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Audi Relaunches Audi Sport GmbH, As Many As Eight Performance Models Are On Deck

Audi Relaunches Audi Sport GmbH, As Many As Eight Performance Models Are On Deck

Racing division and performance car division will fall under one roof now

Audi’s involvement in endurance racing may have ended with the sudden closure of its Le Mans racing program, but the German automaker isn’t prepared to throw in the towel as far as its participation in motorsports is concerned. In fact, Audis’ other racing endeavors will go on as scheduled under the relaunched Audi Sport GmbH brand, which replaces Quattro GmbH as the go-to division for all of Audi’s performance vehicles and racing activities moving forward.

Former Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann will take charge of Audi Sport GmbH and all of its programs, including the aforementioned motor racing arm, as well as the Audi Exclusive program, Audi sport merchandise, and most importantly, the German automakers very own performance cars.

What this means is that Audi’s present and future performance road cars will now be under the Audi Sport GmbH umbrella. This includes the current lineup of R8 models, the S8 Plus performance models, and the five RS models - RS3 sedan, RS Q3 crossover, RS6 Avant, RS7 Sportback, and TT RS - currently being sold by the brand. The reshuffling itself is big news, one that could lead to future participation among the different programs under Audi Sport GmbH.

What’s also big news, at least pertaining to the performance road car division, is the confirmation that no less than eight new models are being planned for release over the next 18 months. Do the math and that timetable concludes sometime in the middle of 2018. So, between now and then, we can expect to see more performance Audis enter production.

The mystery at this point is what models they’re going to be. One of the most likely candidates is the RS5 coupe, which is due to make its own comeback. Beyond that though, there are a multitude of possibilities, including new versions of existing models or new versions altogether. Is it possible then that current Audi models like the A1, A4, Q2, and Q7 could get their own RS-badged models in the next 18 months?

It’s hard to tell at this point without more concrete details from Audi, but the important thing here is that Audi’s family of performance road cars will grow in the course of the next year and a half under the relaunched Audi Sport GmBh brand.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Audi is Going to the Moon with the Audi Quattro Rover in 2017

Audi is Going to the Moon with the Audi Quattro Rover in 2017

It’s a little guy, but it should provide us with new information on our only natural satellite.

Considering the Moon is our only natural satellite, and is relatively close to our home planet, it still seems a little odd that only a few people have ever set foot on that big ball of rock that smiles back at us on a clear night. To put things into perspective, the last time any human (that we know of) has stepped foot on the moon was back in 1972 when Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent just over three days there. Since then, we haven’t been back. As someone who has a heavy interest in other planets and the cosmos itself, I was pretty excited when Audi announced its lunar rover project last year. And, while it was an exciting idea, it didn’t seem like anything would ever come from it. But, all that has changed and Audi is set to send its Quattro Rover to the moon, and it looks like it will happen by the end of next year!

To fill you in on a little background, the Lunar Quattro tips the scales at just 66 pounds and uses a mix of lightweight materials and aluminum 3D printing. It was developed by Audi and a group called Part-Time Scientists. As any Audi fan would expect, its power source is derived from Audi’s E-Tron battery technology. Unfortunately, we don’t know any specifics as far as range, top speed, or anything of that nature, but it is fitted with a solar panel that covers a good majority of its upper surface, so the Lunar Quattro shouldn’t have a problem getting juice from our life-giving star. While the mission will help expand our knowledge of the moon and its terrain – and maybe even lead to future missions and an eventual colonization – there’s also a secondary motive behind this Rover.

See, Audi’s biggest motivation is probably the $30 million prize that it could very well claim from the Google Lunar XPRIZE program. The program promised the prize to the first privately funded rover to land on the moon, drive 500 meters, and send images back to our lovely planet. And, while the Moon isn’t exactly the harshest environment in our solar system, it will give Audi the unique opportunity to test some of its technology in much harsher conditions than those found here on Earth. To put that into perspective, the moon can hit as high as 253 degrees in the daylight, while the dark side of the moon can reach as low as negative 243 degrees. As you can imagine, the Quattro Rover has its work cut out for it with those kinds of temperatures.

But, before I go off on some rant about our solar system and get too far off topic, take a look at the video Audi released that shows off the Quattro Rover and explains why it is such an important mission.

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Stephan Winkelmann Named CEO Of Audi's Quattro GmbH

Stephan Winkelmann Named CEO Of Audi’s Quattro GmbH

Former Lambo CEO will take the reigns of Audi’s performance division

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann has officially been named the new chief executive of Audi’s Quattro GmbH. Former Scuderia Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali will take his place as the new CEO of the Italian supercar brand.

While there is a bit of shock surrounding this news, rumors of this management shakeup have been floating around since December 2015. Winkelmann, who has been with Lamborghini since 2005 and is largely credited for the company’s massive growth over the past decade, will take the reigns from incumbent Quattro boss Heinz Hollerweger, who announced his retirement from his post after a stellar career with Audi spanning 40 years.

A big part of Winkelmann’s new responsibilities as Quattro GmbH CEO is to see to it that Audi’s performance division will become more competitive against its chief rivals, namely BMW’s M Division and Mercedes-Benz’s counterpart, AMG. Now that he’s at the helm of Quattro, he’ll be in charge of development of Audi’s R and RS production models, as well as the Audi Exclusive customization service, and the Audi Sport customer racing program.

As successful as he has been at Lamborghini, Winkelmann will still have enormous shoes to fill at Quattro, largely because of the work put in by his predecessor. Hollerweger only assumed the role of Quattro CEO in 2014, but in that short time, he is credited for the subsidiary’s sharp sales increase in 2015. Under his watch, Quattro’s sales figures in 2015 amounted to over 17,000 sold units, an increase of 13 percent compared to its total the year before. Hollerweger was also instrumental in the development of R8 e-tron to go with his contributions in the expansion and diversification of Audi Sport.

For his part, Winkelmann is expected to lead the division to new and more successful heights. It’s a role that he’s had experience with after spending the past 11 years doing the same thing for Lamborghini. As far as finding a suitable replacement for Hollerweger goes, nabbing Stephan Winkelmann from Lambo is a great hire for Quattro GmbH.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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1982 Audi Quattro A1 Group B Rally Car

1982 Audi Quattro A1 Group B Rally Car

Usually, evolution is a gradual process, even in motorsport. Little mutations here and there, slight advantages gained from experimentation, all adding up to big differences over time.

Every so often, though, there’s that one car you can point to as a defining moment when everything changed. Sometimes, a car comes along that’s so radical, so revolutionary, that its influence reverberates well past its lifetime. The Audi Quattro is one such car.

The reason is simple, and can be summed up in a single, three-letter acronym: AWD.

Before the Quattro, rally cars used only two wheels for traction, resembling something closer to circuit racers than the all-wheel monsters we know today. The Quattro changed that. Despite misgivings about the weight and complexity of AWD systems, the Quattro almost immediately proved its worth on the international rally scene when it was first put into competition, going on to hand Audi the Manufacturer’s Championship title in 1982 and 1984, as well as winning the Driver’s Championship in 1983 and 1984. After the Quattro, rally racing veered heavily towards the implementation of AWD and never looked back.

But in addition to resounding success in motorsport, the Quattro also helped usher in the era of AWD for production passenger vehicles. With its capabilities proven on the grueling stages of the WRC, Audi’s new driveline became a prominent feature on its road cars, offering superior grip no matter the conditions.

It’s a car filled with technological breakthroughs and history. And now, one example is up for auction.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1982 Audi Quattro A1 Group B Rally Car.

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Audi Still Wants to Bring Back the Quattro

Audi Still Wants to Bring Back the Quattro

Audi has been dangling an all-new Quattro in front of our noses since it showed off the first of its new Quattro concepts 2010. The original Quattro was introduced in 1980 and redefined what a sports car could be. Under its boxy, yet sporty, coupe shape was a turbocharged five-cylinder engine and a repurposed all-wheel-drive system from the Volkswagen Type 183 Iltis military vehicle. It went out and dominated Group B rallying and continues to define Audi’s corporate philosophy.

Like the original, the 2010 Quattro concept was powered by a turbocharged five-cylinder displacing 2.5 liters and featured Audi’s AWD system of the same name. It looked utterly fantastic and it pushed all the right buttons for fans of exciting cars. Then, all went silent, until the 2013 Audi Sport quattro concept was introduced. It featured similar styling to the 2010 concept but was slightly larger and came with a V-8 powered 690 horsepower hybrid drivetrain. It was more grand tourer than rally special-stage bomber.

Whichever of the two concepts you prefer, you might be glad to know that Audi is still hard at work on a new Quattro. Speaking to Autocar at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi design director Marc Lichte says a new Quattro is still very much on the table. “We are working on Quattro, it is still alive,” Lichte said. He also hinted that the production version could be even more extreme than the concepts. “The two concepts we did had base potential but we can do something more extreme. We have restarted this project and made them more extreme. It’s still a secret though… There will be surprises.”

Note: Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Quattro.

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Video: Tribute To Audi UrQuattro

Video: Tribute To Audi UrQuattro

We’ve all come to appreciate Audi’s iconic quattro technology, one of the world’s most potent all-wheel-drive systems. Its what makes modern Audis such great vehicles, from the full-size A8 sedan to the Q7 SUV and the R8 supercar.

Now in its seventh generation, the quattro system has been enabling Audi engines to send their power to all four corners for 34 years. That’s not to say it took the Germans more than three decades to achieve perfection. No, the quattro was equally revolutionary when it was introduced in 1980, but sometimes it’s a good idea to look back on those brilliant ideas that changed the automotive world forever. And that’s what Petrolicious did with its latest video, which pays tribute to the UrQuattro, the first four-ringed vehicle to receive all-wheel-drive.

The UrQuattro, also known as simply Quattro, debuted in 1980 as a midsize, two-door coupe. While not exactly spectacular by design, the Quattro was the first vehicle to benefit from Audi’s then brand-new all-wheel-drive system. The feat proved to be decisive into turning the boxy UrQuattro into a legend on both the road and rally courses.

Although the production car remained largely unchanged until it was discontinued in 1991, the Quattro spawned a series of fierce rally cars. It all began with the A1 in 1980, which then developed into the Group B-spec S1 evolution. The latter was one of the most extreme rally cars ever built and went on to win several WRC events and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb three years in a row. In all, the quattro system helped Audi score 23 rally wins and two WRC titles, among other trophies.

Sure, Audi is no longer building rally cars, but that’s not to say the quattro has abandoned its motorsport roots. The connection is still obvious in the company’s results at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race the Germans have won 13 times the last 15 years.

But enough with the history, now hit the play button above for a trip down the memory lane with the initial Audi UrQuattro.

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Audi Reveals More Details On The Production Version Sport Quattro

In an interview with the guys over at TopGear UK, Audi chief engineer Ulrich Hackenberg made quite a few comments about the on-and-off again Sport Quattro GT. We’ve reported on Audi’s four-door sports concept before, but never has it seemed so close to a green light for production.

Hackenberg said that originally the Sport Quattro lacked a profitable business case and wouldn’t make the Volkswagen-owned automaker any money. However, things have seemed to change. By rethinking the car’s market, it suddenly makes sense to produce. By widening its range by adding less-expensive engines and lowering the selling price, the car would then pay for its own tool-up and overhead costs.

"We used a powerful powertrain to position it,” Hackenberg told TopGear. “But the potential is to have more volume. It needs a high investment so it makes sense to use other engines."

This means the new Sport Quattro GT will likely be slotted between the upcoming and completely refreshed TT and the current R8. He also made mention of using the next-generation of modular longitudinal matrix platforms, which utilize a lot of aluminum and carbon fiber to cut weight. If the car gets a green light soon, Hackenberg said it would likely be a 2016 or 2017 model.

That seems like fairly certain speak about a car that may or may not move into production. Our bets are on. We say Audi will build the Sport Quattro GT and market it exactly where Hackenberg suggested it fit; right between the TT and R8. Stay tuned to TopSpeed to make sure we’re not eating our words.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport Quattro Concept.

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Audi Sport Quattro is CAR Magazine’s "Most Wanted Car of 2014"

With 2013 wrapped up, our eyes are all set on the months to follow. In 2014, car makers will congregate for the Detroit Auto Show amidst chilly winter weather. One car that could steal the limelight is the 2015 Audi Quattro.

CAR Magazine has voted it as the "Most Wanted Car of 2014." The publication has high hopes from Audi, which is set to revive an iconic car that had ruled the world rally circuit for years.

The Audi Quattro Concept was unveiled at the 2010 Frankfurt motor show. and soon after word spread about the Quattro being considered for production. Audi officials went on record saying that the public had appreciated the concept shown at Frankfurt and a limited-production run could be possible.

The Audi Sport Quattro Concept is the modern interpretation of the famous, championship winning machine from 30 years ago. We could see the first production prototypes at the Detroit show with sales beginning in 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport Quattro Concept

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Laserlights Will Make it to Audi’s Production Line, but Likely in Other Markets First

When we got our first look at the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight concept, our nerdy senses started to tingle, as we imagined all the possibilities of these tiny, yet powerful lights making their way into production cars. Well, Audi boss Rupert Stadler confirmed that these lights will indeed make their way into production, like with the 2015 BMW i8, but not any time in the near future in the U.S. at least.

Unfortunately, we have this little agency called the NHTSA that has to approve all new automotive technology before an automaker can fit it on vehicles, and it has yet to even consider this technology for U.S.-bound vehicles. In fact, the NHTSA still has to make a final ruling on Audi’s LED Matrix Display headlights, which we saw on the upcoming 2015 Audi A8, so we suggest not holding your breath on the Audi’s Laserlight setup just yet.

What’s more, this also brings into focus the fact that though the i8 will have these lights as an option, they will likely not be made available in the U.S. in time for its release later this year. Talk about a total buzz kill...

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight

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2014 Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept

2014 Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept

When Audi teased that it would introduce a "mysterious world premier" at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show this January, it made mention of practically nothing, leaving the constant speculation to all of us and ruining our holidays altogether.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but a lot of us publicly wondered what Audi was going to bring to CES in Las Vegas. But the answer to that question may have finally arrived in the form of a new concept that’s not really all that new except for a new technology that could reshape the way Audis are built in the near future.

The concept’s name is the Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept and as its name suggests, it carries the new laser lights technology that seems to be gripping the auto industry these days.

The concept’s exterior looks are pretty similar to the Sport Quattro Concept that was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September, and the real hook of this new prototype is well and truly without debate.

It’s the dawn of the laser lights and Audi is showcasing, through this concept, that it has no problem pioneering it the same way it did those LEDs, which seems outdated now by comparison to those lasers.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept

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New Audi Quattro May Arrive in 2015

We’ve known for quite some time now that a new-generation Audi Quattro was a possibility, and we have also heard all kinds of rumors about it. Today, however, Auto Motor Und Sport gave us a little more on just how close the Quattro is to a return, during an interview with Audi CEO, Rupert Stadler.

In an interview with the German magazine, Stadler said that the Quattro concept we saw this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show was just testing people’s reaction and, as expected, it was very positive.

As a result of the positive feedback, a new Audi Quattro is now in a soft development phase with the possibility of a 2015 release.Stadler stopped short of confirming that the Quattro was indeed under development, as he stated "Nothing has been decided."

Despite the lack of confirmation, Ulrich Hackenberg, new head of development at Audi, has decided that the new Quattro, if produced, will not be offered as a limited-run vehicle, as Audi plans to produce it in large numbers.

Hackenberg also decided that the Quattro will be built a shortened A6 platform and, unlike previous reports, it will not be a hybrid. Audi will instead offer various engines, starting with the base 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 310 horsepower, with the possibility of power jumping to between 340 and 360 horsepower.

With this many details in place, it is easy to read between the lines an see that Audi is indeed planning on releasing a new Quattro, but it simply cannot confirm its return yet.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport Quattro.

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Audi Quattro and Nanuk Could Make it to Production

Audi plans to expand its lineup in the near future in an attempt to strengthen its grip on the premium car realm. According to André Konsbruck, the director of Audi UK, in the future we could see a series of high-level cars based on the recently launched concepts, like the Audi Quattro and Nanuk.

While none of the two concept were officially confirmed for production, Konsbruck said that both of them have the production viability required to become reality. Also, he said that potential customers were invited to test and evaluate the two concepts, in an attempt to see "if there is a business case for them to be made."

"Every concept we show has production possibilities, and these cars are no different. I can see a future where we aim to deliver different, innovative premium cars that people aspire to own, such as these."

If the two concepts hit production, they will be offered as niche models, with a pretty high price, but they will "deliver on the brand image and build the desirability of the brand as a whole."

Click past the jump to read more about Audi Nanuk.

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Video: Audi S3 vs Audi Sport quattro

Video: Audi S3 vs Audi Sport quattro

Audi unveiled a new promotional video that puts head to head classic and modern technology: the current S3 sports sedan versus the 1983 Audi Sport quattro. The two models were driven by Stig Blomqvist in the Audi Sport quattro and Hermann Müller in the Audi S3, and the test took place on the old rally track in San Remo.

As a reminder, the 2013 S3 is powered by a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine that develops 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph. The Sport Quattro used a 2.1-liter engine rated at 306 horsepower in the road-going version and 444 horsepower in the race version.

Check out the video to see these cars duke it out. Can you guess which car won?

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Audi Mulling Over Which Quattro Concept will Make it to Production

Up to this point, Audi has unveiled two Quattro concepts: one at the 2010 Paris Auto Show and one the other day at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Both were great vehicles, but now Audi needs to decided which of the two will make it to production.

In an interview with AutoExpress, Wolfgang Egger, head of Audi design, said: "With every design concept we do we are thinking about everything becoming reality. We have done one (designed for MQB platform) and now we have done the other (on larger MLB platform) so now we need to make a decision."

But, no matter what concept makes it to production, the new Sport Quattro Concept will influence future Audi models. It reveals how the C-pillar, the blisters and the front will look in the future.

We don’t know about you, but we will not complain regardless of which version makes it to production.

Click past the jump to read more about the two Quattro Concepts.

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2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept

2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept

A few years ago, Audi gifted us with an RS5-based Audi Quattro Concept that was supposed to hit production until the German automaker decided to nix the idea shortly thereafter.

Well, now it looks like Audi is going to redeem itself, as the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show will bring a revised Quattro Concept. The model arrives just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sport quattro. Audi launched the first "Ur-quattro" in 1980 and since then "quattro" technology became a true Audi marque, as more than five million cars with permanent all-wheel drive were sold all over the globe.

Just like with the previous Sport quattro model, the new Audi Sport quattro concept was designed in the spirit of motorsport and following the tradition of all the recently launched supercar, it is a high-performance model offering three driving modes: EV, hybrid and sport.

Updated 10/28/2013: Audi is celebrating its 100,000 likes for its German Facebook account with the unveiling of a very cool video featuring the new Sport quattro concept that was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read about the Audi Sport Quattro Concept.

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Audi Quattro to Return in 2014 with 600 Horsepower

A source within Audi has told Autocar that at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi will unveil a new version of the Quattro Concept Car, which was unveiled for the first time at the 2010 Paris Auto Show. While the first version delivered a total of 402 horsepower, it is rumored that the new model will deliver somewhere around 650 horsepower.

The concept will be followed very shortly by a production version. It will be offered in very limited numbers and will be put on sale in early 2014. Unlike the concept, the production version will deliver "only" 600 horsepower.

The model will be built on the same platform as the A5 Coupe and, while the concept used a turbocharged 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine, the production version will use a heavily tuned version of the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine combined with cylinder deactivation. The engine will mate to a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox with paddle shifters, which will allow it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about 4 seconds on its way up to atop speed of 186 mph.

The new Audi Quattro will be produced at a dedicated line at the Quattro division in Neckarsulm, Germany and will be priced at about £125,000 - about $194,000 at the current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2011 Audi Quattro Concept.

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650-Horsepower Audi Quattro Concept to be Revealed in Frankfurt

At the 2010 Paris Auto Show, Audi unveiled a 402-horsepower Quattro Concept Car, which made quite an impression on the masses. Now, for the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi is preparing a successor for the concept.

Apparently this will be the next step made by the company in its attempt to resurrect the legendary Sport Quattro of 1984 and to add a new sports car to its lineup.

The new Quattro concept will feature a radical look and will be sharper and more sculpted than the previous version. It will be built on an A5 platform and will feature a lightweight body that will combine carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), aluminum and magnesium. This will keep the total weight down to about 2,800 pounds.

Under the hood, Audi will install a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine with an output of about 650 horsepower. Of course, permanent all-wheel drive is mandatory and the new concept should go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2011 Audi Quattro Concept.

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Audi drops Quattro Sports Cars in favor of a Coupe SUV

We were pretty psyched about the possibility of seeing a production version of the Audi Quattro Concept unveiled at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, but now, all of that joy has vanished because Audihas officially confirmed that a production Quattro never happen. At least, not like the sports car seen at the show. Instead, the company will be working on a two-door SUV equipped with a Quattro system.

Don’t worry, we don’t understand it either.

According to Audi, there is no market for such a model. We find it hard to believe that a limited edition sports coupe, with an RS5 engine and a design inspired by the Quattro Concept wouldn’t steal the hearts of many customers, but they didn’t ask our opinion. Audi announced that today’s market is ripe for crossovers and SUVs, and this is what they plan to offer.

The next Audi Q Coupe will follow in the steps of the Range Rover Evoque and will be inspired by the CrossLane Coupe Concept seen at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The model will be offered with a five-cylinder turbo motor combined with an all-wheel drive system and a seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic transmission.

The new Audi Q Coupe will be unveiled sometime in 2015.

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2015 Audi Quattro Coupe

2015 Audi Quattro Coupe

The 2010 Paris Auto Show brought us many concepts, but while the Lotus five-year plan has since fizzled to nothing and the Renault Dezir is only planned to be chopped up and used for inspirational parts, Audi is pushing forward with a production version of the Quattro concept. That’s right, the Quattro has been given the green light for limited production which should be ready for the 2015 model year.

The production Quattro will be based on Audi’s latest aluminum spaceframe chassis with a body built in carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. It will weigh in at about 660 lbs less than the RS5 as seen on the prototypes already testing. It will also feature a wheelbase that has been reduced by 150 mm and an interior featuring seats made from forged composites.

We don’t know exactly what will be used under the hood of the sports car, but the concept version is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder attached to a classic six-speed gearbox. The engine delivers a total of 402 HP and 354 pound-feet of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in just 3.9 seconds, while top speed is of course limited to 155 mph. Hopefully we will see either this configuration or something a bit more powerful on the production Quattro.

UPDATE 08/24/2012: Sources have told AutoBild that the future Audi Quattro Coupe (internally known as the Q35) will only feature small bits of inspiration from the Quattro Concept displayed at the 2011 Paris Auto Show. Other than that, the four-seater, two door sports car will have short overhangs, a flat roof, LED headlights and taillights, 20" wheels, and some hood-mounted air vents inspired by the original Quattro. In terms of power, the Quattro will feature a supercharged 2.5L five-cylinder engine mated to a dual clutch S-tronic transmission. This engine will produce 380 HP and send the Quattro from 0-62 mph in a little over four seconds.

AutoBild is predicting that the Audi Quattro will debut in March 2013 to coincide with the original Quattro’s 35th anniversary, hence the internal Q35 designation. It will be priced somewhere between the Audi TT and the Audi R8, which will fill in the gap nicely with the $38,650 and $114,200 price tags of the aforementioned models.

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$1.5 Million in Luxury Cars Seized by U.S. Customs

$1.5 Million in Luxury Cars Seized by U.S. Customs

There are a lot of new car scams in the world and most of them are initiated by the new car dealer, not the buyer. A group of buyers flipped the script on several Los Angeles dealerships, by using fake identities to purchase 20 cars and were shipping them to Hong Kong and Vietnam to sell them for two to three times their U.S. value.

It was a laundry list of luxury vehicles, such as a $280,000 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia, an Audi Quattro, 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, along with several Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, and BMW SUVs among others. For some reason, the thieves even threw in a Toyota Tundra.

The one that got these fraudsters busted was the Ferrari 458 Italia, as Ferrari fitted the supercar with a GPS system as standard, which Ferrari used to track the car once they found out they were defrauded. This led U.S. Customs and the California highway Patrol to conduct a full investigation and find the cars on a ship that had already pulled away from the port.

Needless to say, that ship was forced to come back and all but four of the cars were recovered. The four non-recovered cars are due to be shipped back by Vietnamese Customs.

According to the report, had the fraudsters not gone after the Ferrari, chances are they would have gotten away with this scam and made a ton of money in the process. The total amount of the vehicles seized by U.S. customs is estimated at $1.5 million, which would have pulled in around $3 million in Hong Kong and Vietnam.

We are still trying to figure out what in the world a Toyota Tundra was doing in the mix with all of these high-end luxury cars. We also wonder which thief drew the short straw and was stuck going to the Toyota dealership to pick this thing up?

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2011 Audi Quattro Concept

2011 Audi Quattro Concept

Two years ago,Audi began to work on something very special indeed. It was called the Anniversario, a coupe concept that was suppose to show off the company’s excellence and it would debut at the Pebble Beach Concours Weekend. Yet, it was around this time that the world’s market collapsed and this sort of show car fell to the bottom of the priority list.

Now, with the economy back on track, Audi is on the verge of having another record sales year. For years and years, Audi has been in the third German automaker in the minds of many, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz leading the way, but those times have changes. They have grown through the years with technological innovations and it just so happens that one of those innovations, Quattro four-wheel drive, is celebrating a birthday. To us, and to Audi in fact, this historical moment seems like the perfect inspiration for the new Quattro.

UPDATE 03/12/2012: During an interview at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Quattro GmbH Product Boss, Stefan Reil, confirmed that Audi has finally made a decision about the production version of the quattro concept. Unfortunately it’s not a desirable one as they have decided there won’t be a production version of the car. The reason behind this decision is that production will require the intense use of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber body panels and many components from aluminum and magnesium, and these elements would jack up the price. (Fourtitude)

Hit the jump to read on.

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2011 Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro

2011 Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro

When Audi introduced seven concept versions of the A1 at the 2010 Wörthersee Tour in Austria, it marked the A1’s introduction into the world of show cars. This year, the German automaker won’t be bringing as many concepts to Austria - the site of this year’s tour - but they are bringing one that effectively blows away just about every Audi A1 we’ve ever seen before.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro.

As a one-off show car, the A1 Clubsport Quattro is about the most powerful A1 we’ve ever laid our eyes on. Just how powerful is this vehicle? Try in excess of 500 horsepower under its hood. Yikes, indeed.

In addition to the monster engine under its hood, the A1 Clubsport Quattro was also designed as a preview model of the company’s new adhesive film decals that’s set to be released as future accessories for the A1 and all of its offspring models.

While we’d love to see this car out on the road - or the track, perhaps - in the future, it’s highly unlikely that it’s going to make it there considering its status as a one-off showpiece. But if the reaction to this car is what we expect it to be, we figure that Audi just may be tempted to get a production version out in the future. Unlikely, but hey, we can all dream, right?

UPDATE 06/03/2011: The Audi A1 ClubSport Quattro has been created officially for Need for Speed World fans and will only be available as a free in-game rental from June 1 until June 4, 2011. If you are interested in testing the car, log-in or register on Need for Speed World and go to the car dealer. Select Tier 2 and click on Audi for your 24 hour rental. Also, we have added a pretty cool video presenting the development of the car. Hit the jump to watch it.

Details on the Audi A1 Clubsport Quattro after the jump.

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Audi prepares BMW X6 competitor and assures Quattro Concept isn't dead

Audi prepares BMW X6 competitor and assures Quattro Concept isn’t dead

When BMW launched the X6 out on the market, many members of the press highly doubted that this "sports activity coupe" would stand a chance at success, but the customers spoke and the X6 turned out to be more successful than BMW itself expected. Then, soon after the surprising success of the X6, Acura brought their own version of the X6 and now Audi has announced plans to build their own version of the crossover to serve as competition to the original.

When talking about the X6 in an interview with Inside Line, Audi Group Design’s Wolfgang Egger said: "It has been a big success in China, where it’s become a second car driven by women. There, it’s a female sports car." He then added that Audi’s Q3 (pictured above) is just enough to serve as competition for the BMW, but he also said that Audi could do better. How much better is yet to be seen.

Egger also gave InsideLine some insight on other models in the Audi lineup. He said that the A1 line-up would include a five-door hatchback, a 180-HP S1, and a cabriolet. As for the Quattro concept, Egger said that it "wasn’t dead," but has yet to be confirmed for production.

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TopSpeed's Best of 2010: Concept of the Year

TopSpeed’s Best of 2010: Concept of the Year

Every year, auto makers from all over the world make a conscious effort in putting their best feet forward for the sake of letting everyone know that while their current crop of cars are important, they also put great effort in developing concept cars for future use.

Sure, some of the concepts that we see every year don’t make it past the testing and development stages, but what’s really important is that automakers are going to great lengths in determining whether parts of the concept - or the entire thing, for that matter - can be applied on their production vehicles.

Aesthetic styling aside, concept cars have become one of our favorite segments in the industry. Not only do these cars give us a glimpse of what styling direction a company is looking into adapting, but it also gives us an idea what developments are being made from a performance perspective.

For 2010, we narrowed down our four best concepts of the year, from a conservative French automaker all the way to a brand paying tribute to an iconic model - and drive system - with a concept successor that’s nothing short of breathtaking.

Details after the jump.

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Latest Videos:

Audi Quattro Concept production version rendered

Audi Quattro Concept production version rendered

Audi is on to something good, and they should know it by now. The German car manufacturer has already been tossing around the idea around to produce the Audi Quattro concept that was revealed at the Paris Motor Show recently and inventive minds of artists everywhere are already wielding a sketch pad and pencil - okay, so maybe it’s a computer monitor and mouse - and coming up with options for what the production version could look like. We say, "Bring it on!" It’s no secret that we love the look of this car, so getting the opportunity to look at different renderings for the sports car is right up our alley!

This particular rendering combines design elements from the Quattro concept with elements from the original Audi Quattro. Add a slick two-tone paint job and, "Voilà!"

Now if only Audi would get on with it. Stefan Reil, head of development at Audi’s Quattro Gmbh division said: "We are rethinking standard processes to make it possible. We know how to engineer it already. We need feedback to see if it is possible. Audi has no heritage in building 200-500 cars that are really exotic. But it won’t be over €100,000 (around $140,000 at the current exchange rates)."

The concept is powered by a five-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers an impressive 408 HP, but the production version will be somewhere in the 350 HP area.

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Audi Quattro concept might go into production

Audi Quattro concept might go into production

It wasn’t even a week ago that we were eyeing the Audi Quattro Concept at the Paris Motor Show with the full intent of drooling over one if the German brand ever decided to turn this concept into a production reality. Out of the many concept cars that appeared in Paris, the Quattro just seemed to carry an air about it that excited us. And, apparently, we weren’t the only ones that felt that way as Audihas already been in talks to make a production model for the sports car. If this does happen, the production version will be assembled in limited numbers on a dedicated line at the company’snewly acquired sister firm, ItalDesign, near Milan.

Stefan Reil, head of development at Audi’s Quattro Gmbh division said: "We are rethinking standard processes to make it possible. We know how to engineer it already. We need feedback to see if it is possible. Audi has no heritage in building 200-500 cars that are really exotic. But it won’t be over €100,000 (around $140,000 at the current exchange rates)."

The Quattro Concept unveiled at the Paris Auto Show is powered by a five-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers an impressive 408 HP, but the production version will be somewhere in the 350 HP area.

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Video: Audi releases new videos featuring the Quattro Concept

Video: Audi releases new videos featuring the Quattro Concept

We love our concept cars and the Paris Motor Show certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard. Automakers left and right all showed up and brought their concept rides with them, much to the delight of the entire attending auto scribes.

Of all the concepts that were present in Paris, one that really caught our attention was Audi’s Quattro Concept. Sure, there were a lot more bombastic vehicles in attendance, but if there was one concept that really found its way into our subconscious longing of owning one, it’s the Quattro Concept.

Unfortunately, the car is classified as such – a concept – for a reason. We don’t know if and when the car will see the production line and how much one would set us back financially should the car make it to the dealerships. Then again, that’s a problem waiting to be solved at another time. For now, we can’t stop ogling over this car, and with these two new videos of the Quattro Concept that Audi just released, we wouldn’t be surprised if you start doing the same.

Unedited version after the jump

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2011 Audi Quattro Concept Rally

2011 Audi Quattro Concept Rally

Next to the standardQuattro concept, Audi has also displayed at the Paris Auto Show a rally version for it. However this model only was in display, with no official details on it. But if you take a look at the image, you will notice it comes painted in red, white and black as an homage to the early 1980s.

Besides this features it will be distinguished from the usual Quattro concept by a ventilated hood, a massive front lip spoiler, aerodynamic changes around the wheels, polycarbonate racing windows, a big rear wing and the German flag added on the sides. Like the standard concept it also gets center-locking 20-inch alloy wheels. It also gets numerous carbon fiber inserts and LED lights.

The Quattro Concept is powered by a five-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers an impressive 408 HP and sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds.

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1989 Audi 200 Quattro Trans Am Car up for sale

1989 Audi 200 Quattro Trans Am Car up for sale

Fancy yourself owning a piece of racing history? If your answer is yes, then we have something that should picque your curiosity.

An independent dealer in Las Vegas claims to have an Audi 200 turbo Quattro Trans-Am race car that he claims to be a completely legitimate car that competed at the American Trans-Am series. And that’s not his only claim; he also says it’s the very same Audi that Hurley Haywood drove on his way to winning eight of the 13 races during the 1988 American Trans-Am series.

The seller is also saying that this particular racer was purchased straight from Audi Sport in Ingolstadt, Germany and that it comes with some pretty intimidating firepower underneath its hood, specifically a turbocharged inline-five engine - it produces over 510 horsepower - that was also used by some of Audi’s world rally championship cars.

No word yet on how much this car will cost and anybody who’s interested will need to inquire to the seller to see how much moolah they’re going to need to fork over. But if everything checks out, this Audi 200 Turbo Quattro Trans-Am race car just may be too good of a deal to pass up.

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Video: The technology of the Quattro system as explained by Audi

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It goes without saying that the Quattro system has become such an integral part of Audi’s fleet of models, especially in the US where the whole system was partially responsible for turning the image of Audi from a Volkswagen-owned automaker to a brand that pretty much has stood as its own unique marquee.

But while the words ’Audi’ and ’Quattro’ have become synonymous with each other, the question on a lot of people’s minds, who aren’t familiar with the technology, is what the whole Quattro principle really is.

If you ask any one of us, we can give you a watered-down version of it, but that wouldn’t be any fun and it wouldn’t be as – how shall we put it – educational as hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth.

That being said, we invite you to watch this six-minute video of Audi explaining what the Quattro system is all about. Pay attention because it’s as close to a crash course as you can get.

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Video: Walter Röhrl drives Audi Quattro at Col de Turini

Video: Walter Röhrl drives Audi Quattro at Col de Turini

There’s nothing like a trip to memory lane that brings back nostalgic moments from the past.

For Walter Röhrl, a man many regard as the finest rally car driver in history, there may be such a thing as too many memory lanes to choose from. So Autocar did him a great service by picking one particular event his past: the 1984 Rally Monte Carlo.

If you were old enough to have seen it, you’ll probably remember Röhrl winning that race on-board an Audi Quattro. What Autocar then decided to do was bring Röhrl back to his scene of conquest 26 years later on with the same race car – the A2 Quattro – and in the same scenic leg of the Rally Monte Carlo – the Col de Turini.

Check out how Röhrl fared this time around and watch first-hand exactly why this man was bestowed the title of Rally Driver of the Century in Italy and
Rally Driver of the Millennium in France.

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Audi celebrates 30th anniversary of Quattro system

Audi celebrates 30th anniversary of Quattro system

It’s hard to imagine Audi’s Quattro system being around for 30 years, but if you think about it, yeah, it’s been around that long.

First introduced at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show with the Audi Ur-Quattro, the Quattro system has gone on to become an integral part of Audi’s fleet of models, especially in the US where the whole system was partially responsible for turning the image of Audi from a Volkswagen-controlled carmaker to a brand that pretty much has stood as its own unique marquee.

In light of the Quattro system’s anniversary, Audi is scheduled to plan a year-long celebration with activities lined up, including an exhibition at the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt and an Audi Tradition where the brand shows off various Quattro models to shows all over Europe.

If you’re a fan of Audi’s Quattro system – from it’s roots back in 1980 with the Ur-Quattro all the way to the latest generation TT Coupe –then this celebration, along with the corresponding tour exhibits, is something we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want to miss.

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Audi Ur-Quattro returns - new details revealed

Audi Ur-Quattro returns - new details revealed

We here at Top Speed have been eagerly awaiting the return of the original four-wheel drive performance machine. The Ur-Quattro was mix of parts from the Volkswagen parts bin that Audi’s Group B engineers used to develop what at the time, most said would be too heavy and bulky an idea to be worth it. Today, all vehicles that compete in the top tier of rally racing are all wheel drive.

As you know Audi is preparing to bring back the Ur-Quattro. A first concept will be unveiled in 2010, with the production version following soon after in 2012. The production model will be available with stylish rims sized either 19 or 20 inches housing ceramic brakes and a newly designed aero package with an active rear spoiler, larger air intakes for additional cooling, wider sills and a magnetic-ride suspension. Of course the new model will come with a set of quattro sport differentials.

The new model will combine a sharp appearance with advanced technology and offer it in an affordable package just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ur-Quattro’s original rally success. Under the hood Audi will use a variety of power plants. Ranging from a V8 to biturbo V6, there is even talk of a twin charged 2.0 Liter four cylinder engine making an impressive 300 HP and the proven 2.5 Liter five cylinder from the factory tuned Audi TT RS.

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Audi Sport Quattro replica

Audi Sport Quattro replica

Certain automotive enthusiasts have a particular lust for certain makes and models that can lead them to do crazy things. Some spend ridiculous amounts of money, some dedicate a little too much elbow grease and other do both. Their quest to obtain the vehicle of their dreams often ends with half built cars, clutter garages and broken marriages; but for some reason they strive on. Fortunately there are a few instances where all of the benefits can be had with none of the nasty drawbacks. One suck lucky car builder is Coen Donkers from Holland. Donkers was a fan of a particular Audi race car, but being that the real thing is over twenty years old and in limited supply, Coen decided to build himself an Audi Sport Quattro.

When Donkers picked up the car that would eventually become what you see before you, it was a wrecked shell of its current self, but luckily for Coen, he runs an Audi parts shop in Veghel, Holland. So he already had garage space for the project and a team of mechanics that could work on it in their down time. Coen decided to keep things simple, replacing the bent bodywork and work out pieces with all new OEM parts. Despite the Audi Sport Quattro replica’s wild appearance, the exterior is stock, it is just covered in graphics inspired by the rally car from the 1980s that make it look so radical.

Continued after the jump.

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Audi Quattro coming back in 2012

Audi Quattro coming back in 2012

Everybody’s favorite Group B contender, the Audi Sport Quattro, could be making a comeback in four ringed showrooms as early as 2012. The Audi Quattro, also known as the Ur-Quattro was a milestone of automotive engineering. When others said that 4 wheel drive was too heavy to be competitive Audi laughed. Mating their now infamous quattro all wheel drive system to a turbocharged 5 cylinder engine made them a force to be reckoned with from the European FIA rally stages to the American Pikes Peak Hill Climb, the Quattro dominated them all. So it is no wonder that the Volkswagen brand will bring back the championship winning name.

The new Quattro will be based on the A5 chasis and include a 425 HP turbocharged V6, an R8 inspired front end and thanks to Audi’s aluminum construction the vehicle should weigh in at less than 3000 pounds. Priced at around €70,000 (almost $90,000) the new iteration of the classic Audi is sure to become a collector’s item.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Group B car, or just want to see it in action again, check out the videos after the jump.

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Last-of-the-line Audi quattro stored in secret UK location

Last-of-the-line Audi quattro stored in secret UK location

Fame has returned to the sought-after original Audi quattro thanks to its starring role in the new BBC TV drama series ‘Ashes to Ashes’, set in 1980. The most priceless example of the legendary sports car that pioneered four-wheel-drive for production road cars is Audi UK’s own unregistered car with zero miles, and will never be put up for sale.

So rare is this car - the last right-hand-drive quattro sports car ever made - that Audi is forced to keep it in a secret location and stored in a sealed, dehumidified environment. Similar to the TV star example seen nationally each week from February 7th, the as- new, just as it left the line Audi-owned example even shares the same bright red paint color.

An untouched and as new car could actually be worth an unlimited sum to an enthusiast Audi collector. “We would never be able to replace this car and its value to the brand is inestimable” said Jeremy Hicks Director of Audi UK. “Whenever we have exhibited it, we have received a succession of surprisingly high offers, but sadly this particular car, the quattro that started it all for the company in the early eighties, will never be for sale”.

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Audi Quattro S1 race in the '90s

Audi Quattro S1 race in the ’90s

As we reported yesterday, Audi is celebrating 20 years since Audi Sport Quattro S1 won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the US state of Colorado. Today we will present you a video, not the 1987, but a 1990 one, when Carlos Sainz takes on Stig Blomqvist in the legendary Audi Quattro S1.

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20 years ago Audi Sport quattro S1 triumphed at Pikes Peak

20 years ago Audi Sport quattro S1 triumphed at Pikes Peak

20 years ago, on 11 July 1987, Walter Röhrl and his Audi Sport quattro S1 won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the US state of Colorado.

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Audi Allroad Quattro - promotional video

For all the Audi Allroad Quattro lovers this video is amazing. Just check it out!

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1981 - 1991 Audi Quattro

1981 - 1991 Audi Quattro

The Audi Quattro is a famous and historically significant road and rally car produced by the German automaker Audi. Notably, it was the first four-wheel drive grand tourer since the Jensen FF of 1966.

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