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2014 Audi A5 TDI Ultra

2014 Audi A5 TDI Ultra

As the cheapest coupe Audi sells, the A5 is designed to bring a seductive two-door into an affordable price bracket. Now Audi looks to add even more value to that bargain basement price with its new “ultra” line of TDI equipped cars.

The Volkswagen family of turbocharged diesel engines are already some of the best when it comes to balancing fuel economy and performance, so it makes sense to see that expertise leveraged. The new ultra models are equipped with a new 2.0-liter TDI engine that is available in three levels of power output: 136 horsepower, 163 horsepower and 190 horsepower. If those numbers seem low, don’t worry. These engines pack tons of torque, so at lower speeds they still have plenty of thrust.

The A5 Ultra comes powered exclusively by the 163-horsepower version of this new engine. This engine configuration lays out an absurd 295 pound-feet of twist, and it is sold with a special six-speed manual transmission with taller final gears for improved economy. Audi is claiming a fuel economy rating 56 mpg combined on the EU scale, and top speed sits at 140 mph.

As you can probably guess from the manual-only designation, this car is not currently slated for a U.S. release. We reached out to Audi on the possibility of bringing the “ultra” models to U.S. shores, and John Shilling, Manager of Product Communications at Audi, said there are "No plans in the U.S. for that version at this time."

Click past the jump to read about the standard Audi A5.

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Audi Drops Plans for a New Diesel-Electric Supercar

Audi Drops Plans for a New Diesel-Electric Supercar

In 2012, rumors swirled that Audi was working on a production version for the R8 V12 TDI concept that it unveiled at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. Since then this model was up and down so many times that we ran out of fingers and toes to count it on on.

During a recent interview at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Audi technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg announced that such a model — rumored to be called R20 — was put to rest once again and that it was "an interesting idea but not a priority."

Even though this model is on the shelf for now, Audi really needs to develop a new supercar, as the R8 is starting to get a little wrinkly and a new generation R8 likely wouldn’t hold a candle to all of the recently launched hybrid supercars. In fact, even BMW finally decided to release the i8 after years of ups and downs, and we’re sure that Audi will shortly follow its steps.

Now its true that Audi also has in its plans the R8 e-tron, which has also seen its fair share of ups and downs, so maybe the restarting of the R8 e-tron talks at Audi headquarters sparked the shelving of the diesel-electric supercar.

Hackenberg also said that instead of the diesel-electric supercar, Audi will focus on developing a sub-2,200-pound version of the future TT. This model will likely be high-tech and perform well, but it definitely won’t satisfy the cravings of supercar junkies.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 V12 TDI Concept.

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2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

Seeing a line of pristine Carrera White Audi’s from across the paddock at Autobahn Country Club was almost enough to make a guy start jogging to get the first seat time. The brand-new S Q5 was on the pre-event list of attendees, and the new grille finish of the Q5 in brilliant white was very promising.

Within closer range, the “TDI clean diesel” script was visible on the side of almost all ten Audi’s on offer for the car writers to sample. The A7 and A8 were common sights leaving the club gates, but at least one car writer was mildly disappointed.

Not only was the S Q5 not present, but diesel engines all around? Eek. One bright spot was visible: a gigantic white Q7 with some snazzy fender flares on anthracite grey alloys.

Also... a diesel, but this was more TopSpeed style.

A quick blast up to my gravel road photo spot was enough time to fall head-over-heels for the big Q7, even as its replacement is firmly on the horizon for 2014 or 2015.

This Audi is a creamy beast with torque for days even in the 3.0-liter TDI specification. The real clue to its fresher-than-average looks is the S-line trim worn by the tester, which brings along a host of sporty programming options and décor inside as well.

When a Cayenne is too bouncy, and an Escalade is too soft, look no farther than the Q7 TDI S-line for a seven seats and a ride that is ’juuusst riight’.

Click past the jump for all the beautiful sunny photos of the 2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line, plus some first-hand observations on how the small-capacity diesel engine performs.

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2013 Audi nanuk quattro concept

2013 Audi nanuk quattro concept

It looks like the Sport Quattro won’t be the only concept Audi will display at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Don’t be shocked at how familiar this concept looks, as Audi teamed up with Italdesign Giugiaro — the same folks that brought you the wildly styled 2014 Parcour — to develop this model.

The new nanuk concept is a two-door crossover powered by a V-10 TDI engine, and If you remember, this is not the first concept offered by Audi to feature a TDI engine. We saw a TDI-powered concept at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show where Audi unveiled the R8 V12 TDI concept. This makes us hope that the previously rumored R8 TDI supercar could become a reality after all, especially if you take a closer look at the output delivered by the nanuk.

As "Nanuk" is no ordinary name, and Audi didn’t bother to offer us any explanation on choosing it, we did a little research and found out that in Inuit mythology Nanuk ("Nanook") was the master of bears, who decided if the hunters deserved success in finding and hunting bears. Trying to figure out what this has to do with cars is enough to make your head spin, but car naming has become a rather odd thing in recent years.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi nanuk quattro concept.

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B&B Tunes the Audi SQ5 TDI to Nearly 400 horsepower

B&B Tunes the Audi SQ5 TDI to Nearly 400 horsepower

TheAudi SQ5 TDI was unveiled in the summer of 2012 and, to our knowledge, there are no tuning package for it just yet. The German tuner B&B, however, decided to offer us the first upgrade for the diesel SUV and we have to admit that it’s a good one.

The kit focuses only on improving the engine’s output level and is offered in three different stages. In stage one, the engine receives a remapped ECU and mild boost increase 0.15 bar (2.2 psi), increasing the output to 340 horsepower – up from the standard 313 ponies – and 728 Nm (536 pound-feet) of torque.

In Stage two, B&B is offering additional electronics optimization that increases the final output up to a stout 365 horsepower and 750 Nm (553 pound-feet) of torque. The one that leave a lasting impression on us is Stage three. It includes high-performance injectors, an upgraded air intake and an aftermarket intercooler for a final output of 395 horsepower and 800 Nm (590 pound-feet) of torque. The Stage three kit nets the SQ5 a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h (168 mph).

Along with the engine upgrades, the tuner is also offering a 25 mm (0.98-inch) lowering spring kit or adjustable coilover, a six-piston brake system and a wide range of alloy wheels going up to 22 inches.

As for pricing, the Stage one costs €1,498 ($2,000 at the current exchange rates), the Stage two kit runs €1,698 ($2,267) and the Stage three kit runs €1,950 ($2,604).

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Audi's next diesel-electric supercar will be faster than McLaren P1

Audi’s next diesel-electric supercar will be faster than McLaren P1

At the end of November it was speculated that Audi may unveil a R10 diesel supercar, but we took that with a grain of salt. To our surprise, Audi quattro gmbh boss, Franciscus Van Meel, has confirmed that such a model is indeed under development and he offered new details on it.

According to Van Meel, the new diesel supercar will be completely different than the R8 and will help transfer Audi’s Le Mans-winning race technology to the road. The model will be "the absolute best supercar" and according to Van Meel will be "better than the forthcoming McLaren P1."

He offered no details on the engine, but we expect it to fall be somewhere around 700 horsepower and at least 737 pound-feet of torque. Depending on its weight and aerodynamics, that would give it a 0-to-60 mph sprint time in the 3-second range and top it out in the in the 200 mph range. If realized, these numbers will make the upcoming Audi diesel supercar better than three upcoming monsters: Porsche 918, Ferrari Enzo successor and McLaren P1. With all of that power means that this diesel supercar would likely come in near the €1 million mark.

Stay tuned for more details!

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Audi Considering R10 Diesel Supercar

Audi Considering R10 Diesel Supercar

When Audi unveiled the R8 V12 TDI concept at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, everyone was impressed by its imposing design and hoped that the diesel supercar would find its way into Audi’s lineup. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the only V12 TDI model that remains is the Q7 SUV, which is only in the European market.

It looks like the idea isn’t completely off the table yet, as rumors are afloat that Audi is indeed working on a Le Mans-inspired hybrid-diesel supercar that will sit atop its lineup. Audi insiders have suggested that this new model could be called R10 and that it may be offered as a road-going version of the R18 e-Tron quattro.

While no details have been offered on the R10’s diesel engine, one thing is for sure; it won’t be the V-12, as it was deemed too heavy and its 700-plus pound-feet of torque was a little much for Audi’s existing line of transmissions.

Stay tuned for more details on this possible R10 supercar!

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2013 Audi SQ5 TDI Exclusive Concept

2013 Audi SQ5 TDI Exclusive Concept

At the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Audi will be bringing along a special edition SQ5 TDI model called the Executive Concept.

To be fair, we’re looking forward to seeing this car on the showroom floor for a number of reasons including a unique body color that we haven’t seen before from an Audi. The concept also promises a luxurious interior befitting its "Exclusive Concept" designation.

Other than that, there’s not a whole lot to be excited about when it comes to the SQ TDI Exclusive Concept. (Wait until you hear how much it’s going to cost).

In any case, the car is scheduled to make an appearance in Paris, which, in itself, is worthy of coverage. It won’t be the sexiest or the most eye-popping of the cars headed to France, but we’re still interested to see if Audi can change our minds on our initial underwhelming opinion of this production-ready, limited-run concept.

Find out more about the Audi SQ5 TDI Exclusive Concept after the jump.

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2012 Audi Q7 Quattro 3.0 Diesel S-Line by A. Kahn Design

2012 Audi Q7 Quattro 3.0 Diesel S-Line by A. Kahn Design

Kahn Design is adding another snazzy tuning package to its lineup with the inclusion of modified Audi Q7 3.0 Diesel S-Line. The new Wide Body package includes some an extensive amount of exterior and interior updates, and can be yours for £61,875, or about $98,600 at the current exchange rates.

The exterior of the Audi glistens with a Glacier pearl white finish and aerodynamic modifications, including new front bumper arches, front bumper replacement wings with air vents, matte pearl grey front grille and bumper sections, a matte black rear diffuser, a large rear upper wing roof, a rear vented bumper, and stainless steel door entry sill plates. The headlamps feature LED daytime running lights, while the doors are equipped with privacy tinted glass. The SUV can be ordered with a new set of 22" Kahn RS-R wheels combined with brake calipers finished in liquid gold and an electronic lowering module. For the interior, the tuner added a red and white speedo & rev counter fascia and machined aluminum vented foot pedals. As always, additional interior modifications can be made per the customer’s request.

The Audi Q7 Quattro 3.0 Diesel S-Line by A. Kahn Design is powered by a 3.0-liter TDI diesel engine that delivers a total of 233 HP and sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 8.4 seconds.

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2013 Audi A6 3.0 BiTDI by MTM

2013 Audi A6 3.0 BiTDI by MTM

The 3.0-liter BiTDI engine that Audi has developed has pretty much flipped what we think of diesel engines – that they are torque-loaded but underpowered – on its rear. MTM has taken the A6 3.0 BiTDI, which we don’t see in the U.S., and turned it into even more powerful of a ride, as well as helping look and handle a little better.

The A6 3.0 BiTDI’s body remains essentially unchanged with MTM’s package and we don’t mind one bit. The A6’s body is pretty sexy, for a station wagon, so we are happy to see that MTM didn’t go overboard with the body kit for it. The only styling change added to the A6 are a set of custom wheels. There are actually a variety of Bimoto wheels available from MTM for this package, which range from €1,729 to €5,230 ($2,140 to $6,471 at current rates).

Helping the handling and ride height is an aftermarket F-Cantronic ECU for the air suspension, which allows you to drop the car’s center of gravity up to 25 mm (0.98 inches). This increases both handling and gives the A6 a more stylish look. This ECU runs €1,740 ($2,153 at current rates).

Helping the A6 come to a halt is a brake upgrade that includes 380 x 34 mm (14.96- x 1.33-inch) rotors with 8-piston calipers squeezing them. This kit runs €4,900 ($6,063), but you can opt for another upgrade that includes 405 x 36 mm (15.94- x 1.41-inch) rotors for an additional €1,500 ($1,856), but to get this size, you must opt for at least 20-inch wheels.

The engine sees some significant increases too, as the base ECU modification, which costs €1,700 ($2,103) will net you 365 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. This is a 57-horsepower and 81 pound-feet bump from stock. You can pump this up to a full 381 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque for an extra €100 ($123).

In all, this package will run between €10,069 ($12,464) and €15,170 ($18,771), depending on the options you choose. That’s quite a hefty fee, but this will make your A6 a true screamer.

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2013 Audi SQ5 TDI

2013 Audi SQ5 TDI

Audi prepped the 24 Hours of Le Mans race to be the official venue for the debut of their all-new SQ5 TDI, the first S model in the history of Audi with a diesel engine.

The SQ5 will be powered by the all-new V-6 turbo-diesel engine boasting two turbochargers which Audi has been working on for various models in the lineup. This engine produces a total of 313 hp and 479.42 lb-ft of torque between 1,450 and 2,800 rpm. This power is enough to sprint the SUV from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph, but also deliver a fuel economy of 32.67 US mpg.

Compared to a standard Q5, the new SQ5 TDI version will be distinguished by a platinum gray single-frame grille with galvanized double bars in an aluminum-look finish, a new roof spoiler, and modified bumpers.

The new Audi SQ5 TDI will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013, with prices starting at €58,500, about $78,000 at the current exchange rates.

UPDATE 07/23/2012: Audi has unveiled a new, very cool promo video for their latest SQ5 TDI - the first S-model with a diesel engine - which shows the luxury SUV as it checks out the LeMans racetrack.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Audi SQ5 TDI.

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International Engine of the Year Awards are in and BMW Cleaned House

International Engine of the Year Awards are in and BMW Cleaned House

TV buffs get the Emmys, movie buffs get the Oscars, and music lovers get the Grammys; so, where does that leave us gearheads? Well, the International Engine of the Year Awards, of course, and the 2012 results are hot off the press!

Ford took home the top prize of International Engine of the Year, with its 999 cc engine found in the European Focus. This engine, despite its petite size, cranks out 125 PS (123 horsepower) and manages to squeeze out 56.5 mpg. The 1.0-liter engine didn’t win a close battle either, it took home top honors by a full 113 points. Points are accumulated based on fuel economy, smoothness, performance, noise and drivability and each engine can only receive 15 of each voter’s total 25 points to give. Needless to say, that was quite a landslide victory.

That’s not the biggest news though, as BMW brought home top honors in four different categories. Bimmer took home the 1.4- to 1.8-liter prize with its 181-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine found in the MINI Cooper S. In the 1.8- to 2.0-liter class, BMW took first prize with its 241-horsepower, 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged four-pot. In the 2.5-liter to 3.0-liter class, BMW wrapped up top honors with its bi-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and its 335 horsepower. Last, but certainly not least, BMW took home 1st place in the 3.0- to 4.0-liter class with its 414-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-8 engine.

Despite all of the accolades, the highest mark that BMW achieved in the Engine of the Year award was 5th place, with its 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-banger.

Click past the jump to see all of the results of each class.

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