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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.
Crossovers and family sedans make up a huge part of the automotive market. These sensible, everyday vehicles are safe, spacious and efficient; in short they’re perfect for families, be them planned or… not. But for all their merits these cars are about as much fun as counting grains of sugar in a five-pound bag.
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.
Audi released a video of their new generation RS5 during some glorious snow drifting and exhaust-burning desert runs. Liken, if you will, an engine to a guitar. Within that vein, it seems Audi has mastered tuning their instrument.
The new generation S5 made some Audi enthusiasts nervous and sent others into an excited frenzy. Why, you might ask? The German automaker decided to swap their throaty V8 for a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that makes more power, yes, but might lack the allure some drivers may crave. Thankfully the RS5 featured in the clip, does actually keep the up-rated V8 engine.
Enjoy the eye and ear candy below.
Audi drivers across the pond are getting the short end of the stick, or to be more precise: no stick at all.
What’s all this stick business, you may ask? The new version of the Audi S4 and S5 will only be available with an automatic transmission in Europe, cue the snickers and sneers from North American driving enthusiasts. It’s an unusual move, considering we’re usually the ones getting shafted with an auto-only option in cars where Europeans get a choice, but sure enough according to an article on Fourtitude, and Audi news blog, the decision is made.
This still may be a signal of things to come, but at least for the upcoming generation it seems the S4 and S5 will be available witha six-speed manual.
Barry Hoch, product planning manager for Audi of America confirmed that Europeans will lose the manual while North Americans will keep it. 100 percent confirmed, although I don’t know what other markets also get to keep it,” he said in an email to Fourtitude.
The move to S-tronic transmissions does make sense from a performance standpoint. Shorter shifts, better straight line performance and friendlier fuel economy sweeten the package in theory, but try telling that to someone as they slash through a manual gearbox on a winding road. You’re better off trying to debate Socrates.
Debates aside it’s hard not to see the future creeping in. Lamborghini and Ferrari have already adopted “automatic” dual clutch transmissions as their current standard. If the decision seems to be trickling down from the supercar market into Europe, we may expect to see similar changes in the future.
That, however, is conjecture. Focus on the positive for now, manual S4s and S5s are still available to those in North America who want them.
Senner Tuning is really making some noise among Audi fanatics, having tuned the A1 previously and now releasing an RS Body Kit for the A5/S5 Cabriolet. We’re big fans of what Senner Tuning does because they focus on subtle modifications that really refine the vehicle, giving it some polish rather than changing up the styling entirely. The result are functionally clean vehicles that anyone can relate to.
For their A5 Cabriolet (all the modifications will work on the S5 Cabriolet) they outfitted it with RS5-themed mirrors and rear valence. The front grill and spoiler receives a slight overhaul – thought it was tough for us to figure out what’s the difference between our American-spec S5 and Senner Tuning’s version.
Under the hood the car receives an ECU upgrade and air filter kit to push horsepower up to 275-hp (from 211-hp) and 317 ft-lbs of torque (from 258 ft-lbs). Please note that these are the performance figures for the A5′s 2.0T powerplant. For wheels, Senner Tuning sports a pair of Varianza T1S wheels on one side and Scwhert SC1 wheels on the other side. It’s a 20×9/20×10.5 staggered setup wrapped with 245/30/20 tires in the front and 295/25/20 Vredestien tires in the rear. Senner Tuning claims that there’s no rubbing involved with this setup, which means no trimming on the fenders.
Interior upgrades include carbon fiber trim, floor mats and an S-Line sport steering wheel.
GALLERY: Senner Tuning Audi A5 Cabriolet
Official press release available after the break.
Audi‘s S5 has becoming one of our favorites. There’s classy yet bold exterior styling and a potent powerplant under the hood that makes it a thrill to drive. Unfortunately, however, our S5 is packed with a 4.2L V8 while our overseas friends get the more tunable 3.0L V6 supercharged powerplant we have in the S4. So Sportec is marketing this ‘Stage One’ tuning package to Audi S5 owners in Europe, we’re willing to bet our S4s could benefit from it as well.
Sportec’s tuning package offering consists of an air filter (that is oh-so-free-flowing) and an ECU remap. Naturally the forced inducted motor gets quite the boost from a retune and peak power jumps from 328-hp to 425-hp, close to a 100-hp gain. The torque increase isn’t as substantial, but still very respectable going from 325 ft-lbs to 379 ft-lbs. We’re guessing this simple pair of modifications makes our S4 (and their S5) an absolute blast to drive.
The Stage One tuning kit is available for a tad over $3,000 – not too steep of a price for 100 extra ponies. We do wanna say one thing, we’re digging the styling on Sportec’s demo S5 seen in the photos. It subdues the S5′s styling from aggressive to sleek and conservative. What can we say, we prefer our 400-hp beasts to look classy.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Sportec Audi S5
Partnership formed between Chicago-area racetrack and local Audi dealers
Chicago-area Audi dealers have formed a partnership with the Autobahn Country Club, that will give the race track the use of an Audi S5 and TTS Coupe for its high-performance driving school.
The Audi dealers are now the official sponsors of ‘The Autobahn Experience’, a high-performance program for those interested in improving their driving skills. Autobahn’s professional instructors will give lessons both on the autocross and on the race track in the 265hp TTS Coupe and the 354hp S5, both of which feature AWD and are capable of hitting 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.
“When looking for an exclusive partner in Chicagoland to provide hands-on customer excitement, Autobahn Country Club was the clear choice,” said Scott Zuercher, Area General Manager for Chicago, Audi of America. “The proximity to Chicago, high-quality facilities, and staff expertise all contributed to making the project become a reality. This is a great opportunity for customers to test drive the latest Audi performance models. Our dealer partners in Chicagoland all benefit from the investment of customer enjoyment and familiarization with the Audi brand.”
Along with “The Autobahn Experience,” the Autobahn race track, Located in Joliet, Ill., also features one, two and half-day driving schools, a teen defensive education program and training for Chicagoland police departments.
For more information visit the Autobahn Country Club website here:
Official release after the jump:
Debut expected in late 2010 to celebrate 30 years since Quattro Coupe launch.
The hard-core version of the S5 is apparently still in the production pipeline over at Audi, but has simply been delayed due to the current financial crisis. Dubbed Project Anniversario, the new light-weight S5 is still expected to be unveiled in late 2010 for a 2012 production date.
Why the long gap between the first reveal and production, you ask? Simple, The 2010 date might be a bit of a rush for Audi but that date is the whole point of the car, as 2010 marks 30 years since the Audi Quattro (the inspiration for this model) was introduced.
Project Anniversario is intended to be a light-weight version of the S5 with a curb weight approaching the 3,000 lb mark. To do that Audi will have to chop over 500-lbs from the standard S5. To do this plenty of light-weight components will be used, as well as a stripped down interior.
Another weight-saving possibility is the use of the turbocharged 5-cylinder engine found in Audi’s new TT-RS, which is considerably lighter than the 4.2-liter V8 currently used in the S5. This engine choice would also make particular sense as the original Quattro was also powered by a turbocharged 5-cylinder.
[Source/Photo Credit: CAR]
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]
Prototype S5 weighs 900lbs less than current model
As much improved as Audis have become over the past few years one consistent complaint about the German luxury cars is how much they weigh. Audi aims to eliminate that critique by removing the problem – weight.
According to Audi technical development boss Michael Dick the automaker is currently working on its next modular longitudinal platform (MLP) that will underpin future vehicles and it will allow for a considerable reduction in the mass of a vehicle.
The new, lighter chassis is necessary for future Audis which may employ electric or hybrid pwertrains, but it will also benefit conventional gasoline-powered cars.
Apparently Audi already has one test vehicle built on new architecture, and it weighs almost 900-lbs less than the current model. It also makes 100hp less, at just 230 ponies from a turbocharged 4-cylinder, but it actually out-performs the V8 model on a track, lapping the Nürburgring eight seconds faster than the current model.
Dick describes the new spaceframe as a variable structure, using both steel and aluminum, which can be used in different quantities for different cars offering either a lighter car at a higher cost, or a heavier car at a lower price-point.