2020 Audi R8 LMS GT2
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a great place to go if you want to see some of the world’s most revered racing cars of the past as well as a vast array of modern machinery and peeks into the future. The festival that takes places annually since 1993 on the grounds of the Goodwood House is also the place favored by some manufacturers to unveil their new products. The 2019 edition was chosen by Audi as the perfect occasion to pull the wraps off Audi Sport’s latest creation: the 640 horsepower Audi R8 LMS GT2, the most powerful racing car Audi has ever sold through its Customer Racing department. It’s designed for a new formula of Grand Touring racing that slots between GT3 and GT4 and caters for amateur racers looking for hight output machinery that’s quick down a straight line and easy to manage through the twisty bits.
Audi is a pragmatic company. Audi doesn’t put out a product for a class it doesn’t think will succeed. When Audi finally built a GT3-spec car, the class had been around for three full seasons, and it showed no signs of slowing down with more cars joining in (that same year Alpina debuted a B6-based contender, for instance) at a steady pace. Then there was the R8 LMS GT4, the GT3’s baby brother, its more pedestrian relative that is still tremendously fast (it puts out somewhere between 580 horsepower and 600 horsepower sans limiter, as much as the GT3 car without restrictions) and also expensive.
The RS3 LMS followed suit, the first sedan built by Audi Sport, one that, again, was built to be raced in a burgeoning category: TCR Touring Cars. The RS3 arrived in 2017, three years after the TCR format was first introduced. This is what makes the R8 LMS GT2 the odd one out. It’s the first Audi Sport-built car to be launched before any cars built to this ruleset ever took the track. So Audi must already know that it will be a success.
2019 Audi AI:ME Concept
Audi revealed the AI:me concept at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, and it clearly gives a preview of what our future will look like. Audi has been on an electric vehicle onslaught, and this concept shows one of the many facets that the company is capable of. Audi’s creation prior to the AI:me, the Q4 e-tron EV, looks like it could be ’production-ized’ soon. But with the AI:me, Audi aims to show what an urban, electric autonomous car could look like in a couple of decades from now.
2020 Audi R8 V10 Decennium
Ten years ago, Audi shocked the auto world when it uncorked an all-wheel drive, ten-cylinder supercar that ushered in a new era of performance for the German automaker. This year, the Audi R8 turns a decade old, and Audi’s throwing a party for its beloved performance machine with a special edition model called the R8 V10 Decennium. Taken from the Latin word that literally means “decade,” the R8 V10 Decennium is a fitting ode to a supercar that played a huge role in redefining the supercar segment. Only 222 models of the anniversary R8 will be available. Each model is priced at €220,000, which converts to about $250,000 based on current exchange rates. The Audi R8 Decennium becomes available starting in the spring of 2019.
2019 Audi SQ5 TDI
Audi released the new 2019 Audi SQ5 TDI, and it will showcase the brute at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. Yet, before I get into all the “what’s new” jazz, let me give you some perspective here, right in the introduction. The 2015 Ford Mustang GT comes with a V-8 with 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate to 60 in 4.4 seconds. The 2016 Chevy Camaro SS comes with a V-8 with 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate to 60 in 4.3 seconds. The 2018 Durango SRT comes with a V-8 with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate to 60 in 4.4 seconds. Now, the new Audi SQ5 TDI isn’t as quick. It will accelerate to 60 mph in 5 seconds. So, around half a second slower, but not far off.
So, why the hell am I mentioning American muscle cars here? Well, unlike them, Audi doesn’t run on gasoline, it does not have a V-8, and its engine is around 25-percent smaller in terms of displacement compared to any of the cars listed here. Ladies and gentlemen, I know that comparing a compact SUV with muscle cars and a massive SUV like the Dodge Durango is, basically, blasphemy, but the Audi SQ5 is that insane, amazing, and incredible. In its newest iteration it is, by far, the most amazing diesel-powered performance SUV I know of. Yes, Alpina does have that mad
based XD3 with 388 horsepower, but I consider that to be an aftermarket offering despite the car being produced on the same production line as the regular X3.
2018 Audi e-Tron GT Concept
Audi is as committed as anybody to an EV future, and the unveiling of the e-Tron GT Concept at the 2018 L.A. Auto Show further illustrates the desire of the German automaker to have an EV for everyone. The e-Tron GT will be the car for those who love to go fast in a 4-door coupe body. Its stablemate, the Taycan, as well as Tesla’s Model S, are clear targets.
Recently, Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier criticized German automakers for making boring-looking electric cars. "I really wonder when you, Mr. Zetsche, or you, Mr. Diess, or Mr. Krüger of BMW will be able to build an electric car that is only half as sexy as one Tesla," he said in his sharp remark. As if trying to prove the government official wrong, Audi unexpectedly showed up in L.A. with the e-Tron GT concept that’s, well, stunning from every angle. And before you start yammering about how concept cars change down the path to production, Audi says this concept shows the almost production-ready model that will hit showrooms in 2020 for the 2021 model year.
Audi wants to have a fleet of 12 electric cars by 2025, and this will be its flagship. What it is, in short, is a shorter, more aggressive, A7. It will share the platform with Porsche’s Taycan, but the two manufacturers are coy to point out the similarities between the two models. Oh, and Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t a random VIP guest at the launch of the e-Tron GT, as the car will star in the upcoming Avengers 4 movie. If the car will look this good in production guise, then all the hype Audi’s building is worth it.
2018 Audi Q8 by ABT
The Audi Q8, another one in a long line of coupe-bodied luxury SUVs, was launched this year and has now been given the ABT Sportsline treatment. The end result is subtle but, as a house tuner for Audi, ABT knew how to churn out every ounce of performance out of the Q8.
The Q8, which is categorized as a mid-size luxury coupe SUV, is an alternative to the Cayenne or the X7. It’s the first model designed by Audi’s new chief of design, Marc Lichte, and arrived with a choice of two V-6 engines: a 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged gas engine and a 3.0-liter diesel.
Now, ABT took it upon themselves to improve, aesthetically as well as mechanically, the Q8. What they’ve unveiled is a great example of the ’less is more’ ideology: the car doesn’t have a widebody or particularly flashy add-ons but makes a strong statement nonetheless. Having said that, ABT announced that a new aero kit for the Q8 is in the works.
Keep on reading to learn more about the Audi Q8 by ABT.
2019 Audi R8 LMS GT3
Audi is one of the most successful manufacturers in the highly-popular GT3 arena which attracted most of the world’s top manufacturers since the class debuted in 2006. The German manufacturer rolled out an update for its second-generation R8 LMS which promises to build on an already strong base.
2018 Audi PB18 e-tron Concept
In a world where the term “concept car” has been overused to some extent, Audi jolted some life back to the phrase with the PB18 e-Tron Concept. The fascinating prototype made its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, blending form with a number of functions, packaged in a dynamic design that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen from Audi. Best of all, at least for snobs of the autonomous technology movement, the PB18 e-Tron Concept gives the driver full control of the vehicle with no hints of autonomous tech assistance.
Four-door coupes are starting to flood the market, and that’s why Audi came up with the RS5 Sportback, an all-new model in the lineup and the seventh Audi Sport model, sharing a similar design with the RS7 Sportback. It got all of the typical RS cues inside and out but is powered by a 2.9-liter, Biturbo mill that is borrowed from the Porsche Panamera. It can hit 60 mph faster than a BMW 650i or Mercedes CLS500 and does so looking good in the process. Based on the RS 5 Coupe, the Sportback should command somewhere around $80,000 when it goes on sale in the second half of 2018.
Update 08/22/2018: Audi has announced pricing for the 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback as well as a long list of standard options but leaves us in the dark when it comes to pricing for the RS 5 Coupe. Read the full scoop in our “Pricing” section below.
2018 Audi Q5 L
Audi first began production of the compact Q5 luxury crossover in 2008, with the latest second-generation model dropping in 2016 at the Paris Motor Show. Now, there’s a new long-wheelbase iteration, which just debuted at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show to offer Chinese buyers enhanced cabin space and more comfort.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Audi Q5 L.
2018 Audi RS5
The second-generation Audi A5 was introduced in June of 2016 as a 2017 model with a fresh look and updated technology. As the cards usually play over at Audi, it didn’t take long for the brand to finish updating the high-performance RS5, and we got to see it in all its glory at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. It boasts an all-new look that is more aggressive than ever with more defined lines, wider flaring of the fenders and rear quarters, updated technology, new materials inside, and – more important to most – an all new 2.9-liter, Biturbo, V-6 that delivers a cool 450 horsepower and 442.5 pound-feet of payment decimating torque that’s sure to make your inner manhood squeal like a little girl on Christmas. Of course, that’s the same horsepower figure of the outgoing model, but a serious increase of torque to the tune of 125.5 pound-feet.
So, what does all that mean for performance? Well, the new RS5 can hit the 62 mph sprint in as little as 3.9 seconds – an improvement of 0.3 seconds over the outgoing model – and it breaks even in top speed at 174 mph. That’s not bad, but if you want to feel upset about no increase in horsepower, you might want to take into consideration that this RS5 has a much smaller engine compared to the 4.2-liter V-8 that was found in the last-gen model. But, the RS5 really is about more than just engine specs and performance numbers, so let’s dive on in and take a look at the whole picture before this bad boy makes it into dealer showrooms later this year.
Update 03/12/2018: Audi has decided to sell the RS5 in the United States, and it has a significantly lower price than expected. Check out the details in the “Pricing” section below.
2019 Audi A6
Audi first introduced the A6 nameplate in 1994 as a replacement for the outgoing Audi 100. Since then, the German automaker has ushered in a total of four generations for the model, with the current-gen dropping in 2011. Of course, seven years is a long time for just about any vehicle generation, and as such, Audi is prepping a fifth-generation A6 for the 2019 model year (Audi is calling it the “eighth generation,” but we aren’t counting the refreshes as entire generations). Scheduled to appear in the metal at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, Audi likes to frame the mid-size premium sedan as the “multitalent in the luxury class,” bringing a healthy mix of style, sportiness, opulence, and technology, all in a comfortable four-door package. And, as you might expect with a generational changeover, the 2019 model year brings a few styling changes outside, a brand-new interior layout, a fresh suite of convenience and connectivity features, and a mild-hybrid upgrade for the powertrain, not to mention a variety of suspension set-ups and standard quattro AWD grip, all of which help to underline the model’s do-it-all attitude.
The A6 is offered in a variety of body styles and configurations, and as such, this generational shift will undoubtedly trickle down to several corners of Audi’s product portfolio. We’re still waiting on a few details regarding the U.S.-bound model, but in the meantime, read on for the latest.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Audi A6.
2017 Audi Elaine
With Audi introducing cars like the Audi Aicon, it’s pretty easy to assume that in the near future we’ll find ourselves without even having the option to take the wheel and drive on our own. Then again, with the sheer number of traffic-related fatalities each year, one could really question if we should be allowed to the freedom to drive anyway, but we’ll leave that conversation for another time. Instead, let’s look at the future of sports cars, better known as the Audi Elaine – an all-electric sports car that can drive itself but also has a wheel and pedals for guys like me who like to really get into those corners from time to time. What we’re talking about here is a muscular “SUV Coupe” that sits somewhere close to the Audi A7 in the lineup and features an all-electric drive that’s good for a 4.5-second sprint to 62 mph, a range of at least 300 miles, and it even features autonomous technology with cutting-edge processing power and comfort.
When you combine this vehicle’s capabilities along with Audi Ai, and Audi Ai Zone, you get the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to drive yourself when you wish, let the AI take over on a whim, and even get door-to-door service thanks to the car’s ability to find a parking garage or place on the street to park itself. Audi envisions a time when the car will be able to drive itself to an advanced parking garage where it can charge itself, pick up packages, and even get a good washing before finding a place to rest. At 5 O’clock when it’s time to get out of work, you’ll walk out the doors and find your Elaine waiting to take you home. Suddenly, the future doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Well, let’s take a better look at the Elaine and see what the car is all about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Elaine.
2017 Audi Aicon
With the internal combustion engine living on borrowed time and fully autonomous cars on the horizon, we’re starting to see more and more futuristic concept cars that focus more on what cars of the future will be like than what we can expect to see in the next five or six years. Audi has really jumped on that wagon, and at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, it debuted the Audi Aicon – a vehicle that looks to the days of self-driving electric mobility with absolutely no compromises. As a 2+2 sedan, the Aicon has an attractive silhouette and a roomy interior. Comfort is of the utmost importance, and you’ll find that the interior is void of the usual necessities like a steering wheel or pedals and buttons. As an all-electric vehicle, it boasts four electric motors and a battery pack that should be good for nearly 500 miles of non-stop driving. And, not that it matters in a car that you can’t drive, but system output is rated at nearly 350 horsepower and more than 400 pound-feet of torque. Not bad.
With this in mind, and as attractive as this concept is, we’re still a long way out from Level 5 autonomy. The world just isn’t ready for a car of this nature quite yet (look at all the idiots that abused the functionality of Tesla’s AutoPilot in the early years) so don’t expect to see this thing shift into production anytime soon. It may someday, but I wouldn’t expect to see it before 2025 or 2030 at that earliest. Be that as it may, this concept is a very cool design study and a look at the future of the automotive industry, so let’s take a good look at it and see what all we can expect in our not-so-distant future.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Aicon.
2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS
It should come as no surprise that while in search for a little differentiation for its R8 lineup, Audi decided to develop a special edition model that ditched one of its most important claims to fame: the quattro all-wheel-drive system. And so there it was at the Frankfurt Motor Show for all the world to see. The limited edition Audi R8 officially goes by the name R8 V10 RWS, and according to Audi Sport CEO Stephan Winkelmann, it’s a model that Audi developed specifically for purists with an “appreciation for essential driving enjoyment.”
The special edition R8 V10 is limited to just 999 units and each one of them will ditch the automaker’s famous quattro AWD system in favor of rear-wheel drive. That’s the car’s claim to fame, above all else, and it’s a claim that no other variant of the current-generation Audi R8 has. Beyond the RWD offering, the R8 V10 also features a good amount of exterior and interior changes, as well as significant modifications to its chassis and suspension to accommodate the rear-wheel drive set-up. If it’s hard to imagine what an RWD Audi R8 is all about, think of it as a lighter version of the standard R8 that’s been tuned specifically to put more control of the car in the driver’s hands. Think drifting in an AWD R8 is cool? Well, imagine what you can do with an R8 that sends all of its power in the rear wheels. This is what the Audi R8 V10 RWS is offering, among other things. Better be quick though because only 999 units will be made. Miss out on one and you’re once again staring at the aftermarket tuning scene to get your rear-wheel drive R8 fix.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2018 Audi RS4 Avant
Introduced in 1999, the Audi RS4 placed itself at the top of Audi’s compact car lineup. With a sportier, more aerodynamic exterior, exclusive features on the inside, and a more powerful engine, the RS4 quickly became a solid competitor for the BMW M3. However, unlike BMW, Audi also built a wagon version a created a brand-new niche for performance grocery getters. The RS4 Avant become such an important car in the Audi lineup, that the third-generation RS4 didn’t even get a sedan version. Come 2017 and a brand-new generation RS4 arrived, also introduced with an Avant variant only.
Essentially a beefed-up version of the latest A4 wagon, which already sports Audi’s new design language with more angular features, the RS4 Avant gained a brand-new engine that smaller, but more potent than the outgoing unit. The new performance wagon is also lighter than its predecessor, which had quite a few issues when compared to the awesome Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate. All told, Audi finally has a proper competitor for the souped-up Merc and we will find out what it brings to the table in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS4 Avant.
2017 Audi e-tron Sportback Concept
Audi takes every chance it gets to remind us of its intentions to bring a whole range of electric vehicles that will, given enough time, eventually replace its entire lineup of gasoline and diesel-drinking models. The most recent model includes the Audi e-tron Quattro concept, an SUV slated for production in 2018. But, Audi is also one of those brands that likes to blur the line between car and SUV, so it has come up with another concept called the e-tron Sportback Concept – basically another interpretation of the Quattro concept with a lower roof, slanted rear, and a few other unique styling cues. It even uses the same electric drivetrain as it’s taller-sitting brethren, which means it gets a 96-kWh battery pack, three electric motors, and an estimated range of about 310 miles. A fast-charging system could offer up as much as 248 miles with as little as 30 minutes of DC charging. And, you’ll probably be able to buy one by the turn of the decade, as Audi as said it will be introduced in production form shortly after the e-tron Quattro for the 2019 model year.
So, if you haven’t come to terms with the fact that electric cars are on their way up, you better get used to it. With more than 300 miles to a charge, up to 496 horsepower on demand, and the ability to charge extremely quickly, Tesla isn’t the only heavy-hitter on the block anymore. The technology is finally there to ease range anxiety, and Audi is planning to capitalize on this early in the game. But, for now, this little “coupish-SUV” is just a concept. It’s a strong preview of a production model, so let’s take a good look at it and see what the future holds in store for us.
2017 Audi R8 LMS GT4
Audi made a bunch of wise marketing decisions in recent years, one of them being the R8, essentially a Lamborghini with different body work and a more affordable sticker. But, while the road-going R8 is somewhat successful, its race-spec counterpart has already achieved iconic status with several wins in just about every racing series out there. The R8 LMS has been incredibly popular among private teams in recent years and it’s not surprising that Audi is looking to expand the lineup as much as possible. The latest version to join the family is the LMS GT4 and made its debut at the 2017 New York Motor Show.
As the name suggests, the LMS GT4 was developed for production-based racing and derived from the road-legal R8 V10. It’s more affordable than the world-beating GT3 and it’s eligible for every racing category under GT4 regulations. The GT4 European Series is arguably the most important competition under these regulations and brings together a massive number of cars. Vehicles that the R8 will compete against include GT4-spec versions of the Chevrolet Camaro, Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M4, KTM X-Bow, and Porsche Cayman, just to name a few.
The new race car will make its on-track debut at the Nurburgring 24 Hours on May 25. The R8 LMS GT4 will also compete in North America, Asia, and Australia throughout 2017. Production will begin in the second half of the year with first deliveries to be made by the end of 2017.
“Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time. These fast-growing business segments and the DNA shared by our race cars and production vehicles underscore our ambition to become a true global player in the high-performance league," said Stephan Winkelmann, managing director of Audi Sport.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi R8 LMS GT4.
2018 Audi R8 Coupe Audi Sport Edition
Introduced for the 2017 model year, the second-generation R8 has been in dealerships for almost a year now, while race-spec LMS version is already tackling its second motorsport season as of 2017. And, while the road car is struggling to fit in a tough niche, the race car had its most successful season in 2016, when it scored 24 titles and 85 wins. Audi is celebrating the success of Audi Sport division with a special-edition R8 that pays tribute to the track-only LMS. It’s called the R8 Coupe Audi Sport Edition and made its public debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show.
Designed as a tribute for the highly successful R8 LMS, the Audi Sport Edition comes wrapped in the traditional colors of the company’s racing division: silver, red, and black. On top of the special livery and the custom wheels, the limited-edition supercar also sports a bespoke interior. What’s more, it’s limited to just 200 units globally, which makes it the most exclusive second-generation R8 to date.
Unfortunately, there are no drivetrain upgrades to talk about, but with the R8 still fresh, it’s not like the German supecar is in need of more oomph for public road use. For now, an exclusive livery and a custom interior seem to be enough to satisfy custom demand.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Sport R8 Coupe Edition Audi.