Sporty Audi RS3

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If you’re in the market for the fastest compact five-door available, then the Audi RS3 Sportback should be your only choice.

This is a road-legal missile and the undisputed speed king of fast five-door hatchbacks.

Delivering a powerful punch to its competitors is the most powerful of Audi’s famed five-cylinder engine.

Turbo-charged to increase performance, the 2.5-litre petrol unit produces 362bhp and is electronically governed to 250kmh – though 280kmh is possible from a de-restriction at an additional cost. What is more impressive is the Audi’s 0 to 100 kmh at just 4.3 seconds.

Delivering this speed is a seven-speed S-tronic automatic gearbox and Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system. Both have been tuned to be more responsive, theoretically delivering more fun behind the wheel.

While official efficiency figures of 8.1 litres/100 kms and 189g/km of CO2 best the previous-generation RS3’s 9.1 litres/100 kms and 212g/km statistics.

The quattro system is designed in such a way as to minimize the ‘pushing wide’ into corners with understeer. Wider tires at the front than the back play their part here too, and while the rear wheels can have up to 100 percent of the power sent to them to keep cornering lines in check, seldom does this actually happen.

Sending proportionally more power to the ‘outside’ wheels of a corner now also helps tighten the RS3’s trajectory. Audi’s Drive Select function, switching between different driving modes, impacts the steering, throttle response, gear change points and, where fitted, the adaptive suspension’s compliance.

The RS3 Sportback remains largely unchanged visually- a honeycomb-pattern grille, and gaping chasms cut into the outer edges of the front bumper feed in additional cool air, a rear diffuser with enlarged oval exhaust pipes emerging from either side, and a unique design of 19-inch alloy wheels. Standard LED headlights and 25mm lower suspension are evident.

The RS3 maintains its classiness and solidity, and Audi have no plans to launch a three-door RS3 but has hinted a four-door saloon may eventually go on sale.

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Audi’s Limited-Edition A8 L

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Audi’s Japanese division have produced a limited-edition version of the A8 L flagship christened ‘Chauffeur Edition’ to cater for the growing needs of chauffeur driven cars in Japan.

It is very difficult to distinquish the Chauffeur Edition apart from the normal A8 L.  The inside tells a different story.

·         Rear seated passengers are treated to a pair of adjustable LED reading lights and individual power-adjustable seats upholstered in luxurious marble gray upholstery.

·         Passenger are provided with a specially chilled drinks compartment which is integrated into the panel between the rear seat back rests.

·         Two Audi Exclusive-branded glasses are stored in a small purpose-designed cabinet built into the center console, allowing the rear passengers to have a drink on the go.

The Chauffeur Edition is powered by a standard A8 L-sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged TFSI engine that provides 435 horsepower and 444 lb-ft. of torque and is fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission that powers all four wheels. The 8-cylinder car is also no slouch and can do the 0-100 kmh sprint in under four seconds.

Audi will build 5 examples of the Audi A8 L Chauffeur Edition with a price tag of USD 131,000.

Audi Q7

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Audi`s all-new 2016 Q7 reveal a handsome albeit somewhat familiar look for the new Q7, but while the exterior may not have changed much engineers have totally revamped things underneath the sheet metal.

Volkswagen Group`s new MLB Evo platform, is an evolution of Audi`s existing MLB structure but is lighter thanks to multi-material construction. 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 325kgs lighter in 3.0-litre TDI trim, for instance. The 2016 Q7 TDI measures in at 2000 kg, making it one of the lightest options among seven-seat SUVs in the premium segment. At the same time, it is one of the most spacious in its segment despite its exterior dimensions shrinking.

Further efficiency improvements come from the powertrain department with the entry-level option being a 2.0-litre TFSI  joined by two V-6s, a 3.0-litreTDI plus a 3.0-litre All 2016 Q7s will come with an eight-speed S tronic automatic transmission.

Further down the track Audi will add a second 3.0-litre TDI option.

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.

While the Q7 has taken a big step forward, things are about to get very crowded at the top of the SUV segment, with the upcoming entries from Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and even Mercedes-Maybach. To stay in that highly profitable game—and to retain the owners of the previous V-8 and V-12 TDI versions—Audi will launch a V-8 TDI, a V-8 turbo petrol engine, and possibly even a W-12 turbo gasoline engine.