The power of social media in today’s world appears to have no bounds. Somebody says something, others pick it up, and so on. Before you know it, we have a story to write about. Case in point: a seemingly harmless tweet by Matt Phenix (@mattphenix) suggesting that Acura’s NSX Concept looked a lot like a 22-year old concept from Audi was immediately re-tweeted by, you guessed it, Audi’s official Twitter account, @Audi.
Here’s the full text of Phenix’s tweet: "Is it rude to suggest that #Acura’s undeniably lovely #NSX looks a lot like @Audi’s 22-year-old Quattro Spyder?"
The tweet also came with a photo of the Quattro Spyder, which you can check out after the jump. But the point is, Audi saw Phenix’s tweet, retweeted it, AND sent a reply to Phenix saying: "@mattphenix is it rude to retweet? Cause we just did."
Those are fighting words, if we ever read one.
As far as we’re concerned, we’re taking Acura’s side on this one. The NSX Concept doesn’t look like the Quattro Spyder, in large part because the former is a new concept and the latter was built well over two decades ago. But we’ll leave the escalating Twitter war between fans of the two automaker’s to themselves.
At the end of the day, it just goes to show the reach Twitter has these days. Full story
As promised, 2013 will bring two new models to the Audi RS lineup: RS7 and a production version of the RS Q3 Concept. The first model - the RS7 - has been unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and we expect the Q3 RS in Geneva.
The Audi A7 has a very short history in the automotive industry. Previewed by the Sportback Concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the production version of the A7 Sportback is already on sale, albeit not on all markets. This vehicle may be great in its own right, but of course the new RS7 Sportback is far, far more impressive.
The new RS7 Sportback does not only feature a much more aggressive look when compared to the standard version, but it also delivers an extra 140 horsepower over the S7. So, do you see why we find the standard A7 a little bit mediocre in comparison to the RS7?
Updated 01/14/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and video.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Audi RS7. Full story
To roll with the increasing popularity of hybrid vehicles, Audi is all set to unveil a plug-in electric hybrid at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
According to reports, the hybrid will be based on the newly announced A3 Sportback, a 4-door version of the standard A3.
The aspect we’re interested in is the hybrid setup. The powertrain will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine coupled with an electric motor and an 8 kWh lithium-ion battery. This setup could enable the hybrid to produce a combined output of nearly 237-horsepower. Furthermore, the car is expected to average 117.6 mpge and to have an Audi-claimed 50 km (31-mile) range in electric-only mode, which is on-par with current hybrid standards, maybe better.
Audi is not setting the hybrid segment on fire, so such a model would help their quest for a cleaner footprint. However, given the expected price tag of $47,000, which is quite baffling considering the base gasoline-powered twin costs around $29,000, things aren’t looking so bright for the tree-hugging Audis.
We’ll update you once Audi officially announces the A3 Plug-in Hybrid.
The future looks quite promising for Audi and at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the German company unveiled a variety of new technologies, including a new adaptive light for the xenon plus headlights. The new Matrix LED headlights will have small diodes that can be dimmed or individually switched on and off to provide optimal illumination.
The small individual diodes, backed by lenses or reflectors, always provide excellent illumination without needing a swiveling mechanism. This new system will obtain the information they need from a camera, the navigation system or additional sensors. If the camera detects other vehicles, these innovative headlights fade out the appropriate area of the high-beam headlights, which contain various light-source sectors.
The headlights can also illuminate the areas between several vehicles in complex situations. Based on navigation data, the high-beam headlight anticipates the bend and swivels to illuminate the road before the driver has even turned the wheel.
Audi also presented new laser taillights generated by a laser diode that provides drivers behind with a bright, clear signal and a new OLED technology made from an organic material.
Hit the jump to see the new technologies in video. Full story
The next-generation Audi Q7 has been caught testing many times, but details are still quite limited. However, the British magazine CAR has caught the car testing again, wearing almost no disguise. You shouldn’t be fooled by this mule because the new Q7 is hidden under the skin of the current model.
The most notable change can be seen at the rear where the SUV features a new exhaust system with two rather unattractive pipes – a sign that the next Q7 will be offered with a new range of engines with reduced CO2 emissions.
The next Audi Q7 will be developed on a stretched version of the MLB platform that will also be used for the next Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. This new platform will help reduce the SUV’s total weight by about 350 kilos (770 pounds), but the platform won’t be the only one helping to achieve this reduced.
According to Audi R&D boss Wolfgang Dürheimer, the company could use a combination of carbon fiber and aluminum in an attempt to drop a few pounds. Carbon fiber will be used in the Q7’s body, but the problem is that the high price of this material can seriously increase the price of the SUV, so we’ll have to prepare for a price hike to go along with its new physique.
The Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak made its first high-speed test runs up Pikes Peak in Colorado back in 2010 and only now the car received the permission to run on the public roads of Nevada. This allows Audi to become the first automaker to receive a license to test its autonomous models on public roads. Sure, the first license went to Google, but the tech giant doesn’t count since it’s not an automaker.
Audi’s autonomous TTS was developed in cooperation with the Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab in Silicon Valley and Stanford University, and during its first test it completed the 156-turn, 12.42-mile Pikes Peak circuit in just 27 minutes.
The autonomous TTS uses two computers in its trunk – one running safety-critical algorithms using Oracle’s Real Time Java (Java RTS) and the other running vehicle dynamics algorithms. These two computers allow the car to handle mundane stop-and-go driving conditions, while allowing the driver to take control over car at any second.
A 48-hour-long stretch of back and forth on the R8 e-tron was enough to make our heads spin. One side was saying that the e-tron may see production in limited units and the other flat out said no way, just a day later. Now, we have even more e-tron news to confuse us all.
According to a report from AutoBlog.nl, rumors are circulating that Audi is working on a Sportback version of the A6 that will feature the same e-tron technology that the recently axed R8 e-tron featured, on a less massive scale, of course.
This hot hatchback is rumored to make its debut at the 2013 IAA in Frankfurt and will feature a 300-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-banger with 100 ponies worth of electric motor added to it. This would give the A6 e-tron a total of 400 horsepower, just 20 horsepower short of the mighty 2013 S6… not too shabby.
For now, these are just rumors that we take with a healthy serving of salt, given the on-and-off R8 e-tron. Regardless, this sounds like one bad-ass concept to say the least.
For the past three years, Canadian based tuner SR Auto Group has established its Project Phantom program for the Audi R8 as one of its most recognizable projects. And for three years, the aftermarket specialist has taken the task of adding modifications and improvements to the program.
Now that the clock has struck 2013, SR Auto Group’s Project Phantom is making another comeback, only this time it returns with more changes, beginning with a black exterior that takes the place of the phantom black cloak it previously carried. In addition, the program now carries a set of 20-inch PUR 4OUR Black Diamond Monoblock wheels, providing suitable refreshment from the components the program previously carried.
It goes without saying that the Audi R8 is one of those supercars that carries an aura of sporty aggression. The addition to these wheels and subsequent other styling details to the tuning firm’s Project Phantom program gives credence to why the latter has lasted the test of three years’ worth of time.
Just yesterday it was reported that, despite previous rumors, the Audi R8 e-tron would be put into production, but in small quantities. However, that was yesterday and this is today, and in that short period of time, things have changed. According to AutoExpress, who is quoting an Audi spokesman, the electric version of the R8 has again been delayed indefinitely.
The same spokesman is reporting that Audi has built 10 different units, which are now being evaluated internally. The company, however, is "concerned about the limited range of pure electric cars with existing battery technology," and it does not think "customers are ready to accept it."
Audi now has a new head of technical development who is keeping a close eye on these kind of projects and once the technology improves things may change.
On the other hand, and despite these statements, Audi released full technical specs for the R8 e-tron. It will be powered by a pair of electric motors with a combined output of 376 horsepower. This output will be enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 124 mph. On a full charge the car delivers a range of 134 miles.
We pretty much know all that there is to know about the upcoming Audi RS5 Cabrio. We already know that it’s debuting in Germany in early-2013 and coming to the U.S. sometime later in the same year. However, we still have yet to see the actual car. Sure, renderings are great, but we want to see, feel and sniff this beauty for a few minutes.
Well, we’ll all get our chance at the 2013 North American International Auto Show this month, as the RS5 Cabrio will make its debut there. We also were not 100-percent certain if the RS5 Cabrio would be a 2013 model or a 2014 model here in The States, but from what we’re hearing, it will be a 2014 model year. Of course, it will remain a 2013 model year in the European market, as it is well before the cutoff.
In case you need a refresher course, the 2014 RS5 Cabrio will carry a 4,163 cc V-8 engine that wallops the concrete with 450 horsepower and 317.15 pound-feet of torque. This is enough power to launch the RS5 Cabrio to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.9 seconds. Audi will limit its top speed at 155.34 mph, but you can request to have the limiter removed if you prefer 173.98 mph winds blowing through your hair.
We’ll update you with all of the real-life images of the RS5 Cabrio once Audi unveils it.