Audi Just Upped Its Go-Anywhere Game With the AI:TRAIL Concept
Audi has made a tradition of dropping stunning concepts whenever an auto show opened its doors. It did it earlier this year in Geneva with the Q4 e-tron and e-tron GT concepts, so we’ve been expecting a similar move for the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Well, it happened once again, this time with less “e-tron” and more “quattro”: meet the Audi AI:TRAIL Quattro concept in all its off-road might.
Audi’s New RS7 Sportback Finally Has a Look to Call Its Own
For the longest time, the RS7 has represented Audi in the high-end performance saloon segment. It’s done its job about as well as it can, but there was always something about the RS7 that somehow kept it from reaching its full potential. It has never lacked in power or driving dynamics so it’s neither of those things. What kept the RS7 from completely standing out in a sea of high-performance four-door saloons was its design.
To be clear, past RS7s didn’t look bad; they just didn’t stand out, either. They looked like your typical era-correct Audis that just happened to come with bigger bodies and far more luxurious interiors. Audi wants to change that narrative, and with the arrival of the 2020 RS7 Sportback, it just might have found that perfect balance of design and performance that could change the way we look at the RS7 Sportback moving forward.
The 2020 Audi A7 Has Been Electrified, But to What Extent and What Cost?
The current Audi A7 is a real looker, it offers pretty decent performance for a car its size, and you can’t argue with its interior quality of technology. But, the one technology it wasn’t privy to was electrification. Well, not at least until now, anyway. That’s right, folks, Audi has just introduced the A7 Sportback 55 TFSI E Quattro PHEV. What does that mean for performance and fuel economy? Well, Audi didn’t just toss in an electric motor and battery – there are some serious changes here, and you should probably be aware of them.
Audi Will Present an All-Electric Quad on Steroids Known as the AI:Trail at the Frankfurt Motor Show
The 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show will be graced by this new electric off-road concept from Audi called the AI:Trail Quattro. The German automaker has not revealed a lot of details about it yet, but it does not look like merely an autonomous luxurious pod. It is an electric off-roader and even looks the part. The AI:Trail Quattro happens to be the fourth model in the series of design studies, and Audi will be debuting it on September 10, 2019. So, naturally, we are excited to see what it brings to the table.
Video: Is That a Mild-Hybrid V-8 Making All That Noise Under the Hood of the 2020 Audi Q8 RS?
Audi’s lineup of performance SUVs is adding another member to the fold when the flagship model, the Q8 RS, finally makes its long-awaited debut in September at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. We’re less than three weeks away before Audi unveils the Q8 RS so ahead of the big day, the German automaker brought its newest performance SUV to the Nurburgring for some last-minute tweaking. This video of the Q8 RS running around the ‘Ring has been making the rounds, in part because of a particular sound the SUV is generating. That’s not the sound of a diesel engine, folks. That’s the sound of a V-8 gas engine with — heaven forbid — a mild-hybrid setup? Audi hasn’t confirmed the powertrain details of the Q8 RS, but all shall be revealed in a matter of weeks. For now, watch the video of the Q8 RS running roughshod over the Nurburgring and listen to the sound it’s making while doing it.
2017 Audi Elaine
With Audi introducing cars like the Audi Aicon, it’s pretty easy to assume that in the near future we’ll find ourselves without even having the option to take the wheel and drive on our own. Then again, with the sheer number of traffic-related fatalities each year, one could really question if we should be allowed to the freedom to drive anyway, but we’ll leave that conversation for another time. Instead, let’s look at the future of sports cars, better known as the Audi Elaine – an all-electric sports car that can drive itself but also has a wheel and pedals for guys like me who like to really get into those corners from time to time. What we’re talking about here is a muscular “SUV Coupe” that sits somewhere close to the Audi A7 in the lineup and features an all-electric drive that’s good for a 4.5-second sprint to 62 mph, a range of at least 300 miles, and it even features autonomous technology with cutting-edge processing power and comfort.
When you combine this vehicle’s capabilities along with Audi Ai, and Audi Ai Zone, you get the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to drive yourself when you wish, let the AI take over on a whim, and even get door-to-door service thanks to the car’s ability to find a parking garage or place on the street to park itself. Audi envisions a time when the car will be able to drive itself to an advanced parking garage where it can charge itself, pick up packages, and even get a good washing before finding a place to rest. At 5 O’clock when it’s time to get out of work, you’ll walk out the doors and find your Elaine waiting to take you home. Suddenly, the future doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Well, let’s take a better look at the Elaine and see what the car is all about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Elaine.
2017 Audi Aicon
With the internal combustion engine living on borrowed time and fully autonomous cars on the horizon, we’re starting to see more and more futuristic concept cars that focus more on what cars of the future will be like than what we can expect to see in the next five or six years. Audi has really jumped on that wagon, and at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, it debuted the Audi Aicon – a vehicle that looks to the days of self-driving electric mobility with absolutely no compromises. As a 2+2 sedan, the Aicon has an attractive silhouette and a roomy interior. Comfort is of the utmost importance, and you’ll find that the interior is void of the usual necessities like a steering wheel or pedals and buttons. As an all-electric vehicle, it boasts four electric motors and a battery pack that should be good for nearly 500 miles of non-stop driving. And, not that it matters in a car that you can’t drive, but system output is rated at nearly 350 horsepower and more than 400 pound-feet of torque. Not bad.
With this in mind, and as attractive as this concept is, we’re still a long way out from Level 5 autonomy. The world just isn’t ready for a car of this nature quite yet (look at all the idiots that abused the functionality of Tesla’s AutoPilot in the early years) so don’t expect to see this thing shift into production anytime soon. It may someday, but I wouldn’t expect to see it before 2025 or 2030 at that earliest. Be that as it may, this concept is a very cool design study and a look at the future of the automotive industry, so let’s take a good look at it and see what all we can expect in our not-so-distant future.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Aicon.
2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS
It should come as no surprise that while in search for a little differentiation for its R8 lineup, Audi decided to develop a special edition model that ditched one of its most important claims to fame: the quattro all-wheel-drive system. And so there it was at the Frankfurt Motor Show for all the world to see. The limited edition Audi R8 officially goes by the name R8 V10 RWS, and according to Audi Sport CEO Stephan Winkelmann, it’s a model that Audi developed specifically for purists with an “appreciation for essential driving enjoyment.”
The special edition R8 V10 is limited to just 999 units and each one of them will ditch the automaker’s famous quattro AWD system in favor of rear-wheel drive. That’s the car’s claim to fame, above all else, and it’s a claim that no other variant of the current-generation Audi R8 has. Beyond the RWD offering, the R8 V10 also features a good amount of exterior and interior changes, as well as significant modifications to its chassis and suspension to accommodate the rear-wheel drive set-up. If it’s hard to imagine what an RWD Audi R8 is all about, think of it as a lighter version of the standard R8 that’s been tuned specifically to put more control of the car in the driver’s hands. Think drifting in an AWD R8 is cool? Well, imagine what you can do with an R8 that sends all of its power in the rear wheels. This is what the Audi R8 V10 RWS is offering, among other things. Better be quick though because only 999 units will be made. Miss out on one and you’re once again staring at the aftermarket tuning scene to get your rear-wheel drive R8 fix.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2018 Audi RS4 Avant
Introduced in 1999, the Audi RS4 placed itself at the top of Audi’s compact car lineup. With a sportier, more aerodynamic exterior, exclusive features on the inside, and a more powerful engine, the RS4 quickly became a solid competitor for the BMW M3. However, unlike BMW, Audi also built a wagon version a created a brand-new niche for performance grocery getters. The RS4 Avant become such an important car in the Audi lineup, that the third-generation RS4 didn’t even get a sedan version. Come 2017 and a brand-new generation RS4 arrived, also introduced with an Avant variant only.
Essentially a beefed-up version of the latest A4 wagon, which already sports Audi’s new design language with more angular features, the RS4 Avant gained a brand-new engine that smaller, but more potent than the outgoing unit. The new performance wagon is also lighter than its predecessor, which had quite a few issues when compared to the awesome Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate. All told, Audi finally has a proper competitor for the souped-up Merc and we will find out what it brings to the table in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS4 Avant.
The Elaine Concept Puts Audi’s Autonomous Ambitions On Display
As the race to full autonomy continues to heat up, Audi has been making moves. Between a variety of futuristic self-driving concepts and real-life demonstrations, the Four Ring brand has been busy in the push for robo car tech. Audi’s latest bid in this space is the Elaine concept vehicle, which recently debuted at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show promising a host of interesting features. As you might expect, the Elaine looks beyond the standard list of autonomous features present in the current crop of production luxury vehicles and imagines what’s possible in the future. As such, the Elaine promises not only uninterrupted self-driving capabilities, but also fully autonomous parking, AI-assisted navigation and comfort settings, self-directed car washing, and even driver health recommendations. What’s more, Audi says all these features could very well find their way onto its production vehicles in the years to come.
Inevitably, there will be many of you out there who feel a bit of anxiety over the prospect of a self-driving Audi. Fear not, because this thing still comes with a steering wheel and pedals, and the autonomous features will only kick in when you want them to – that is, during boring stuff like commuting and traffic jams. The rest of it looks like a helpful way to enjoy your ride, and Audi even contends that “drivers should be more relaxed when they get out of the car than when they got in.” Intrigued? Read on for the details.
Continue reading the learn more about the Audi Elaine Concept.
The New Audi RS4 Avant Is One Mean Grocery Getter
While sports cars provide a lot of fun, they come with a major downside: practicality is crap. But here’s where high-performance sedans come in. While four-doors weren’t very dynamic a few decades ago, they can be as agile as an entry-level sports car nowadays. And in addition to the power and speed, they can also provide seating for four or five people and decent trunk space. But hey, it gets even better with wagons, which can provide a lot more storage room, sometimes enough to go on a long vacation with the wife and the kiddos. Why am I talking about high-performance grocery getters, you ask? Well, the super awesome Audi RS4 Avant was just unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Let’s make one thing clear: I’m not a big fan of Audi cars. I know that most of them are powerful and a nice place to spend time in, but I think they look boring and that they’re too expensive. But at the same time I have a weakness for the Avant range, especially if it comes with an "RS" badge. So yeah, I’m really excited to see the new RS4 Avant hit auto show floors, despite losing its V-8 engine. Yes, you read that right, the V-8 was replaced by a smaller displacement V-6. But that doesn’t mean the new RS4 Avant is less powerful and aggressive.
Continue reading for the full story.
Audi Makes a Move to Please Purists with the Audi R8 V-10 RWS: RWD Performance at its Finest
If you’re a fan of the Audi R8, then you know that unless you do some serious modification, you’re stuck with that Quattro AWD system. Not that it’s a bad system or anything, as Audi’s is actually one of the best, but a sports car is just so much more fun to drive when all its power is channeled to the two wheels in the rear. And, Audi knows this, which is why it’s putting out a limited run of the R8 called the R8 V10 RWS. It will be produced in just 999 examples and will be hand built at Audi’s Bollinger Hofe factory. Stephan Winkelmann, the CEO of Audi Sport GmbH, said, “The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists. A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment, the R8 V10 RWS is an absolutely exclusive offer. With its mid-mounted V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it successfully brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets.”
Along with the distribution of power to the rear wheels, it also gets a few other extras that include the front grille and vents in the front and rear being finishing in matt black. The coupe gets gloss black side blades while the lower-body blade is now body colored. A red film is available for the hood, roof, and rear end, just like on the R8 LMS GT 4 while the seats inside come wrapped in leather and Alcantara. Bucket seats are available but must be optioned at the time of ordering. More importantly, however, is what Audi did with the chassis to take full advantage of the car’s RWD nature. Basically, without AWD, the car is lighter thanks to the lack of a center differential and the propshaft. As such, the Coupe form has dropped 110.2 pounds while the Spyder sees a drop of 88.2 pounds. The chassis was modified and tuned specifically to make it easier to perform controlled drifts – that’s right: drifts. The load distribution of the Coupe comes in at 40.6 percent up front and 59.4 percent in the back, while the Spyder gets 40.4 and 59.6 – both offering just enough to kick that rear end out on demand. The car is backed by Audi’s dynamic handling system, which will use the ESC system and electromechanical power steering to help keep things under control when you get to the limit of your drift. You’ll be able to order your own soon, so keep reading to learn a little more.
Audi Looks To Our Autonomous EV Future With Aicon Concept
Auto show season is ramping up, with the Frankfurt Motor Show kicking things off with its bi-annual look at the latest and greatest in the world of passenger cars. Per tradition, the big makes are bringing out the concepts to wow crowds and offer a glimpse at possible features for upcoming production models. Obviously, all-electric powertrains and self-driving capability are hot topics these days, and Audi is hitting both with its latest Aicon design study. Offering high-end “door-to-door” transportation, Audi frames the Aicon as “… an all-rounder well prepared for its primary task: to offer a maximum of comfort, communications technology and freedom for its occupants during a long journey.” That means lots of space inside, with no inputs required from the any of the humans on board. Just sit down, sit back, and relax as the Aicon whisks you off to your destination of choice.
The four-door looks the part, and its possible we’ll see some of its styling elements carried over into future production models. The Aicon is also big, rocking exterior dimensions that include a length of nearly 18 feet, a width of nearly 7 feet wide, and a height of nearly 5 feet, plus a 11.4-foot wheelbase. That makes the Aicon nearly 10 inches longer than the current A8, while the 26-inch wheels enhance the sense of bigness as well. But there’s a whole lot more to this thing than just its size, so read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Aicon Concept.
To say that the current 2015 Audi A8, which was launched in 2009, is a bit long in the tooth is an understatement. Sure, the German sedan is still one of the most popular choices in the full-size market, but both Mercedes-Benz and BMW have redesigned their competitors for this demanding niche. The A8 desperately needs a modern interior and an exterior design that will attract new customers. Same goes for the performance-oriented 2015 Audi S8.
The A8’s overhaul, however, won’t happen until 2017, and this basically means an updated S8 won’t arrive until 2018. The good news is that the next A8/S8 will borrow their styling from the gorgeous 2014 Audi Prologue Concept. Granted, the new design language is still evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but it’s a breath of fresh air nonetheless. Meanwhile, Audi will probably continue to make the best of the current model with mild updates and special-edition models. The most recent of these is the S8 Plus, which, as the name suggests, is a more powerful version of the already familiar S8.
Audi’s Plus line goes back to 2004, when the company sold a final, limited-edition version of the RS6. It had increased engine output, added standard features, and various other goodies inside and out. The same recipe was applied again in 2012 on both the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus and the 2012 Audi TT RS Plus, which makes the S8 the fourth Audi to receive this package and the first S model to get the "Plus" badge.
Updated 11/13/2015: Audi announced U.S. prices for the new S8 Plus which will be put on sale in December 2015. Prices will start from $114,900 - excluding $925 destination charges.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Audi S8 Plus.
Audi’s E-Tron moniker has a brand new member. Meet the E-Tron Quattro Concept. This all-electric SUV is the spiritual brother to the 2010 Audi E-Tron concept that debuted in 2010, and combined the latest technologies that make all-electric vehicles more of a consumer good than science project.
Of course automakers like Tesla and Nissan already have fully electric vehicles on the market. In fact, Tesla’s upcoming 2016 Tesla Model X will be a hardy rival to Audi’s E-Tron Quattro. However, the Model X will likely arrive before the E-Tron Quattro, which Audi promises in “early 2018.”
Rivalry aside, this concept is a solid look into what the future holds for Audi, both in terms of design and electronics. The sculpted exterior has hints of Audi’s current design themes with a generous portion of new flair sprinkled in. Powertrain wise, the E-Tron Quattro packs three electric motors – one up front and two in back – to move the low-slung SUV to 62 mph in a projected 4.6 seconds and onto a governed top speed of 130.5 mph.
Besides offering surprising performance, the E-Tron Quattro is filled to the brim with futuristic tech, including its charging system. There is a Combined Charging System that handles DC and AC current, a wireless induction system, and a solar panel system built onto the roof. If you’re lucky enough to find a 150-kW DC fast charger, the Audi’s battery pack can be recharged in roughly 50 minutes.
These details only scratch the surface, so keep reading for all the futuristic tech.
Updated 09/21/2015: We’ve added a series of new images we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Continue reading for my full review of the E-Tron Quattro Concept.