Audi has turned the corner on their new "Audi balanced mobility" moto with the launch of a new project called the TCNG e-gas project. The e-gas project will go into production starting 2013 and is the world’s first automotive manufacturer to set up an entire portfolio of sustainable sources of energy.
The TCNG e-gas project will use wind-generated electricity to manufacture hydrogen by means of electrolysis. Hydrogen can be used in the future as a source of energy for fuel-cell vehicles or, in an additional step, can be used to manufacture methane. Such methane is known as Audi as e-gas. It is chemically identical to natural gas and can power combustion engines. More important, it is completely CO2-neutral.
"Ecology and economy in unison: that is the greatest challenge of the future. To attain this we must bring mobility completely into equilibrium – with people and their new values and with the environment. CO2-neutral mobility is our goal," says Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler. He continues: "On the way to achieving this we are systematically using clean power. We are producing climate-friendly fuels and forming a new mindset for which our entire company stands. That’s the objective of Audi balanced mobility."
Audi has taken their E-tron concept a step forward with the unveiling of the E-tron A3 concept - a compact car featuring a powerful electric motor and a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Although the concept looks almost identical to the production A3, there are a few elements that will help distinguish it. The concept has received a revised instrument cluster, leather Alcantara seats, a heated windshield, and an optimized air conditioning system.
The most important difference between the two concepts can be found in the powertrain. As a hybrid concept, Audi decided to use a different engine than the one found in the A3 Sedan Concept. Instead of the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine of the A3 concept, the E-tron version has a slightly less powerful 1.4-liter TFSI turbocharged gas engine that doesn’t come close to the output the former has.
Of course, being a hybrid concept, performance takes a back seat to fuel efficiency and that’s where the E-tron A3 Concept has the upper hand over the gasoline-powered A3 Concept.
Details on the Audi E-tron A3 after the jump.
Throughout the past several weeks the economy of the United States and other large importers of oil have struggled to maintain positive amidst the turmoil in the middle-east. Civil unrest and pressure have led to a decrease in oil production and increase in the price for a single barrel. We have seen prices reach the $100 mark and beyond, and there are no signs of a ceiling.
These two year highs for the price of crude oil have led to OPEC releasing more supplies from our reserves, but it has not quelled the price hike. California is currently suffering from the highest prices nationwide and they have reached within a cent of $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded. This has put added strain on a struggling economic environment for many people and, if this continues, it will drag our economy further down. With cars like the Toyota Prius and other hybrids hitting the market every week, it is good to see that the manufacturers are realizing that gasoline will not be the answer to our future problems.
The major auto shows and car introductions across the world, including the biggest in the United States, Detroit, are where auto manufacturers try to sell the public hot-air. Most of the amazing and futuristic concept cars are so far on the other side of being a production possibility they might as well be alien. The recent economic climate across the world has shifted the car companies in a new direction and the consumer continues to pull them even further. People are eager for cars that are economical and exciting – most people enjoy driving, just not having to pay $4.00 per gallon to do it.
Audi has officially lifted the covers off of an attractive technological concept car based on the coming generation of the Audi A3 at the 81st International Geneva Motor Show. The four-seater notchback sedan offers a glimpse of the future expansion of the A3 family.
Given that the company is undergoing a design upheaval with some of their newer models, the Audi A3 Concept is the latest example of what a sporty and elegant design will look like when you combine it with the brand’s state-of-the-art technological capabilities.
The A3 Concept’s design is every bit as good as advertised, thanks to a design that emphasizes an aggressive front fascia with the brand’s iconic grille. The company’s latest LED technology, gives off a look that’s both sporty and elegant at the same time - qualities that have been a hallmark for Audi and it’s A3 line of vehicles.
Details on the Audi A3 Concept after the jump.
The journey towards developing alternative fuel sources took another step after two Audi A3s successful traveled 1,000 miles by using a new synthetic diesel fuel. Pretty impressive, if we do say so ourselves.
The two 2011 A3 TDI models were using RenDiesel, a synthetic fuel that’s made from organic compounds and green waste that are most commonly found in landfills. The fuel, which supposedly produces less volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than regular diesel fuel or ethanol, is being produced by RenTech in Rialto, California. RenTech, together with Audi of America and Green Car Journal, managed to successfully fuel the two A3 TDI models from Eureka, California all the way to San Diego, California – a distance of somewhere around 1,000 miles.
This project not only proved that the new type of synthetic diesel fuel is capable of fueling a car at great distances, but it also was able to boost up the A3 TDI’s mileage rating at 42 miles per gallon – one car was able to average 43 mpg while the other A3 TDI scored 39.7 mpg.
This latest development may not hit home to a lot of people, but the development of a clean-burning synthetic diesel fuel like RenDiesel is one way to make the purchasing of diesel vehicles more worth it. After all, in a world where fuel-efficiency is of paramount importance to a lot of people, the development of a synthetic diesel like RenDiesel could pave the way for more diesel cars to be enjoyed out on the road.
Press Release after the jump.
It’s taken a while for Americans to smarten up, but it seems they are taking to the versatility of the hatchback more and more. The new Ford Fiesta, the Honda Fit, and the Nissan Versa are just a few examples of hot selling hatches in the United States. Yet, even we aren’t sure if the Audi A3 is worth the expense, when you can just get a GTI.
To try and solve this sales issue, Audi might be bringing the A3 sedan to the U.S. That would give the German automaker an entry-level sedan below the A4. We don’t have any details on the A3 sedan yet, but there should be some coming soon.
If these rumors are true, an A3 sedan would compete with the BMW 1-Series and possibly the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. That is, if it comes stateside. We should expect to see the A3 sedan around 2013 if not later.
A few years ago Audi started a big clean diesel push in the United States market when they brought the Q7 TDI over. The Q7 TDI was one of the most fuel efficient seven-seat SUVs on the market, but man was it ugly. Thankfully, the diesel Q7 was just the first step for the German company in its diesel push. Welcome to the Audi A3 Sportback TDI.
The A3 is the entry-level model for Audi here in the U.S. Previous models have been sold with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder or a 3.2-liter V6 engine that were petrol powered. Now, Audi has added a new motor to the lineup, a diesel motor. We had a chance to take the diesel hatch out on the streets of Wisconsin for a few hours.
The A3 is in the same market as its brother, theVolkswagen Golf and the BMW 1-Series. It comes in front and all-wheel drive modes with a transverse-mounted engine. Unlike our European brethren, we only get the five-door model.
Hit the jump for the rest of the review.
We are almost concerned that tuning companies have to look to older models to create new tuning packages recently. A few days ago we wrote about the new tuning package for the old 2007 Mercedes E-Class W211 by Prior Design. Today, we bring you a new tuning package for the Audi A3 8P for model years up to 2008 by JMS. Are tuning companies getting bored? The Audi A3 8P debuted in 2003 as a 3-door hatchback and only had to wait about a year for Audi to release it as a 5-door sportback. In 2008, Audi released the A3 8P as a cabriolet. Now, in 2010, JMS has decided to give the Audi A3 8P a little of a facelift with its Racelook aerodynamic package with most accessories fitting all of the models.
The new aerodynamic package consists of a new frontlip, side skirts that make the car look lower, and a Racelook rear apron with an optional aluminum grating in black or silver. Rounding off the package is the much needed stainless steel dual rear muffler with round tips. JMS has also provided a 3 piece look roof spoiler. JMS also recommends a KW v1 coil over kit that lowers the vehicle on both axles by up to 50mm for a better driving experience. The car is finished by exclusive Corniche chrome rims in 8X19 with 225/35-19 tires.
Check out the full story after the jump.
Now that Audi has brought the new A3 on the market, they have moved on to preparing its higher performance RS version. Back in April, a test mule was caught lapping in Nurburgring and we had assumed that it would lead to a Paris Motor Show debut. That proved to be an accurate assumption as Audi will be debuting the RS3 at the end of September at the show.
The Audi RS3 will only be offered in a five-door version with prices anticipated to be between £38,000 -£40,000. Like the Audi TT RS, the Audi RS3 will be powered by a 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that is found in the TT-RS, but will adjust it to gain another 10hp, bringing the total horsepower up to 350. The engine will be mated to a new 7-speed S-trinic gearbox (PQ500 unit) as an option (also available on TT RS for ordering now). It is also rumored that the RS3 will get an all-new chassis which wouldn’t be surprising considering they have also gone to some lengths to decrease weight ont he hatchback. Audi has fitted the hatchback with aluminum panels, suspension parts, and special lightweight sport seats to trim the fat.
We have also heard that Audi will only build 2,700 units of the RS3, which is exactly the number of units the BMW 1-Series M Coupe will see. Coincidence? We think not.
There is some bad news to this story though; U.S. Audi fans shouldn’t hold their breath in anticipation for the new RS3. If Audi won’t share the 261 hp S3 with North America, the chances are slim that it will export its halo vehicle.
UPDATE 09/16/2010: This review has been updated with new details on the RS3.
After the TT and the Q7, Audi unveiled the 2011 A3 Sportback. Like with the TT, the A3 Sportback gets a few changes on both the exterior and interior. Sales will begin in the early summer.
The exterior changes include: high-gloss black paint on the single-frame grille element and the trims on the B-posts, aerodynamically optimized mirrors, chrome strips in the door handles, and a new diffuser insert with an eye-catching separating edge. On the interior, Audi added dials with a gray background, a flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel, a new selector lever for the S tronic, black rings on the air vents, and a high-gloss trim for the optional navigation system plus.
The engine line-up includes nine engines: five gasoline and four diesel. Outputs range from 105 HP in the entry level 1.2 TFSI version to 265 HP in the 2.0 TFSI version. All of the engines are mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard or a dual-clutch transmission with six or seven speeds as an option.
Press release after the jump.
Hot off winning the Green Car of the Year award, Audi is getting serious about the diesel burning boosted version of the A3 TDI compact hatch with their latest Superbowl commercial. The Green Police are out to crack down on every kind of consumer waste from shoppers using single use plastic bags at the supermarket to police drinking out of Styrofoam cups.
Some might say that the Green Police are going a little too far with their efforts to clean up the environment, however the commercial does make for some very funny situations that will hopefully leave new car shoppers here in the U.S. thinking a little differently about alternative fuels in their premium vehicles. Enjoy!
Press release after the jump.
Even if the diesel burning Audi A3 just arrived in U.S. last month, the alternatively fueled hatchback already has a huge following around the world. And it hasn’t taken long for the other A3 to find success being named the 2010 Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal and the GreenCar.com website at the 2009 LA Auto Show. The 2.0 Liter TDI four cylinder engine delivers a maximum output of 140 HP and because it is a diesel, significantly more torque, 236 lb-ft to be exact. Yet despite the excessive amount of thrust, the green A3 is able to get an EPA estimated 42 MPG on the highway.
According to the President of Audi of America, Johan de Nysschen, "We consider the Green Car of the Year® title one of the most important industry accolades. It is of paramount importance for us to develop vehicles that achieve the very touchstones this award stands for fuel efficiency and environmental impact. Rather than novelty features, we consider these attributes imperative to the future of automobile design. We are honored with this recognition for the Audi A3 TDI." With a shift towards premium compacts and fuel efficient car shopping, Audi look like they are on the right track towards selling these green A3s like hot cakes.
Press release after the jump.