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2014 Audi A6 TDI Ultra

2014 Audi A6 TDI Ultra

Diesels seem to be breaking their oil-burning, noisy, smokey stigmas that have haunted them for decades as more and more automakers are now offering clean diesels in their lineups. The latest huge influx of diesel models hails from Audi.

The German automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, has announced a huge diesel push with 11 new TDI “Ultra” models, including the new A6 TDI Ultra detailed here. For starters, the "Ultra" in the TDI Ultra name is Audi’s designation for sustainable mobility that is fully available for everyday use — a long explanation for a TDI A6 that gets darn good fuel mileage while not hindering its common usability.

The heart of the matter is a 2.0-liter, four cylinder diesel that produces 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque that pushes the A6 from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds while achieving 53 mpg highway. With stats like that, we don’t mind hugging trees and filing up next to big rigs. Keeping all those trees happy, however, is Audi’s high efficiency SCR system that removes nitrogen oxides from the exhaust. The new system also lets the A6 pass the stringent Euro 6 emission standards with ease.

Backing the 2.0-liter TDI are two optional transmissions: a six-speed manual transmission is standard, followed by the optional seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic automatic. However, opting for the slap-paddle gearbox shoots the A6’s price up €2,250 — roughly $3,000 at the current exchange rates — making rowing your own gears sound evermore attractive.

Furthering the A6’s efficiency is the standard start-stop system and driver information center that helps keep track of good driving behavior.

Pricing for the A6 Avant TDI Ultra starts at €42,250 (about$57,000 at today’s exchange rates) and the A6 sedan TDI Ultra starts a little lower at €39,900 (around $54,000). Sales will begin sometime in the first quarter of 2014 and there are no plans yet to release any Ultra models in the U.S.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Audi A6.

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Video: Nokian Tyres Sets Ice Speed Record With Audi RS6

Video: Nokian Tyres Sets Ice Speed Record With Audi RS6

Trying to figure out the most impressive land-speed record in the world is an exercise in futility because of the sheer number of them and the circumstances surrounding each of these records.

That being said, there’s still a certain level of respect we have to give for each new world record, including the recent one set by Finnish tire manufacturer Nokian Tyres.

Using a stock Audi RS6, Nokian Tires fitted the sports saloon with its eighth-generation Hakkapeliitta studded winter tires and proceeded to set a new ice-driving speed record with a top speed of 208.6 mph, beating the previous record it also set two years ago when it clocked a top speed of 206.1 mph.

The new record was set by the company’s test driver, Janne Laitinen, over the frozen waters of the Gulf of Bothnia. We’re not going to pretend to know where that is, but the record in itself is pretty impressive, especially when you consider certain rules the tire manufacturer had to adhere to.

It may sound ridiculous, but the ice which the RS6 ran on had to be natural with no chemical treatment done to it, but such are the aforementioned circumstances that makes picking the most impressive land-speed record such a chore.

Whatever the case may be, a big congratulations goes out to Nokian Tyres for breaking its own world record.

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Correction: Audi Does NOT Own Ducati, Lamborghini Does

Correction: Audi Does NOT Own Ducati, Lamborghini Does

Okay, for ease of understanding we always just place Lamborghini under Volkswagen AG’s umbrella, but in reality, VW owns 99 percent of Audi AG who in turn owns Lamborghini... got it? In a third party, back-door kinda way, yes, VW does own Lamborghini... sort of. So earlier in the year, we mentioned that Audi had secured the Italian motorcycle builder, Ducati, for about $1 billion.

According to Audi’s financial report, it is not the owner of Ducati. How in the world does that kind of error slip through the cracks, right? Well, apparently, Audi follows the same school of thought as its parent company, Volkswagen AG, and tries to push the bounds of legality to get things done, a la Porsche getting a share of VW to exempt VW from paying taxes on the buyout.

Instead of Audi buying Ducati, Lamborghini actually bought it. This does two things for VW, Audi, and Lamborghini. First, it allows it to retain its Italian roots and secondly, it helps push Lamborghini’s overall fuel economy and emissions closer to the European standards that have plagued it in recent years.

So VW has found a way to slither its way through the EU rulebook and find a way around a very important law. Touché, VW, we bow to your supreme rule-bending abilities and the way you do it without us even noticing sometimes.

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Audi Planning to Eliminate Rearview Mirrors in Le Mans Cars

Audi Planning to Eliminate Rearview Mirrors in Le Mans Cars

One feature that automakers have teased us with and even installed on concept cars is an LED screen and camera in the place of the old-style rearview mirror. With all of the cameras placed all around cars these days, like Subaru’s EyeSight system and the various backup cameras, we are surprised this hasn’t become a reality. The assumed reasons for rearview screens not taking the place of rearview mirrors are NHTSA and DOT regulations.

Honestly, we don’t see why the NHTSA and DOT would think a hunk of glass glued to the windshield is safer than a crisp LED image from an HD camera. Then again those two government offices – as with all government offices – make strange regulations. Apparently an LED screen and camera are plenty for Audi’s future Le Mans cars, as the automaker has just announced, via a press release, that its closed LMP prototype will run with an AMOLED screen in place of the mirror and a rear-mounted camera feeding the images to the screen.

The main reasoning behind this is that the LMP prototype’s cabin is fully closed, with exception of the front windshield, so a rearview mirror would display nothing but the rear wall of the cabin. So, if this technology is good enough for racecars, why are we not seeing it installed in street cars yet? Well, we just very well might, as you likely do not remember, but the rearview mirror was not used on motor cars until Ray Harroun’s Marmon “Wasp” used one in the first Indianapolis 500, in 1911. It later became standard per NHTSA regulations for all cars to come with this item, thanks to its overwhelming success in racing.

Odds are that if this system is successful in racing that the NHTSA will adopt it, especially given the fact that rearview cameras are soon to become mandatory on all vehicle.

Click past the jump to read the full press release.

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2011 Audi A7 Sportback S Limited Edition

2011 Audi A7 Sportback S Limited Edition

When you’re in the middle of choosing your next automotive purchase, it’s always nice to have a wide range of choices for a certain model that has caught your eye. Every automaker has made it a point to offer customers more than just one version for a specific model, including Audi, which recently unveiled a special edition ’S’ version for their high-end luxury car, theA7 Sportback.

Adding to the already impressive list of features that come with the A7 Sportback, the S Limited Edition model takes the reins to provide a number of new elements to go with the standard equipment.

For the exterior set-up, the new features that are part of the A7 Sportback S Limited Ediiton include a new S-line sports suspension, redesigned bumpers, a new rear spoiler, chromed exhaust tailpipes, and a new set of 19" alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the luxury car’s interior also gets a nice dress-up in the form of a new black interior trim with aluminum trim accents, new sports seats with Valcona leather, an electrically adjustable lumbar support, a three-spoke multi-function sports steering wheel with shift paddles, automatic climate control, ambient lighting, Audi parking Plus, MMI navigation, and a new anti-theft alarm.

Under its hood, the A7 Sportback S Limited Edition will carry the same powertrain options as that of the rest of the A7 family, including the top-of-the-line 3.0-liter TFSI engine that produces 300 horsepower and 325 lb/ft of torque.

For now, the A7 Sportback S Limited Edition is only available in the Netherlands for an additional price of €11,200 ($15,430) to be added to the standard A7’s price tag.

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2011 Audi R8 V10 by Akrapovic

2011 Audi R8 V10 by Akrapovic

Anytime you have an Audi R8 V10, then you already have a car that’s as imposing and powerful as any sports car on the streets. But once you add an Akrapovic exhaust set-up, then, well, all bets are off.

The Slovenian tuning firm and specialists in the science of exhaust systems has released a new package that not only gives the R8 V10 a new exhaust set-up, but a corresponding power increase to go with it. The new titanium Slip-On exhaust system comes with carbon tail pipes with an optional wireless kit to give the driver the option of controlling the sound of the exhaust for either street or track use. The exhaust not only reduces the R8’s overall weight by 16kg (35 lbs), but also bumps up the output of the car’s 5.2-liter V10 engine from the standard 525 horsepower and 391 lb/ft of torque to 536 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 403 lb/ft of torque at 5,000 rpm.

The result might not be all that much given the number of tuning packages already in existence for the R8 V10, but anytime a car that already has 525 ponies under its hood get some added output, it’s still something that’s going to attract its share of customers.

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2011 Audi A5 Drag Car by Eklund Racing

2011 Audi A5 Drag Car by Eklund Racing

Looks can be deceiving, can’t they?

What looks like a seemingly ordinary Audi A5 is anything but normal when you look at what’s sticking out of its rear end. Dressed in a polished white garb, this particular A5 has been stripped bare of just about everything except for the body panels. What it now has, though, is a 1,000-horsepower turbocharged drag engine complete with a parachute on its behind and a full roll cage for safety.

The work was done by Jens Eklund and his team over at Eklund Racing, no strangers to turning Audis into 1,000-horsepower vehicles of mayhem. Apparently, their appetite for cars of mass destruction is once again being satiated by this unassuming A5.

Just goes to show how far boost junkies will go to to get their fix. We’re just hoping that they didn’t remove the seat belts like they did to just about everything else.

There are plenty of photos of this one-of-a-kind Audi A5 at your disposal. But more important than the photos is a 12-minute video of the car in action. Best be warned, this isn’t like any Audi A5 you’ve ever seen in the past.

Hit the jump for the video.

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BMW Makes DTM Return in 2012

BMW Makes DTM Return in 2012

After giving us an inkling of a DTM comeback in April of this year, BMW have finally made it official in Munich today.

It’s been a lengthy 16 years since BMW have entered a challenger for the DTM (German Touring Car Championship) crown and no doubt fans all over the world have been eagerly awaiting their return. Currently the championship is only contested by Mercedes with their C Class AMG DTM and Audi with the A4 DTM. Both employ an aspirated 4l V8 and use the same sequential 6 speed gearbox as stipulated by the rules. The cars’ are fitted with restrictors to peg the torque they produce at 500Nm to even the playing field. It gets interesting as there is no restriction on horsepower (only torque) and engine design plays a huge roll at gaining a competitive edge.

Traditionally, BMW have entered the M3 and we should see more of the same come 2012. The series has been dominated by Audi as of late, with them winning the Championship for the last three years running. We’re sure the boys from Munich will have something to say about that in the 2012 season.

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Mystery Audi concept being called the "Anniversario"

Mystery Audi concept being called the "Anniversario"

A few days ago, a mysterious Audi concept vehicle was seen dangling from a helicopter at the Austrian Alps. Don’t ask us what it was doing there because we don’t have a clue. But while people have speculated that the car just may be the new R4, Autobild has reported that the mystery car is not an R4, but a concept vehicle that’s being dubbed the “Anniversario”.

Fancy name aside, the German car magazine also said that the concept is actually a special edition model meant to be a celebratory vehicle to commemorate the Ur-Quattro sports coupe from the 1980s. There aren’t a whole lot of details to go with the car, but from what we’ve gathered, it looks like the car will carry with it an RS5-based platform as well as a five-cylinder turbo engine that will most likely be taken from the Audi TT RS.

Fortunately for us curious types, our wait to find out more about this mysterious concept shouldn’t take long because the “Anniversario” – or whatever other name it goes by – is set to make an appearance at the Paris Motor Show in two weeks time.

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Audi S1 to make public debut at the Paris Motor Show

Audi S1 to make public debut at the Paris Motor Show

Looks like Audi is bringing one more car to the 2010 Paris Motor Show apart from the already announced appearance of the new A7 luxury sedan.

Word out of the Paris Motor Show’s official website is that the Audi S1 will also be in attendance at the event, which will give us a first-hand look at the S-Line package of the Audi A1. Details are still scarce as of the moment, but from what we’ve gathered, it appears like the S1 will come with a 1.4-liter RSI engine that produces 180 horsepower. In addition to that, the S1 is going to be a front wheel drive that is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and will come with a lowered suspension and a set of special edition 17-inch wheels.

Unfortunately for us on this side of the Atlantic, we don’t get dibs on the S1 so, the only way we can enjoy this fine piece of hatch is, well, if we move to Europe.

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Audi R8 LMS Experience in Europe

Audi R8 LMS Experience in Europe

The US was able to take a ride in the Audi Experience and, now, Europe will have the same opportunity. Yep, that’s right, Audi is bringing the thrills and chills of driving an Audi R8 LMS race car to its European customers with previous track experience. Customers will have the chance to go through five different programs.

The first program offers the chance to experience the Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro and the Audi R8 LMS in Groß Dölln, Germany. The second program is offering you the possibility to experience the Audi R8 LMS in an exclusive training course. Third, you can get your professional license from the German Motor Sports Federation (DMSB). Training will be made in an Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro and at the end of the day you will have the ability to drive the R8 LMS.

The fourth program is called Qualification and that will train you to actively participate in a race. The instructors will train the customer in selecting the racing line, race tactics, and conduct during the race. However, in order to participate in this program, the customer will need to have a motor racing license and racetrack experience.

In the final program you will gain active motor racing experience at a professional level. Joest-Racing will allow the customer to participate in a race at this year’s VLN Endurance Championship on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife. The only prerequisite for this is that the customer have knowledge of the track. To get this knowledge you can participate in a two-day driving training course with the instructors at Groß Dölln.

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Audi S1 priced at 28.360€

Audi S1 priced at 28.360€

Last week, when Volkswagen said that there would not be a Polo R, they also confirmed that the Audi S1 will be unveiled in 2011. However before that, the Europeans (as we have to remind you the US market will not get an A1) already knew the prices for the future car: 28.360€. This was revealed by Audi Spain when communicating the price list for the A1 line-up.

The 2011 S1 will be powered by a 1.4 liter TFSI engine that delivers a total of 180 HP and is mated to a S-Tronic gearbox. The 0 to 60 MPH sprint will be made in 6 seconds, while top speed will be limited to the German gentleman’s agreement of 155 MPH.

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Audi A1 marketing stunt goes horribly wrong

Audi A1 marketing stunt goes horribly wrong

The Audi A1 was at the center of a pretty embarrassing incident in Belgium a week ago after a marketing stunt to promote the premium hatchback’s versatile maneuverability ended up with the A1 flipped over on its side.

How exactly did the A1 get in such a precarious position? Turns out, the car was doing a public demonstration at Cinqunanteaire Park in Brusells where it was giving free rides up-and-down a halfpipe to show the car’s versatility. Everything was going great for the first three days of the demonstration. On the fourth day, however, things went horribly wrong as the stunt driver nosed into the wall, causing the car to flip on its side.

Audi tried to suppress evidence of A1’s hilarious episode, but as is the case with the Internet these days, somehow it’s going to find itself online for the entire world to laugh at. In fairness to Audi, this incident isn’t anywhere close to being as embarrassing as the one Volvo endured when it was showing off the new S60 sedan in front of hundreds of auto journalists. That one literally had throngs of media snapping photos and recording the whole spectacle. Doesn’t mean we are not going to show off this spectacle any less though.

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Audi R8 V8 catches fire in the Netherlands

Audi R8 V8 catches fire in the Netherlands

If we punched ourselves for every burned down sports car we’ve seen in recent years, our face would be indistinguishable by now. However, no matter how many times we’ve seen these exotic beauties get engulfed in flames, the pain remains the same.

Take this brand new, matte black Audi R8 V8 for example. With only 20 km on its odometer and being taken out for a standard test run, the R8 inexplicably catches fire as it was running along the A67 highway in Someren in the Netherlands. No word yet on what caused the fire, only that it happened without any hint or warning. Luckily, both the driver and the passenger managed to get out of the car in time.

Ouch.

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