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Audi has announced it will be adopting a 48-volt electrical system in its vehicles starting in the near future. The new high-power electrical system is said to give engineers the ability to make sportier, more efficient, and more convenient cars.

“We are using the full bandwidth of electrification in our drive principles strategy,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenbert, a Member of the Board of Management for Technical Devel Devel opment at Audi. “Running part of the vehicle electrical system at 48 volts plays a central role in this. It enables us to make more energy available.”

We’ve already seen two examples of Audi vehicles with the 48-volt system; the RS5 TDI and A6 TDI concepts. Both cars are fitted with an electrically powered compressor that gives extra boost to the engine, helping eliminate turbo lag. The compressor is a separate system than the engine, so there is no parasitic loss.

Boosting power won’t be the only benefit. Audi says the upgraded electrical system will help boost advancements in dynamic chassis control systems.

The 48-volt system will even work while the main engine is powered off. A small bank of lithium-ion batteries will supply the juice. A DC/DC converter then integrates the standard, 12-volt electrical system. What’s more, the battery pack also works in conjunction with a new efficiency-optimized alternator, basically turning the vehicle into a mild hybrid system.

Audi says the new system can save owners 0.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, or roughly 0.105 gallons over 62 miles.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 TDI Concept

Audi appears to be readying the next version of the popular A4 sedan. Our spy photographer captured these images in Europe as the driver had seemingly stepped away. Though the outside still looks like the current-generation A4, this is certainly an Audi test mule. The hood appears to be secured by latches, there are odd caps over the center of the wheels, and the interior is loaded with testing equipment and black coverings.

Lucky for us, the driver apparently forgot to drape the covers over the dashboard, giving an open view to the camera. The most noticeable difference is the placement of the infotainment screen. No longer is it housed within the dash, but is perched atop the dash like the current A6 . It also appears the vents within the center console have grown larger.

What’s more, the center display in the gauge cluster shows an overview of the car, or what really looks to be an A4 Avant. Perhaps this is what the next A4 Avant will look like? Another clue is that 6,000-rpm redline on the tachometer, suggesting the current 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four is under the hood. Audi’s battery of tests also appears to include some light towing as the A4 is complete with a hitch sprouting from under its bumper.

It will likely be late 2015 before Audi releases the updated A4 as a 2016 model, so we have a while to wait. Then again, if Audi engineers keep leaving test mules uncovered and unattended, we may get a sneak peak long before then.

Click past the jump to read more about 2016 Audi A4

Remember when Kobe Bryant "jumped over" an Aston Martin back in 2008? We all know that the Black Mamba didn’t actually do it. Neither did stunt man Damion Poitier when he was enlisted by Sports Science to do the same thing in 2009. So it’s safe to say that jumping over a car is an impossible and dangerous task. Or is it?

Norwegian Niklas Strandbraten and his friends, electronic music duo Broiler, decided to give the old jumping-over-a-car stunt a little try. This time, the stunt didn’t involve an Aston Martin Vantage or a Lamborghini Gallardo . Instead, an Audi R8 was used, which, according to owner and Broiler member Mikkel Christiansen, is almost four inches taller than a Gallardo. Not only that, Strandbraten was tasked to jump over the R8 as the German supercar was moving at a speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). Pretty freakin’ stupid and dangerous, right?

The video shows that Strandbraten was able to clear the R8, but I don’t really know if its legitimate or not. I’ve seen too many "fake jumps" over the years, including Kobe’s, that has turned me forever skeptical on the stunt. Heck, if Sports Science couldn’t pull it off, then you know how difficult that stunt is.

If Strandbraten really did jump over it, then congratulations to him. It takes a lot of guts and mental faculties to be able to pull that of. But if he didn’t, chalk this one up as yet another fake jump for the archives.

A mysterious Audi S3 was recently spotted doing some test runs at the Nurburgring and from the looks of things, it just might be the rumored Audi S3 Plus. Why do I have this hypothesis? For one, the new Audi S3 is already out on the market and it seems unlikely that Audi’s already developing a new one. It’s also not likely to be the Audi RS3 because the body doesn’t veer too far from, if at all, the look of the new S3.

So with those two cars out of the way, that leaves us with the possibility of a diesel-powered S3, but the sound of that engine isn’t very diesel-like. As an educated guess, I would say this is the S3 Plus, a car that’s been rumored to be in the works for quite some time now.

The S3 Plus has been touted as Audi’s response to the emergence of the Mercedes CLA45 AMG . Word has it that Audi is planning to use a modified version of its 2.0-liter, TFSI engine in the S3 Plus with an output of 375 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque.

That should make it easy for Audi to package it between the new S3 and the upcoming RS3, giving customers an option to choose from in the event they want a performance version of the S3 without the cost that comes with paying for an RS3.

The Audi S1 is a spunky little sports hatchback , isn’t it? I like to think so, especially after Audi spent a great deal of time and resources promoting the model to anyone willing to listen. Well, I listened pretty intently and yes, the S1 is all sorts of awesome. But there are some folks, like German aftermarket company ABT Sportsline , that think being merely awesome isn’t good enough. So it did what any self-respecting tuning firm would do when presented with a car like the S1: it built a tuning kit for it.

ABT Sportsline’s work on the S1 follows a long list of impressive programs the tuner has created for Audi. Sure, it doesn’t have the same amount of unconscionable power as the R8 or the supreme luxury of the A7 , but the S1 does brim with the kind of confidence that attracts customers from all over the world to it. For its part, ABT sought to make the S1 more confident in its own skin. That’s why the German tuner prepared a comprehensive tuning kit for the sports hatch that includes new aerodynamic components, improved suspension capabilities, and an engine upgrade that increased the car’s output by an impressive 34 percent.

This is the kind of upgrade that ABT Sportsline has made a living developing. It’s got the perfect balance of style and substance that can bring out the untapped potential of a hot hatch like the S1. As if it needed it to be any hotter, this ABT-tuned S1 now has the makings of a scorcher on the road, just the way ABT intended it to be.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S1 by ABT Sportsline.

Sometimes, the best tuning programs are the ones that don’t carry performance upgrades. That might annoy some aftermarket enthusiasts, but it’s also true to a certain extent. Take this Audi R8 for example. It’s the work of German tuner xXx Performance, or Triple X Performance, depending on how you prefer to call the company. This R8 doesn’t have any overpowering engine upgrades; actually, the closest thing it has to a performance improvement is a new throttle system that serves a more complimentary purpose than anything else. What this R8 does have are aesthetic and wheel upgrades that help the Audi supercar blend the two-tone white-and-orange color scheme together nicely.

The program admittedly appeals more to the eyes than it does to the ears. It’s not for everybody, that much I’ll acquiesce to. But you can’t deny how incredibly explosive it looks, with the white body and the orange graphics and wheels. It also doesn’t mean you won’t be able enjoy the throaty roar of the R8’s 525-horsepower, 5.2-liter, V-10 engine. That element is still in place. It’s just that xXx placed more emphasis on turning this R8 into a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-of-it eye candy.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 By xXx Performance.

After what feels like years of leaks, prototypes and teasers, the all-new Audi TT is finally official. Today as we rolled into the beginning of the Geneva Auto Show , Audi pulled the wraps of its latest small coupe , and things are pretty much as we expected. Even our renders where nearly identical to the real production car.

The new car may be an all-new, third-generation model, but from the outside it appears to be little more than a refresh. Audi does have a long history of making new cars that look a lot like the old cars though.

The big news is the interior and the drivetrains. The cabin of the new TT previews the cleaner design with its simplified layout that will make its way through the entire Audi family over the next few years.

The engines in the TT have been replaced by the full line of updated powertrains from the Volkswagen group, including a new 2.0-liter TDI and a pair of gasoline-drinking 2.0 turbos. Power output between these engines ranges from 184 horsepower all the way up to 310 ponies.

Updated 08/08/2014: Audi announced UK prices for the new-generation TT, with deliveries set to begin in December 2014. On the British market prices will start from £29,860 - or about $50,200 as of 8/8/2014. Details after the jump.

Hit the jump to read more about the third generation Audi TT.

Launched in 1998, the Audi TT had to wait for its second-generation model to arrive before receiving a true high-performance version. In 2009, three years after the TT Mk2’s introduction, Audi showcased the TT-RS , a beefed-up model, available in both coupe and roadster guises, that climbed atop the existing quattro Sport and the TTS in the TT range. The company’s first compact RS was powered by the legendary, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine that produced 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of twist. Visually, the first-gen TT-RS benefited from revised styling, a lowered ride height, larger wheels, and improved braking system. Interior highlights included Recaro bucket seats and enough leather and Alcantara to add a luxurious feel to the sporty compact. The TT-RS came to the United States in the 2012 model year, when the Plus model was launched. Fitted with an uprated version of the 2.5-liter turbo-five, the TT-RS now has a cool 355 ponies and 343 pound-feet on tap. Coming into 2014, Audi has unveiled the third-generation TT and began testing the second-gen TT-RS.

As the upcoming TT won’t cross the Pond to the U.S. until 2015 for the 2016 model year, the TT-RS won’t become available until 2017. Of course, we’ll be able to have a look at the high-performance, two-door when Audi unveils it to the European market. Meanwhile, we’ll just have to settle for the spy shots and videos coming from different locations.

Note: standard Audi TT pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Audi TT-RS.

Now that the third-generation Audi TT — due 2016 in the United States — has been unveiled, the Germans are busy working on more powerful iterations of the small coupe. The TTS, which shares a 310-pony, 2.0-liter turbo with the Audi S3 , is already underway with Nurburgring testing having commenced in May 2014. Now, Audi is upping the ante with the range-topping TT-RS model, which showed up on the "Green Hell" wearing a TTS disguise.

How can we tell this is a TT-RS mule and not the TTS we saw earlier in 2014? Well, that’s quite simple. The main clue is that the coupe’s exhaust note indicates the presence of a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine under the hood. The super-powerful five-pot is reserved for vehicles such as the TT-RS and the RS3 , while the Audi TTS, whose body was bolted onto the mule’s chassis, is motivated by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger.

Yes, the next-generation TT-RS gets to keep its five-cylinder engine, but not without the mandatory upgrades that come with each new iteration. Expect output to increase to around 375 horsepower, 20 ponies more than the previous model, and 0-to-60 mph times to drop to four seconds, if not 3.9. Routing the power to all four wheels will be the same seven-speed, twin-clutch transmission. We figure fuel consumption will remain unchanged due to updated internals and a slightly lighter vehicle. The previous TT-RS returned 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, so expect to get the same deal.

Drivetrain aside, the TT-RS is also in for a redesigned body and interior, in line with the new-generation TT. The high-performance coupe will be unveiled by the of 2015 and go on sale for the 2016 model year. In the meantime, hit play to watch the TT-RS lap the Nurburgring track for the first time.

I had once the privilege of driving a buddy’s Audi S3 . It was a few years ago and while my memory’s admittedly hazy of the circumstances behind it, I do remember feeling a little woozy after that encounter. The S3’s a powerful little sucker that much I can tell you. I can only imagine how the S3 would feel like with this aftermarket program from MTM on the table.

The German tuner has a history of bringing out the best in Audis . Whether its the A1 or the R8 , there’s probably an MTM program for it. This time, though, it’s the S3 that takes the spotlight, thanks to a measured tuning upgrade that doesn’t pull any punches.

Don’t expect any aesthetic improvements here. MTM built the program with power and efficiency in mind so it’s all meat, bones, and all that dirty stuff under the hood. The good news is that the tuner’s kit will be available across all variants of the S3. Whether it’s the saloon, cabriolet, sportback, there’s enough MTM love to go around.

All together, an MTM-tuned Audi S3 will cost €62,000, which is about $83,000 based on the exchange rates on 8/4/2014. The kit itself retails for €13,000 ($17,400) so you can have the choice of paying just for that, or for the entire thing, S3 included.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S3 2.0 TFSI quattro By MTM.


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