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Audi Thinks The E-Tron Quattro is Worth Double that of a Q7; Sets Pricing at $99,000

Audi Thinks The E-Tron Quattro is Worth Double that of a Q7; Sets Pricing at $99,000

Audi’s Tesla Model X fighter now has a price tag

Audi has finally released the price tag for the e-Tron Quattro, and it’s a doozy. In the German market, the electric SUV will start at €80,000, or just a tick under $100,000 based on current exchange rates. Pricing and availability in other markets will be announced at a later date. There you have it, folks. If you want to get your hands on an e-Tron Quattro, you’re going to have to break the bank.

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Is China Getting a Longer Q2 EV?

Is China Getting a Longer Q2 EV?

Don’t believe it yet, but it could happen if Audi really wants it

We already know that the Audi Q2 is here because it was launched in 2017. We also know that a long-wheelbase version of the Q2, dubbed the Q2 L, will go on sale in China in 2019. Now it seems that the small crossover family is getting another member in the form of an all-electric Q2 L that’s tipped to make its debut in the next few years.

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2016 - 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

2016 - 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

The e-tron gets a few new standard features for 2017

Audi had been touting the electrification of its models for quite a while, but it was all talk until January of 2016 when the brand released the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. In typical Audi fashion, the A3 e-tron was nearly identical to its gasoline and diesel drinking brethren. Well, aside from a hidden charging port and a fancy little badge to demonstrate the cars electrified presence on the road, that is. Available with just one engine, a 1.4-liter four-cylinder, and an electric motor, the e-tron delivers just over 200 horsepower and can hit the 60-mph sprint in less than eight seconds. It’s not wildly impressive, but the car does offer around 31 miles of all-electric driving for those of you with a really short daily commute.

Another cool feature about the e-tron is Audi’s collaboration with SunPower. Through SunPower, Audi is able to offer charging via solar panels at your home. Of course, this probably won’t be cheap, but if don’t mind paying for the technology, it could save you a little money in the long run. Plus, you know, it’s good for the environment too.

For 2017, the A3 e-tron carries over unchanged for the most part. It does take on a couple of small updates, and there are some new options available that really add to the overall luxuriousness of the car. Pricing for the 2017 model year has also changed a bit, but nothing too drastic. With that said, let’s take a look at the 2016 – 2017 Audi A3 e-tron and talk about the minor changes that come with the 2017 model year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 – 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

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2016 Audi A3 e-tron – Driven

2016 Audi A3 e-tron – Driven

Audi’s plug-in hybrid offers efficency and interior space

The Audi A3 has been around since 1996, but 2016 marks the first time a plug-in hybrid powertrain can be had with the hatchback. In fact, the A3 Sportback e-tron is Audi’s first plug-in hybrid. The A3 e-tron’s technology is shared, however, with the A3’s corporate cousin, the VW Golf GTE. Nevertheless, the A3 e-tron is blazing a hybrid trail into the premium hatchack segment.

The 2016 model year is also an interesting time for Audi to debut the e-tron powertrain in the A3. For 2017, the A3 is undergoing a thorough refresh that includes new exterior appointments, an undated interior with Audi’s virtual cockpit, and a host of new driver assistance features.

Regardless of model years and its looks, the A3 e-tron has all the right equipment for efficient driving. Its main power comes from a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed dual clutch that sends power to the front wheels. Sorry, no quattro option here. It’s 8.8-kWh battery pack gives it enough juice to drive roughly 16 miles on electricity alone, after which the gasoline engine propels the car and recharges the battery.

To find out how the A3 e-tron performs in real life, we spent a week with one. Our Misano Red pearl tester was missing its charging cable, but we were still able to get a true sense of how the A3 e-tron works and what type of commute it works best for.

Continue reading for the full driving review

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Audi Plans Two Electric Cars by 2018

Audi Plans Two Electric Cars by 2018

The Ingolstadt carmaker’s love/hate relationship with electric cars built in series seems to have finally taken a turn for the better, as the company is said to launch two purely electric vehicles by 2018. The information comes straight from Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler, who mentioned this rather important piece of information to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, as quoted by Reuters.

One of the models will be an electric sports car not unlike the defunct 2015 R8 e-tron or other various e-tron concept cars of the past, while the other will be a crossover with a range of more than 310 miles on one charge. Both cars are expected to be part of the multi-billion investment plan that Audi has made from 2015 through 2019, of which around $2.4 billion of will be diverted to electric cars and digital technologies.

It is not yet clear if the proposed sports car and crossover are based on upcoming Audi models with internal-combustion propulsion or if they will get their own architecture, like Mercedes-Benz and its upcoming Ecoluxe platform. Either way, this is not the first time that Audi has had concrete plans of adding a fully electric model to its lineup, all of them having been discarded mainly because of insufficient range or not making a very good business case in those times. With battery technology evolving exponentially and its competitors actively pursuing similar endeavors, it seems that Audi is back on track from this perspective.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s future electric plans.

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Audi Plans to Develop a Wide Range of Full-Electric Cars

Audi Plans to Develop a Wide Range of Full-Electric Cars

Electric-powered vehicles have been all the rage as of late, but consumers are still wary of them. The main issues preventing buyers from ditching refined dino blood and moving to electric are the uncertainty of the technology and the overall cost of these vehicles. The least-expensive, mass-produced electric vehicle that I can think of is the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV at around $23,000, but it can only travel 62 miles on a charge and takes 14 to 22 hours to recharge. On the other hand, the cream-of-the-crop Tesla Model S can travel up to 300 miles on a charge, but it costs nearly $100k to get into that range. According to a new report from Reuters, Audi is looking into giving buyers a bigger EV selection, as it has blueprints to enter the all-electric realm with a full range of vehicles.

We already know about the Audi R8 e-tron, which has been on and off for the last few years, but this report points toward Audi developing SUVs and sedans to complete the range. For now, Audi is keeping most of the details behind this electric lineup to itself, but it did release a few small bits of information.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s plans to go electric.

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2014 Audi A6 TDI - Driven

2014 Audi A6 TDI - Driven

When it comes to press cars and review cars, there are few machines I know more intimately than the 2014 Audi A6 TDI. Last year I joined a collection of fellow lunatics and set out on a 48-hour cannonball run from LA to New York City to test out Audi’s new 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine, and really test its real-world fuel economy. After 46 hours and nearly 3,000 miles, I had spent several hours in every seat, tried to eat, sleep, and work inside of its wood-filled interior, and used almost every gadget it contained to keep myself entertained.

I have made lots of big road trips in lots of cars including the Nissan GT-R and Porsche Cayman S, but this was a whole new experience.

After such an experience, I have lots of things to say about Audi’s full-size luxury sedan. From equipment and pricing to performance and fuel economy, the Audi made major impressions. But where all those impressions good, would I do the trip again, and do I think it’s a car worth spending money on?

All your answers await after the break.

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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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Report: Audi R8 e-tron Will Make it to Production in Limited Numbers

We are witnessing the evolution of the electric car. With the world’s biggest players having entered the market, we could expect development in this field to happen at a brisk pace. BMW already has its i Series in place and Mercedes-Benz is still pondering over the SLS AMG Electric Drive. Audi, on the other hand, shocked the world when it announced the scrapping of the R8 e-tron.

As we speak, folks at Audi are reconsidering the decisions they made in axing the R8 e-tron program. Yes, Audi is currently looking at options to put the R8 e-tron in to limited production by the end of 2014. The Audi R8 e-tron was the latest zero-emissions concept coming out of the Ingolstadt factory and now a select few among us could even own one. In order to facilitate the production of the new two-seat electric sports car, Audi has made a number changes to its research and engineering divisions, spending lots of money in the process.

Such an investment could only mean, positive steps have been taken in order to make the R8 e-tron a reality. Being a Volkswagen Group entity, Audi also benefits from research and development being done by its sister company for the VW e-Up, e-Golf and the XL1 hyper-mileage car.

It’s pretty crazy how quickly things can change in the automotive world...

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 e-tron

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2015 Audi A8 Hybrid

2015 Audi A8 Hybrid

Deep in the press preview of next month’s public reveal of the 2015 Audi A8 facelift, a nugget of very newsworthy information is buried: the 2015 A8 will be offered as a four-cylinder, front-drive hybrid for the first time.

Ditching the quattro all-wheel-drive that is otherwise an A8 standard feature, the A8 Hybrid model is important for a number of reasons. First off, it is a full hybrid with a Li-ion battery pack in the trunk allowing brief EV-only driving.

Secondly, it uses a small and powerful gasoline engine as the primary drivetrain, eschewing the intellectual preference for diesel-electric hybrids from the European luxury brands. This gasoline setup means its performance and economy will be highly tailored to the American and Chinese markets, with arrival in U.S. dealers with the rest of the remodeled A8 gang next spring.

The major reason this car is important is of course its primary USP: fuel economy. With a quoted 37 mpg on the U.S. cycle, the A8 Hybrid will comfortably be able to add 10 mpg to the fuel economy of the second-most-efficient (U.S.) engine: the supercharged quattro V-6 A8 3.0 TFSI.

All the A8’s rich and formal styling, LED lighting and interior tech upgrades promise a new A8 experience, but with a relaxed drive more along the lines of the Lexus ES350h than any previous exec hybrid from Germany. Previous eco-themed limousine models from BMW and Mercedes for the American market, like the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 and Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid, were both total sales failures with almost no economy incentive for buyers.

Click past the jump for the full preview of the 2015 A8 Hybrid, with all the latest details from Audi about its power outputs, EV range and in-car WLAN hotspot technology.

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2014 Audi A3 Plug-in Hybrid

To roll with the increasing popularity of hybrid vehicles, Audi is all set to unveil a plug-in electric hybrid at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

According to reports, the hybrid will be based on the newly announced A3 Sportback, a 4-door version of the standard A3.

The aspect we’re interested in is the hybrid setup. The powertrain will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine coupled with an electric motor and an 8 kWh lithium-ion battery. This setup could enable the hybrid to produce a combined output of nearly 237-horsepower. Furthermore, the car is expected to average 117.6 mpge and to have an Audi-claimed 50 km (31-mile) range in electric-only mode, which is on-par with current hybrid standards, maybe better.

Audi is not setting the hybrid segment on fire, so such a model would help their quest for a cleaner footprint. However, given the expected price tag of $47,000, which is quite baffling considering the base gasoline-powered twin costs around $29,000, things aren’t looking so bright for the tree-hugging Audis.

We’ll update you once Audi officially announces the A3 Plug-in Hybrid.

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2012 Audi F12 E Performance Prototype

2012 Audi F12 E Performance Prototype

Audi has been developing the R8 E-tron in order to revolutionize the electric sports car market and now they are moving on the next phase of development by teaming up with Bosch and several institutes at the RWTH Aachen University. Together, they have developed a technology platform that is a major advance for electric mobility.

The first prototype developed on this platform is the F12 e performance - a car that looks exactly like an R8 on the outside, but is purely powered by electricity. The research car is powered by three electric motors that can be controlled separately: one located at the front axle for slow driving and two at the rear axle for higher speeds. The three electric motors develop a total of 204 HP and 405 lb-ft. of torque.

The electric motors take their power from a switchable high-voltage electrical system made from two batteries, one with 144 volts and the other with 216 volts. The voltage is provided by a DC/DC converter: 200 volts for part load and 440 volts for increased power demand.

The prototype offers four basic drive functions – Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive - all of which can be controlled via a tablet computer that can be removed from the center console.

Audi is focused on revolutionizing the electric segment and we wouldn’t doubt if their hard work eventually pays off with a solid R8 featuring the best of electric mobility technology. As of right now, the F12 is just a research vehicle, but Audi’s electric future is a definite highlight in the industry.

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