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2018 Audi RS3 By ABT Sportsline

2018 Audi RS3 By ABT Sportsline

German tuner gives Audi performance sedan a solid makeover

ABT Sportsline is no stranger to working on performance vehicles of German origin and ahead of the 2018 Essen Motor Show, it’s releasing its latest piece de resistance with a kit for the Audi RS3. The kit is available for both sedan and sportback versions of the RS3 and is packing an assortment of different accessories covering the car’s exterior, interior, drivetrain, and suspension.

The result of ABT’s work on the RS3 gives Audi’s performance sedan a whole new personality. Not that it needs one, but there is something to be said for a car like the RS3 that doesn’t get enough attention as it should. The Audi, after all, has to deal with both the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-AMG C63, two of the most established German performance vehicles in the market today. It’s more than capable of holding its own even without the assistance of ABT Sportsline, but if you own an RS3, this king of aftermarket package is one of those offerings that’s going to be hard to turn down. In the end, improvements come in many forms, and in the case of the RS3, there’s enough of them from this program to justify a good long look at the kit.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi RS3 by ABT Sportsline

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2017 Audi RS5 Coupe RS500 By Manhart Racing

2017 Audi RS5 Coupe RS500 By Manhart Racing

Turn the tables on other mid-size performance coupes with Manhart’s latest tuning kit

Manhart Racing is known for creating some incredible tuning programs in the past, most recently turning the BMW M5 into an 800-horsepower powerhouse. Now the German tuner is turning its sights on the Audi RS5 with a new program that packs plenty of aftermarket punch. Ok, maybe it’s not as potent as the M5’s kit, but it’s still good enough to bring some extra level of excitement to Audi’s resident mid-size performance coupe.

In keeping with Manhart Racing’s tradition, the aptly named RS500 tuning program is packing the load with power and performance bits. It also features a number of handy visual upgrades in case you’re in the mood to turn your RS5s into something that looks right at home in the Fast and Furious franchise. But enough of the small talk. The RS500 program is largely tied into the objective of giving the Audi RS5 more than what it’s capable of. It’s about giving the RS5 the chance to maximize its potential as a performance car. It’s about turning the spotlight to arguably one of the most underrated performance cars in the market today. Give it some cosmetic upgrades, slap on a few engine upgrades, and dial up the suspension work. That’s the name of Manhart Racing’s RS500 tuning game and the results, well, they certainly speak for themselves. So if any of you own an Audi RS5 and you’re looking to give it an aftermarket touch, you’re going to need to take a long and hard look at what Manhart Racing has on the table.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 RS500 by Manhart Racing.

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2019 Audi A7

2019 Audi A7

The A7 is finally here, but it’ll only be hot for a few years..

What started as the Audi Sportback Concept in 2009 took a quick turn and morphed into the Audi A7 Sportback for 2010. It’s been seven years since the first A7 rolled into our presence and you know what that means – it’s time for the second-gen model to finally make its way into the limelight, and make its way it did as Audi looked back on its history and presented us with what is, essentially, a hatchback A8 with some serious steroid-induced muscles to go with an equally sized bad attitude. The whole package includes the wide, low grille from the A8 which is flanked on each side by evolved A8 headlights and a pair of fake vents down below. The base motivator provides the same horsepower as the outgoing model (340 ponies) but delivers a bit more torque.

The interior is also a focal point of the second-gen model as it sees a pretty serious upgrade over the previous model and borrows some cues from the A8 while at the same time pushing that A8 DNA to a serious extreme. All told, the A7 is much more attractive inside and out in comparison to the outgoing model, but it comes off a bit slower to 60 mph and carries the same limited top speed. So, if it’s performance increases that you’re looking for, you might want to check out another German manufacturer, but if you’re all about having fresh looks in a luxurious and sexy package, you’ll want to keep reading and check out the full review below.

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2018 Audi Q8

2018 Audi Q8

Audi’s answer to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

After five years of rumors that began when Audi trademarked the Q8 name in 2012, the German company finally unveiled its proposition against the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Actually, the crossover introduced at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show is just a concept for now, but a production model is scheduled to follow soon.

When BMW introduced the X6 in 2009, a new segment was born. But although the crossover BMW describes as a Sports Activity Coupe proved somewhat popular with SUV enthusiasts, the trend didn’t catch on with other automakers until 2013. That’s when Mercedes-Benz revealed plans to develop a coupe-like crossover based on the M-Class. Shortly after, rumors of a Cayenne Coupe emerged, signaling that Germany’s finest automakers finally pay more attention to this niche. Although the details are still under wraps as of May 2017, a test car has already been spotted on public roads, a sign that the production Q8 isn’t far. Join me in my speculative review to find out what we already know about the sporty crossover.

Updated 10/04/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Audi Q8 out for a new testing session, and this time we have more clear images of the interior.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Q8.

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2018 Audi RS4 Sedan

2018 Audi RS4 Sedan

Finally set to return after a decade?

First introduced in 2000, the RS4 has evolved into one of Audi’s most iconic nameplates, despite being available for short periods of time with each generation. First offered between 2000 and 2001, it returned for 2006-2008, and then again for 2012-2015. Each time as a station wagon, but Audi made an exception and offered a sedan between 2006 and 2008. Come 2018 and the Audi RS4 returns for the third time, again in the Avant body styles. But this time around word has it that Audi is also planning to revive the short-lived four-door sedan, which may also return to the United States. While the German firm is mum on the matter, I put together a speculative review with what it may bring to the table.

The fact that the RS4 sedan didn’t return after 2008 is a bit shocking if you ask me. Audi is super competitive in just about every niche and it’s even trying to create its own, but for some reason it doesn’t really want a piece of the action where BMW and Mercedes-Benz are making the big headlines. The decision to offer the RS4 as a wagon only seems strange to say the least with Audi’s latest competitor for the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 dates all the way back to 2008. But apparently Audi is finally coming to its senses and a new RS4 sedan might be just around the corner.

Updated 10/02/2017: We updated the speculative review with a new rendering and new information. Check it out below.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Audi RS4 Sedan.

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2018 Audi RS4 And RS5 Carbon Editions

2018 Audi RS4 And RS5 Carbon Editions

Lighter and leaner performance models are always good recipes for an improved driving experience

In a day and age where “special edition” models can mean just about anything under the sun, Audi has found a nifty trick to kill two birds with one stone by offering special edition models for the Audi RS4 Avant and the Audi RS5 Coupe. Officially, both models are have been designated as Carbon Editions, a nod to the smattering of carbon bits they received that help make them lighter and a bit more fun to drive on the open road.

The lightweight blueprint is a tried-and-tested one, and many automakers have taken that approach to squeeze out every ounce of improved performance they can out of their cars without having to pump more power out of the engines. Audi’s approach with the RS4 and RS5 Carbon Editions is similar by the sheer number of carbon fiber reinforced polymer add-ons both models received. The goal of replacing the standard parts with CFRP counterparts is to make both cars lighter, which is exactly what Audi accomplished. The RS4, for example, is now 80 kilos (176 pounds) lighter than its standard counterpart whereas the RS5 slashes 60 kilos (132 pounds) from its original weight. Does the weight loss spell massive improvements in performance? Not quite. But don’t think that these are “standard” RS4s and RS5s either. If anything, these two new special editions should be lighter on their feet, and we know what that equates to in the end.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe Carbon Editions.

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Audi Steps Up To Formula E With E-Tron FE04

Audi Steps Up To Formula E With E-Tron FE04

Replacing a V-6 turbo diesel with more batteries

The high-tech slab of open-wheel speed machine you see before you is the Audi E-Tron FE04, the Four Ring brand’s very first all electric race car. The FE04 just made its big debut in Neuburg, Germany, and will be used in Audi’s re-doubled efforts in the all-electric Formula E race series. That makes Audi the first German brand to enter the Formula E fray with a full factory-backed effort. Audi says the FE04 will be used as a test bed for new and upcoming technology that will eventually trickle down to its production vehicles, raising hopes that battery motivation alone will be enough to whet the appetites of future Audi performance enthusiasts.

“Following quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many other innovations, our single-seater race car is a portent of our product offensive in the field of electric mobility that we are ringing in with the Audi e-tron in 2018,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development at Audi AG. The brand says it’s planning on offering as many as 20 new battery-assisted models, including both hybrids and all-electric models, by the year 2025. While the FE04 will use a spec chassis, per regulations, the FE04 is still an opportunity for Audi to develop it’s know-how with a new electric motor, transmission, and some suspension bits, as well as the software needed to run it all. Look for the FE04 to make its competition debut in Hong Kong this coming December, with pre-season testing taking place in Spain.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Audi Elaine

2017 Audi Elaine

Is this the future of electric sports cars?

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.

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2017 Audi Aicon

2017 Audi Aicon

The car of the future... probably

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.

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2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS

2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS

Only 999 units of this rear-wheel drive Audi R8 will be built

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.

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2018 Audi RS4 Avant

2018 Audi RS4 Avant

The world’s greatest compact grocery getter?

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.

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2019 Audi S6

2019 Audi S6

Will the new V-6 model be powerful enough for the BMW M550i?

The current Audi A6 is five years old as of 2017, and recent spy shots indicate that a replacement is due to be launched sometime in 2018. The new midsize sedan seems heavily based on the recently unveiled A8, which is no surprise considering Audi’s current "same sausage, different lengths" design strategy. Alongside the A6, our paparazzi also spotted what appears to be a more performance oriented version of the sedan, the S6, a sign that Audi is quite busy trying to introduce a full lineup as soon as possible. The S6 will sport the same styling cues, but as usual, it will feature a more aggressive exterior and a more potent drivetrain.

The next-generation A6 is crucial for Audi’s future in this niche. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have already launched their brand-new 5 Series and E-Class, and needless to say, the current A6 is severely outdated. The new sedan should fix that with a fresh design and updated technology, but it should also bring enhanced performance and fuel economy to the table thanks to a lighter platform, upgraded materials, and revised or brand-new engines. The new A6 should debut in the first half of 2018, but the S6 shouldn’t arrive far behind. Until more information becomes available, let’s have a closer look at the spy shots.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2019 Audi RS9 Coupe

2019 Audi RS9 Coupe

Audi’s answer to the upcoming BMW M8

While it currently competes with BMW and Mercedes-Benz for supremacy on the premium market, Audi was nowhere near as fancy as a brand some three decades ago. But the Ingolstadt-based firm evolved quite dramatically in the 1990s and 2000s, and it’s now selling a handful of highly appreciated premium vehicles, including the A4, A6, A8, and Q7. However, while Audi joined several new niches in recent years, it still doesn’t have a competitor for the relatively new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. But this will change soon, as Audi is already working on the A9, a two-door version of the new A8 and its largest, most luxurious coupe yet. Alongisde the A9, Audi is also rumored to have an RS9 model in the works. The latter will compete against the Mercedes-AMG S63 and the recently confirmed BMW M8.

There’s no official word as to when the A9 will arrive, but it will be heavily based on the Prologue Concept that Audi launched back in 2014. The show car has already inspired the design of the new A8, but its coupe configuration might make it into production with very few changes. As with all RS-badged models, the RS9 will be a beefed-up version of the A9, with revised aerodynamics, bespoke features inside, and a more powerful engine under the hood. The RS9 will enable Audi to compete in the still fresh performance, luxury coupe market that will soon include both Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Ingolstadt’s most important rivals. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Audi RS9.

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2019 Audi E-tron Quattro

2019 Audi E-tron Quattro

Audi moves to keep its promise, potentially debuting the E-Tron Quattro by early 2018

Back when Audi debuted the Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, it promised a production version of its all-electric SUV would be ready in 2018. Sure enough; it looks like Audi is about on par with keeping that promise as the production version of the E-Tron Quattro was just spotted in the wild for the first time. Little is known about the E-Tron Quattro at the moment, but based on the concept and what we see here, it will be a sporty, sleek SUV that shouldn’t have a problem standing up to vehicles like the Tesla Model X. I wouldn’t expect to see all of the futuristic tech from the concept inside, but it should get a digital instrument cluster and a large tablet-like display. If Audi keeps the same drivetrain setup from the concept, the production model should boast a 95 kWh battery pack that’s good for 310 miles per charge along with somewhere around 429-496 horsepower and up to 590 pound-feet of torque.

Of course, by the time this thing hits the market as a 2019 model, it’s quite possible that other automakers could be taking part in the all-electric SUV niche too. Think about models like the Mercedes EQ and the BMW i5, which should both be on the market by 2020 or 2021. Be that as it may, the segment is rather bare right now, and it looks like Audi just might beat the flock in enough time to grab itself a nice little piece of the market. Before that happens, though, let’s take a good look at the spy shots we have now and talk a little more about what we can expect.

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2018 Audi RS8

2018 Audi RS8

The first RS8 ever could arrive in 2018

Enthusiasts have been clamoring for a high-performance version of the A8 ever since Audi started making RS-badged cars in the 1990s. But they’ve been out of luck until now. Although Audi did introduce the S8 as early as 1996 and made a version for each generation until now, it has yet to launch a proper RS8 model. And that’s a pretty big issue with the potent AMG S63 and S65 up for grabs and a BMW M7 reportedly under way. With a brand-new Audi A8 to talk about, the first-ever RS8 feels closer than ever.

And it should be! Given the current market trends and the way deep-pocketed customers are empying their bank accounts to take high-performance, luxury sedans home, the RS8 is quite the urgent matter. It would be a big mistake to pass on the opportunity, especially with the new A8 having all the cool features and technology on top of a sporty, yet elegant design. The absence of an RS model in the fourth-generation A8 lineup would widen the gap between Audi and its competitors even further, and it’s safe to assume that Ingolstadt is tired of trailing behind Mercedes-Benz and BMW. With the first-ever RS8 almost imminent, we created a rendering of the car to go with our latest speculative review. Check it out below!

Continue reading to find out more about the 2019 Audi RS8.

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2019 Audi S7

2019 Audi S7

The next-gen S7 was caught testing in the wild and looks great for a prototype

The large, four-door hatchback or “Sportback” body is one of the coolest and stylish styles you can find. Prior to 2012, Mercedes was nailing the luxury Sportback niche with the Mercedes CLS Coupe. That dominating presence led BMW to develop the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and Audi to develop the A7 Sportback. The A7 Sportback hit the scene in 2010 and the S7, a beefed up version of the luxury family hauler came two years later. Powered by a 4.0-liter V-8, the S7 is capable of hitting the 60-mph sprint in 4.3 seconds while looking good and hauling a couple of kids. The S7 went through an update for the 2015 model year, which means the spy shots you see here are our first look at the second-generation S7. Right away you can see some Audi Prologue DNA in there, and we’re betting that it will even pack a little more power too. But, more about that later.

While there is next to nothing known about the next S7, we’re just happy we’re getting a good look at it this early on. You can easily spot design cues from cars like the Audi Prologue Avant Concept, but this is the first time the S7 has been caught in the wild, so there’s still more to the car than what meets the eye. With that said, let’s dive on in and talk a little about what this model could bring to the table in the next few years.

Update 7/13/2017: The Audi S7 was caught putting in some more work during the warm weather in Europe. It hasn’t dropped much in terms of camo, but there are a few changes we can spot, so join us in the special spy shots section below to see them and learn more about the latest word surrounding the S7.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi S7.

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2018 Audi TT Lighting Style Edition

2018 Audi TT Lighting Style Edition

Another special edition German sports coupe is headed to the Japanese market

The new-generation Audi A8 is understandably getting all the love today, but it’s far from the only Audi model making the news. Over in Japan, Audi has introduced an exclusive limited-edition version of the TT sports coupe. It’s officially called the TT 1.8 Lighting Style Edition, and it’s making us wonder (yet again) what we did to deserve not getting any of these special editions in the U.S.

The TT Lighting Style Edition features a steady diet of cosmetic upgrades. It has exclusive color offerings, aesthetic upgrades, and packages that come standard on the model. Audi also picked a good variant of the TT – the 1.8 – to dress up in the exclusive garb. The automaker didn’t say how many of the TT Lighting Style Editions it plans to roll out in the Japanese market, but it did say that the car will be priced in the market at 5.29 million yen, or around $46,200 based on current exchange rates. The price tag is surprisingly modest considering that here in the U.S., the 2.0 TT starts at $43,500. Fortunately, this is one of those times where we don’t really miss out on a special edition model since American customers can basically order the same thing. That said, it still would be nice if Audi sent more of its special edition models to the U.S. That way, we wouldn’t have to keep looking to the other side of the world to satisfy our SE fixes.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi TT 1.8 Lighting Style Edition.

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2018 Audi A8

2018 Audi A8

The New Audi A8 is here and Wow is it something else

While the Audi A8 has always seemed to wear an understated tuxedo with its sleek looks and undeniable style, the third-generation model has been in circulation for the last seven years. It’s one of the last few models to still sport Audi’s tall, square grille and it’s time for a serious revamp. So, it was no surprise when we started seeing prototypes hitting the streets and the Nürburgring, and now – after a quick peak at the Spider-Man: Homecoming premiere, Audi has laid it all out on the table. As is the usual case with Audi, overall design changes are somewhat minimal, but it does get the new, wide grille, a pair of sexy headlight units, and repositioned body lines that make it even more appealing than ever before. Inside, there’s a completely redesigned dashboard with new technology, updated user interface controls, and it finally gets Audi’s new piloted driving system which allows remote parking and semi-autonomous driving in highway traffic. To go along with this, the A8 gets a revises suspension system that includes all-wheel steering and active suspension. Topping off the new generation is a pair of reengineered, turbocharged V-6 engines that will eventually be joined by a pair of V-8 powerplants and a 6.0-liter W-12 for the range-topping model.

So, with all that in mind, one can’t help but wonder how the new A8 will stand up against the new Mercedes S-Class and the new BMW 7 Series. It’s obviously going to be a tough call as to which is better, but Audi is coming to the party prepared to throw down. So, let’s dive on in and take a better look at the new Audi A8 – there are lots of details to cover.

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2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet – Driven

2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet – Driven

The new generation brings vast improvements

Audi has been hard at work revamping its A5 and S5 lineup over the last few years. The two-door coupes and four-door Sportback versions debuted in the U.S. for 2017, bringing the new MLB Evo architecture, big updated in active safety features, and Audi’s widely praised Virtual Cockpit. Now for 2018, the drop-top version gets its go, completing the A5 lineup. But rather than taking Audi’s word on these improvements, I needed the wind through my hair.

A 2018 Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0T with the Prestige package arrived for the week fitted with nearly every option. While that inflated the price slightly past $65,000, the A5 proved its competence at being an all-rounder, working both as an everyday luxury coupe and as an open-top weekend toy. All it takes is 15 seconds to lower the top and the car changes its demeanor. Much of that can be credited to the multi-layer “acoustic” soft top and generous amounts of insulation. Even passing a semi truck on the interstate is hushed. The new interior pushes the bar for Audi, yet again. Soft-touch materials are paired well with high-end trimmings and in-dash technology that feels cutting-edge. Heck, there’s even microphones embedded into the front seatbelts for taking calls with the top down. It’s this attention to detail that makes the 2018 A5 Cabriolet so interesting. But what’s it like to live with? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus

2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus

Audi’s most powerful convertible ever!

The second-generation Audi R8 came to life in 2015, when the German firm unveiled an evolutionary design with sharper styling cues and a more aggressive approach. Audi also revamped the engine lineup, adopting an upgraded 5.2-liter V-10 and dropping the base V-8. Instead, it introduced an all-electric version of the R8, which was discontinued only a year on the market. Just like its predecessor, the second-gen R8 also gained Plus and Spyder variants. But for the first time in history, Audi brought the two badges under the same umbrella, creating the R8 Spyder Plus.

Essentially a convertible version of the more extreme R8 Plus, the Spyder Plus finally gives drop-top enthusiasts the option of driving a beefed-up version of the V-10 engine with infinite headroom. Not only a first for the nameplate, the Spyder Plus also gives the company a suitable competitor for the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, as well as the new-for-2018 McLaren 570S Spider. How does it stack up against the opposition? Find out in my review below.

Updated 06/19/2017: Audi dropped a first promo video for the new R8 Spyder V10 Plus. Continue reading to watch it!

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2017 Audi S3 - Driven

2017 Audi S3 - Driven

All-wheel drive, compact size, really flies

The 2017 Audi S3 may not draw a lot of unnecessary attention to itself, but don’t be mistaken: Underneath its understated design is a spicy little number that is among the best-driving compact sedans on the market, bar none. With 292 horsepower from its TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine and the handling prowess of Quattro all-wheel drive, the 2017 Audi S3 is a riot on curvy roads. It’s also adept at munching miles on interstate highways, particularly if you’re not hauling a carload of passengers.

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2017 Audi e-tron Sportback Concept

2017 Audi e-tron Sportback Concept

It’s a preview of a production model that will come shortly after the e-tron Quattro

Audi takes every chance it gets to remind us of its intentions to bring a whole range of electric vehicles that will, given enough time, eventually replace its entire lineup of gasoline and diesel-drinking models. The most recent model includes the Audi e-tron Quattro concept, an SUV slated for production in 2018. But, Audi is also one of those brands that likes to blur the line between car and SUV, so it has come up with another concept called the e-tron Sportback Concept – basically another interpretation of the Quattro concept with a lower roof, slanted rear, and a few other unique styling cues. It even uses the same electric drivetrain as it’s taller-sitting brethren, which means it gets a 96-kWh battery pack, three electric motors, and an estimated range of about 310 miles. A fast-charging system could offer up as much as 248 miles with as little as 30 minutes of DC charging. And, you’ll probably be able to buy one by the turn of the decade, as Audi as said it will be introduced in production form shortly after the e-tron Quattro for the 2019 model year.

So, if you haven’t come to terms with the fact that electric cars are on their way up, you better get used to it. With more than 300 miles to a charge, up to 496 horsepower on demand, and the ability to charge extremely quickly, Tesla isn’t the only heavy-hitter on the block anymore. The technology is finally there to ease range anxiety, and Audi is planning to capitalize on this early in the game. But, for now, this little “coupish-SUV” is just a concept. It’s a strong preview of a production model, so let’s take a good look at it and see what the future holds in store for us.

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2017 Audi R8 LMS GT4

2017 Audi R8 LMS GT4

The already successful R8 LMS goes GT4 racing!

Audi made a bunch of wise marketing decisions in recent years, one of them being the R8, essentially a Lamborghini with different body work and a more affordable sticker. But, while the road-going R8 is somewhat successful, its race-spec counterpart has already achieved iconic status with several wins in just about every racing series out there. The R8 LMS has been incredibly popular among private teams in recent years and it’s not surprising that Audi is looking to expand the lineup as much as possible. The latest version to join the family is the LMS GT4 and made its debut at the 2017 New York Motor Show.

As the name suggests, the LMS GT4 was developed for production-based racing and derived from the road-legal R8 V10. It’s more affordable than the world-beating GT3 and it’s eligible for every racing category under GT4 regulations. The GT4 European Series is arguably the most important competition under these regulations and brings together a massive number of cars. Vehicles that the R8 will compete against include GT4-spec versions of the Chevrolet Camaro, Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M4, KTM X-Bow, and Porsche Cayman, just to name a few.

The new race car will make its on-track debut at the Nurburgring 24 Hours on May 25. The R8 LMS GT4 will also compete in North America, Asia, and Australia throughout 2017. Production will begin in the second half of the year with first deliveries to be made by the end of 2017.

“Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time. These fast-growing business segments and the DNA shared by our race cars and production vehicles underscore our ambition to become a true global player in the high-performance league," said Stephan Winkelmann, managing director of Audi Sport.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi R8 LMS GT4.

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