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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.
Welcome to the first installment of “Ask AutoGuide!” a brand-new weekly feature where we help you find the right new car or truck. Think of it as internet community service, our way of giving back to the loyal people who share so much with us. Best of all the advice comes from the heart since it’s not court-ordered and we don’t have to check in with a parole officer.
More and more automakers are offering all-wheel-drive than in the past. This extra choice is great news for consumers but it can lead to confusion; the number of technologies on the market is practically vertigo-inducing. Each manufacturer’s system is unique, and a lot of times the underlying hardware is different. Not every all-wheel-drive setup was created equally. Which one is best for you? Here’s an overview of what some major manufacturers offer.
It eats tires faster, drinks more gas and comes at a price premium, but demand for all-wheel drive equipped luxury sedans is still growing.
Since the A4 is Audi’s best selling model, it is important to be evolutionary, rather than too revolutionary, in design. While Audi has made updates to every surface including the headlight and taillight treatment, front fascia, bumpers, and hood, the A4 remains readily familiar.
As for the interior, trim pieces are further refined and Audi has also improved user-friendliness on their MMI infotainment system.
Perhaps the greatest change for the new A4 is the addition of the A4 Allroad wagon. Available for the European market will be a selection of six turbodiesels and four petrol engines. For the North American market, we expect the 211-hp 2.0 liter turbocharged four as well as the Audi S4 spec 333 horsepower 3.0 liter supercharged six.
Quattro continues to be available across the line. Transmission options include the six speed manual, a dual clutch auto, as well as a CVT available for A4′s in front wheel drive trim.
Audi will release the new A4 and S4 in North America during the summer of 2012 as a 2013 model.
GALLERY: 2013 Audi A4 line-up
The all-new 2012 Audi S7 is the latest edition to the automaker’s lineup of swoopy pseudo-hatchbacks, and it will be nothing less than a beast. The S7 will use the same engine as the S6 and S6 Avant, the new twin-turbo 4.0-liter TFSI V8 producing 420-hp and 405 lb-ft of torque.
The five-door coupe can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds with a top speed limited to 155 mph. The engine features Audi’s “cylinder on demand” technology improving fuel consumption for an overall rating of 24 mpg. The engine is mated to a dynamic seven-speed S tronic transmission as well as with Audi’s bullit proof quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. The S7 also comes standard with the adaptive air suspension sport and the Audi drive select dynamic system. The car can be had with 19- and 20-inch wheels and dynamic steering, which varies its ratio as a function of speed, carbon-ceramic discs, and optional sport differential.
The sporty character of the S7 is carried through on the interior as well. The interior is highlighted by numerous details including the S badges, the red ring on the start-stop button , the S7 badges in the door sill trim, the aluminum strip on the S tronic gear lever and the aluminum shift paddles. The seats are height adjustable with power lumbar support. The cabin can also be styled with aluminum, carbon, natural fine grain ash and layered Beaufort oak as well as Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, with the leather grades Milano and Valcona, so in other words, no shortage of choice.
The S7 Sportback is scheduled for delivery starting in the spring of 2012. Look for the official debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 13th.
GALLERY: 2012 Audi S7
Audi has won the “International Engine of the Year 2011″ award for the second year in a row in the 2-liter to 2.5-liter category and seventh category award in a row for Audi TFSI technology.
This engine is fitted in the RS3 Sportback and the TT RS . The engine produces 340-hp between 5,400 and 6,500 rpm with 332 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 to 5,300 rpm. The TT RS Coupe can do 0-100 kph in 4.3 seconds. The roadster achieves 100 in 4.4 seconds and the RS 3 Sportback can accelerate to 100 kph in 4.6 seconds.
One Internationl Engine of the Year jury member said the 2.5-liter engine is “certainly the best turbocharged engine in recent years. Torque, power, and great sound – this engine has it all! It is a powerful, visceral reminder of the original quattro rally racing engine that put Audi on the map.”
Audi will make the final decision to build the beautiful Quattro concept in six months. But in the meanwhile, they’re pushing ahead with further developing it…you know, just in case.
The company first mentioned that they would decide whether or not to produce the Quattro in two or three months. But now, the decision has been delayed even further—Audi is finding difficulty in justifying it in this current market, given the tenuous balance between price and performance targets.
The car would be built in low volumes, and would be difficult to turn a profit on; after all, sports coupes are never high sellers, appealing more to enthusiasts than corporate accountants. All of the body panels are completely unique, and its platform would have to be heavily modifed from the RS5 as a possibility. Even after Audi makes a decision in six months, the company says it would still be three years before production starts, just to get everything right.
The fact that Audi is still working on readying the Quattro concept, which cost an estimated $5.2 million to build, means that those within the company are very keen to see it on the road. Not at that price, of course. Other performance targets they are considering include a curb weight of just around 2800lbs, mimicking the original rally-storming Quattro coupe. The turbocharged inline-five engine from the TT-RS will be used, pumping out 400 horsepower and 354 lb/ft of torque.
And given the overwhelming response, Audi could certainly keep enthusiast momentum going by tantalizing them with rumors of production—only so many of us can afford an R8.
[Source: Motor Trend]
Packing a 408-horsepower 5-cylinder engine and a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox, the A3 sedan has more in common with the fearsome Audi Quattros of yesterday than the compact hatchback of this decade. The A3′s 4-door sedan bodystyle has grown to within half a foot of the bigger A4 in terms of length, perhaps a concession to North American tastes, or perhaps because so much power in a short wheelbase car would make an early Porsche 911 look like a docile handling tourer. Audi’s MMI media interface system also makes an appearance but please, don’t take your eyes off the road in a car this quick.
GALLERY: Audi A3 Sedan
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North Americans only received the small Golf-based A3 hatchback a few years ago, but Audi is planning to expand the lineup with a fastback four-door sedan at the Geneva Auto Show packing 400+ horsepower and quattro AWD.
The power comes courtesy of a turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, attached with precision to a 7-speed S-tronic transmission. Stylistically, the teaser above shows us the trademark LED lights and angular Audi grille from its incredible Quattro Concept and puts it in a package that isn’t just aimed at drooling 1980s rally nerds (like us).
At 14.5 feet long, it will be approximately the same size as the A4 (15.4 feet). But after news of the A5 Sportback and the A7 coming to American shores, Audi hasn’t been shying away from overpopulating the market. The A3 will continue to compete against the 1-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Coupe.
GALLERY: Audi A3 4-Door Concept
Audi‘s Quattro Concept was revealed ahead of the Paris Auto Show today, ending speculation that this car was actually the long rumored R4 baby sports car.
Harkening back to the light-weight Ur-Quattro of the 1980′s, the Quattro concept weighs in at around 3,000 lbs and features a 5-cylinder turbo motor, pumping out 408 horsepower and 354 lb-ft through a 6-speed manual gearbox and a quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Sparco seats and an Audi MMI system modeled after a rally computer feature inside, as does the usual gorgeous Audi interior. Look for more content shortly as the Paris Auto Show gets underway.
GALLERY: Audi Quattro Concept
High-performance model would celebrate original's 30th anniversary
According to a recent report in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, Audi is set to bring back the Quattro Coupe. The new model will be based on the Audi A5 and debut next year to celebrate 30 years since the launch of the original Quattro.
Weight of the new Quattro would be closer to 3,000 lbs, however, the engine Audi will use for the new model is not known. To save weight, the 4.2-liter V8 is most likely out of the question and rumors point to a twin-turbocharged V6. There is also the potential of using the TT-RS’s new turbocharged five-cylinder, which would make sense considering original Quattro also had a five-cylinder. Regardless, power is expected to be anywhere in the 300 to 425hp range.
Other highlights of the new Quattro include polycarbonate windows instead of glass ones, carbon ceramic brakes, an active rear spoiler, lightweight 19- or 20-inch wheels, an adjustable magnetic-ride suspension and a sporty race-like interior.
[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via Autoblog]
[Photo Credit: AutoBild]
With the new A3 due out in 2011 rumors of performance and hybrid versions of the car have already emerged.
In the performance category Audi is expected to release an RS3, which will be powered by the same turbocharged five-cylinder currently found in the TT-RS. Output won’t be quite as significant, but expect lots of boost on tap and a much as 335hp and 332 ft-lbs of torque. The RS3 will also make use of Audi’s quattro system and will use a new seven-speed DSG gearbox.
The car will be aimed squarely at the Ford Focus RS as well as BMW’s 135 – which increases the likelihood of this high-performance A3 model actually making it to the U.S.
In the fuel-efficient category, a hybrid version of the A3 is also expected and will use the same essential system that will power the upcoming hybrid Golf. The car will be the result of VW’s TwinDrive program and feature a 1.6-liter diesel engine with 105hp mated to a 30kW electric motor for the front wheels and two 30kW motors for the rear wheels. A lithium-ion battery pack will also be a part of the package. This system would essentially allow the A3 Hybrid to function as an all-wheel drive vehicle at low speeds and until the stored energy is depleted.
The A3 Hybrid, or A3 TwinDrive as it is likely to be called, would be able to travel on pure electric power for 31 miles and could get as much as 113 mpg.
As for the upcoming A3, expect a four-door version for sale in North America.
[Photo Credit: MTM]