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Audi Joins BMW and Mercedes by Skipping the Detroit Auto Show – Do the German's Hate America or Just Detroit?

Audi Joins BMW and Mercedes by Skipping the Detroit Auto Show – Do the German’s Hate America or Just Detroit?

The numbers don’t lie...

In the grand scheme of things, the ink hasn’t even dried on the announcements from BMW and Mercedes to skip the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. And, yet, here we are looking at an announcement from Audi saying it, too, will skip the 2019 North American International Auto Show. According to automakers, it has come too expensive and, with venues like CES drawing larger crowds and largely overshadowing the Detroit Auto Show, it only makes sense to skip the show. In the meantime, Detroit organizers have been looking to move the official date of the show, but that won’t happen until at least 2020. But, are automakers pulling out because of the associated cost and lack of crowd, or do they just hate America and Detroit?

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2017 Audi Q8 E-tron Concept

2017 Audi Q8 E-tron Concept

The Q8 e-Tron Concept proves that Audi can think outside of the box

Audi seems to think it can create a new niche in the full-sized vehicle segment by introducing a vehicle with SUV proportions inside, and almost coupe-like proportions outside. We first heard of the Q8 name way back in 2012 when Audi filed a trademark for it, along with other names like R6, S2, S9, and RS1, among others. Since then, the name has been associated with Audi’s dreams of electric architecture and has even been said to be arriving in 2019 – even here in the United States. More recently, however, around July of 2016, we laid eyes on a weird coupe-ish SUV prototype that just had to be the Audi Q8. Finally, at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, Audi pulled the sheets off of the Audi Q8 e-Tron Concept, a model that previews the production Q8 and comes complete with a bold exterior design that previews the evolution of Audi’s design language, high-tech door poppers, and an interior that is near-production ready. As an e-Tron, it is hybrid in nature and provides a respectable output of 330 kW (442.53 horsepower) and more than 500 pound-feet of torque.

Prior to its debut alongside the new Audi S5 Cabriolet and SQ5 production models, very little was known about the Q8 e-Tron Concept, but not that Audi has spilled the beans, we have quite a bit to talk about. Dietmar Voggenreiter – a member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at Audi AG – said, “The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV. With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.”

We still have some time before we get to see the production-ready Q8 in the metal, but this Concept gives us a good idea of what to expect. Of course, not all of the features and technology will carry over into production, so let’s dive on into this concept, see how it differs from the production prototype, and look at all the finer details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Q8 E-tron Concept.

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Word of Advice: Don't Touch Concept Cars at Auto Shows

Word of Advice: Don’t Touch Concept Cars at Auto Shows

You could find yourself kicked out of the manufacturer’s booth, or the entire show!

When you go to an auto show as a member of the press, you’re there to take as many pictures as you can, but the job also comes with its perks. My favorite perk is that you’re allowed to enter and inspect vehicles that are normally blocked off or locked to the general public. Of course, automakers only keep the cars open for so long after their long-awaited debut, but it’s generally enough time to get whatever you need. Well, this year in Detroit, Audi was packed after its press event that debuted the new Audi S5 Cabriolet, the Audi SQ5 SUV, and the Audi Q8 Concept. Naturally, the Q8 concept got the most attention as it will serve as the basis for a new production model in the near future, so I didn’t get much of a chance to check it out in detail at first. Later in the day, however, I did, but I also got into trouble doing it.

See, once the press event is over, manufacturer representatives linger around to make sure you’re not doing anything you shouldn’t do. And, despite the fact that there was no velvet rope and the doors weren’t locked, Audi wasn’t exactly excited about letting me look inside the Q8 concept after the crowds dispersed. Generally, you’re allowed to walk up, open the doors, and get inside most models so, out of natural instinct, I tried the same with the Q8. It has the shaved door handles and touch panels linked to the automatic door poppers, so I was stoked to see how they worked, but my time was ultimately cut short. I started at the rear hatch to get a shot of the rear cargo area, but once the door was open, I had the chance to snap one picture before the rep came over, shut the hatch, and told me “no.”

“Fair Enough,” I thought, as I proceeded to the side of the Q8 and started to snap a few shots through the glass. I didn’t intend to do so, but I rubbed the little Audi logo on the front door with my arm, and the door opened. Being watched at that point, the rep came over and asked me to leave. Security then walked me out of Audi’s show floor and asked me not to return for the day. If I did, my credentials would be revoked, and I would be escorted out of the show. I returned the second day and got some more pictures, but I made it a point not to open the car again. My point here is that if they are that sensitive with members of the media, it’s probably best for you to avoid trying out those electric door poppers for yourself – you’ll probably find yourself escorted to the front door and unable to return.

And, for the record, I’m not bashing Audi at all – I get it. This is a concept car, there’s only one in existence, and they don’t want anything to happen to it. Believe me, just about everyone wanted to touch those electric door poppers. But, Audi was one of the few manufacturers that didn’t have their concept blocked off completely, so kudos to them. I couldn’t get within 20 feet of the Chrysler Portal or the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz, for example, so the fact that I was able to get that close to the Q8 was actually quite surprising. Either way, it’s probably best to follow the rules, don’t crawl under the ropes, and don’t expect to sit inside any of the concepts.

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Did Audi Hire Darth Vader to Design the Q8?

Did Audi Hire Darth Vader to Design the Q8?

Lord Vader, your SUV is... almost ready

It has become quite the trend to associate menacing looking cars to Darth Vader, but I can’t blame enthusiasts for doing it so often given the massive success of the Star Wars franchise. It’s been going on for a long time too, having started in 1987, when Car and Driver covered the GNX model’s introduction with the headline "Lord Vader, your car is ready."

We’ve also made a few automotive suggestions to the Dark Lord in our very own "What Would Darth Vader Drive?" article, but I must get back to the topic after seeing the new cars at the Detroit Auto Show. And it’s all because of the Audi Q8 Concept.

Is it just me or does the SUV’s front fascia look as if Darth Vader himself created it? Just look at that wide and massive grille and the six vertical slats. The angled headlamps add to the Vader-inspired appearance too and I’m sure that a black body finish and matte-black instead of chrome would turn it into Anakin Skywalker’s favorite grocery getter.

But here’s the issue. It’s not black. And this is what tells me that Audi didn’t hire Darth Vader as chief of its design department. Jokes aside, the Q8 Concept looks stunning in blue as well and I’m sure it would turn heads in just about any color. Here’s to hoping that Audi will transfer as many details as possible onto the production model!

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Audi Adds More Fast To The SQ5 With Extra Torque, New Air Suspension

Audi Adds More Fast To The SQ5 With Extra Torque, New Air Suspension

It’s got the gear for fun behind the wheel, plus drive modes for comfortable cruising and off-road adventures

Audi began making the Q5 compact luxury crossover in 2008, first unveiling the production model at the Beijing Auto Show that same year. Initially offered with a 2.0-liter TFSI, 2.0-liter TDI, and 3.0-liter TDI powerplant, the Q5 got a facelift in 2012, at which time the engine lineup was greatly expanded. A year later, Audi introduced the SQ5 performance variant. Engine options included a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 diesel, making the SQ5 TDI the first Audi S model to offer an oil burner, as well as a boosted 3.0-liter gas engine. Now, following the release of the second-gen Q5 at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Audi has introduced the second-gen SQ5 at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The updated fun-to-drive luxury crossover enters the 2018 model year with higher performance hopes thanks to new adaptive air suspension, as well as a smattering of extra peak power from a new turbo V-6. The styling was also updated, while a slew of available driver’s assist features and modern infotainment round out the changeover.

Let’s talk about what’s under the hood first. Replacing the outgoing 3.0-liter TFSI is a different, “all-new” 3.0-liter TFSI. With direct injection and a turbo strapped on, the new powerplant makes 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, besting the old engine by 5 horsepower and 23 pound-feet, respectively. While five ponies isn’t exactly something the write home about, the extra torque produced low in the rpm band should make a notable impact when it comes to driving dynamics. As before, an eight-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox handles the cogs, while standard quattro AWD makes the traction.

To put the torque to better use, Audi also updated the suspension at both ends. Under the nose is a new five-link set-up, featuring lightweight construction and more precise inputs. The steering can be also be optioned with a dynamic ratio, which will either vary the steering quickness based on speed (higher speeds equal a slower ratio, lower speeds have a quicker ratio), or based on driver-selectable settings.

Enthusiasts looking to max their Audi’s fun factor should investigate the available S sport package. This option throws on a new rear differential specifically designed for sporty driving, with active torque distribution that can send nearly all available rear torque to one side or the other, making for a more engaging experience behind the wheel. And, for the first time ever on the SQ5, 2018 models with the S sport package will come equipped with a new sport adaptive air suspension system.

Read on for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi SQ5.

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The Q8 Concept Is Proof Audi Can Still Create Bold Designs

The Q8 Concept Is Proof Audi Can Still Create Bold Designs

Previews BMW X6 competitor

Audi has been using the "same sausage, different lengths" design strategy for more than a decade now, but the German manufacturer still knows how to create bold-looking vehicles that can stand out from the pack. And the Q8 Concept, which was just unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, proves just that.

Showcased as a preview for the brand’s upcoming BMW X6 competitor, the Q8 Concept combines Audi’s current design language with a few never-before-seen styling cues. While the overall stance is that of a bloated Q2, most of its features are unique compared to other Audi-badged SUVs. The slender, angular headlamps sport X-shaped LED lights and small vents underneath, while the familiar "Singleframe" grille looks a lot more menacing thanks to a thicker frame and six double-slat vertical bars. Down below, the large intakes have aluminum surrounds, while a similar elements that features the "e-tron" logo acts as a splitter.

The side panels are equally dramatic, with both front and rear fenders being more muscular than usual. The profile is highlighted by a large crease on the lower sections of the doors, aluminum side skirts with "Quattro" lettering, and big five-spoke wheels with blue accents. It’s here where the coupe-like roof and the lack of quarter windows is also noticeable. Around back, the Q8 Concept is sportier than any other Audi SUV release so far. The roof ends with a big spoiler and there’s also a very short decklid that prevents the tailgate from taking the standard shape seen on most crossovers. The taillights are slim LED strips with the upper one stretching the entire width of the front fascia (just like on the Porsche 911). The V-shaped vents on each side and the massive diffuser with large exhaust pipes round off the Q8 Concept’s exterior.

Dimensions-wise, the Q8 is similar to the Q7 in length. This comes as no surprise, as the two use the same platform, a strategy that BMW has been using for the X5 and X6 for years.

Inside, the Q8 Concept is a sportier, somewhat futuristic interpretation of the Q7. A hint of the company’s new "continuous air-vent" strip is visible on the upper dashboard, but the center section is now devoid of any buttons and switches. The entire area is just a big screen, while the upper center console features a smaller display for the climate controls. The instrument cluster displays electric power information on the left side (yes, it’s a hybrid) and speed on the right side, with the center section showing the navigation map. The overall layout is simple and clean, but the materials, including Nappa and Nubuk leather, as well as high-gloss carbon, and aluminum create a luxurious ambiance.

The Q8 Concept gets its juice from a hybrid drivetrain that combined a 3.0-liter TFSI gasoline V-6 engine rated at 333 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque with an electric motor set to generate 100 kW (134 horses) and 243 pound-feet. Total output is estimated at 442 horsepower and 516 pound-feet. That’s 26 horses and 81 pound-feet more than the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid! Audi claims that the SUV will hit 62 mph in 5.4 seconds (about as quick as the Cayenne) and reach a top speed of 155 mph, which is pretty impressive for a hybrid. What’s more, the German carmaker says that the Q8 Concept needs only 2.3 liters of fuel for each 100 km, which converts to around 102.3 U.S. MPGe. Impressive!

In case you’re wondering when this concept will hit the road as a production model, the answer is sometime in 2018. If you live in the U.S., expect it to arrive in dealerships for the 2019 model year.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro

2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro

Wagonizing the crossover

If you’re in the market for something that combines comfort, practicality, and a little off-road capability, odds are you’re combing through a seemingly endless number of crossover models. But while the crossover’s popularity is unrivaled in the U.S., its jack-of-all-trades disposition is far from perfect, especially when it comes to things like maneuverability, ride quality, and driving dynamics. So what if you want all the advantages of a crossover, but in a decidedly more car-like package? Audi has the answer, and it’s called the 2017 A4 Allroad. Unveiled at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, this next-gen vehicle brings a revamped drivetrain, revised suspension, and even more features for the occasional jaunt into the rough stuff, making it a real alternative in a sea of CUVs.

Audi first offered the A4 Allroad in 2009, but the philosophy hasn’t changed – take the style and familiarity of a wagon, and infuse it with maximum functionality. To that end, Audi starts with the A4 Avant (a model that’s sadly reserved only for non-U.S. customers) and adds new styling cues and beefier hard bits. The result is something that keeps the easy-driving, good-looking wagon stuff, but adds a little extra for ski runs or traversing the dirt path to that hidden trailhead.

It’s a tempting combination, but is it enough to entice buyers away from the crossover status quo?

Updated 07/26/2016: Audi just released info on the U.S.-spec A4 Allroad Quattro, so we’ve updated the Drivetrain and Prices sections with the latest.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi A4 Allroad.

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2016 Audi h-tron Quattro Concept

2016 Audi h-tron Quattro Concept

In a world where manufacturers seem to be pushing the electric car, the idea of hydrogen cars has taken off, but not in anywhere near the same effect. Aside from the cost of hydrogen, the availability is the next biggest drawback. That, however, didn’t stop Audi from debuting the hydrogen-powered Audi h-tron Quattro Concept this year at the Detroit Auto Show.

This SUV concept is built around a hydrogen fuel cell that can put out up to 110 kW of power and a battery pack that can supply an additional 100 kW on demand. That isn’t all that’s great about the h-tron concept, though. One look at the interior, and it is enough to think “space ship.” The futuristic design is out of this world and appears to give a clear view into what cars will look like, on the inside, in the next five to 10 years.

This is only a brief description of the h-tron concept, so now it’s time to dive deeper into it and see just what the concept is all about. After all, if very well could be the next big production model from the brand of four rings.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi h-tron Quattro Concept.

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2017 - 2018 Audi Q7

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7

German carmaker Audi joined the ever-growing SUV market in late 2005, when it unveiled the Q7 full-size crossover SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Audi launched the SUV in North America for the 2007 model year and since then it has received numerous updates and a host of gasoline and diesel powertrains, ranging from 3.0-liter V-6s to massive 6.0-liter V-12s. As we venture into the 2016 model year, nine years since the first-generation Q7 debuted, the Germans are introducing a redesigned version of the SUV.

Boasting brand-new styling, a revamped cabin and updated powertrains, the 2017 Q7 also marks the debut of the nameplate’s first ever plug-in hybrid version. It took Audi about nine years to turn the concept it showcased in 2005 into a production model, but it seems the Germans finally did it. The Q7 e-tron is that much more important as it’s the first plug-in hybrid from Audi with a diesel engine. What’s more, it’s also the world’s first diesel hybrid in the premium SUV segment. Read on for the full details on Germany’s new luxury hauler.

Updated 11/11/2015: Audi announced prices for the 2017 Q7 SUV which will be put on sale at the beginning of 2016. The model will be offered in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige with prices starting from $54,800.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Audi Q7.

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Second-Generation Audi Q7 Revealed in Detroit

Second-Generation Audi Q7 Revealed in Detroit

Almost a decade since the first model was launched, Audi finally brought the 2016 Q7 full-size SUV at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Based on the reworked Audi MLB platform, the all-new Q7 sheds up to 700 pounds of weight compared with the first-generation model, also increasing its fuel efficiency by about 26 percent — not a hard thing to do considering that the first generation was an elephant on wheels. Shortly after the market launch, which should take place during the Spring of 2015, the new Audi SUV will receive a plug-in hybrid diesel variant, which the Ingolstadt carmaker says that it will return around 138 mpg according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

The model’s proportions are completely different compared with the previous generation, with the 2016 Q7 being shorter and narrower while having almost the same height. From the distance it gives a very Subaru Forester-like vibe, despite the fact that in terms of design motifs it is clearly an Audi. The single-frame grille is now wider and sits a bit lower, just like Audi’s new chief of design promised for all upcoming Audi models, while the headlights now feature either xenon, LED or Audi’s Matrix LED technology from the A8.

An all-new interior with higher perceived quality seems to adorn the vehicle, with the instrument panel now being separated horizontally into two colors. Despite being a tad shorter, the cabin of the 2016 Audi Q7 is a bit more welcoming in terms of space. With that in mind, the optional third row of seats is now certified as Group 3 child seats, meaning that most of the extra space has gone toward the first five passengers. Improved connectivity courtesy of the MMI navigation plus infotainment system is now available, since it also can connect the new Q7 to the Internet via LTE. All in all, the new Q7 is filled with technology and is much more fuel efficient, with the only major caveat being its rather bland and unprovocative exterior design.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi Q7.

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2015 Audi Q3

2015 Audi Q3

For the European market, the Audi Q3 was unveiled in 2011 after being previewed by the Cross Coupe quattro concept at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show. Now it’s our turn, as Audi decided to release it for the 2015 model year.

With the incredible success the Q5 and the Q7 are already enjoying and the increased demand for compact SUVs in the U.S., it is really no surprise to see the Q3 on American soil. The Q3 is expected to be an even more successful model, thanks to its combination of a coupe-like look with the utility of a SUV and the usual features offered by an Audi SUV — "utility, technology, craftsmanship and performance."

The 2015 Audi Q3 will be unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show and will be put on sale in the fall of 2014. Prices will be announced at a later date.

Updated 07/29/2014: Audi finally released prices for the 2015 Q3. It starts at $33,425 and climbs from there. There are additional pricing details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Audi Q3.

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Audi R8 e-tron Officially Back on the Table

And so, the Audi R8 e-tron saga rolls on.

A report late last year indicated that Audi was indeed reconsidering launching the R8 e-tron, but the report remained unconfirmed until last night at the 2014 NAIAS. The four-ring company’s technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg made the confirmation when he told Auto Express that he is "discussing the project with the board."

The run-around regarding the future of the R8 e-tron has taken more turns than an endurance racer on the Nurburgring, with numerous delays plaguing the development of the vehicle culminating in another report that Audi was going to develop the vehicle solely for research purposes.

But now that the word has officially come from the horse’s mouth, we’re going to believe Hackenberg’s recent proclamation. He did stop short of saying when the official launch is going to be, but with the way automakers have embraced the idea of electric sports cars recently — the BMW i8, for one, is coming very soon — Audi’s decision to bring back the R8 e-tron was a move done in large part to keep up with the competition.

The car’s development has progressed to the point that Audi can just pick up where it left of so it shouldn’t take too long to see a production model — we hope. With the next-gen R8 just around the corner, don’t be surprised to see the e-tron version sooner rather than later.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi e-tron

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2014 Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept

2014 Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept

With the next auto show scheduled to take place after the calendar turns to 2014, a number of automakers are already gearing up for it before the holiday break arrives.

One of these companies is Audi and to no one’s surprise, the German company has gotten the ball rolling with a preview of a crossover concept that it plans to unveil at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

Billed as the "new Audi show car," the yet-to-be-named crossover coupe concept is being touted as a preview of what we can expect from Audi moving forward, specifically as it pertains to certain visual elements in the concept that will be translated to its future lineup of sports cars.

That’s a lot take in, especially considering the "coupe-like nature" of this particular concept, particularly the certain designs that are undeniably sporty in nature. There’s a tornado line on the sides that emphasize a distinctively aggressive character. There are short overhangs and a low roof, thicker-than-usual C-pillars, aluminum underbody guards, and of course, a new set of 19-inch alloy wheels that mesh well with the somewhat-staunch and muscular look of this concept.

The interior, it appears, has a 2+2 seating configuration, although what appears to be lack of backrests on the front seats leaves us a little confused as to what Audi’s going for with this. There’s a flat-bottom steering wheel, which is a nice touch, and the full-length center console definitely adds personality to the concept.

We expect to hear more about this new crossover coupe concept when the Detroit Auto Show comes around. Until then, these teaser photos will give you a clear indication of what to expect before the concept makes its world debut.

Updated 01/10/2014: With just a few days before its official debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, the first images of Audi’s new compact crossover leaked onto the internet. Along with these images, we also got the official name of the vehicle: Allroad Shooting Brake Concept. Full details will follow next week. (Autowp)

Click past the jump to read about the 2015 Audi Q1

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2014 Audi RS 7

2014 Audi RS 7

As promised, 2014 will bring two new models to the Audi RS lineup: RS 7 and a production version of the RS Q3 Concept. The first model - the RS 7 - was unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and we saw the 2014 Q3 RS in Geneva.

The Audi A7 has a very short history in the automotive industry. Previewed by the Sportback Concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the production version of the A7 Sportback is already on sale, albeit not on all markets. This vehicle may be great in its own right, but of course the new RS 7 is far, far more impressive.

The new RS 7 does not only feature a much more aggressive look when compared to the standard A7, but it also delivers an extra 140 horsepower more that the S7. So, do you see why we find the standard A7 a little bit mediocre in comparison to the RS 7?

Updated 01/14/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and video.

Updated 07/30/2013: Audi USA announced today prices for the 2014 RS 7 that will arrive in U.S. showrooms this fall at a base price of $104,900. We also have a new video of the most powerful RS model ever offered in the U.S. and more than 100 new high res images.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Audi RS 7.

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2014 Audi RS5 Cabrio is Heading to "Rock City"

We pretty much know all that there is to know about the upcoming Audi RS5 Cabrio. We already know that it’s debuting in Germany in early-2013 and coming to the U.S. sometime later in the same year. However, we still have yet to see the actual car. Sure, renderings are great, but we want to see, feel and sniff this beauty for a few minutes.

Well, we’ll all get our chance at the 2013 North American International Auto Show this month, as the RS5 Cabrio will make its debut there. We also were not 100-percent certain if the RS5 Cabrio would be a 2013 model or a 2014 model here in The States, but from what we’re hearing, it will be a 2014 model year. Of course, it will remain a 2013 model year in the European market, as it is well before the cutoff.

In case you need a refresher course, the 2014 RS5 Cabrio will carry a 4,163 cc V-8 engine that wallops the concrete with 450 horsepower and 317.15 pound-feet of torque. This is enough power to launch the RS5 Cabrio to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.9 seconds. Audi will limit its top speed at 155.34 mph, but you can request to have the limiter removed if you prefer 173.98 mph winds blowing through your hair.

We’ll update you with all of the real-life images of the RS5 Cabrio once Audi unveils it.

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2012 Audi Q3 Vail

2012 Audi Q3 Vail

In the past, Audi has dazzled the crowds in Detroit with a number of vehicles, but in 2012, they have opted to only bring a Q3 Vail Concept equipped for the winter season. The concept was named after the famous winter sports venue in the United States and has been designed for young fans of winter sports who love skiing or snowboarding.

The Audi Q3 Vail is painted in a very cool Energy Red combined with add-on body parts in a matte gray quartz-based paint and vertical struts made from aluminum. The most striking elements, however, are the flared wheel arches and running boards, which Audi will incorporate into the extensive range of Q3 accessories. The front roof-rail support integrates compact, energy-efficient, wide-angled LED lights that illuminate the area around the Audi Q3 Vail. The concept sits on 8.5 J x 20 five-arm wheels.

For the interior, Audi is offering a combination of black, gray, and red. The headlining is made from titanium gray Alcantara and large parts of the interior, including the carpet, are black and edged with narrow strips of red velvet-finish leather.

The Q3 Vail Concept is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder TFSI engine with direct injection and turbocharging that generates an output of 314 HP and 295.02 lb-ft of torque. The power is transferred to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The concept will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 162.80 mph.

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2011 Detroit Auto Show Recap

2011 Detroit Auto Show Recap

As the first major international auto show of the 2011 calendar year, the North America International Auto Show sees no shortage of manufacturers all looking to break in the new year with a bang.

Some make a tremendous impression on all of us, whereas others just fade into obscurity as soon as the show ends. The challenge for these automakers is to make sure that they bring out products, whether its of production material or it’s a concept that will stand out from the rest.

All the happenings of the Detroit Auto Show took at the Cobb Center in Detroit a few weeks ago so we felt it was an opportune time to provide a heads-up of what vehicles served notice at the event.

This recap will cover all the cars that were officially unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Check out the list and let us know which of these new toys on the block you’d want to be taking home to with you.

Check out the list after the jump.

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Audi A6 bags EyesOn Design award at the Detroit Auto Show

Audi A6 bags EyesOn Design award at the Detroit Auto Show

Thanks to a design that features an elegant yet sporty proportions featuring a long engine hood, a low, sweeping roofline and prominent lines on the flanks that create an overall dynamic appearance, the new Audi A6 was awarded with the 2011 EyesOn Design title at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

It’s the fourth time in the past three years – a remarkable achievement in every sense of the word – that Audi has scooped up an EyesOn Design award for one of their vehicles.

For this year, the new A6 was recognized with the “Best Production Vehicle” design displayed at the event, further strengthening Audi’s increasing position as one of the world’s best in automotive design.

In accepting the EyesOn Design trophy, Achim Badstuebner, head of exterior design for AUDI AG, was pleased with the reception the A6 received from the panel of judges. “This is strong feedback that we have done our homework," he said.

Over the past few years, Audi has scooped up EyesOn Design awards at an impressive rate. Back in 2009, Audi bagged two awards for “Best Production Car Design” with the Audi R8 V10 and “Best Concept Vehicle” for the Audi Sportback Concept, the same concept that later became the inspiration for the A7 Sportback. A year later at the 2010 NAIAs, Audi picked up from where they left off by winning another “Best Production Car Design” title with the Audi A8 luxury sedan.

Make that four in three years for Audi with the new A6. From the looks of things, it’s going to take a lot more from its competitors to take the mantle off of Audi in the near future.

Press Release after the jump

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2011 Detroit Auto Show Preview

2011 Detroit Auto Show Preview

We kind of get the feeling that 2011 is going to be a big year for automakers. We don’t have a tangible explanation for it, but there’s something about the air this year that feels like the next 12 months will be filled with more ups than downs and, hopefully, a lot less recalls than 2010.

We’re barely a few days into the new year and we’re already getting excited over the first major event for 2011, the North American International Motor Show. All the happenings will take place at the Cobb Center in Detroit on January 10, 2011 so we felt it was an opportune time to provide a heads-up of what to expect when the floor opens.

The list of vehicles we’ve included on the list are cars that have officially - and unofficially - punched in their tickets for Detroit. Some cars that will appear are still being withheld for suspense purposes, but what’s the fun in having a preview if we can’t dig up the cars that want their presence to be a surprise?

Either way, we’ve included all of these models so head on over past the jump to see which cars to expect when the NAIAS opens its doors next week.

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2010 Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI

2010 Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI

No doubt the Audi R8 is a true sports car and during its life time has won lots of prestigious awards. But even for Audi what we might call a "best car" can be better. Thus the R8 V10 5.2 FSI, an even faster R8. The V10 version will be offered with two distinct gearboxes, both manual and R tronic, with prices starting at $146,000. The R8 V10 is powered by the same 5.2 liter V10 as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 and is rated at 525 HP, which is 105 ponies more than the V8 version but about 27 HP less than the Gallardo.

What also distinguishes the V10 version is a new rear diffuser, twin oval tailpipes and new LED headlights while the super car keeps the same road hugging magnetic ride dampers. The R8 V10 can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in under 3.9 seconds and the R tronic semi automatic equipped V10 will reach 125 MPH from a standstill in another 8.1 seconds with a top speed around 197 MPH.

UPDATE 07/02/2010: The Audi R8 V10 got loose at the El Toro Marine Base airstrip with ALMS driver Nathan Swartzbaugh behind the wheel. Thankfully, someone was there with a video camera! Check it out after the jump!

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Audi E-Tron Detroit Showcar

2010 Audi E-Tron Detroit Showcar

We first saw Audi’s R8 inspired E-Tron electric super car at the 2009 Frankfurt show, and the German automaker is making is following the move up with the E-Tron Detroit show car at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. Looking a bit more mundane, the Detroit car takes the old double bubble design and makes it more of an upright reality, looking more like a cross between a BMW 1 Series and a Nissan GT-R, this concept is a step closer to reality from Audi.

Designed around the new Audi Space Frame structural technology and built from a combination of lightweight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber composites to not only make the skeleton but also the skin of the Detroit E-Tron that is dominated by their signature super car grill as well as a pair of large vertical air intakes and a matrix LEDs to make up the headlights just like the R8. Meanwhile the interior is all new, oriented toward the driver the centerpiece is a large built in central display with Audi’s integrated Multi Media Interface.

The new E-Tron will tip the scales at only 2,976.24 pounds making the electric concept exceptionally light on its feet. Powered by two electric motors with a combined output of 204 HP and 1954.54 lb-ft of torque, according to Audi. The difference between Frankfurt and Detroit is that the E-Tron now has a sort of Quattro all wheel drive train that is able to distribute the motors’ torque from wheel to wheel as required. Aside from further improving handling, this allows the Detroit E-Tron to sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in only 5.9 seconds and reach a top speed limited to 155 MPH.

Press release after the jump.

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Audi will bring new concept car to Detroit

Audi will bring new concept car to Detroit

There are quite a few rumors flying around stating that sitting next to the all new 2011 Audi A8 luxury limousine in Detroit, the German automaker will also be bringing a brand new concept car to the 2010 NAIS at the beginning of next year. At the moment there are very few confirmed details about the future concept, but speculation suggests that an attempt to warm the U.S. market up to a premium compact it might be a preview of the next generation A3, the full size A6 luxury sedan or a concept version of the upcoming R4 roadster. The last question that remains about the four ringed mystery vehicle is what it will use for fuel. Audi does love their diesels, but after seeing the E-Tron Concept last year we know that the Germans are also fond of electron burning zero emissions vehicles as well. Nevertheless we will find out soon enough after they throw open the doors to Detroit’s Cobo Hall and pull the covers back off of their mystery show car.

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Audi R8 V10 - officially revealed, new image gallery

Audi R8 V10 - officially revealed, new image gallery

Audi jumped the gun on the Detroit Auto Show last month and revealed the full information on the R8 V10 version. But that didn’t stop it from giving the car an official reveal party in Detroit. Since Audi also released a new image gallery, we’ll play along and post the news.

The R8 V10 will be powered by the same 5.2 liter V10 as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. The engine is rated at 525 hp, which is 105 more than the V8 version but about 27 less than the Gallardo.

For the full details and gallery, go here.

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