Audi celebrates 20 years of TT with special edition model
The 2019 Audi R8 is More Attractive and Powerful than Ever
It’s been only three years since Audi introduced the second-generation R8, and the supercar has already been upgraded to its mid-cycle specs. It’s A bit more aggressive on the outside and now cranks out more power in both standard and beefed-up versions. Previously known as the V10 Plus, the range-topping model was renamed the V10 Performance. The German supercar will go on sale in Europe in early 2019.
I expected to see a facelifted Audi TT at the Paris Auto Show later this year, but Audi jumped the gun and released a new car only days after the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The new Audi TT received superficial exterior upgrades, slightly retuned engines, and a few more options for the interior. It remained much the same as before, but it did gain new Audi nomenclature designating the version with a number. New cars include the TT 40 TFSI, the TT 45 TFSI, the TT 45 TFSI Quattro, and the TTS.
2019 Audi R8 Spyder
The second-generation Audi R8 was launched in 2015 and, despite rumors that it may be discontinued, the supercar will live on for at least a few more years. The facelifted version of the R8 coupe was spotted on public roads back in March, and now the Spyder model surfaced with similar updates.
While notable changes make sense for a mid-cycle refresh, word has it that the Spyder in out latest shots could be more than just a facelift. Audi may be working on a beefed-up version of the supercar that could carry an "RS" or "GT" badge. With the nameplate likely to go into the history books in a few years, the Germans might be looking to give it a proper send-off with a more aerodynamic and powerful version. Unfortunately, Audi is still mum on the details, so we won’t know for sure until the company spills the beans or the camo comes off. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what the updated R8 Spyder might bring to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Audi R8 Spyder.
Hello Audi A4 Cabrio, Goodbye Audi TT Roadster and A5 Cabrio
The Audi A4 Cabriolet could be making a comeback as Audi tries to reshuffle its convertible lineup to make room for its return. Part of that reshuffling reportedly involves axing two current convertibles that have become anchors weighing Audi’s sales volume down. If this happens, we could be saying goodbye to the Audi TT Roadster and the Audi A5 Cabriolet. Both models have had their time in the sun, but now it’s looking like they’re being called back home.
Think VW Killing the Beetle Was Bad? Wait Until You Realize the Audi R8 Is Discontinued too!
The Audi R8 doesn’t appear to have a bright future beyond its current version. While nothing has been confirmed yet, Audi’s R&D boss, Peter Mertens, admitted that the German automaker has made no plans for a direct replacement for the range-topping supercar. The lack of commitment from Audi, coupled with investments the company is making in diversifying its own portfolio, points to an uncertain future for the ground-breaking R8 that put the company on the supercar map.
Audi’s Convertible SUV Patent Shows The Extent of How Far Automakers are Willing to Go to Exploit the SUV Craze
The SUV market has expanded at an incredible rate in recent years. From mini crossovers like the Nissan Juke to behemoths like the Cadillac Escalade ESV, you can get them in just about any size. With no room for other niches, some automakers began experimenting with new body styles, including convertible versions. Nissan launched the Murano CrossCabriolet in 2010, and although it didn’t last beyond 2015, the body style returned in 2017 with the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. Recent rumors suggest that BMW is working on a drop-top version of the X2, and if these patent images are any indication, Audi is also planning to join this small niche.
Audi R8 to Get the Axe in 2020
It’s been only two months since Audi discontinued the all-electric Audi R8 e-Tron, after only a couple of years on the market, and word has it that the gasoline-powered supercar is also scheduled to get the ax soon. A new report claims that Audi isn’t happy with the supercar’s slow sales and that it’s not planning to develop a replacement for the current model. This means that the R8 will be phased out in 2020, an event that will put an end to Audi’s only supercar to date after 14 years.
2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet – Driven
Audi has been hard at work revamping its A5 and S5 lineup over the last few years. The two-door coupes and four-door Sportback versions debuted in the U.S. for 2017, bringing the new MLB Evo architecture, big updated in active safety features, and Audi’s widely praised Virtual Cockpit. Now for 2018, the drop-top version gets its go, completing the A5 lineup. But rather than taking Audi’s word on these improvements, I needed the wind through my hair.
A 2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0T with the Prestige package arrived for the week fitted with nearly every option. While that inflated the price slightly past $65,000, the A5 proved its competence at being an all-rounder, working both as an everyday luxury coupe and as an open-top weekend toy. All it takes is 15 seconds to lower the top and the car changes its demeanor. Much of that can be credited to the multi-layer “acoustic” soft top and generous amounts of insulation. Even passing a semi truck on the interstate is hushed. The new interior pushes the bar for Audi, yet again. Soft-touch materials are paired well with high-end trimmings and in-dash technology that feels cutting-edge. Heck, there’s even microphones embedded into the front seatbelts for taking calls with the top down. It’s this attention to detail that makes the 2018 A5 Cabriolet so interesting. But what’s it like to live with? Keep reading to find out.
Continue reading for the full driven review.
2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus
The second-generation Audi R8 came to life in 2015, when the German firm unveiled an evolutionary design with sharper styling cues and a more aggressive approach. Audi also revamped the engine lineup, adopting an upgraded 5.2-liter V-10 and dropping the base V-8. Instead, it introduced an all-electric version of the R8, which was discontinued only a year on the market. Just like its predecessor, the second-gen R8 also gained Plus and Spyder variants. But for the first time in history, Audi brought the two badges under the same umbrella, creating the R8 Spyder Plus.
Essentially a convertible version of the more extreme R8 Plus, the Spyder Plus finally gives drop-top enthusiasts the option of driving a beefed-up version of the V-10 engine with infinite headroom. Not only a first for the nameplate, the Spyder Plus also gives the company a suitable competitor for the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, as well as the new-for-2018 McLaren 570S Spider. How does it stack up against the opposition? Find out in my review below.
Updated 06/19/2017: Audi dropped a first promo video for the new R8 Spyder V10 Plus. Continue reading to watch it!
First Impressions: 2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet
Audi just wrapped up the A5’s first decade with a bang – a move into its second generation. The A5 debuted for 2007 and made quite a name for itself over the past 10 years. The second-generation A5 broke cover for the 2017 model year in Europe, but has taken the customary year before crossing the pond. Now Audi showrooms are filling with both Coupe and Cabriolet versions for 2018. My driveway is also home (though sadly, only for the week) to Audi’s new compact executive convertible.
My Silver Metallic A5 Cabriolet is dressed in the range-topping Prestige trim and powered by the 2.0-liter TFSI engine backed by a dual-clutch and Quattro AWD. Its sharp bodylines and new hexagonal grille bring a new, more aggressive attitude to the A5. The optional bi-color, 19-inch multispoke wheels certainly help, too. The angular design borrows from other new-age Audi products, including the swanky TT Coupe. In person, the 2018 A5 Cab is more muscular and purposeful – far more than the rounded and unathletic appearance of the previous car. Audi designers went even further with the A5 Cabriolet’s interior. Like the A5 Coupe, the cabin feels more like a cockpit thanks to its racy design, Virtual Cockpit instrumentation, and myriad of buttons scattered about. So what’s it like getting behind the wheel for the first time? Keep reading.
Continue reading for more information.
2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet
The Audi S5 first appeared on the scene in 2007, initially dropping cover as a coupe alongside its more pedestrian sibling, the A5. Two years later, at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi introduced the S5 Sportback, a five-door model promising greater practicality in a still-sporty package, plus the open-air S5 Cabriolet, both of which went on sale for the 2010 model year. A mid-cycle refresh arrived in 2013, including new technology, styling, and powertrain updates. Now, it’s time for a new generation to take the reins, and as such, Audi has unveiled the 2017 S5 Cabriolet, rounding out the new A5 lineup with a sportier soft-top iteration of the compact luxury two-door. The next gen brings with it slightly larger dimensions, tweaked styling, a sleek interior packed with gadgets, a more powerful turbo six-cylinder, an updated rear suspension, and new systems for safety and convenience.
Being the best in this segment takes style and attitude, mixing the fun of unlimited headroom with a decent punch when you press on the loud pedal. Keeping up with the technological Jonses is also critical, with competition from Europe and Japan vying to impress in the cabin as well. Does the new S5 have what it takes to compete?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi S5 Cabriolet.
2017 Audi A5 Convertible
The second-generation Audi A5 was unveiled in 2016, nearly ten years after the sporty coupe arrived on the market to replace the 90 model. Designed around the A4 sedan, which broke cover in 2015, the new A5 gained more angular body lines, a "Singleframe" grille that’s wider and flatter than before, a modern interior with Audi’s new "continuous air vent strip" design, and a revised engine lineup.
2015 was quite a busy year for Audi, with the Germans launching the Q7, A4 and R8, and 2016 turned out to be just as crowded, with at least as many new vehicles from the Ingolstadt-based company. One such model is the A5 Convertible, which broke cover in early November after many months of testing with camouflaged bodies. Overhauled in order to give the BMW 4 Series Convertible and the brand-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible a run for their money, the A5 drop-top is almost identical to the coupe aside from the soft-top and additional chassis and body reinforcement.
Audi’s new design language, classy interiors, and updated drivetrains should at least make the new A5 a strong competitor in this crowded niche, while the lighter weight and underpinnings make the convertible quicker and more nimble than the previous model. Find out more about all that in my detailed review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi A5 Convertible.
2016 Audi TT Black Edition
There was a once a time when the Audi TT was in desperate need of a makeover after the previous generation model was running on fumes, having carried the name for Audi for eight years. Everything changed, though, when the third- and current-generation TT finally arrived in 2014. Not only did it bring some much-needed life back to the TT name, it also reinvigorated Audi’s entire sports car lineup. Fast forward to today and the TT remains a relevant force for Audi, so much so that it received the special edition treatment in the form of the TT Black Edition.
Before any of you get excited, it must be noted that the TT Black Edition, together with the other Audi models receiving similar treatment, is only available in the UK. I know, right? Is it too much to ask for American customers to get some special edition love too? Frustrations notwithstanding, the TT is joined in the Black Edition series by the A3 and S3, as well as the S6 and S7 Sportback models, the Q3 SUV, and of course, the TT Roadster.
Most of the upgrades in the TT Black Edition are of the cosmetic variety, but there are some upgrades that are exclusive to the coupe and roadster versions of the TT and TTS. There are no engine modifications, so prospective owners shouldn’t expect anything from the TT’s 2.0-liter turbo engine, which produces 230 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque in standard form. Come to grips with that and the TT Black Edition becomes a lot more desirable.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi TT Black Edition.
2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Convertible
Launched in 2003, the Audi A3 brought new standards to the premium compact market. A step ahead of the competition thanks to its well-equipped interior, state-of-the-art technology, and advanced driving assistance features, the A3 became a popular choice in both Europe and the U.S. Also, the fact that Ingolstadt offered no fewer than four body styles and performance-oriented S models for each of them made the A3 the most complete nameplate in the segment. Almost four years have passed since the third-gen compact went in production and Audi unveiled the facelifted versions of each and every variant of the A3, including the Convertible.
Much like all new vehicles the four-ringed automaker has introduced in 2015, the A3 Convertible received sharper and sportier styling features. Inspired by the design language seen on the new A4, the new A3 Convertible is by far the most aggressive looking compact drop-top Audi has released to date, especially when equipped with the S Line package. But, while the exterior gained updates worthy of a redesign, the interior remained pretty much unchanged, with all the noticeable upgrades operated in the technology department.
More changes occurred under the hood, with two brand-new engines and a dual-clutch transmission on offer. Among them, there’s a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, available for the first time on the compact. Audi also developed a more powerful and fuel-efficient 2.0-liter four-banger, which unlike the three-pot, will cross the pond to the U.S. to replace the previous range-topping unit. It won’t get here until 2017, but that gives us enough time to have a in-depth look at Audi’s most affordable cabriolet.
Updated 08/11/2016: Audi announced U.S. prices for the 2017 A3 Convertible which will be put on sale later this year in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Details on the "Prices" section below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi A3 Convertible.
2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder
Launched in 2007, the first-generation Audi R8 was so successful that the German brand decided to keep it around for no fewer than eight model years. The Spyder, on the other hand, is a bit younger than that, having been unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show for the 2010 model year.
At first only available with the 5.2-liter V-10, the convertible also received the 4.2-liter V-8 for 2011, and a limited-edition GT model for 2012. With the second-generation R8 already in dealerships, Audi introduced the redesigned Spyder version at the 2016 New York Auto Show.
Much like its predecessor, the second-generation R8 Spyder is essentially a topless version of the R8 Coupe,using a soft-top instead of metal roof. Specs are obviously identical, meaning there’s no longer a V-8 engine and a manual transmission. Audi has yet to confirm whether the R8 Spyder will also get an e-tron version, but an all-electric drop-top is very likely to arrive by the end of 2016.
Audi’s new angular design works well with the R8 Spyder’s convertible layout and the performance is definitely strong, but does it have what it takes to compete against the bonkers Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and McLaren’s upcoming 570S Spider? Keep reading to find out.
Update 12/12/2018: We’ve updated this review with pictures taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in the gallery at the bottom of the page!
2018 Audi RS5 Cabriolet
Back in 2007, Audi made its return to the high-end compact coupe segment with the A5, offering a hardtop, cabriolet, and four-door “Sportback” bodystyle. Bearing many similarities to the A4 sedan, the A5 stood apart thanks to its significantly sportier feel, making it a prime candidate for a go-faster S5 variant. But as Audi’s chief rivals upped the ante with ever-increasing performance levels, the Four Ring brand was compelled to create the top dog RS5. Boasting more aggressive styling, snappier suspension, and of course, more power, the RS5 had all the trimmings to meet its AMG and M division challengers. Initially offered as a coupe, the RS5 went topless in 2012 following a mid-cycle facelift, hitting U.S. dealers in April of 2013. Unfortunately, production ended in 2015, but now, a next-gen RS5 Cabriolet looks like it’s just over the horizon. Official details are still forthcoming, but we’re expecting a massaged exterior, new interior tech, and a turbo V-6.
While nothing at this point is official, the new RS5 Cabriolet is expected to drop cover after a reveal of the next-gen RS5 Coupe, which was recently spotted testing following the debut of the new A5 and S5.
Audi aficionados with a penchant for adrenaline-boosted open-air motoring have no doubt been clamoring to catch a glimpse of the new model, but without anything official to go on, we drew up a rendering, did a little digging, and came up with the following speculative review. Read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS5 Cabriolet.
2018 Audi TT-RS Roadster
In March of 2016 we were looking at the most recent spy shots of the upcoming Audi TT-RS Roadster, and with the kickoff of the Beijing Auto Show, we’re finally getting to see the car in the metal. The Roadster is a pretty big departure from its predecessor. Highlights include new styling up front, new Matric OLED lights available in the rear, a cockpit that is focused on the driver, and – more importantly – an updated 2.5-liter that promises to bring a 60-horsepower improvement over the previous model. The new TT-RS Roadster hits showrooms in Europe as early as fall of 2016 and will have a starting price of €69,200 – $77,873 at current exchange rates.
Originally, we expected to see the TT-RS Coupe debut at the New York Auto Show and the TT-RS Roadster to come later on at the Paris Auto Show in October. Audi threw us all for a loop, however, and decided to pull the sheet off both at the Beijing Auto Show. Since we’ve been itching to see the Roadster like there is no tomorrow, join me on a stroll down the page as we talk about the new TT-RS Roadster in detail. There are some exciting things to talk about, if you’re an Audi fan, that is.
Updated 04/25/2016: Audi unveiled the new TT RS at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi TT-RS Roadster.