AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Audi is reported to be planning a new supercar that would fit in above the R8 in the company’s lineup. Based on the same platform as the successor to the Lamborghini Murciélago, the new supercar would be mid-engined and use a version of Audi’s aluminum spaceframe chassis, with bits of carbon fiber added in to further reduce weight.
Even more exciting is the possibility that this vehicle, both wider and longer than the R8, would use a turbocharged 5.0-liter V10 motor to make as much as 600-hp! When combined with Audi’s quatro system, this new Audi supercar could then be capable of a 0-60 mph run of around 3.5 seconds.
The report comes from the U.K.s AutoExpress, which claims that several prototypes of the car have already been testing on the Nürburgring, but have been disguised as Lamborghinis.
As for the name, one has to assume Audi would continue to use the names of its race cars, with the R10 following the R8 on the track.
Automakers join exodus of high-end marques that already includes Ferrari and Maserati
Despite the huge concentration of exotic and high end cars in Los Angeles, many exclusive automakers won’t be in attendance at this year’s annual LA Auto Show. The latest two to drop from the list are Bentley and Lamborghini. That means attendees won’t be able to see the amazing new Reventón Roadster or the massive Mulsanne luxury sedan, with both vehicles having recently made their official world debuts at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The Mulsanne, also made an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance earlier this year.
Bentley’s Pebble Beach debut proved successful and was part of the brand’s approach to better utilize its resources, by showing the vehicle in front of a crowd where almost everyone in attendance could buy the vehicle – or a few of them. Official auto shows, like in Los Angeles, don’t usually bring buyers, however, the media exposure also has a lot of value in spreading the word about a new product.
High end automakers have been hit particularly hard in the recent recession and many are still scaling back to meet decreased demand. With far fewer vehicle sold than a Toyota or General Motors, every unit moved by a company like Lamborghini represents a much higher percentage of overall sales. In total, this year Lambo’s U.S. sales are down roughly 40 percent, while Bentley’s have been chopped in half.
Other automakers that have already announced they will be no-shows include Ferrari/Maserati and Aston Martin, which recently said it will have a dealer display. Unfortunately, this means we don’t see the new 458 Italia, GranCabrio or Rapide either.
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne Debut in Frankfurt
GALLERY: Lamborghini Reventon Roadster Debut in Frankfurt
BMW will sell a diesel four-cylinder engine in North America. In an interview with InsideLine, BMW NA’s VP of engineering, Tom Baloga, said that the 4-cylinder would arrive in the 3 Series and possibly in the 5 Series as well, with both the X3 and X5 also strong possibilities. Baloga also said that contrary to previous reports, not all new diesel BMWs will be all-wheel drive.
The engine in question will be a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel motor, which BMW has recently made impressive performance and fuel mileage gains with. In the 320d Efficient Dynamics vehicle release a few months ago at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the diesel 3 Series makes 163-hp and 265 ft-lbs of torque, while achieving 57 mpg!
BMW’s plan is to bring diesel cars up from essentially nothing (with the 335d) to 10-20 percent of its U.S. sales volume.
Baloga didn’t give any dates, but the 4-cylinder diesel BMW seems several years off yet, as the German automaker insists it must be as quiet as a six-cylinder, yet deliver the same performance and better fuel economy. To achieve the performance level, BMW plans to reduce the weight of its vehicles. Currently, one of the biggest problems facing the project is the expensive emissions systems required to make diesel’s meet U.S. (California) emissions standards.
Still, Baloga is confident. “Our four-cylinder diesel will be so good that people will readily accept it as a replacement for six-cylinders,” he said.
GALLERY: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics
Audi has already confirmed that the E-Tron concept that made its world premiere at the Frankfurt Auto Show last month will see production, and now recent reports suggest the car will go under the R4 badge. The news comes from the U.K.’s AutoExpress, which also suggests gasoline versions may be available and that this vehicle would be based on the next generation of the Porsche Boxster and Cayman platform. This would mean that it would slot in between the TT and R8.
Like the concept, the production model will use four electric motors (one for each wheel) to deliver Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive performance like never before. The car will make over 300-hp and more than 3,000 ft-lbs of torque with a 0-60 time of just under 5 seconds.
The R4 is expected to see production by 2012.