost, we’ll be saving up for a chance to get a piece of this super duper hot hatch.

UPDATE 02/20/12: Audi has released a pretty interesting video of the A1 Quattro doing some sick drift moves...in the snow! The video is a little over eight minutes, which means that you’re going to get your money’s worth for watching it. Check out the vid after the jump!

UPDATE 01/29/13: A new video of the Audi A1 Quattro has been released by Audi featuring DTM pilot Filipe Albuquerque showing us what the car is capable of. Check out the video by clicking on the photo above.

Find out more about the Audi A1 Quattro after the jump

We’ve already touched on the report that the next-generation Audi R8 has been scheduled for a 2014 release (in Europe) with rumors circulating that we’ll be seeing a facelift version of the supercar before that time comes. Now, we can put the rumors to rest, because according to CAR, a face lifted version of the R8 is now being penned for late next year as a 2013 model.

As can be expected with a facelift model, Audi is only opting for minor tweaks on both the exterior and interior of the car. It appears that the 2013 R8 will - for the first time - carry a refreshed grille that was first introduced last year by the e-Tron Spyder Concept . New headlights are also in the plans, as is a new S-tronic dual clutch gearbox, which replaces the R-tronic sequential manual gearbox on the current model.

Some other prominent changes expected to be made on the face lifted R8 are the use of Audi’s latest MMI interface system, an increased use of carbon fiber to cut down the car’s weight and, most importantly, an improved engine output from the current model’s 525-horsepower output all to the way to the neighborhood of 540 horsepower.

This is the first time that these details have been divulged, so we’re more than curious to see how the facelift model of the iconic R8 will look and feel like before Audi ushers in the next generation model in 2014.

Speaking of the 2014 Audi R8 , Car has learned that the new model will carry an evolutionary styling theme with an absence of the current model’s sideblades and manual transmission. The body will switch from 100% aluminum to a multi-material combination, including a carbon fiber rear firewall. The new R8 will also have a transmission tunnel and the B-posts that will double as rollover protection elements. These changes will allow for a drop of about 24 kilos (about 53 lbs) on the car’s overall weight, allowing the R8 to be about 13% stiffer. Power will still come from a 450 HP naturally aspirated V8 engine for the base model, but the V10 will get a power boost to about 550 HP.

The new generation Audi R8 will be followed by the new R8 Spyder just one year after its launch, so expect the drop top sometime in 2015.

Source: CAR
BMW M1 Hommage

Since debuting the M1 Hommage Concept a few years ago, BMW has waffled back and forth on the prospect of bringing a BMW supercar in the market to serve as the main rival of the Audi R8 .

It’s been frustrating for us to listen to all this "will they or won’t they" nonsense and we’ve been waiting for a concrete answer from the German automaker. Now, it appears that we finally have it.

In an interview conducted by egmCarTech, Matt Russel, Production Manager of the M-Division of BMW North America, has officially put all the rumors of an M1 successor to rest. Sadly, there won’t be one.

“We’ve discussed these possibilities”, said Russell, “but ultimately, we didn’t feel the need to make a very exclusive high-end supercar and we still don’t. I already firmly believe that we produce supercars, except that they’re two in one: an executive car with supercar performance. They are the essence of BMW M-Cars.”

Russell also added that the currentBMW M3 , despite its un-supercarlike appearance, can already go tow to tow with a car like the R8. "The M3 is spot on with the Audi R8 V8 in terms of performance numbers like lateral G’s, braking and acceleration.”

We’re not going to dispute that, but at the same time, there’s nothing supercar-like about the M3 in terms of the way it looks. It’s one thing to have a car that feels like a supercar, but it’s another thing for a car to feel AND look like a supercar.

Guess we’ll just have to wait for the BMW i8 to be introduced in 2014.

Source: EGM Car Tech

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