The Audi R18 e-tron quattro is causing a sensation on its first racing commitment in the United States. In qualifying for the 12-hour race at Sebring (Florida) both hybrid race cars from Audi Sport Team Joest clearly beat the previous qualifying track record.
In the cockpits of the two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars, Marcel Fassler (CH) and Allan McNish (GB) fought a close duel for the top spot on the grid in the 15-minute qualifying session on Friday afternoon. In the end, the Swiss with a razor-thin advantage of 0.009 seconds prevailed against his Scottish team-mate. The two-time Le Mans winner and current World Endurance Champion took his first pole position in a Le Mans prototype plus his first one as an Audi factory driver. (more…)
Audi has established powerful driver pairings for its commitment in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The respective entries were confirmed today by the Selection Committee of the ACO and the FIA. Three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars will be competing at the Spa 6 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013. At each of the six other WEC rounds, Audi will be fielding two hybrid sports cars. (more…)
Not only is APR Motorsport unveiling a new-look testing livery for this weekend’s Roar Before the 24, but the team is proud to announce its driver lineup for the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona. Americans Matt Bell and Alex Figge will join Canadians John Farano and Dave Lacey in the no. 51 APR Audi R8.
Additionally, APR Motorsport driver Ian Baas will compete in the Rolex 24 in the factory-supported no. 52 APR Audi R8, joining Marc Basseng, Frank Stippler, and Rene Rast. (more…)
(Via Quattroworld) Spy photographers have just captured Audi testing the brand new Audi A3 Sedan at one of Audi’s Southern Europe test sites. We are very excited about this car. It slots into the area once occupied by the B5 A4 in terms of size, engine tuning options and price. Full story and gallery at quattroworld.com.
Audi provides a glimpse of the future shape of design, along with automotive and drive concepts, through its Audi crosslane coupe concept car. This vehicle is an entirely new fusion of technology, engineering and design, and provides pointers to the design language of Audi’s future Q models. (more…)
Audi has asked a Chinese dealer to remove a banner advocating the murder of Japanese people after a photograph of the sign went viral on the Internet amid escalating tensions between the two countries.
The anti-Japan message captured in the photo of the unidentified dealership doesn’t reflect Audi’s views, said Lu Minjie, a spokeswoman at FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co., the venture that makes Audi-brand cars in China. (more…)
2012 Audi A4, A5 and A6 sweep the Aspirational Luxury Car category
Audi was named the Highest Premium Brand for the Autobytel and AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA). Based on a survey of over 75,000 new car and light truck owners, the IVAs recognize the cars that meet their owner’s expectations and desires about their automotive purchases. Contributing to this standing was a sweep of the Aspirational Luxury Car category by the Audi A4, Audi A5 and Audi A6. The Audi Q5 and Q7 also had strong showings in their crossover SUV categories. All vehicles included in the survey represented the Audi 2012 model year. (more…)
Audi is boosting the character of its sports car with the TT Coupe S line competition special edition. Available for all engine versions up to 155 kW (211 hp), the special edition of the Audi TT combines all the elements of the S line sport package and the S line exterior package, and adds new and exclusive features – all for an attractive package price of just €4,300 ($5,426).
The future of electric mobility at Audi is highly dynamic: The R8 e-tron has set a world record for a production vehicle with an electric drive system on the Nurburgring Nordschleife – the toughest test track in the world. Racing driver Markus Winkelhock piloted the high-performance, all-electric-drive sports car around the demanding 20.8-kilometer (12.92-mile) track in 8:09.099 minutes. With this Audi has achieved yet another milestone in its history, following overall wins at the 24-hour races at the Nurburgring and Le Mans.
“The R8 e-tron has given a magnificent demonstration of its potential on the toughest race track in the world,” said Michael Dick, AUDI AG Board Member for Technical Development. Dick, who completed a fast lap himself in the R8 e-tron, added: “The record-setting drive confirmed that we are on the right track. To us, electric mobility has never been about sacrifice, but rather is about emotion, sportiness and driving pleasure.”
A comparison with the current record lap driven by a combustion engined production car shows just how impressive the 8:09.099-minute time really is. The record time of 7:11.57 minutes was achieved with a Gumpert Apollo Sport, which is powered by a 515 kW (700 hp) Audi V8 gasoline engine.
The drive system of the Audi R8 e-tron that Markus Winkelhock drove to the world record corresponds in every detail with that of the production model that will come on the market at the end of the year. Both of the car’s electric motors generate an output of 280 kW and 820 Nm of torque; more than 4,900 Nm (3,614.05 lb-ft) are distributed to the rear wheels nearly from a standing start.
The Audi R8 e-tron accelerates from zero to 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 4.6 seconds. Its top speed is normally limited to 200 km/h (124.27 mph); 250 km/h (155.34 mph) was approved for the record-setting lap.
The R8 e-tron’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery stores 49 KWh of energy – enough for a distance of about 215 kilometers (133.59 miles). Its “T” shape allows it to be installed in the center tunnel and in the area between the passenger compartment and the rear axle. It is charged by energy recovery during coasting and braking. The ultralight car body of the Audi R8 e-tron is made primarily of aluminum, along with CFRP components; this is a main reason why the high-performance sports car weighs just 1,780 kilograms (3,924.23 lb), despite the large battery.
In order to further underscore the production-relevance of the R8 e-tron and the capability of its drive technology, Audi has set another record on the Nordschleife in addition to the single lap record time. Immediately afterwards, Markus Winkelhock drove two fast laps in one go in a second R8 e-tron that was limited to 200 km/h (124.27 mph). At 8:30.873 and 8:26.096 minutes, both laps were well under the important nine-minute threshold.
“The record drives were a fantastic experience for me,” said Markus Winkelhock. The 32-year-old, who lives near Stuttgart, has a high standard for comparison – the Audi R8 LMS ultra, in which he, along with Marc Basseng, Christopher Haase and Frank Stippler, won the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring a few weeks ago.
“Of course, the R8 e-tron is a production car, not a racing car with the assistance of aerodynamics,” Winkelhock emphasized. “But with its low center of gravity and rear biased weight distribution, it brings with it a lot of sporty qualities. The torque with which the electric motors propel the car uphill beats everything that I know – even if they make hardly any noise in the process, which at the start was really a completely new experience for me. In places where I really need traction, the torque vectoring – the displacement of the torque between the powered wheels – really helps me.”
Michael Dick proudly summed up events after the record-setting drive at the Nurburgring. “Within just a few weeks we’ve taken on some big challenges and in the process we’ve shown that we are at the forefront with all of our drive concepts,” he said, adding:“We won the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring in May in the Audi R8 LMS ultra with a ten-cylinder engine.
In mid-June we triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Audi R18 e-tron quattro – the first overall victory for a hybrid-electric vehicle in the toughest race in the world. And now we’ve set another record with the all-electric-drive R8 e-tron on the most demanding track there is.”