Audi will launch the next generation A4 in mid-2014 and it will be offered with a more dynamic design and improved technology. The body will remain pretty much unchanged, with updates that include a more prominent single-frame grille, new headlights and taillights, flared wheel arches and a more pronounced spoiler.
The interior will also be improved to offer more interior room and will offer new technology features, like a heads-up display and an MMI Touch infotainment system also used in models like the recently announced A3.
Under the hood, the next A4 will be offered with a wide choice of engines, including a new 1.4-liter TSI engine with an output of either 122 horsepower or 180 horsepower. This new engine will come with cylinder-deactivation technology that will reduce fuel consumption by about 0.5 liter/100km.
The next Audi A4 could also be offered in a plug-in hybrid variant that will combine a 211 horsepower 2.0 TFSI engine with a 95-horsepower electric motor. This new version will deliver autonomy of 50 kilometers (31 miles) on pure electric mode.
Update 12/28/12: This review has been updated with more specific information on the upcoming refreshed A4.
In the luxury car market, Audi is no doubt near the top of the list, but it still plays third fiddle to Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and Audi is set to do something about that. For this the company announced it will invest a total of €13 billion - around $17 billion at the current exchange rates - through 2016. Most of these investments will be used to address the development of new products and technologies, as well as the construction of new plants.
From the $17 billion, a total of $13.9 billion will be invested in the development of new models and in the modernization of the current models in Audi’s lineup. This will include financing core areas of expertise, such as lightweight design/construction and electric mobility, and also in making regular engines even more efficient.
Most of the money will be invested in the German sites of Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in the next five years, but also in the expansion of the site in Győr, Hungary.
All of these investments are part of Audi’s attempt to hit a sales number of more than two million vehicles annually by 2020 and to become the No. 1 premium brand in the world.
When Audi announced the R8 E-tron has been dropped we were pretty disappointed, to say the least. But, to our surprise, it looks like Audi hasn’t entirely dropped the idea of offering a hybrid supercar because new rumors seem to suggest that in the next three years we will see a street-legal version of the German automaker’s very successful LeMans race car, the R18.
The new model will be called the R20 and will be offered with the trademark full-length tailfin of an R18 LeMans racer. In order to help distinguish itself as an Audi model, the R20 will be equipped with a downsized, single-frame grille; stacked LED headlights; ventilated front and rear wings; and an adjustable rear spoiler. The best part is that the next R20 will likewise be offered with gulling doors, which will offer access to a highly equipped interior. It will offer a multi-functional black panel center display, active-contour seats with integrated four-point belts and tons of other technology features.
Under the hood, Audi will combine a 550-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine with two electric motors that will drive the front wheels. The R20 will also be equipped with brake energy recuperation, high-speed coasting, and a broader start-stop application.
The new Audi R20 will be unveiled in 2015 at the Pebble Beach event. Production will begin in the spring of 2016 and there will be only 100-250 units offered.
UPDATE 3/29/2013: Rumor has it that the model once known as the R20 will actually be called the R10. And with a new name comes an all-new rendering based off of design cues from the R8 and the R18 racecar.
VF Engineering is really into breaking the mold when it comes to developing programs for some of the world’s finest supercars. The American aftermarket company definitely knows a power upgrade when they see one and their latest offering for the mighty German beast, the Audi R8 V10, is no different.
With some help from fellow Audi aftermarket wizard Stassis Engineering, VF Engineering took the R8 V10’s massive 5.2-liter engine and made serious work out of it, highlighted by the addition of a bolt on roots style supercharger system and an Eaton/Magnuson TVS2300 four-lobe roots blower with an air/water aftercooling system that boosts up the R8 V10’s output from the standard 520 horsepower and 390 pounds-per-feet of torque figures all the way up to 720 horsepower and 590 pounds-per-feet of torque. That impressive bump in output is particularly jacked up because of the resulting lag-free instant punch of 5psi from as little as 2,000rpm, with the boost gradually climbing all the way up to 6.5psi at redline.
And should the R8 V10 be using a 91 or 93 octane, the stock engine programming is then recalibrated by VF courtesy of an OBD2 port electronic flash.
For all of the program’s downright awesomeness, there is one bit of bad news out there for anybody interested in getting this package. It’s not compliant with the California Air Resourse Board and cannot be used on public roads in California.
The current Audi TT-RS is powered by a 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 360 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 343 pound-feet of torque at a super-low 1,650 rpm. Impressive results for such a tiny sports car, but not impressive enough considering that Mercedes obtained an almost similar output from an even slower engine: the 330 HP 2.0-liter four-cylinder set to be used in the A45 AMG.
As a result, Audi decided its time to update this famous engine. The timing’s right, too, because by September 2014, the German automaker will have to comply to EU 6 regulations. In order to achieve this update, Audi will be working on the engine’s combustion processes, while also working on the catalysts and "from there it’s just geometry", according to quattro development boss Stephan Reil, who also added that the "air coming in to the cylinder in rolling waves to produce as little pollution as possible."
During the entire process, Audi will also be working on improving the engine’s performance numbers, especially if you consider that Tobias Moers from AMG claims that the A45 AMG is around six seconds faster around the Nurburgring Nordschleife than the RS3 - which is also using the five-cylinder engine.
Earlier this year at the Beijing Auto Show Audi has unveiled the Q3 RS concept that previews the production version for a more powerful, sportier Audi Q3. The Q3 RS has been confirmed for an official debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, just two months after the RS7 will also be joining the lineup.
Details on a production version Audi Q3 RS are still limited, but we presume it will borrow most of its design elements and technology from the concept version. Under the hood we will see a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine tuned to produce 355 horsepower, while the exterior will be distinguished by the usual RS design elements, including a black honeycomb grille, tinted headlights, a new bumper with graping air intakes, and a new set of larger, aluminum wheels.
Until we will get the final details on the upcoming Q3 RS check our new rendering to make an idea on how the sporty SUV will look like.
Last week, Audi quattro GmbH chief, Stephan Reil, confirmed that the upcoming RS7 would make its world debut in January 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show. Today, because we want to help you get an idea on what it will look like, we have created a rendering of the next luxury sports sedan.
The upcoming Audi RS7 will be distinguished by the usual RS design elements also seen in models like the recently launched RS6 and RS5. These elements include a new single-frame grille with beveled upper corners featuring a high-gloss, anthracite gray honeycomb structure, a revised hood, sharper edges, a dual-exhaust system with two oval exhaust pipes, a larger diffuser, and a rear spoiler.
It is also rumored that the next RS7 will likely be mechanically identical to the recently launched RS6 Avant, meaning it will be powered by a 4.0-liter TFSI V-8 engine with an output of about 560 ponies and a top speed of 190 mph.
Prior Design has announced a new tuning kit for the Audi R8 sports car. Called PD GT650, the new kit is made from high-quality Dura-Flex FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) and features an excellent surface finish that provides sufficient flexibility combined with high stability.
The aerodynamic kit includes a new front bumper with side vents included, a new front lip spoiler and front fenders. Updates continue at the rear with a new bumper with side vents, a new diffuser and wing, plus a racecar-inspired roof scoop. Prior design is also offering new side skirts and a new set of wheels painted in black with red insertions.
The tuner made no updates under the hood, but we believe a 430-horsepower, V-8 engine is more than enough for a sports car.
The price for the new PD GT650 kit is €19,900 - or about $26,200 at the current exchange rates. Not too shabby.
UPDATE 02/12/13: If you thought Prior Design’s GT650 program for the Audi R8 is awesome, you have to check out the fresh batch of new photos showing the German supercar frolicking in the snow. Can you say "wallpaper"? Hop on over after the jump to check out the photos!
Earlier this year, at the Beijing Auto Show, Audi unveiled the RS Q3 Concept and everyone knew that a production version was just around the corner. In a recent interview with AutoCar, Quattro GmbH chief, Stephan Reil, confirmed that Audi’s high-performance RS division will be adding four new models to its lineup in 2013.
Two of these four new models will be a production version for the Q3 RS concept and the production version of the long-rumored RS7 luxury sedan. The first to arrive will be the RS7 — most likely in January 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show — while the Q3 RS may arrive in March 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show.
The upcoming Audi RS7 will likely be mechanically identical to the recently launched RS6 Avant, meaning it will be powered by a 4.0-liter TFSI V-8 engine with an output of about 560 ponies and a top speed of 190 mph. The Q3 RS, on the other hand, will most likely retain the engine used in the concept version: a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine tuned to produce 355 horsepower.
More details will be unveiled in the upcoming weeks, stay tuned!
When it comes to German sports sedans and station wagons, each one has a big problem: top speed is limited to only 155 mph. For most people, this might sound like a pretty smart safety measure, but sounds pretty lame for a model to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in the 4-second range, but only be capable of hitting 155 mph.
Lucky for us, where automakers decide to limit the speed, tuners can intervene and change things significantly. For example, German tuner ABT Sportsline offers a nice upgrade package for the Audi RS4 that increases top speed to 180 mph. For this the tuner removes the speed limiter and replaces the standard exhaust system with a new stainless-steel one with catalytic converters that significantly improve the engine’s sound and eases exhaust flow. The output of the 4.2-liter V-8 engine surprisingly remains unchanged at 450 ponies, so the exhaust must not free up too much backpressure.
On the exterior, the tuner installed a set of larger alloy wheels in ABT DR design in a sleek gunmetal finish.