Monday, February 28, 2011

Audi A2 Launch

The last we heard about development of a second-generation Audi A2 model was that the project was on hold due to the lack of a suitable platform.

Now it’s been reported that a platform has been found and that the car is on track for a debut in early 2015, more than two years later than originally planned.

Like the previous generation, sold in Europe between 1999 and 2005, the new A2 is thought to be a tallish practical hatch that will sit between the A1 and A3 models in Audi’s lineup. It will also feature aluminum in its construction, but this time only for its body and not its platform as well. In this way Audi will be able to keep the car at a reasonable pricetag, solving one of the biggest issues of its expensive predecessor.

Audi A2

Audi A1 Good Small Car

It’s being called the Next Big Audi by the marketing gurus, and for the German luxury brand, the arrival of the A1 is certainly a big event. But that doesn’t make the Polo-sized three-door hatchback a big car. Instead, its relying on the cute factor, its premium positioning – and the increasing trend favouring smaller cars – for sales success. Fortunately, that’s not all the A1 has to offer. By DEON SCHOEMAN.
The A2 may have been ahead of its time, because it pre-empted the market’s appetite for small, advanced and eco-friendlier cars by at least a decade. But with hindsight, the cost of its eventual failure could be considered as school fees for Audi’s second small car attempt. And this time, the new small Audi does appear to be destined for success.
Audi A1
For starters, let’s confirm that the A1 feels every inch an Audi – and nothing like the Volkswagen Polo it shares some underpinnings with. But that’s not really a surprise, after all an A3 doesn’t feel like a Golf either.
Driving the A1 is to be presented with that typically solid, engaging dynamic experience that’s dictated by the Four Rings’ hatchback DNA. Which means it feels like a scaled-down A3 and not like a Polo clone. And of course, the design is unmistakably Audi.
That the A1 attracts a lot of attention is a good sign. And it certainly turns heads, although the novelty factor also plays a role, for now. Besides, this smallest Audi is not pretty in the conventional sense of the word.
To my mind, the best perspective is from the front, where the big, single-frame grille and LED daytime running lights emphatically confirm the hatchback’s Audi identity. But at the rear, the execution is a little more avant garde – even controversial – thanks to a tailgate with an unusual overbite, and tail light clusters that stand proud from the metalwork.
Audi A1
Somehow, that rear makes the A1 look a little old-fashioned. Add the shorter, almost squashed dimensions, and the result can be awkward and even dumpy from some angles. But it’s also eye-catching, especially when the arced roofline is emphasised by the optional pillars in a contrasting hue.

Audi A1 Review

Audi’s new A1 has the style, performance – and that premium four-ringed badge – to cause them
a major headache.
The ‘baby’ Audi offers a curvy appearance to the world rather than the squarer lines of the Mini and prices start at the appealingly low level of just over £13,000.
Audi A1
The test car, a 1.4 TFSI Sport, came with a distinctive chromed roofline – one of a number of personalisation options that is likely to prove popular with customers in this sector of the market.
A1 buyers can choose from turbo-charged 1.2 or 1.4 petrol engines and there’s a diesel option too that’s expected to prove the best seller.
Trim levels range from SE through to Sport and S Line – and it won’t take too many option box ticks to see prices nudging £20,000 for the flagship model.
The A1 wrings better performance from its 1.4 litre engine than the Mini’s lower output 1.6 power plant and is capable of hitting 60mph in under nine seconds.
There’s also an agreeably rorty note from the engine when it’s asked to perform – though if you are too carefree with your right foot you’ll never get anywhere near Audi’s combined cycle economy figure of 53.3mpg.
Though this is the smallest Audi since the A2 of 1999, the German firm does not appear to have stinted on quality.
The paintwork is beautifully finished and the cabin is made from quality materials – concentrated Vorspurng Durch Technik indeed.
The seats are very comfortable and the driving position is good.
There was a quality sat nav in the test car and the solidity and chunkiness of the handbrake made it clear from the outset that this was no run-of-the-mill supermini –even if it is based on a VW Polo.
There’s enough room, just, for four adults to sit comfortably inside and the A1 also scores over the Mini by virtue of its slightly larger boot.
Despite its slightly cutesy looks and kerb weight of just over a tonne there’s a reassuringly solid feel about the A1 on the road. It handles and steers well though doesn’t quite go about its business as enthusiastically as its Mini rival, with its trademark gokart handling ability.

Audi A3 Sedan

Audi has been busy in the art room, as they have just released a few sketches of the A3 concept that is heading to the Geneva Motor Show.
2015 Audi A3 Sedan
This version of the A3 isn’t the normal hatchback that we’re all used to seeing though, as the A3 that Audi has drawn features four-doors. It seems the German automaker is going to bring a sedan version of the A3 to the market, or at least to the Geneva Motor Show.
Audi describes the A3 sedan concept as a “four-seater notchback sedan”. It is around 174-inches long, making it about six inches longer than the five-door model. The front fascia is classically Audi, but a tad more aggressive than we’re used to seeing from the company. The headlights feature numerous LED bulbs that flank a trapezoidal grille.
The cabin of the Audi A3 sedan is very low slung and it features an arching roofline that ends in a very thin C-pillar. This gives the vehicle a four-door coupe look, similar to the much larger Audi A7.
Audi A3 Sedan

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI launch imminent

2011 Audi Q5 SUV 
Audi India seems to be all set to usher in a cheaper variant of it’s hot selling Q5 SUV by plonking in the 2 liter TDI Engine into the Q5′s engine bay. This engine, which is a retuned version of the popular 2.0 TDI Volkswagen engine  that sits in the engine bays of a wide range of cars ranging from the Volkswagen Passat to the Skoda Laura, the Audi A4 and A6.
2011 Audi Q5 SUV
2011 Audi Q5 SUV
The engine develops about 170 Bhp of power and 350 Nm of torque coupled to a 7 speed tranny which, while not awe inspiring, will be powerful enough to endow the butch and muscular Q5 SUV with above average performance.This, as the Q5 2.0 TDI weighing in at 1845 Kilos is still about 100 kilos lighter than the Toyota Fortuner, which has similar power and torque figures from it’s 3 Liter D-4D Toyota Diesel engine.
Also, the Q5 2.0 TDI will be slightly more fuel efficient than the 3.0 TDI engine, which is another point in favor of the smaller engine. Apart from the engine change, the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI might come with a stripped out equipment list to make it considerably cheaper than the bigger engined version. These changes, along with a cut down price tag that would make the Audi Q5 a lot more appealing to folks who otherwise would have fallen hook, line and sinker to the new 2011 BMW X3, which will be arriving soon.
2011 Audi Q5 SUV
2011 Audi Q5 SUV

Monday, January 3, 2011

Eight reasons to buy Audi A7

Audi A7
Just spent a few days driving Audi's new A7 in the UK, and have come away very impressed. Here's a few quick reasons why:
Good point number 1: The driving position is very good: no longer do you feel the need to pull the steering wheel all the way out just to get comfortable (so often an Audi bugbear of mine). Plus the seats can be set at just the right height so you can feel snug and sporty, but still look out over the bonnet, place the car, and not feel like you’re sitting in a SUV
Good point number 2: The steering, which is a revelation for a mainstream Audi. There’s still no genuine feel, but what non-Porsche/Lotus/Caterham has feel these days? But it is sharp, direct and linear. I presumed this was because this particular car didn’t have the Drive Select system which constantly varies the set-up, without ever finding the perfect compromise. But despite a lack of dash-mounted button, a delve into the menu did discover that this car was Drive Select-equipped, and in Comfort, Auto or Dynamic the steering was never ultra-light, ultra-heavy, nor suddenly switching between the two mid-roundabout. Simply, it was just good. Not perfect, but a long stride in the right direction.
Good point number 3: The steering wheel, which had a thin rim and was small in diameter. With the small central boss it reminded me of the wheel in our long-term XJ, only this one was nicer to hold. Amazing how a small wheel can make a big car seem more agile and sporty.
Good point 4: The Audi A7's ride proved very supple, and only at low speeds did the air springs struggle to smoothe off small bumps. Another step forward for Audi.
Good point 5: The 3.0-litre supercharged engine, which while not exactly economical, snarls towards the redline and is as quick as you ever need. Surely this V6 has way more than the claimed 296bhp/325lb ft? This is a heavy car, after all...
Audi A7
Good point 6: The touchpad, which is intuitive, great for a left-hander like me, and finally adds six 'favourite' buttons for the radio, even if they are on the driver's side and awkward for the passenger to reach. The system pioneered on the A8 is already been fettled. That's progress for you.
Good point 7: The seat heater controls, which are now a button rather than a dial-button combo. You used you have to press a button, spin a dial, then press the dial. Now you press a button and they are on. My rump is roasted more easily.
Good point 8: There's finally a ‘sync’ button so the driver can control his/her temperature settings, and the those of the passenger.
Of course the Audi A7 isn't perfect. It lacks the stylistic grace of the A5 Coupe, has none of the impact of the first-generation Mercedes CLS (though nor does the new CLS Mk2), the air-con controls are still set too low while the never-used SIM/card reader panels takes up the majority of the dash, there seems to be no repeatable way to switch the gearbox between its Automatic and Sport modes. And while I'm in grumble mode, the pale boot covering reflects badly off the hatchback's glass panel.
But overall I came away mightily impressed by the new A7: the build quality and top-notch materials are ever-present, and now there's hope for the enthusiast driver too. Well done, Audi.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Audi Beats Own Sales Record 
Audi has beaten its own sales record in the U.S. by selling its 93,507th vehicle on Monday evening. The previous record was 93,506 vehicles sold across the U.S. in 2007. Audi’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Del Rosso explains that Audi believes that it will cross the 100,000 vehicles barrier for the year 2010, making it the fourth global market after China, Germany and the United Kingdom with sales numbers exceeding the 100,000 vehicles mark.