No need to wait for an official release on Audi’s next generation R8 Spyder as seen totally undisguised out on the streets of Germany.
Just like the previous R8 Spyder, the new model employs a good old-fashioned canvas roof that neatly tucks away behind the passenger compartment and under a retractable panel above the engine, which itself, has a very similar design to the outgoing model with twin vented buttresses on either side.
Audi also transferred the engine vent from the top of the trunk lid on the coupe to in-between the tail lights on the Spyder, but the rest of the car, including the interior, remains unchanged.
The new R8 coupe lost 66kg (145 pounds) over the older car, so we expect similar savings on the Spyder.
The gloss black exterior trimmings, including the side blades and exhausts, along with the additional buttons on the steering wheel inside, confirm that this model is the ‘Plus’, which is powered by a 610PS (602hp) and 560Nm (413lb.ft) version of the 5.2-liter V10 mill.
There will also be a base R8 Spyder V10 fitted with the same engine de-tuned to 540PS (533hp) and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque, with both V10s to be combined exclusively to a 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission driving all-four wheels.
Many reports have also emerged on the development of an entry-level version for the R8 series fitted with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine instead of a larger V8, mainly to satisfy demand for smaller displacement engines in China, and which should be offered in the Spyder as well.
We could see the new model making its world premiere as early as this month at the New York Auto Show.
The new Audi TT and TTS coupes are manufactured at Audi Hungaria Motor, the subsidiary of the German automaker that also assembles the very popular Audi A3 Sedan.
The Audi TT is the smallest and lightest car so far built on the MQB modular platform and three different versions are available at the moment, a 2-litre diesel with 184 PS, a 2-litre base petrol with 230 PS and available with quattro all-wheel drive or a 310 PS flagship TTS model.
Over half a million units of the previous two TT generations have been built and sold. The German company believes that the technology and performance on offer could make the third generation an even more successful car.
The first TT was assembled in 1998, its replacement arriving in 2006. We firmly believe that at least one more engine and a convertible version of the Mk3 two-door will be available within a year.
“The new generation of the Audi TT is the third model that Audi is completely producing in the new car plant at our site in Hungary,” stated Gerd Walker, Automobile Production Director at Audi Hungaria. “The successful model integration on the new production line is an important activity for the GyQr production site: This means that the plant is now operating at full capacity.”
Audi’s introduced the original TT with a comprehensive launch programme putting fashion forward with a stylish coupe that neatly summed up the design direction the company was headed in.
TT has evolved considerably since then.
The third-generation TT, replacing the original twice over with ever-more performance-focused features.
In November 2014, the plant in Hungary celebrated its 500,000th TT.
In October 2015, the Audi factory in Gyor receive 104 million euros of investment,
Of that figure, 19 million euros will come directly from the Hungarian government while Audi itself will be responsible for providing the rest of the funding.
As part of the investment, the plant will be expanded and 380 new jobs are expected to be created. As it stands, the facility produces the Audi A3 sedan, A3 cabriolet, TT coupe and TT roadster as well as a number of Volkswagen Group engines.
It remains to be seen if any additional Audi models will be produced at the factory as part of the expansion but there’s certainly a possibility it will soon begin producing the third Audi TT variant, expected to be a crossover or four-door sport-back model.
Using the Volkswagen Group`s new MLB Evo platform, specifically the SUV version of the platform.
The platform is an evolution of Audi`s existing MLB structure where ultra-high-strength parts made of hot-shaped steel form the backbone of the occupant cell.
Aluminium castings, extruded sections and panels are used in the front and rear ends as well as the superstructure. Other parts made entirely of aluminium are the doors, the front fenders, the hood and the rear hatch
How much lighter is it? A substantial 325 kgs lighter in 3.0-litre TDI trim as an example.
The 2016 Q7 TDI measures in at 2000 kgs making it one of the lightest options among seven-seat SUVs in the premium segment, but at the same time it’s one of the most spacious in the range despite external dimensions being lowered.
The big SUV is 3.81 cms shorter and 1.52cms narrower but with the same height. Space between the first and second row of seats has been increased. The third-row seats are better-suited to children and small adults.
2016 Audi entry-level option is a 2.0-litre TFSI, joined by two V-6s, a 3.0-litre TDI plus a 3.0-litre TFSI.
All 2016 Q7s will come with an eight-speed S tronic automatic transmission.
Further down the track Audi will add a plug-in hybrid combining a 3.0-litre TDI with an electric motor which will return a combined fuel economy of 1.4 litres/100 kms travelled. The Audi e-Tron Q7 will also be the fastest in the range doing 0-100 kmh in just 6.0 seconds and will accelerate to top speed will be a tick under 226 kmh.
A quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system remains standard across the 2016 Q7 range, but one major new feature is all-wheel steering. At low speeds the rear wheels steer opposite the front wheels, making the vehicle more manoeuvrable for parking, and at higher speeds the rear wheels follow the movement of the front wheels to aid stability. This works in conjunction with an electrically-aided steering system.
Comments from International Motoring Websites
1. “The main demerits are sub-par cargo space and 3rd-row room, and interior trim that doesn’t quite live up to the high standards we’ve come to expect from an Audi.” — Consumer Guide
2. “The Audi Q7 is a big vehicle, and if you don’t need all that size, you might be happier with something smaller, like Audi’s own Q5. On the other hand, the small rear seat and cargo area might make you want to step up to something like a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.” — Kelley Blue Book
3. “The aging 2014 Audi Q7 remains a stylish and competent seven-passenger luxury crossover, but its newer rivals are generally more appealing.” — Edmunds (2014)
The Audi Q3 cross-over competes with the BMW X1 as well as the Mercedes-Benz GLA in the small end of the compact-crossover market.
The Q3 is equipped with a 2.0 TFSI motor with either 125 kW or 155 kW engine. This is available in manual and S tronic and generates a maximum torque of 280 Nm, which remains constant across an engine speed range from 1,700 to 4,200 rpm with a combined fuel consumption of 7.3 l/100 km.
The more powerful 155 kW motor producing a torque of 300 Nm which enables this Audi Q3 to sprint from 0-100 km/h in only 6.9 seconds reaching a top speed of up to 230 km/h. The driving dynamics is the combination with permanent ‘all-wheel drive quattro’ and dynamic 7-speed S tronic transmission.
Audi claims seating for five in the 2015 Q3 with the rear seat best suited for 2 adults or three small young passengers and offers a cargo capacity of 0.45 cubic meters behind the rear seat; folding down the split rear seatbacks increases this capacity to 1.37 cubic meters.
This includes rear-side airbags and a ‘Driver Assistance’ package with parking aids and a rear-view camera (not standard) including blind-spot monitors.
Other features include 18-inch wheels, sunroof, xenon headlights, LED interior lighting, 12-way power-adjustable front seats with heating, and leather trim.
The interior upholstery is black with contrasting stitching, sport seats with seat upholstery in perforated Alcantara/leather and with S line embossing, inlays in matt brushed aluminium.
The basic sound system has satellite and HD radio and Bluetooth streaming, but you’ll immediately miss the missing USB port, only offered on Q3s with navigation.
The Quattro all-wheel drive system provides excellent road-handling capabilities
There is no question that Audi invented the saying `master of the corporate look’ with all their up-markets models, and the Q3 is no different- in line with the brand’s latest design direction.
The overall profile is unchanged, and the biggest update is reserved for the nose- a more angular design for the large grille which is finished with satin silver trim
The slender light housings feature new full LED lamps is featured on S line models,
Comments from International Motoring websites:
1. Auto Express
`Premium badge, classy interior and capable chassis, but conservative styling, pricey options and small model range.”
“This Q3 brings top-quality mechanical refinement, laudable build quality, rich and impressive cabin materials and proper premium brand desirability to the market for small 4x4s.”
3. What Car?
“It’s a more complete and appealing car than an X1, thoroughly pleasing to drive and calls into question the need for a larger Q5.”
“There’s the choice of two- or four-wheel drive as well as diesel engines directed at affordable running costs and performance focussed petrol versions. Like many models from the range it still loses out to the BMW when it comes to driver engagement.”
The Audi Q1 is a compact crossover vehicle to slot in below the Q3
The Q1 is built on Volkswagen’s MQB platform sharing a 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel and 1.4 litre petrol engine with the current A1. Audi’s Quattro All-Wheel Drive will be standard.
Audi has a distinct design language and styling shared with the Q3 and Q7.
Similar in size to the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, the Q1 will offer the premium feel that buyers have become to expect from the manufacturer.
The new model also features a re-designed hexagonal grille design that appears on the refreshed Q7. The metallic frame now runs out towards the headlights, which will be similarly sharp, but will include LED running lights on all models.
A shoulder line covers the length of the car, with broad wheel arches for a more muscular look, with large alloy wheels and a raised chassis height to complete the look.
It is anticipated that the most likely option will be an adapted VW/Audi group’s MQB platform with cabin space closer to the A3 and not the A1.
It is anticipated that the 1.4-litre turbo petrol and 1.6-litre turbo diesel will be used. A four-wheel-drive system is also likely to be offered (one could expect a super-fast SQ1 model).
Positioned slightly below the Q3, Audi’s Q1 is expected to be the smallest premium crossover on the market. The image was released when Audi announced the Q1 would enter production.
The Audi Q1 is designed to give Audi a lead in the fast-growing small-crossover segment: “It is part of a broad Q-model strategy,” says CEO Rupert Stadler.
The Audi A8 is available in both short-wheel base and long-wheelbase (A8 L) configurations.
The A8 3.0T has a super-charged 3.0-litre V6 engine and the A8 4.0T has a twin-turbo-charged 4.0-litre V8.
The long-wheelbase models are also available with a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 and a 6.3-litre W12.
The performance-oriented Audi S8 also has a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8.
All models come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
The A8 hasn’t been fully re-designed since the 2011 model year.
Comments from Auto Writers, Critics and Test Drivers
· Automotive writers are impressed with the Audi A8’s offers nimble handling, a strong engine and a lavish interior.
· Every A8 comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
· According to the EPA, the 2015 A8 3.0T gets 12.4/8.1 kms/100 kms city/highway, which is good for the class.
· Test drivers agree that the A8 has excellent handling with the agility of a much smaller sport sedan.
· They impressed with its sharp steering, excellent traction and smooth ride.
· Test drivers are impressed with the Audi A8’s interior opulence, high-end materials and great styling.
· Critics say the front seats are comfortable with roomy rear seats but are disappointed with the boot space offered by a car of this size.
Standard Features Include
Leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and Audi’s MMI infotainment and navigation system.
· Heated front and rear seats that are ventilated with massaging feature.
· Panoramic sunroof, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, blind spot monitoring, active lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, a head-up display, night vision and a surround-view camera system. Reviewers are impressed with the number of high-tech features in the A8.
Comments from International Motoring Websites
1. “The 2015 Audi A8 remains one of our top luxury sedan picks for its high levels of comfort, performance and numerous high-tech features.” — Edmunds
2. “If you crave a full-size luxury sedan that’s conservative on the outside but sophisticated within, the A8 is the subdued standout in this segment.” — Kelley Blue Book
3. “The Audi A8 delivers the stretch-out-space, high-tech gadgetry and pampering extras one would expect of a full-size luxury sedan, but it drives much smaller than its generous dimensions would suggest. These virtues, along with standard quattro all-wheel-drive and a wide range of powerful yet efficient motors, make the A8 a highly tempting option for executive sedan shoppers.” — Left Lane News
4. “Compared with the big S-Classes and 7 Series of the world, the A8 feels lithe and more responsive — less of a limousine and more of a sport sedan.” — Motor Trend (2013)