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Audi Eliminates Manual Transmission From Its U.S. Lineup

Audi Eliminates Manual Transmission From Its U.S. Lineup

Perhaps, this is what FOMO feels like

The traditional manual transmission is not preferred by the new breed of customers in the U.S., and that’s the bottom line. We’ve seen a lot of automakers lately, providing only automatics in their offerings. The latest to go fully-automatic is Audi. The German company is replacing manual transmissions with automatic and dual-clutch gearboxes across its entire line-up. Why, Audi, why?

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Want a Performance Wagon Other than a AMG E 63 S or the Panamera Sport Turismo? Tell Audi You Want an RS Avant

Want a Performance Wagon Other than a AMG E 63 S or the Panamera Sport Turismo? Tell Audi You Want an RS Avant

Keep writing those letter; Audi could be reading them

The Audi RS Avant super wagons aren’t available in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean the status quo isn’t going to change. Audi is open to bringing its rip-roaring machines to the land of milk and honey; it just needs to make a good business case for it. In that vein, fans of the RS 4 and RS 6 Avants can do their part to convince Audi by “writing letters” to the German automaker. Tongue-in-cheek hints aside, these letters could go a long way in establishing a viable marketplace for both super wagons.

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Audi May Bring RS Avant Models To The U.S. But It's A Reach

Audi May Bring RS Avant Models To The U.S. But It’s A Reach

Pretty please?

Who doesn’t love a fast wagon? We’re certainly pretty big fans, and we can’t help but dribble a bit when considering the prospect of getting into something like Audi’s line of RS Avants. Now, it looks like the Four-Ring brand is actually considering bringing these quick-’n-practical machines stateside. Maybe. Hopefully? All told, the brand isn’t ruling it out - we’ll take it.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Audi A5 Sportback Could Make Its Long-Awaited Debut In U.S. Market

Audi A5 Sportback Could Make Its Long-Awaited Debut In U.S. Market

Audi USA boss hints at the arrival of only A5 variant not available in the market

Audi’s A5 lineup has been a broken family of sorts in the U.S. due to the absence of the A5 Sportback in the market. But if a recent report is to be believed, a reunion may be in the cards. Audi is apparently close to giving the green light to bring the A5 Sportback in the U.S. market. According to Automotive News, Audi of America chief Scott Keogh has hinted that a third A5 body style is coming Stateside. Since the A5 only has three available body styles and two of them – the A5 Coupe and the A5 Convertible – are already being offered in the U.S., Keogh might as well have shouted “A5 Sportback!” at the top of his lungs.

Audi isn’t expected to make an official announcement soon, but there is some expectation that it could happen sometime in late 2016, or at least before the second quarter of 2017. That places the announcement just before the A5 Sportback’s rumored arrival in dealerships. In the event it does arrive, don’t expect it to come with the multitude of powertrain options that are currently available in Europe. If anything, Audi could follow the template it has for the Audi A4, which only has a 2.0-liter TFSI engine that pumps out 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque available in the U.S. That said, Audi could still give owners a choice on what kind of drive system they prefer: front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive.

In the event the A5 Sportback does hit the market, expect Audi to throw everything it can into promoting the car as a great alternative to the incumbents of its segment. That would include models like the Volvo V60, the Mercedes E-Class Wagon, and most importantly, the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Audi RS3 Sedan Rumored To Get U.S. Approval

Audi RS3 Sedan Rumored To Get U.S. Approval

Launched in 2011 as a beefed-up version of the five-door A3 Sportback, the RS3 has been forbidden fruit for performance enthusiasts in the U.S. That’s because Audi thought it made no sense to bring it to North America, where sedans simply sell better. And while the A3 and S3 received sedan versions specifically designed for the U.S., the RS3 has yet to go that route. That may soon change, according to Fourtitude, which claims the RS3 Sedan may have been approved at the Audi of America all-employee meeting in Maryland earlier this week.

The publication goes on to add that "a contact who was at the presentation" confirmed the RS3 that’s headed to the U.S. is a sedan and that Audi was still pondering whether to make it available with a manual transmission on top of the S tronic DSG. No other details are provided, but it’s expected that the RS3 Sedan will share the same 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine with the Euro-only Sportback model. The turbocharged powerplant cranks out 367 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque and pushes the five-door hatch from 0 to 62 mph in only 4.3 seconds. The engine mates to revised a seven-speed S tronic transmission that shifts faster than its predecessor, and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.

If the RS3 Sedan does happen, likely sometime in 2016, expect it to cost in excess of $55,000 on these shores.

Continue reading to learn more about the future Audi RS3 sedan.

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Super Bowl XLVIII Ad: Audi Ad Features Sarah McLachlan and the...Doberhuahua

Super Bowl XLVIII Ad: Audi Ad Features Sarah McLachlan and the...Doberhuahua

Super Bowl commercials always brings out the best, the worst, and sometimes the weird from all these companies looking to make a presence during the game with their commercials.

This year, the winner for the weirdest ad belongs to Audi.

No, it’s not because of the decision to bring in Sarah McLachlan that’s weird. On the contrary, we’re huge fans of Ms. McLachlan dating back to her years of releasing one chilling song after another. What really raised our eyebrows about Audi’s Super Bowl commercial is its star, a deformed-looking dog that apparently is a cross-breed between a doberman and a chihuahua, and the obvious play on her SPCA public service announcements.

Really, can it get stranger than that?

Don’t get us wrong, we love dogs of all breeds and sizes, but a doberhuahua? Really? Couldn’t Audi have throught of two dog breeds that fit in the same body type? Maybe a "GermanWeiller"? Or a "Spitzhuahua"?

Instead, it chose Doberhuahua and its planning to introduce it to the world during the Super Bowl on February. Seems even stranger that Audi posted an entire commercial of the "doberhuahua" without even mentioning any of its cars.

Strange times over there in Ingolstadt, eh?

Click past the jump to watch the other Super Bowl-bound Audi commercials

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Video: Marvel's "Steer The Story" Teaches us How To Draw An Audi R8

Video: Marvel’s "Steer The Story" Teaches us How To Draw An Audi R8

The full-court press surrounding the upcoming release of Iron Man 3 has reached a fever pitch, especially for Marvel and German automaker Audi.

A week ago, the two companies decided to give fans of the comic a chance to write their own ending, or more specifically, create the final frame of Iron Man’s comic book showdown against the Blizzard.

This week, Marvel’s "Steer the Story" campaign released a new video, only this time it’s one where Marvel fans will undoubtedly trip over in delight. Or at least those with the artistic chops to do so.

See, Marvel and Audi are giving fans a chance to learn how to do draw a car. But it’s not just any car; it’s a lesson on how to draw the Audi R8 Spyder. The tutorial is a pretty cool exercise, specifically because the instructional video starts with a blank sheet of paper and runs us through the entire process of drawing the R8, beginning with the outline all the way to the shading.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 and Marvel’s Steer the Story contest.

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Video: The New Audi R8 is Iron Man Approved

Video: The New Audi R8 is Iron Man Approved

Audi must’ve missed Tony Stark so much. Or you can probably say the same thing vice versa.

Either way, the two have reunited after a brief split during the “Avengers” and the second time around appears to have come with a serious lovefest for both parties. It was only a few days ago when Audi released a commercial for the R8 e-Tron featuring no less than Robert Downey Jr in it.

Well, they followed that one up pretty quickly with another ad, this time for the new R8 with Downey again reprising his role, small as it may be, of Tony Stark.

If there’s one thing these promotional tie-ups have shown us, it’s that you get copious amounts of mileage for both companies, something Audi must be happy to have, especially when you consider that the new Audi R8, with its 525-horsepower 5.2-liter V-10 engine with a top speed of 195 mph, is apparently "Iron Man Approved".

If Iron Man likes it, so do we! So do we!

Iron Man 3 hits theaters on April 24.

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Audi and Marvel Comics Want You to Finish a Comic Book

Audi and Marvel Comics Want You to Finish a Comic Book

Back when all of us were kids, comic books were pretty important part of our lives. Some of us have carried that love as we’ve gone older and now, Audi and Marvel Comics are giving all of us a chance to finally check something off our bucket lists.

Write our own comic book.

The two mega brands have decided to collaborate for a unique project, giving fans an opportunity to create the final frame of Iron Man’s comic book showdown against the Blizzard. And wouldn’t you know it; the frame also has the Audi R8 in it.

As far as your objectives are concerned, all you have to do is create the ending for the story. You are allowed to use whatever technology you can use to conclude story, including sketchpads, cameras, or if you’re really old school, you can draw it up on a sheet of paper. From there, you upload your scene and head over to Steerthestory.com for a chance to see if your work made it to the official comic book pages.

Click past the jump to watch a video describing the mechanics of the contest.

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Audi Threw Zing at Mercedes After SuperBowl Outage

Audi Threw Zing at Mercedes After SuperBowl Outage

Leave it to Audi to take advantage of an opportunity to get some digs on a rival automaker.

With the unexpected Super Bowl power outage taking well over 30 minutes to get resolved, the German automaker decided to throw a grenade Mercedes’ way. In case you didn’t know, the Superdome is officially titled as the Mercedes SuperBowl by way of Merc’s sponsorship of the dome.

So with the lights out, Audi went to Twitter to send a hilarious tweet Mercedes’ way. Here’s what it said:

"Sending some LEDs to the @MBUSA Superdome right now..."

Shots fired! Shots fired!

To be fair, the lights did come back on, but it was still another ingenious dig by an automaker that’s fast becoming one of the must-follow Twitter accounts in the industry. Remember their previous shots at Acura and its NSX Concept for "spiking" the design of the 1991 Quattro Spyder?

This Mercedes zing, though, is a lot funnier than that one.

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2014 Audi A8 L TDI

2014 Audi A8 L TDI

The 2014 Audi A8 L has been the object of affection for a lot of people, including myself who may or may not have a desktop wallpaper of the German luxury car on his laptop computer.

So, when Audi announced that the A8 L TDI is set to be brought to U.S. shores, you had at least one happy camper that’s already trying to fill up his piggy bank.

In all seriousness, this is great for everyone who has been clamoring for the super-luxurious German limousine to find its way in the Land of the Free. Take out the fact that the Audi A8 L TDI looks like an outright stunner that takes advantage of all the beautiful styling cues that Audi has come to be known for in the past years. Audi’s Premium Package also comes as a standard for the A8 L TDI, which means that you’ll receive Audi side assist and pre-sense rear, 22-way multi-contour comfort seats, front seat ventilation with massage capabilities, and full LED headlights. Sign us up, please!

But what we really like about the A8 L TDI is its 3.0-liter TDI engine that delivers 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, allowing the car to hit 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds. Sure, there could have been more power added to the engine, but given the kind of market the A8 L is supposed to take aim at, 240 ponies is mighty plenty for us, especially when the returns equate to an EPA estimated 24 mpg city / 36 mpg highway/ 28 mpg combined.

The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI will retail for $82,500 when it hits dealerships in the spring. That’s significantly cheaper than the $93,000 price tag attached to the Mercedes S350 BlueTEC. We like the S350 BlueTEC, but when given a choice, we’re not hesitating picking the A8 L TDI on this round.

We’ll update this review as more information on the U.S.-spec A8 L TDI is release.

Click past the jump to read Audi’s short press release

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Christian, Oh, Christian: Did "50 Shades of Grey" drive up Audi's US sales?

Christian, Oh, Christian: Did "50 Shades of Grey" drive up Audi’s US sales?

If you’ve ever leafed through the pages of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of erotica involved between the two stars of the book, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. We’re not going to dive into that; instead, we’re focusing on another part of the book that bears more relevance to the auto industry.

It seems that for all of his quirks, Christian Grey also has a fascination for cars, in particular, Audis. A number of Audi models were mentioned prominently in the trilogy, particularly the A3, which Christian gave to Anastasia for her birthday.

On top of the A3, the R8 was also mentioned, as well as an unnamed Audi SUV, and a host of other vehicles from the German automaker. The multiple references of Audi on one of the fastest-selling book trilogies of all time seems to have reflected on Audi’s US sales.

In a quote from AutoNews, Loren Angelo, general manager of Audi brand communications, said that while Audi had no involvement or knowledge that their cars would be prominently mentioned in the books, the company may have benefited from the unexpected exposure.

"As Audi continues to generate momentum in the U.S. market, we’re seeing our products utilized more and more within popular culture," Angelo said.

"Those organic results are always a sign that a brand is generating real cultural relevance. Obviously, the runaway success of this series has introduced Audi to consumers who might not have previously been thinking of the brand and that certainly has a positive impact for us."

For the month of July, Audi reported an all-time sales record, earning a 28% sales increase from the same time last year. The company did clarify that they don’t have any data to prove that the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy had a direct effect on the increased sales.

Then again, when something like this happens, you only need to trace it back to the source to find out that there just might be an explanation to all of this.

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2012 Audi R8 Exclusive Selection Edition

2012 Audi R8 Exclusive Selection Edition

Audi has already launched the 2013 R8 line-up, but these models won’t arrive on the US market until the end of 2012. Until that happens, American customers will have to make due with a series of Exclusive Selection Editions created exclusively for the U.S. market. These editions will be based on both the V8 and V10 models and will be limited to just twenty units for the V8 and thirty for the V10.

No changes were made in terms of power, but the new Exclusive Selection Edition will be distinguished by a choice of new exterior colors and stunning exclusive interior finishes. For the V8 version, Audi will debut a special Daytona Gray matte paint combined with a carbon fiber exterior splitter and diffuser, 19" titanium five-arm double spoke wheels, a black grille surround, black exhaust finishers, R8 GT tail lamps, and red brake calipers. For the interior, there will be an exclusive leather package with Crimson Red elements and contrast stitching, exclusive leather Navigation surround, and a thicker contoured leather multifunctional steering wheel for a sportier grip.

The V10 version will be offered in either Ibis White or Brilliant Black finishes, combined with R8 GT tail lamps and 19" bi-color e-tron wheels. For the interior, the Exclusive R8 will get a carbon fiber monoposto driver’s cockpit, an exclusive leather Navigation surround, and a contoured steering wheel.

Prices for the new Audi R8 Exclusive Selection Edition will depend on the engine and transmission chosen. For the V8 models, it will be $137,700 for the R8 V8 with a manual transmission and $146,800 for the R8 V8 with an R tronic transmission. The V10 model follows along the same trend with a $161,500 price tag for the R8 V10 with a manual transmission and $170,600 for the R8 V10 equipped with the R tronic transmission .

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Scott Keogh Handed the Keys to Audi of America

Scott Keogh Handed the Keys to Audi of America

Earlier this month, the man who is given the majority of the credit for Audi’s recent sales success in the U.S., Johan De Nysschen, stepped down as the president of Audi of America to take a gig with Infiniti, via Nissan. Audi needed to find someone with the right vision and an understanding of the direction that De Nysschen was taking Audi, as it moved closer to its U.S. sales goal of 200,000 units per year.

Fortunately, Audi didn’t have to look past its own office to find the man for the job. Audi has just announced that it has promoted Scott Keogh, the chief marketing officer, to Audi of America’s president. Keogh has always had quite the knack for marketing and advertising, so Volkswagen AG is hoping that this translates into pushing the brand toward its sales goals.

We have a sneaking suspicion that while De Nysschen will be missed, Audi will keep on rolling like nothing ever changed with Keogh at the helm. The next big step for the German automotive group is finding a replacement for Keogh’s now-vacant chief marketing officer position.

We offer our congratulations to Mr. Keogh on both the promotion and his likely significant pay increase. Hopefully he can keep the wheels in motion at Audi, as its latest models, like the SQ5 TDI, S1, and RS6 Avant are impressive and we want to see lots more of it.

We’ll keep you updated as Audi moves forward with its restructuring following its loss of De Nysschen to rival Infiniti.

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2012 Audi TT-RS by APR

2012 Audi TT-RS by APR

Alabama-based tuning company APR has made a nice reputation for being one of the best Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen tuners in the States. For their latest offering, they’ve created an ECU upgrade for the all-new Audi TT RS.

While the TT-RS already sports a pretty impressive 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 340 horsepower and 332 lb/ft of torque. Feeling the need to increase the Audi sports coupe’s power, APR prepared the Stage 1 ECU modification pack that significantly raises the TT-RS’ power to a sweet 414 horsepower and 430 lb/ft of torque.

Best of all, APR is only charging $899 for the program, which, according to them, is the “the best power per dollar modification for the new 2.5 TFSI.”

Taking the Audi TT-RS, a car that we have high regard for, and giving it a performance boost is the kind of program that a lot of people can enjoy - and afford. And judging by the way APR is packaging the program, we won’t be surprised if we see a more powerful program sometime soon.

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