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Successful model: one million Audi Q5 from Ingolstadt

4 August 2016

This Thursday, the one-millionth Audi Q5 drove off the production line at Audi’s main plant in Ingolstadt. The jubilee car, an SQ5 in Sepang Blue, will be delivered to a family in Germany. The international success of the Audi Q5 began in 2008, when Audi launched this model in the segment of mid-range SUVs – the second Q-model from the brand with the Four Rings after the Audi Q7. Since then, the Audi Q5 has developed into a favorite with the customers and is to be seen on the roads of more than 100 countries. Because Audi produces this top-seller also in China and India for the respective local markets, worldwide deliveries sum up to nearly 1.6 million vehicles.

“The Audi Q5 is a genuine guarantee of success for us. For that reason, I am very proud that we have created a worldwide crowd puller with this SUV model from the main plant in Ingolstadt. One million Audi Q5 cars – that is due to the outstanding performance of our production team. We achieved it with great effort and commitment,” stated Albert Mayer, Plant Director at the Audi site in Ingolstadt.

Peter Mosch, Chairman of the Group Works Council of AUDI AG: “On behalf of the Works Council, I would like to thank all the colleagues who put our Audi Q5 on the roads. Their skills make this SUV into an absolute bestseller.”

The company handed over a total of 266,968 Audi Q5 cars to its customers worldwide last year, which is about eight percent more than in 2014 (247,446). The success of the Audi Q5 is steadily continuing, with a further increase in unit sales of 4.7 percent in the first half of this year. The Audi Q5 continues to be the bestselling premium SUV in its segment. 

Audi Motorsport Newsletter 25/2016

22 July 2016

Two Audi drivers on the top of the podium: In the DTM round at Zandvoort, Jamie Green was pleased about his first victory this season in the Audi RS 5 DTM. In the VLN at the Nürburgring, Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi in the Audi R8 LMS achieved their second triumph for Audi’s customer team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport.

VLN: Mies/De Phillippi win again

In round five of the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring, Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi celebrated their second victory this season in the Audi R8 LMS of Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport. Mies, on posting a best time in qualifying, had previously set an unofficial new lap record. During the four-hour race, the German-American duo was consistently in the group of front runners. On the last lap, Christopher Mies captured the lead with a spectacular overtaking maneuver and crossed the finish line with an advantage of 0.602 seconds.

Countdown to the 6 Hours of Nürburgring

A few days before the only round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Germany at the Nürburgring, suspense is rising. Audi driver Marcel Fässler responded to questions by interested local media and motorsport journalists at a press conference hosted by the organizer in Cologne on Wednesday. In front of the near-100 meter tall “Kölntriangle” tower, a large crowd of WEC fans and photographers were pleased about the Audi R18 as a photo subject. “I’m already excited. A year ago, we had 62,000 spectators,” said Fässler. “I’m hoping for just as many fans turning out at the race track and rooting for us again this year.” On July 24, at 13:00, the battle for victory in the 6 Hours of Nürburgring will start.

Allan McNish attends opening of largest UK Audi center

Racing atmosphere in the county of Dorset in South West England: Three-time Le Mans winner Allan McNish shared his experiences and the fascination exuded by the great French 24-hour race with guests of Poole Audi. The Poole Audi dealership has showrooms for 24 new vehicles, an Audi Sport area, plus a luxurious waiting area including an Audi Lounge, fitness facility and an Audi Beauty Salon. It is the largest of 113 Audi centers in the United Kingdom. Guests attending the opening ceremony enjoyed top musical entertainment as well. The British soul singer Beverley Knight performed at the evening event.

Knight meets prince

Nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen traveled to Zandvoort for the DTM weekend. The Dane, who won the round on the Dutch dune circuit for the four rings in 2006, drove the Audi race taxi, among other things. His passengers also included the mother of Audi DTM driver Nico Müller. In addition, Kristensen, who had been knighted in his native Denmark in 2014, met with Prince Bernhard van Oranje at Zandvoort, who competed in the Audi Sport TT Cup as a guest entrant. Le Mans record winner Kristensen would not miss the opportunity either to present the trophies to the talents of the Audi one-make cup and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship after the races.

Ekström and Biela win slot car races at Zandvoort

As part of the DTM events at Zandvoort Mattias Ekström and Frank Biela won two slot car races. Ekström, together with Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller, won a duel against the three fastest drivers from the Audi Sport TT Cup qualifying session, Nicklas Nielsen, Sheldon van der Linde and Philip Ellis. At night, Biela was victorious on the controller of a scale 1-24 Audi R8 LMS in the Audi Sport DTM Challenge, a championship round of the “big little” RCCO racing series.

DTM meets Audi FIS Ski World Cup

Adrien Tambay had the pleasure of welcoming a special guest on the DTM weekend at Zandvoort. His French compatriot Adrien Théaux traveled to the race track in the Netherlands and paid a visit to the 25-year-old Tambay. However, the star from the Audi FIS Ski World Cup was not spending a vacation at the North Sea coast. Théaux was on the grid himself. In the Audi Sport TT Cup, the 31-year-old finished on podium in the guest entrants’ classification – thanks also to Tambay’s professional tips.

Audi sports medicine physician with new record

Sports medicine physician Dr. Vincenzo Tota whom Audi relies on in motorsport contested his very own race on Monday before the DTM event at Zandvoort. In a 700-hp powerboat, together with three teammates, he set a record in traveling around the southern tip of Italy in the 9-meter class. The quartet needed 32 hours, 46 minutes and 15 seconds, including a refueling stop in Roccella Ionica, for the distance from Monte Carlo to Venice. “The four of us took turns at the helm. Each shift lasted about two hours,” reported the traumatologist and surgeon. “Still, there was no way to get any sleep because those who weren’t steering had to take care of navigating the boat. An unforgettable experience. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!”

A word from ... René Rast

The Audi factory driver about his surprising DTM debut at Zandvoort, standing in for the injured Adrien Tambay.

When did you find out about your DTM debut?

On Saturday night, I was still celebrating my girlfriend’s 30th birthday. About nine, nine thirty, I received a call asking me if I felt like driving DTM. Obviously, I immediately accepted. Right after the call, I took off. Fortunately, I still had my helmet in the trunk of my car. Then we arrived at the hotel at about two or three in the morning.

What was your schedule on the day of the race?

My alarm clock was set for 5.45 a.m. I didn’t know the car yet. Previously, I’d only driven the Audi A4 DTM. That’s why I had to receive initial instructions – what button serves what purpose and the starting procedure used in the DTM. In addition, we made some seat adjustments. Then, when I was about to go out for the first time, I couldn’t even find first gear. Everything was happening so fast. But then the free practice session worked out after all.

What’s your assessment of your debut?

Little sleep, plenty of action and a long day with many new impressions. I learned a lot in terms of driving and technology. After only 30 minutes of free practice, it was difficult to immediately go into qualifying. But then, in the second half of the race, the penny dropped and I knew how to move the car. The times kept getting better toward the end and in the second sector, I was the fastest Audi. If I drove a DTM race again now the result might be different.

What’s next on your agenda?

Next weekend I’ll be competing in the WEC at the Nürburgring and a week later in the Spa 24 Hours.


Coming up next week
22–24/07 Nürburgring (D), round 4, WEC
22–23/07 Lime Rock (USA), round 7, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
22–24/07 Red Bull Ring (A), races 7 and 8, ADAC GT Masters
23/07 Oulton Park (GB), round 5, GT Cup Championship
23–24/07 Silverstone (GB), races 7 and 8, GT Open
23–24/07 Buriram (THA), races 3 and 4, Audi R8 LMS Cup
23–24/07 Pujada Alp 2500 (E), round 6, Spanish Hillclimb Championship
23–24/07 Sugo (J), round 3, Super GT

Jamie Green Zandvoort winner for the first time

18 July 2016

Following the disappointment on Saturday, Audi impressively came back in the second of the two DTM races at Zandvoort (Netherlands). Jamie Green (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) celebrated a commanding victory on Sunday. Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) completed Audi’s triumph with a third place.

A big Audi party in the dunes on the Dutch North Sea coast: On Sunday, Jamie Green and his Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM were in a class of their own on what is arguably the most challenging DTM race track of the year. In the morning, Green secured the top spot on the grid for the eleventh time in his DTM career, followed in the afternoon by a clear victory with a 9.731-second advantage over his British compatriot Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz).

In the early phase, Green had three Mercedes-Benz cars on his heels. The Audi driver defended his lead anyhow and, following an early and quick tire change on lap 12, managed to increasingly pull clear of the field chasing him and, in the event, was even able to slightly reduce his pace. For Green, this was his 13th victory in the DTM and first one at Zandvoort.

“In 2006, I’d taken pole position once before but for my first victory on this fantastic race track I had to wait for ten years,” said the new runner-up in the standings following his first success this season. “Winning at Zandvoort has always been my dream. Today, it came true. In the early stage, my rear-view mirror was filled with Gary (Paffett), Robert (Wickens) and Chris (Vietoris), and I thought winning would be difficult. But on my second set of tires I was faster and able to control the race. My thanks go to Audi Sport Team Rosberg for a perfect set-up and a great pit stop.”

In the drivers’ standings, Green moved up, now being separated from leader of the standings Marco Wittmann (BMW) by just seven points. Edoardo Mortara, without points the day before due to an unjustified drive-through penalty, following his third place in the Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM on Sunday, is trailing Green by just another ten points in third place. At the start, the Italian dropped from fourth to fifth place but on the last laps gained two positions when the Mercedes-Benz cars in front of him encountered problems with their front tires.

Nico Müller (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), thanks to their fresher tires, were able to make up many places in the final stage and finished Sunday’s race in positions five and seven. With that, they contributed their share to Audi now trailing the front runner in the manufacturers’ classification, BMW, by only ten points and being able to reach for the lead of the standings in Moscow (Russia) on August 20/21.

Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix took 15th place after starting from position 18. His teammate Timo Scheider (AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM) was bumped off track by a BMW as early as on lap two and forced to retire. Miguel Molina’s race in the Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM ended early as well when a BMW in front of him suddenly slowed down and the Spaniard was unable to avoid a collision.

Following his starting accident the day before, Adrien Tambay witnessed the victory of his teammate Jamie Green only as a spectator from the pits of Audi Sport Team Rosberg. Standing in for Tambay was René Rast, who made a remarkable showing in his unexpected DTM debut, outperforming two rivals in qualifying and bringing the Speedweek.com Audi RS 5 DTM home in position 19.

“After yesterday’s disappointment, the race today was obviously balm to our wounds,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Due to his early pit stop, Jamie (Green) forced our competitors’ hand. We knew that the situation with the tires would be a close call towards the end. But Jamie did a good job of controlling it and deservedly drove the car home to victory. Edo (Mortara), Nico (Müller) and Mattias (Ekström) benefited from their tires being in good shape at the end as well. Today, that was the key to an altogether great result for Audi.”

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Audi increases sales by 5.6 percent in the first half of the year

15 July 2016

Positive sales result for the Four Rings for the half year: With around 953,200 units delivered, AUDI AG increased its sales since January by 5.6 percent, growing in all regions. The brand recorded strong growth especially in Europe. Sales in that region increased by 8.4 percent since the beginning of the year, topping 450,000 cars for the first time. Worldwide, especially the new models Audi A4 (+12.3%) and Audi Q7 full size SUV (+73,6%) pushed the sales performance. Deliveries across all models increased by 7.4 percent in June to around 169,000 units with Audi surpassing its performance from the same month last year in all top ten sales markets.

“Despite persisting challenges in key markets, the first half of 2016 was mainly characterized by globally balanced growth. We reinforced our market leadership in Europe and China and are performing better than the overall market in the United States,” says Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “In the upcoming months, we will continue to strengthen our model portfolio with new technologies and concepts like the Audi Q7 e-tron*, the A6L e-tron, the SQ7 TDI* and the Q2.”

With the European market launch of the new Audi A5 in the fall and the updated Audi A3 this month, a generation change is in store for the already successful key models.

In June, Audi handed over around 78,700 (+9.8%) cars in Europe across all models. The company thus set new records for deliveries in each of the six months in this region. Cumulatively, sales increased by 8.4 percent to around 455,250 cars. New models, above all, provided a boost in Audi’s largest sales region: Sales of the Audi Q7 full‑size SUV more than doubled, while demand for the new Audi A4 climbed by almost 20 percent. The brand posted significant growth primarily in Germany (+12.4% to 166,154 units), Italy (+14.6% to 32,124 units) and Spain (+14.5% to 28,803 units). The manufacturer also made further gains in its largest European export market, the UK: up 4.1 percent to 89,935 cars. This increase was fueled in particular by strong demand for the Audi TT, which saw a 36 percent increase in deliveries in the United Kingdom. With sales of around 17,650 since January, the Audi TT secured its position as the top‑selling compact sports car in the premium segment.

On the American continent as well, deliveries of the Ingolstadt‑based brand increased in the last six months: up 3.5 percent to around 131,450 units. Of those, 96,934 were sold in the United States, also representing an increase of 3.5 percent. Nearly every second US customer chose an SUV. Cumulative sales of the Audi Q3Q5 and Q7 thus climbed by 24 percent to 45,195 cars. Audi continued its successful course in the US market in June. A one percent increase marked the 66th month of growth in a row. Canada once again proved to be an important growth driver in the region. In the first half of the year, the company sold 15,614 units there, 16 percent more than in the same period last year.

Sales continued to develop positively in the Asia‑Pacific region as well. Compared to the deliveries in the first half of 2015, sales increased by 3.9 percent to around 339,300 premium cars sold. In recent months, Audi made gains in Chinaprimarily with its compact models: In the first six months, the company handed over 81,083 units of the Audi A3 and Q3to customers, corresponding to an increase of 21.7 percent. Across all models, sales in China increased by 5.9 percent to 290,126 units. Demand increased by 6.6 percent in June. In addition to China, Australia also showed strong growth in the region: Since the beginning of the year, 12,155 units have entered the Australian market, up 7.2 percent.

Sales for
AUDI AG

In June

Cumulative


2016

2015

Change from 2015

2016

2015

Change from 2015

World

169,000

157,409

+7.4%

953,200

902,272

+5.6%

Europe

78,700

71,644

+9.8%

455,250

419,837

+8.4%

  - Germany

28,016

24,165

+15.9%

166,154

147,763

+12.4%

  - UK

14,530

13,828

+5.1%

89,935

86,376

+4.1%

  - France

6,131

5,481

+11.9%

32,631

30,653

+6.5%

  - Italy

5,812

4,873

+19.3%

32,124

28,030

+14.6%

  - Spain

5,104

4,694

+8.7%

28,803

25,162

+14.5%

USA

18,445

18,262

+1.0%

96,934

93,615

+3.5%

Mexico

1,325

1,235

+7.3%

7,379

6,568

+12.3%

Brazil

927

1,525

-39.2%

6,765

8,683

-22.1%

China 
(incl. Hong Kong)

51,008

47,831

+6.6%

290,126

273,852

+5.9%



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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 24/2016

11 July 2016

Audi Sport customer racing teams celebrated three victories in Germany and one podium in Australia with the Audi R8 LMS.

Three wins at Hockenheim

The Audi Sport customer racing teams enjoyed a successful race weekend in the DMV GTC at Hockenheim, the fifth race weekend of the 2016 season. Land-Motorsport led an Audi R8 LMS 1-2-3 in qualifying and won the first race with “Ronny C’Rock”, ahead of the HCB-Rutronik Racing duo of Fabian Plentz and Tommy Tulpe in second and third respectively. Tulpe won the second DMV GTC race of the weekend from pole and his teammate Plentz finished third. HCB-Rutronik Racing’s success continued in the Dunlop 60 race, where Plentz and Tulpe started from pole position and piloted their Audi R8 LMS to victory.

Podium in Australia

Jamec Pem Racing celebrated a podium finish during the fifth race weekend of the Australian GT Championship, which was held on the street circuit in Townsville. Christopher Mies, on his first return to the Australian championship since March, clinched pole position. Mies and teammate Tony Bates then finished runner-up in the one-hour race on Saturday, wherein Mies set the fastest lap of the race and also broke the lap record.

Audi driver Benoît Tréluyer not at Nürburgring

While training on his mountain bike three-time Le Mans winner Benoît Tréluyer fell and injured his spinal column. The injury will heal without surgical intervention and have no further consequences. As the recovery period will be several weeks, the 39-year-old Frenchman has to skip round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). As a result, his teammates, Marcel Fässler and André Lotterer, will be contesting the race at the Nürburgring on July 24 as a team of two in the number “7” Audi R18. “On behalf of Audi Sport, I wish Benoît a speedy and full recovery so that he’ll be ready to race again in the subsequent event in Mexico,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

Audi R18 drives through Neckarsulm plant

The Audians at the Neckarsulm plant experienced Le Mans flair at their place of work on Thursday. The Frenchman Loïc Duval who had taken third place in the Le Mans 24 Hours in June with his teammates, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis, did a lap in the Audi R18 on the plant premises. Subsequently, the former Le Mans winner signed autographs for the workforce and met with employees of the race engine department as well. The near-514-hp V6 TDI engine of the Audi R18 is produced in Neckarsulm.

Tom Kristensen in Audi RS 5 DTM

Ten years after his victory in the DTM race at Zandvoort, Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen will again be at the wheel of a DTM race car on the Dutch dune circuit. On July 16 and 17, the Dane will be driving guests around the challenging race track in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM race taxi. Kristensen competed for Audi in the DTM from 2004 to 2011 and celebrated a total of four victories. Subsequently, he concentrated on Le Mans prototypes before announcing his retirement from active racing at the end of 2014.

Slotcar Challenge at Zandvoort

The DTM at Zandvoort will see a revival of the Audi DTM Challenge. Three Audi drivers from the DTM will be pitted against three drivers from the Audi Sport TT Cup – on a slot car race track. The “big little race” will be held at the Audi Team & Media Hospitality on Saturday, July 16, 10 AM and covered live on Facebook.

A word from ... André Lotterer

For André Lotterer as the only German driver in Audi’s lineup, the race at the Nürburgring is his home round.

On July 24, you will be competing in the Audi R18 in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). It’s Audi’s home round as well as yours. Are you excited?

Absolutely! I still remember well what kind of a wonderful welcome we received by the crowd a year ago. More than 60,000 fans turned out for the German debut of the FIA WEC in the Eifel. It would be great if this year an equal number or even more spectators would support us at the Ring.

In sporting terms, this season is very challenging. What are your aims?

Our season has been less than perfect so far. In fourth place of the standings, my teammates and I have scored 35 points up to now, so the gap between us and the top is large. However, we’ve only contested three races to date, with six more to follow. We’d like to make up as much ground as possible. That’s particularly difficult this year because all three manufacturers in the LMP1 category are on a similarly high level. Plus, at the Nürburgring Marcel Fässler and I will only be racing as a team of two because our teammate Benoît Tréluyer isn’t fit again yet after a mountain bike accident. But he’ll be in the car with us again starting in Mexico.

What does the challenge at the Nürburgring consist of?

The profile of the track is varied. There are relatively narrow turns such as the section after the start and finish or the chicane, as well as many semi-fast sections. So, the track is completely different from the past two at Spa or at Le Mans. And sometimes the weather in the Eifel is not as nice as it was a year ago when we had 30 degrees centigrade there – the weather has influenced a number of race decisions at the Nürburgring. We’re looking forward to all the challenges.

 

Coming up next week

14/07 Mattias Ekström’s 38th birthday
15–16/07 Red Bull Ring (A), round 3, GT3 Le Mans Cup
15–17/07 Zandvoort (NL), races 9 and 10, DTM
15–17/07 Le Castellet (F), round 5, International Endurance Series, 24h race
15–17/07 Mugello (I), races 7 and 8, Italian GT Championship
15–17/07 Fuji (J), races 7 and 8, GT Asia
16/07 Nürburgring (D), round 5, VLN

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 23/2016

7 July 2016

Audi Sport customer racing teams celebrated successes in Japan, Australia, Germany and the UK with the Audi R8 LMS.

Lee/Thong win in Japan

Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong celebrated a victory on the third GT Asia race weekend in Japan. In the second race, the two Hong Kong Chinese in their Audi R8 LMS of Team Phoenix Racing Asia took the lead after starting from position two and had a three-second advantage over their closest rivals on crossing the finish line that saw them celebrate their second success this season. In race one at Okayama International Circuit, the duo had taken fifth place. In the drivers’ standings, the two Audi drivers are ranked in a second place that’s tied on points.

Greg Taylor dominates at Sydney

Having clinched two victories at Sydney Motorsport Park, Audi driver Greg Taylor extended his lead in the Australian GT Trophy Series. The Australian in his Audi R8 LMS had previously shown a strong performance in qualifying by securing pole position. In race one, he dominated the action, seeing the checkered flag with a near-13-second advantage. In race two, Taylor fought a nail-biting duel with his Audi brand colleague Rob Smith. In the end, Taylor brought home victory with a half-second-advantage to celebrate his fifth win in the sixth race of the season.

Three podium places for Audi at the Nürburgring

Successful race weekend for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at the Nürburgring: Christopher Mies and Enzo Ide in the Audi R8 LMS decided the qualification race for round three of the season in their favor by a narrow margin. In third place, Will Stevens and René Rast in another R8 LMS perfected WRT’s good team result. In the main race, Stevens/Rast as the best Audi team took second place.

Third victory this season for Tockwith Motorsports

Tockwith Motorsports celebrated its third victory on the fourth race weekend of the Dunlop Endurance Championship. Phil Hanson and Nigel Moore at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS ultra qualified for position three on the grid and went on to battle for the top spot during the 2-hour race at Thruxton Circuit. On seeing the checkered flag after 90 laps, the duo had a 15-second advantage.

Kelvin van der Linde supports young drivers

At the fifth edition of the Young Drivers Days, young adults between 18 and 24 years of age had the opportunity to improve their driving style in 12 different workshops. In Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, for example, the 120 participants learned about first aid, tires and brakes. A ride as a passenger of a professional race driver was the highlight of the day at the event organized by the Young Drivers a.s.b.l non-profit organization. South African Kelvin van der Linde, the 2014 ADAC GT Masters Champion in an Audi R8 LMS, taught the young drivers in an Audi R8 how to safely operate a car in road traffic.

Oliver Jarvis successfully tackles Ironman Frankfurt

“Well done” to Audi factory driver Oliver Jarvis. The Briton successfully finished the Ironman Frankfurt. For the long-distance triathlon covering a total distance of 226 kilometers, divided into 3.8 kilometers of swimming in the Langener Waldsee lake, 180 kilometers of cycling between Frankfurt and Friedberg, plus the classic marathon running distance of 42.195 kilometers along the Main river, Jarvis required a total of 10h 52m20s.

Tom Kristensen takes part in historic event

Tom Kristensen was pleased about competing in the Schloss Bensberg Classics. At the historic rally, the nine-time Le Mans winner and Audi Sport Ambassador shared a 38-hp DKW F93 built in 1956 with former Chairman of Audi’s Board of Management Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen. The participants covered a total distance of 185 kilometers through the Bergisches Land region with start and finish at Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg and completed regularity tests.

Ready for new tasks

The next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will see Audi in a new line-up of responsibilities. Stefan Dreyer, who previously served as Head of Operations LMP Engines, has assumed the role of Head of LMP at Audi Sport effective July 1. He will appear in public in this role for the first time at the Nürburgring from July 22 to 24 when Erik Schuivens will start as the new race engineer for Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer as well.

Lucas di Grassi is vice champion in Formula E

Lucas di Grassi claimed the vice championship in Formula E in London. The Audi factory driver who competes for Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in the electric racing series had to admit defeat to the Swiss Sébastien Buemi in the last of a total of ten races only due to the two points awarded for the fastest race lap. The Brazilian mounted the podium seven times this season, clinching three victories in the process. His teammate Daniel Abt on taking second place in the finale celebrated his third podium finish this season. The new season will kick off in Hong Kong on October 9.

A word from … Edoardo Mortara

The Italian from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline after eight in 18 races ranks in second place of the DTM drivers’ standing with a deficit of only two points.

You gave Audi its first Norisring victory in 14 years last weekend. What kind of a feeling was that?

Obviously, that was a very special moment. Everyone at Audi and I, personally, was really happy to have ended this negative string. But the 25 points I received in the drivers’ and Audi in the manufacturers’ standings were even more important. In that respect, the race track doesn’t matter. You have to fight hard for any success in the DTM and being rewarded is a good feeling.

After four of nine DTM race weekends, you are in second place overall as the best Audi driver. So, in 2016, your only aim can be the title win…

By all means, but not just this year. After all, I had chances of becoming champion up to the season’s finale in 2015 as well. At the moment, things are looking pretty good again. But we’re still at a relatively early stage of the season to make any really reliable predictions. I’m thinking in small steps. There’s so much that can happen in the DTM. The lead of the standings changes after nearly every race.

The series will continue in two weeks at Zandvoort where you celebrated your second DTM victory in 2012. What are your expectations this year?

I’m not traveling there with specific aims. I’d simply like to give my best and achieve the maximum. If that means a sixth place I’ll be just as happy as with a second place. I’m expecting BMW, like last year, to be very strong again. I generally like the track a lot. There are many fluid, fast corners that suit me. I also like the coastal surroundings.

Germany beat Italy in the UEFA Euro 2016 quarter-final. Did you watch the game?

Yes, even though Germany is the reigning world champion the result came as a surprise for me, at least from a statistical perspective. Germany has never beaten Italy before in a major tournament. Losing on penalties is always unfortunate but generally speaking, I’m happy with the performance of my compatriots. Nobody had expected them to be playing such a strong tournament.

Coming up next week

07–10/07 Buriram (THA), rounds 3 and 4, Thailand Super Series
08–09/07 Spa (B), round 6, British GT Championship
08–09/07 Hockenheim (D), rounds 9 and 10, DMV GTC
08–10/07 Mosport (CDN), round 6, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
08–10/07 Townsville (AUS), round 5, Australian GT Championship

– End –

A small car makes a big impression: the new Audi Q2

4 July 2016

A new car for the main plant of AUDI AG in Ingolstadt: The Audi Q2 has now entered series production there. With this compact SUV “made in Ingolstadt,” the brand with the Four Rings has entered a completely new segment while showing its commitment to its main site on the River Danube. Innovations such as a fully automatic module store in the assembly process help to master increasing production complexity.

Albert Mayer, plant director at the Audi site in Ingolstadt, emphasized: “The start of series production of a new model is always a great challenge and something special for a plant and its employees. We are proud to be building the Audi Q2 – the Q‑family entry model – here in Ingolstadt for the world market. I would like to thank the Audi team for the successful start of production.”

Max Wäcker, deputy chairman of the works council, stated: “The works council has worked consistently and successfully to ensure that the Audi Q2 is built in Ingolstadt. This is necessary for good utilization of our main plant’s capacity and is therefore a great success for all Audi employees in Ingolstadt.”

Audi employees are producing the new Audi Q2 on the A3 line. It passes through the body shop, paint shop and assembly together with the Audi A3. This required extensive modifications while production was running as well as new logistics planning. Production of the Audi Q2 is now being gradually increased to approximately 450 units a day.At the Ingolstadt site, Audi is investing in innovative methods to master the increasing complexity of production. For the start of production of the Audi Q2 for example, a fully automatic module store for the drivetrain was installed on the assembly line, increasing local storage capacity.

The new Audi Q2, which had its world premiere at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, represents the 13th model series of the brand with the Four Rings. With the Q2, the company is continuing the success story of its Q-family. The compact SUV combines modern design with a high level of functionality – it is a car for everyday driving and for leisure time. Its attractions include five million individual equipment versions as well as high-end connectivity, infotainment and assistance systems. The Audi Q2 starts with six different engines: three TFSI and three TDI units delivering between 85 kW (116 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp). Orders can soon be placed for the new model from Ingolstadt.

The Audi site in Ingolstadt is the largest production facility within the Audi Group and the second-largest car plant in Europe. The company produces more than half a million automobile a year in Ingolstadt with a new Audi driving off the assembly lines there every 30 seconds – more than 2,500 cars a day. The Audi Q2 will make a significant contribution to the site’s future; it rounds off the Q-family at the lower end and will enhance the brand’s competitive position. 

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 22/2016

27 June 2016

A successful motorsport weekend for Audi: while Edoardo Mortara and Nico Müller clinched two DTM victories for Audi at the Norisring, the Land-Motorsport customer team celebrated a victory in the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring with the Audi R8 LMS.

VLN: Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi win for Land-Motorsport

In extremely difficult conditions with fog and heavy rain, Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport celebrated its 20th victory in the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring. Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi, who had started the race in an Audi R8 LMS from pole position, were running in second place up to the final stage. In the last 30 minutes of the four-hour race, Christopher Mies with consistently fast lap times took the lead and crossed the finish line as the winner with more than a two-minute advantage.

Audi customer team on podium at Le Castellet

A podium place was achieved by Filipe Albuquerque, Rodrigo Baptista and Blancpain GT rookie Jan Magnussen in round three of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup season at Le Castellet, France. The trio had started the six-hour race from grid position 20 in an Audi R8 LMS of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. With a strong and impeccable recovery and a good strategy Albuquerque, Baptista and Magnussen went on to claim third place.

Prominent guests visit DTM at the Norisring

During its DTM home round at the Norisring, Audi welcomed numerous well-known guests. Slalom ace Fritz Dopfer and soccer player Dominik Kohr from FC Augsburg would not miss the opportunity of chauffeuring several Audi DTM campaigners during the driver parade. Conversely, it was TV host Oliver Pocher who got to enjoy a ride in the Audi RS 5 DTM race taxi. Also at the venue in Nuremberg were actor Frederick Lau, Bundesliga player Josip Drmic and YouTuber Tom Shuffle.

Employees and partners support Audi at Norisring

During the DTM home round at the Norisring, Audi Sport teams and race drivers enjoyed support in large numbers. More than 1,000 Audi employees kept their fingers crossed at the venue. From the Schaeffler Group, some 1,000 employees traveled to the Norisring as well and gave Mike Rockenfeller a special welcome. The company based in Herzogenaurach is one of Audi’s partners in the DTM. The Hoffmann Group was present at the Nuremberg city street race as well. Some 900 employees of the tool specialist rooted particularly for Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM.

Audi Sport Team Rosberg visits Hoffmann Group

Before the race weekend at the Norisring, an interesting visit was on Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s agenda. The DTM team took a tour of the logistics center for tools of the Hoffmann Group in Nuremberg, which is regarded as the largest and most modern one of its kind in Europe. Up to 60,000 items per day are processed there. Team Director Arno Zensen was obviously impressed following the tour of the 36,000-square meter warehouse. “The dimensions are remarkable. In addition, we were fascinated by the voice-controlled order picking technology being used here. The visit was a great opportunity in every respect,” said Zensen whose team is fielding the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Jamie Green.

Nico Müller gains first sailing experience in Audi ultra Cup

During his visit to the “Kieler Woche” sailing event, Nico Müller gained racing experience on unfamiliar terrain: The DTM driver competed in the fourth edition of the Audi ultra Cup with a J/70 keel boat for the “Audi Sport” team. Together with Le Mans record holder Tom Kristensen, Max Christiansen from FC Ingolstadt 04 and helmsman Oliver Schwall, the Swiss sailed in a thrilling regatta and finished runner-up. “Despite there not being much wind, it was quite exhausting. I had a lot of fun and I would love to come back and take part again, if the opportunity arises,” said Müller.

Fascinating motorsport at Goodwood Festival of Speed

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the south of England, spectators experienced sheer motorsport flair. At the tradition-steeped British event, five-time Le Mans winner Frank Biela drove the Audi V8 quattro DTM in which he had won the DTM 25 years ago. Together with Audi Sport Ambassador Emanuele Pirro and Oliver Jarvis, who took third place in the Le Mans 24 Hours last weekend, he signed autographs and posed for pictures. The popular Pink Floyd drummer and car enthusiast Nick Mason drove an Auto Union Type C, the most successful model of the Auto Union Silver Arrows before World War II. DTM star Mattias Ekström’s rallycross team was represented at Goodwood as well. As Ekström was racing in the DTM at the Norisring at the same time, the Briton Andrew Jordan drove the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro.

Emotional farewell to Leena Gade

After the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Team Joest said goodbye to their long-standing race engineer Leena Gade. The British engineer has guided Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer three times to a Le Mans win, one world championship title and a total of ten race wins in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC. She now switches to another brand within the Volkswagen Group. Ralf Jüttner, team director of Audi Sport Team Joest, thanked her with an extraordinary present: Leena Gade received the team’s 2011 Le Mans winner’s trophy. This was the first year that she won the endurance race for Audi with her driver combination. That race was exceptional as the winning margin of the only finishing Audi was a mere 13.854 seconds.

Representatives of Audi at FIA Sport Conference

Audi driver Lucas di Grassi, race engineer Leena Gade and the two long-standing Audi drivers Allan McNish and Emanuele Pirro were invited to speak at the FIA Sport Conference. In the Centro Congressi of Turin’s Lingotto district, the representatives of Audi shared their opinions on the past, present and future of motorsport in front of an eager and packed audience. They welcomed several hundred delegates from sports clubs from all over the world who continued the conference in plenary sessions and various seminars.

Race drivers root for teams in UEFA EURO 2016

One round-of-16 match in the UEFA EURO 2016 had special significance for the drivers from the Audi Sport TT Cup. The Pole Gosia Rdest and the Swiss Yves Meyer jointly watched the duel of their countries on television. Following victory of the Polish team on penalties Rdest was delighted. “I’ve been watching the European Championship with great interest and am very happy about victory for Poland,” said Rdest for whom the day thus ended on a positive note. In race one of the Audi Sport TT Cup at the Norisring, the 23-year-old was forced to retire after an accident in which she was not at fault.

Triple commitment for EKS

Mattias Ekström’s team had commitments at three venues this weekend. At the Norisring, the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro, Mattias Ekström and Toomas Heikkinen visited the AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Lounge. From there, Heikkinen directly traveled on to the Kieler Woche where the Finn took guests of Audi’s for rides in the near-600-hp rallycross car. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the British touring car campaigner Andrew Jordan drove an S1 of Team EKS.

A word from ... Nico Müller

The young Swiss about his first victory in the DTM.

Your goal for the season was to clinch podium places – would you have expected to mount the very top of the podium for the first time this year?

I did have hopes of doing so. Following the good season opener at Hockenheim with my first pole position and first podium, I was secretly hoping – and also working with my guys – to make this happen as soon as possible. That it would work out directly here in Audi’s home race is obviously all the better and makes it so much sweeter. Now, we need to keep pushing and trying to regularly be in contention at the front as best we can.

How difficult was the race?

There was no time for a breather. I had to try to overtake Tom (Blomqvist), to keep him at bay and, ideally, to get him out of the DRS window and it also worked out that way. Then the safety car period added a bit more suspense. But, fortunately, I stayed in control of that too and, as a result – I feel – I’ve clinched a deserved victory.

What were your emotions after seeing the checkered flag and mounting the podium?

Really cool. Managing this in Audi’s home race and relatively early in the season, is simply an awesome feeling. A large part of this success belongs to my team as well. They did a superb job today. The strategy was right and the pit stop fantastic. In the end, that was also the key to success. So, thank you to Audi and to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline!

How many congratulations did you receive on your smartphone after this victory?

It’s still ringing the whole time. I can’t even read all the messages right now. I look forward to that at the airport tomorrow, if I should be able to read again then ...

Was there a message you particularly enjoyed?

Yes, from Keke Rosberg! I had the opportunity to meet him because I was racing for him and Arno (Zensen) the past two years. We always had a top relationship. I think it’s great that we’re still in touch and that he’s able to feel happy for me following my switch to another team.

 

Coming up next week

30/06–03/07 Watkins Glen (USA), round 5, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
01–03/07 Aragon (E), round 4, V de V Endurance Series
01–03/07 Nürburgring (D), round 3, Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
01–03/07 Sydney (AUS), round 3, Australian GT Trophy Series
01–03/07 Okayama (J), races 5 and 6, GT Asia

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New Audi A4 sedan is an impressively smooth mover

24 June 2016

When driving in the dark, one of the most tiresome tasks is operating the dip switch.

You seem to be constantly clicking the column-mounted stalk, don't you? Moving from high beam to low beam so you don't dazzle the drivers of oncoming traffic, not quite sure when to dip your lights as you approach slower vehicles from behind, momentarily forgetting to put the lights back on full again and so losing crucial seconds of full visibility.

It can be tough, particularly if your journey involves several hours of driving at night. So with all that as background, it's a pleasure to drive a car that automatically does it all for you.

Some of them do, you know. There are an increasing number of vehicles on our roads that have what is known as High Beam Assist - and a latest example is Audi's new A4.

It's a standard feature on all but the entry model of the fifth-generation A4, and what it does is use a camera-like sensor on the back of the rear-vision mirror to keep an eye on what's ahead. If there are no other lights up front, High Beam Assist will keep the headlights on full. But if it detects the lights of another vehicle ahead, or the street lights of a populated area, then it will automatically move the headlights to dip.

That leaves the driver free to concentrate more fully on driving the car. And with the Audi A4 it's worth concentrating on driving, because this latest model is a beauty - especially the 3.0-litre TDI 200kW quattro Sport we've been sampling.

Built on Volkswagen Group's large-car modular MLB platform, it is considerably lighter than the model it replaces, despite being 25mm longer and 16mm wider, and with a wheelbase lengthened by 12mm. When you combine this lighter weight with the 200 kilowatts of power and 600 newton metres of torque offered via the six cylinder turbocharged common-rail diesel, then the result is a sedan capable of excellent performance.

While on paper this sedan should be something of a wild sports performer thanks to its combination of plenty of power, huge torque, quattro permanent all-wheel drive, 19-inch wheels and suspension with adaptive damping control, we found that in reality it is not that - rather, the Audi is more of a luxury express, a sophisticated vehicle that seems to encourage the person behind the wheel to drive smoothly and powerfully.

Maybe that reflects the type of customer who would own an A4 sedan, which you can guarantee will be more veteran members of society who not only can afford the $106,400 required to purchase this car, but who will also continue to appreciate sedans in a market where SUVs are popular and vehicles with boots are a bit passe.

But whoever is driving the 3.0 TDI sedan - and the Avant equivalent as well, because the wagon version of the A4 is also now on the Kiwi market -  will be driving an Audi with grunt. In fact it offers so much torque, 600 Nm from just 1500 rpm right through to 3000 rpm, that it is the only A4 fitted with a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission which is more robust than the seven-speed dual-clutch version on the other models.

All that torque is great to use, and the transmission delivers it in a very smooth way. During our week with the 3.0 TDI we took it out on a lengthy journey - quite a bit of it in the dark, hence the enjoyment of letting that High Beam Assist do all the full/dip thinking - and we relished the car's easy ability to power through the corners and bends, and if necessary drop down a gearshift cog to pass slower vehicles or take on the hilly sections. This A4 has paddles on the steering wheel for manual use of the transmission, but we found the performance to be so flexible that we didn't bother.

There is a wealth of other driver aids aboard this Audi, including Active Lane Assist which provides gentle corrective steering if the vehicle starts to wander, Side Assist which warns the driver if other vehicles are approaching from behind, and Turn Assist which helps prevent the driver from moving into the path of oncoming traffic when turning right at an intersection. It's nice to have them all aboard, although at times the Active Lane Assist can be a little intrusive. But it is there for driver safety, so we kept it on.

The A4's interior is very comfortable - once you get in, because the seating is quite low. But once you are aboard, you are presented with nicely fitting sports seats upholstered in leather and which are heated and with electric adjustment. Up front there is Audi's so-called 'virtual' cockpit with its fully digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch high resolution LCD screen that can be configured to display everything from the satellite navigation map through to short-term reports on how each journey is proceeding.

There's also a separate MMI display that sticks out of the top of the dash area, with all its controls on the centre console. Other controls in that area include Audi Drive Select that allows the person behind the wheel to choose betw2een Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, Efficiency and Individual.

As for us, we left the car in the Dynamic mode and left it to the A4 3.0 TDI to provide high-powered express service. This really is an impressive sedan - compact but spacious, comfortable and well appointed, agile and engaging while still offering a smooth and luxurious ride.

That sort of balance isn't easy to achieve, but Audi has done it with this flagship of the latest-generation A4 range. It's one of the outstanding new vehicles to arrive in New Zealand this year.

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 - ROB MAETZIG, Stuff.co.nz

Audi to celebrate ten years of TDI at Le Mans

16 June 2016

Audi has made history at Le Mans. In 2006, the premium brand became the first manufacturer to win what is arguably the world’s toughest endurance race with diesel power. 2016 marks the tenth anniversary of this achievement. Today, the TDI engine is more efficient than ever before and part of a highly complex diesel-hybrid powertrain. Never before has an Audi LMP1 race car been as powerful and fuel-efficient as the current Audi R18.

The revolution, literally, came quietly. The “higher-further-faster” of TDI power was heralded a decade ago with a sound that was unusual even to the ears of seasoned campaigners. The Audi R10 TDI raced around the circuit so silently that it was near-imperceptible. “At high speed, even the wind noise was louder than that of the engine,” recalls Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen who, with nine victories, clearly leads the all-time winners’ list of the 24-hour race. Driving and shifting according to the sound level from 2006 on was history in the LMP1 race car. 

Technologically, Audi Sport in preparation for the 2006 season, mastered its greatest challenge to date. A V12 TDI engine not only meant a new powertrain. “We had to come up with a new concept for the entire race car,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “From the proportions of the race car and its weight distribution to airflow, the cooling air requirement and power transmission everything was new, as torque and output surpassed anything we’d previously known.”

Audi Sport tested the diesel engine for Le Mans in collaboration with AUDI AG’s pre-production and production development. The 5.5-liter twelve-cylinder unit for use in racing was the first Audi diesel engine with an aluminum cylinder block. The Audi R10 TDI completed its initial rollout on the Italian race track at Misano on November 29, 2005. Exactly 200 days later, the diesel-powered sports car competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours and won. In between, 30,000 test kilometers, plus another 1,500 hours of testing the V12 TDI engine on dynamometers, were clocked up. Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner (D/I/D) crossed the finish line after 380 laps as the winners having covered 5,187 kilometers in the process. In the two subsequent years, the TDI engine from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm again came out on top against fierce diesel competition on both occasions. 

In 2010, Audi achieved the next major step with the R15 TDI. Its V10 TDI engine replaced the previous twelve-cylinder unit. It was 100 millimeters shorter, ten percent lighter and powered the open-cockpit sports car to a new top performance. Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller (D/F/D) covered 5,410.713 kilometers in 397 laps at Le Mans. With that, they broke a 39-year-old record from an era when no chicanes slowed the pace on the Hunaudières straight. In a formation flight, the Audi R15 TDI clinched a one-two-three win. For the first time its 5.5-liter V10 TDI used two turbochargers with variable turbine geometry (VTG) which improved the engine’s responsiveness. 

The Audi R18 TDI ushered in a new era in 2011. An innovative, compact and very efficient V6 TDI engine now powered the closed-cockpit sports car. To significantly reduce consumption and increase production relevance by downsizing, the engine’s displacement decreased by 1.8 to 3.7 liters. The cylinder banks with a 120-degree angle enclosed the exhaust side – in other words the exhaust manifolds were inside the V configuration as well. A single double-flow turbocharger was fed by the exhaust of both banks and its compressor was of a double-flow design as well and directed the fresh air through two intercoolers into the intake manifolds on the outside.

The efficiency gains expressed in compact figures: In the diesel era since 2006 the diameter of the air restrictor decreased by 34 percent, charge pressure was reduced by 4.7 percent and cubic capacity by nearly 33 percent. Absolute power output on the other hand dropped from more than 478 kW (650 hp) to about 360 kW (490 hp), in other words by only 24 percent. As a result, output per liter increased from 87 kW (118 hp) in 2006 to 107 kW (146 hp) in 2011, equating to a plus of nearly 24 percent. The higher injection pressures of the racing injectors lead to even more efficient combustion. Now operating at 3,000 bar the racing engine was a precursor of the rising pressures making their way into the automobile.

Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) won in 2011 with the R18 TDI and a year later with the R18 e-tron quattro that used a hybrid powertrain for the first time. In 2013, Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) were victorious at Le Mans with a further developed version of the R18 e-tron quattro. Following Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer in 2012, they were the next title winners in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In 2014, efficiency regulations came into effect that marked a radical change in racing. Instead of limiting output by factors such as air restriction or cubic capacity the limitations applied purely to energy. Audi enlarged the V6 TDI engine that had to make do with about 22 percent less fuel than its predecessor to four liters of displacement. The trio of Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer achieved the third victory – marking the eighth for a TDI engine from Audi at Le Mans.

For the 2016 season, the regulations have further reduced energy consumption. Audi has developed the V6 TDI engine to a new level once more. “We’re now using the engine concept for the sixth consecutive year. This shows how good the basic idea still is,” says Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Development at Audi Sport. “Due to efficiency increases, we’re compensating for the lower amount of fuel to some extent.” 

The current V6 TDI engine consumes 32.4 percent less fuel than the first generation from 2011. The progress made in comparison to 2006 is even more substantial. Today, Audi’s LMP1 race car with the current powertrain uses 46.4 percent less fuel at Le Mans than it did ten years earlier. In spite of this, it achieves lap times that are ten to 15 seconds better than those a decade ago. All this is possible thanks to the individual strides that have been made, particularly in the areas of aerodynamics, lightweight design and powertrain. 

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 21/2016

13 June 2016

Audi customer teams have celebrated successes in Australia, Italy and Thailand while Mattias Ekström clinched another podium position in the World Rallycross Championship at Hell, Norway. Just a week later, guests at Audi Cities will be treated to a special live Le Mans experience.

Audi wins in GT Asia Series

Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong triumphed in round two of the GT Asia Series season at Buriram, Thailand. The drivers from Team Phoenix Racing Asia won the first race on Saturday following a brilliant performance by Lee who drove the final stint. The Hong Kong Chinese took over the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS halfway through the race following solid preliminary work by his partnering driver Thong in position five. Toward the end of the 60-minute sprint race, Lee was the fastest driver on the Thai tarmac, overtook the rivals in front of him and celebrated victory.

Audi Sport Italia strong at Misano

Successful weekend for Audi Sport Italia in the Italian GT Championship: At Misano, Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Mapelli in the Audi R8 LMS took second place in race two on Sunday afternoon. In the first race on Saturday, the Portuguese-Italian driver duo had achieved a podium success as well, in position three. In addition, their teammates, Matias Enrique Russo and Emanuele Zonzini, celebrated victory in the GT3 class in race two.

Audi customer team successful in Australia

Greg Taylor triumphed in the Australian GT Trophy Series. At Winton Motor Raceway, he secured victory in the Audi R8 LMS from pole in the first 50-minute race. In race two, Taylor additionally celebrated an impressive second place in his class, directly in front of his brand colleague Rob Smith.

Ekström on podium again in World Rallycross Championship

Mattias Ekström has continued his impressive string of podium places. In round five of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Hell, Norway, Ekström finished third. This means that across the series he competes in, the DTM and rallycross campaigner took podium finishes on six consecutive weekends. This further success means that Ekström and his privateer team, EKS, have defended their lead of the drivers’ and teams’ standings in the World Rallycross Championship. Round six of the season will be held at Höljes. In his home round, the Swede has triumphed in the two past years.

DTM meets Le Mans

DTM meets Le Mans: Audi DTM drivers will be guests at three Audi Cities around the world during the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 18 and 19 and treat visitors there to a special live experience. Nico Müller, for instance, will be in Berlin, Mike Rockenfeller will travel to Moscow, Edoardo Mortara will be on site in Beijing and Adrien Tambay in Paris. Audi Cities are innovative rooms for interaction between the brand, people and product. Mattias Ekström will be in action on the Le Mans weekend as well. The DTM star is going to offer Audi’s VIP guests rides in his Audi S1 EKS RX quattro from the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

Audi relies on new trucks from MAN

For success in the DTM and in the FIA WEC Audi leaves nothing to chance. Right in time for the Le Mans 24 Hours and the DTM round at the Norisring a week later, Audi is using eight new MAN semitrailers. The trucks transport the Audi RS 5 DTM and Audi R18 cars across Europe and accommodate spare parts and mobile facilities for meetings or medical care. “The vehicles offer high levels of driving and living comfort. Particularly pleasant are the numerous assistance systems that make driving safer,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM, praising the new semis.

Excited about Le Mans

Audi driver Marcel Fässler and his two Swiss fellow race drivers Neel Jani and Sébastien Buemi sparked the enthusiasm of media in their country for the 24-hour race at Le Mans. On the race track of Lignières in the canton of Neuenburg, the pros who will be battling for overall victory at Le Mans for three automobile manufacturers answered the questions of some 30 members of the media. During taxi rides as Marcel Fässler’s passengers in the Audi R8 V10 Coupé, the journalists got an emotional impression of dynamics and acceleration.


A word from ... Jamie Green

The British Audi DTM driver about the difficult start of the season in the DTM, his recovery and Audi Sport’s upcoming “home round” at the Norisring on June 25/26.

Following such a difficult start of the season you scored more points than any other driver in the past three DTM races. How do you explain this breakthrough?

I wouldn’t call it a breakthrough but a return to normality. In the first races I had a lot of misfortune. In the two Hockenheim races I was involved in accidents that weren’t my fault and in qualifying for the first Spielberg race I didn’t have the optimum set-up. Finally, in race two and on the entire Lausitzring weekend everything was running smoothly and as a result I was able to do my job as best I could and to achieve good results.

You’re trailing the leader of the standings by only 13 points. Are you peering hard at the overall classification?

Most definitely. You always keep an eye on the current situation. The higher your place in the standings, the better it feels. Obviously, we’re still at a very early stage of the season. There are still a lot of races left and many points to be awarded. So as far as that’s concerned I’m not taking any all-out risks. But if things continue this way then I’m expecting to be in contention for the title again this year.

The next two races will be held on “your home turf,” the Norisring: a good opportunity to make up even more ground. Why are you so successful on this track?

The Norisring is a very narrow city street circuit. It’s about driving with great precision and finding the exact braking points. That’s something that suits me well. If you don’t manage this you can lose a lot of time in several places – or, in the worst case, end up in the track barrier.

On June 18/19, Audi will be competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Are you going to watch the race?

Absolutely. It’s one of the best-known races in motorsport. Anyone who has only the slightest interest in motor racing should watch it. When I switched to Audi in 2013 I was on site at Le Mans: a very impressive event. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my brand colleagues.


Coming up next week

Jun 13 Filipe Albuquerque 31st birthday
Jun 14 Jamie Green’s 34rd birthday
Jun 18–19 Le Mans (F), 24-hour race, WEC round 3
Jun 18 Le Mans (F), round 2, GT3 Le Mans Cup
Jun 17–19 Nürburgring (D), rounds 7 and 8, DMV GTC
Jun 17–19 Hockenheim (D), rounds 5 and 6, Spezial Tourenwagen-Trophäe
Jun 18–19 Rockingham (GB), round 4, GT Cup Championship

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Audi sales increase by 6.7 percent in May

10 June 2016

AUDI AG sold around 164,150 cars to customers in May, representing a global increase of 6.7 percent year on year. With their new model generations, growth for the A4 Sedan and the A4 Avant reached 16.2 percent. The new Q7 full size SUV also continued its successful start, up 79.6 percent in May. For the entire model lineup, Audi sales increased in all of the brand’s three key regions – by 9.7 percent in Europe, by 5.7 percent in Asia Pacific and by 3.8 percent in North America. Worldwide deliveries since January rose to around 784,250, up 5.3 percent compared with the same period in 2015.

“May once again showed that our new models are finding strong acceptance in the market,” says Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “This is a strong signal for the Audi Q2 and the new A5, which we presented a few days ago. Like its predecessor, the new A5 Coupé will win over customers with particularly high demands in terms of design and performance, giving Audi an even sportier boost.”

The Audi Q2 and the second generation of the A5 Coupé will arrive at dealers in the fourth quarter, initially in Europe. Audi already sold around 320,000 cars of the current A5 Coupé generation; the United States is the highest selling market for the model. In 2015, one in four A5 Coupé models sold to customers was a very sporty S or RS model.

Besides the Q7 (+79.6% to around 9,050 cars) and the A4 Sedan and Avant models (+16.2% to around 31,000 cars), the TT and Q3 also recorded high growth rates last month: Global demand for the compact sports car increased by 18.2 percent to around 2,900 units, while the Q3 was up 19.7 percent with around 19,700 units.

In Europe, a total of around 76,000 customers chose an Audi in May, amounting to 9.7 percent more than a year ago. While the UK (+2.8% to 14,020 cars) reported moderate growth for the four rings, especially Germany (+13.4% to 28,031 cars) and Spain (+20.2% to 4,860 cars) stood out among the major markets. In Europe overall, the new Q7 is making a significant contribution to the positive development for Audi. With around 17,650 units of the full‑size SUV since January, Audi handed over more Q7 in only five months than in the last full year of its predecessor model. In 2014, sales of the Q7 in the region amounted to 13,281 units.

Audi’s large SUV is also highly popular with customers in the United States. Across the entire model portfolio, Audi of America’s sales in May slightly exceeded the 2015 reference value (+1.6% to 18,728 cars), although the month was two selling days shorter this year. Cumulative sales of 78,489 Audi cars in the United States since January are 4.2 percent higher than in the same period last year. In Mexico (+10.3% to 1,303 cars), the four rings continued to make significant gains in May as the new A4 and the new Q7 have become successfully established in the market. Total sales for the month on the entire American continent were thus favorable despite the difficult market trend in Brazil (-35.9% to 825 cars): Around 25,000 deliveries amounted to an increase of 2.1 percent in the region.

In China, Audi once again benefited from its pioneering role in the local premium compact segment last month: Dealers handed over 7,359 units of the A3, 14.8 percent more than a year ago. For the Q3, sales figures show 7,246 Chinese customers in May, up 29.1 percent. Sales of all Audi models in China increased last month by 5.5 percent to 50,002. Among the other markets in the region, which have developed heterogeneously of late, Australia provided positive momentum for Audi with an increase of 4.0 percent to 2,002 cars delivered. Overall, the brand with the four rings closed out the month of May in the Asia‑Pacific region with a sales increase of 5.7 percent to around 58,300 units.

 

Sales for
AUDI AG

In May 

Cumulative

2016

2015

Change from 2015

2016

2015

Change from 2015

World

164,150

153,854

+6.7%

784,250

744,863

+5.3%

Europe

76,000

69,251

+9.7%

376,600

348,193

+8.2%

- Germany

28,031

24,727

+13.4%

138,138

123,598

+11.8%

- UK

14,020

13,641

+2.8%

75,405

72,548

+3.9%

- France

5,232

4,851

+7.9%

26,500

25,172

+5.3%

- Italy

5,520

5,336

+3.4%

26,312

23,157

+13.6%

- Spain

4,860

4,043

+20.2%

23,699

20,468

+15.8%

USA

18,728

18,428

+1.6%

78,489

75,353

+4.2%

Mexico

1,303

1,181

+10.3%

6,054

5,333

+13.5%

Brazil

825

1,288

-35.9%

5,838

7,158

-18.4%

China
(incl. Hong Kong)

50,002

47,410

+5.5%

239,118

226,021

+5.8%

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Audi ends incident-filled Le Mans test day on top

7 June 2016

Audi took over the top position in the afternoon session of the official Le Mans 24 Hours test, ending the day's running ahead of the two Porsches.

Lucas di Grassi got behind the wheel of the #8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro to complete an impressive lap of 3m21.375s around the Circuit the la Sarthe. 

Earlier in the session, reigning WEC champion Mark Webber set a time of 3m22.270s with the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, which was good for P2. The sister #2 Porsche didn’t improve its time in the afternoon and ended the day third.  

Andre Lotterer clocked a 3m22.588s with the #7 Audi to take fourth, ahead of the two Toyotas, which ended up fifth and sixth as they both failed to improve in the afternoon. 

The times of the Rebellion R-Ones also remained unchanged, and while the ByKolles CLM found half a second in the afternoon, the #4 machine still came up six seconds short of its LMP1-L rivals. 

Tristan Gommendy put the #33 Oreca of Eurasia Motorsport on top in the LMP2 category with a 3m36.690s. Signatech Alpine ended the day second thanks to the 3m37.397s that Stephane Richelmi posted in the morning. 

G-Drive Racing claimed the third and fourth spots in the baby prototype class, with the #26 Oreca beating the #38 Gibson. 

In GTE Pro, the #63 Corvette took over the lead with a 3m55.122s, closely followed by the two factory Porsche 911 RSRs. 

Ford’s return to Le Mans started with the 39th time overall for the #69 Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon, who was absent due to his IndyCar commitments. 

Ford’s WEC entry’s were just 41st and 45th in the overall list, with the #68 of Dirk Muller, Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais coming second to last in class. 

Nick Catsburg was drafted in at the last moment at Larbre Competition to replace the injured Paolo Ruberti and surprised with a 3m57.999s during his first day at the Circuit de la Sarthe, which was the fastest time in GTE Am. 

The Dutchman pipped the #55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia, which led much of the day with its 3m58.869s from the morning session. 

Incidents aplenty 

The four-hour afternoon session was hit by a lot of incidents. The first slow zone was implemented after the #99 Aston Martin came to a halt at the first chicane. 

In the second hour, the cars were slowed for Pu Junjin, who ended up deep in the gravel trap at the Mulsanne corner along with the #33 Oreca of Eurasia Motorsport. 

Yutaka Yamagishi brushed the tyre wall at Tertre Rouge with the back of Larbre Competition’s Corvette C7 in the third hour, but managed to bring his car back to the pits. 

Toyota factory driver Kamui Kobayashi had an off-track moment at Mulsanne with little over 90 minutes to go, but successfully brought back the TS050 Hybrid to the pits. 

Shortly after, this Tommy Milner suffered a spin at the Dunlop chicane with the #64 Corvette. 

With 40 minutes to go the Safety Car was sent out for Tracy Krohn, who beached his Ligier in the gravel at the entrance of Porsche Curves. 

The Safety Car had just came back in when the session was red-flagged for a incident concerning the #49 Ligier of Michael Shank Racing on the long straight.

Oswaldo Negri Jr. managed to escape from the incident unhurt, but the guardrail sustained heavy damage, resulting in a premature end to the day.

- End -

Credit: Erwin Jaeggi, Journalist, http://www.motorsport.com 

Audi Motorsport Newsletter 19/2016

30 May 2016

Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Mapelli celebrated their second victory of the season in the Italian GT Championship. In Australia and the United States, Audi customer teams achieved further podium places with the Audi R8 LMS. In the World Rallycross Championship, Mattias Ekström in the Audi S1 EKS RX was victorious and extended his lead of the standings.

Albuquerque and Mapelli win in Italy

Podium and victory for the Audi R8 LMS on the second weekend of the Italian GT Championship at Imola: In race one, Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Mapelli in their R8 LMS from Audi Sport Italia took third place following a puncture. Due to a rival’s exclusion from the classification, they advanced to second place. The second race was stopped after only eleven laps, due to a storm and Albuquerque and Mapelli were classified as the winners. In the GT3 category, their teammates Emanuele Zonzini and Matias Russo, who had finished the first race in third place, triumphed. In the Super GT classification, Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Mapelli will be traveling to round three at Misano in third place, trailing the leaders of the standings with a one-point deficit.

Mattias Ekström dominates FIA World Rallycross Championship

Mattias Ekström remains the dominant campaigner in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Following his celebrated successes at the Hockenheimring and in Belgium, the Swedish Audi driver won the round in the “Home of Rallycross” at Lydden Hill in the UK. After a clear victory in the semi-final, Ekström in a dramatic final defeated reigning World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg. The 37-year-old, after four of twelve rounds, is now leading the drivers’ classification, trailed by Solberg, with a five-point advantage. Ekström’s team, EKS, extended its lead of the teams’ standings in the World Rallycross Championship to 56 points.

Audi customer team in second place in Australia

Podium success in the Australian GT Championship: Steven McLaughlan and Garth Tander in an Audi R8 LMS of Audi customer team Jamec Pem Racing in race two of round four at Phillip Island advanced to second overall and to third place in the championship standings. DTM driver Miguel Molina, who competed in Down Under standing in for the current champion, Christopher Mies, experienced a difficult weekend in his second race in an Audi R8 LMS and, alongside Tony Bates in the team of Jamec Pem Racing, recorded a retirement and an eleventh place.

Kyle Marcelli on podium in the United States

Just a week after his third place in Canada, Kyle Marcelli in his Audi R8 LMS ultra finished on podium again in the Pirelli World Challenge. In rounds ten and eleven of the season at Lime Rock, the driver from the CRP Racing Audi customer team took a sseconds and a third place.

Two Audi R8 cars rolled into one

Spectators visiting Audi marveled at an unusual attraction featured at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Parked at the entrance to the Audi Sport Hospitality was a model representing a production R8 on the passenger’s side and the R8 LMS race car on the driver’s side. The Audi R8 Transformer split lengthwise perfectly symbolizes the claim of “Born on the track. Built for the road.” The double R8 was created in a mere four weeks. Seven budding automotive mechatronics specialists from the Audi Academy Ingolstadt built the model together with their trainer, Gerald Knispel. “Our intent was to show the direct link between motorsport and production in this special exhibit,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. The road-going production model and the race car are produced at Audi’s Böllinger Höfe site and share 50 percent of all their components.

Audi Sport TT Cup drivers catch a whiff of GT air

Audi Sport TT Cup drivers Max Hofer and Joonas Lappalainen paid a visit to Markus Winkelhock during the events of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. The instructor and coach from the Audi one-make cup gave the two young talents some insight into the near-580-hp Audi R8 LMS in which he contested the classic endurance race in the Eifel. Talents in the Audi Sport TT Cup aspire to a promotion to Audi’s GT program. Three drivers, Jan Kisiel (Audi R8 LMS Cup), Nicolaj Møller Madsen (Blancpain Sprint Series) and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (ADAC GT Masters), from last year managed the leap into GT racing. The supporting program of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring also included two rounds of the Audi Sport TT Cup.

Van der Linde family united at the Nürburgring

Big family reunion on the occasion of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring: 19-year-old Kelvin van der Linde, who is racing again in an Audi R8 LMS in the ADAC GT Masters this year, was on the grid of the iconic endurance race twice around the clock. His brother Sheldon, who is two years younger, battled for points in the overall classification of the Audi Sport TT Cup. The Audi one-make cup, which serves as an opportunity to enter the motorsport world of the brand with the four rings, was held for the first time as part of the supporting program of the 24-hour race this year. The two talents received moral support and tips from their father, Shaun, the 1994 Champion in the South African Super Touring Car Championship.

A word from ... Filipe Albuquerque

The Portuguese is contesting an ambitious GT racing program with Audi customer teams.

Your program in 2016 includes two commitments with Audi. In Italy, you immediately started the season with a victory and upped the ante on the second race weekend.

I’m happy about competing in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and in the Italian GT Championship with Audi Sport Italia. The team has clearly grown since I raced for WRT a few years ago. I’m sharing the cockpit with the Brazilians Sérgio Jimenez and Rodrigo Baptista. In Emilio Radaelli’s team in Italy, I drove an Audi for the first time in 2009. In 2010, I was the championship runner-up. This season, Marco Mapelli is my teammate. Victory in the season opener at Monza was a wonderful return. Following our second and first places at Imola, we’re now in second place of the standings with a one-point deficit.

You were intimately familiar with the first generation of the Audi R8 LMS. What are the hallmarks of the second generation?

The new car is impressive. The engineers reflected about the R8 LMS in every detail and came up with many solutions that are useful, not least for the customer teams in particular. The cockpit is very ergonomic. This clearly makes the driver change between pros and gentlemen drivers easier. Due to the steering wheel and pedal adjustments, every driver can quickly and easily adjust the car to their physique. The aerodynamic downforce is impressive, too. It’s a genuine race car but we should never forget that it directly stems from the production model.

What goals have you set yourself this season?

In the Endurance Cup, I’d like to help our gentleman driver Rodrigo Baptista develop his driving skills well. The plan is for him to be in contention for podium results next year at the latest. In Italy, our objective is a different one. As our racing successes show, it’s about titles for us. Marco and I are in contention for the championship.

 

Coming up next week
03–04/06 Detroit (USA), round 4, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
03–05/06 Lausitzring (D), races 5 and 6, DTM
03–05/06 Lausitzring (D), races 5 and 6, ADAC GT Masters
04–05/06 Le Mans (F), test day
04–05/06 Le Castellet (F), races 5 and 6, GT Open

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Audi SQ7 TDI wins “Autocar Innovation Award 2016”

26 May 2016

The new Audi SQ7 TDI* has won the “Autocar Innovation Award 2016” hosted by the British motoring magazine Autocar. This award recognizes its outstanding technical solutions. The expert jury announced the winners yesterday evening in Silverstone, England.

“The newly developed V8 engine of the Audi SQ7 TDI uses an electric powered compressor – that is a world first,” declared Dr. Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at Audi. This compressor supports the work of the two turbochargers especially at low-end revs and guarantees maximum dynamics with no turbo lag. The high-performance basis is the 48 volt electrical subsystem, which also provides the energy for the electromechanical active roll stabilization. “These innovations enable the new Audi SQ7 TDI to demonstrate “Vorsprung durch Technik” in practice”, pointed out Knirsch: “We feel honored that the jury has chosen the new Audi SQ7 TDI as the recipient of the “Autocar Innovation Award”.

There is nothing comparable with electromechanical active roll stabilization among any of its competitors. This system significantly reduces side tilt of the car and paves the way for firm, sporty handling. The result is that the car rolls less on bends. The SQ7 TDI achieves higher lateral acceleration and thus faster cornering. The electromechanical active roll stabilization, like the electric powered compressor (EPC), draws its power from the new 48 volt electrical subsystem.

The SQ7 TDI is the first Audi to feature this high-performance voltage system. A DC/DC converter connects the 48 volt electrical subsystem to the 12 volt electrical system. To meet the high power requirements and short-term electricity requirements of the electromechanical active roll stabilization and electric powered compressor, there is a separate 48 volt lithium-ion battery for the electrical subsystem beneath the luggage compartment. Its peak output is up to 13 kilowatts.

Autocar paid tribute to this Vorsprung durch Technik with the “Innovation Award” for outstanding technical developments.

- End -

SQ7 TDI: Out to impress

24 May 2016

As far as science experiments go, Audi’s new SQ7 TDI is an effective one.

Wait a minute ... science? Isn’t this supposed to be a big, raucous turbo diesel V8 with enough Newton metres to rip a significant landmass in half?

Doesn’t the always-worth-waiting-for “S” version of Audi’s flagship Q7 SUV sound like Brian Blessed with a head cold reciting Ezekiel 25:17 a la Samuel L. Jackson?

Well, yes and yes.

But there is so much more. Because Audi has chosen the SQ7 — a model which already features masses of impressive driver assistance tech in its mainstream iteration — to showcase some interesting, future-proofing technology.

First up, there is Audi’s new 48-volt electrical subsystem. This is a first for Audi and it’s important for two reasons.

As mentioned, there are many, many driver assistance systems in this car; 24 separate systems in fact, such as the new electromechanical active roll stabilisation system which reduces body movement under hard cornering, the electromechanical power steering system, electronic chassis platform control system and the semi-autonomous traffic jam assist system which will momentarily take control of the vehicle in heavy motorway traffic.

This means a beefier 48-volt electrical subsystem is needed to run the advanced control software, leaving the standard 12-volt system to take care of “ordinary” stuff such as climate control, the entertainment system and the LED headlights. Energy is stored in a compact lithium-ion battery and a DC/DC converter connects the two systems.

The 48-volt system will become increasingly necessary for Audi because customers will expect these sorts of dynamic driver aids as the brand moves to expand its hybrid and full-electric (e-tron) model range in the coming years.

Engine software and driver aids like those featured in the SQ7 will be able to be run and relied upon without impinging on the output or — most crucially — the range of future models’ electric motors.

The SQ7 TDI features some impressive new turbocharging technology, too.

The vehicle’s twin turbochargers are controlled through Audi’s valvelift system (AVS), which appears in a TDI engine for the first time.
AVS controls when the two turbos are deployed; at low engine speeds only one turbocharger is active, then as engine speed increases AVS activates the second turbocharger for a seamless thrust of power.

Also, helping the first turbocharger spool up instantaneously from the moment the accelerator is pushed is Audi’s first electric powered compressor (EPC).

Instead of a turbine wheel, the compressor features a compact electric motor.

This accelerates the engine’s compressor wheel up to 70,000rpm in less than 250 milliseconds, complementing the initial turbo at low engine speeds. This means that the turbochargers are primed immediately, so there is no turbo lag whatsoever.

Also because the EPC supports the turbochargers with continuous boost pressure, all 900Nm of torque is available at 1000rpm.

Again, see why that 48-volt electrical subsystem is so vital?

Okay, so much for the ones-and-zeroes.

The Audi SQ7 TDI is a massively powerful car. It feels impressively fast, too, as I discovered at the model’s international media launch in France last week. Mash your foot to the floor and that instantaneous torque surge is incredibly noticeable; this is a big 2.3-ton SUV, but it pushes you back in your seat as you accelerate.

More than that, it just keeps on building; with peak torque available from 1000rpm, the spread is enormous and the car never feels like it’s going to run out of puff.

Certainly not before the mind-melting physics of a sharp right-hander in a big left-hand drive vehicle had me easing off with haste anyway.
The SQ7’s 4.0-litre bi-turbo diesel V8 engine is another new item, issuing maximum power of 320kW to match that colossal torque figure. 
It’s the most powerful turbo diesel in a premium SUV and ensures this XL-sized load-lugger will sprint from zero to 100km/h in an impressive 4.8 seconds.

Despite this — and its governed top speed of 250km/h — the SQ7 TDI still manages to record frugal combined fuel economy of 7.2-litres/100km.
The noise the SQ7 makes is aggressive, as you’d expect.

The exhaust burble — assisted with synthesised sound inside the cabin and sound generation technology out back to enhance it for passers-by — satisfies the senses under acceleration, although settles to a dead hum at motorway speeds.

Shouty headlines aside, the SQ7’s styling is somewhat restrained, although I suppose that’s no bad thing.

The usual “S” attributes, such as contrasting door mirror caps and grille surround, red brake calipers and a differently styled nose still give the car a handsome look.

The latest generation Q7 is perhaps one of Audi’s most conservatively penned cars anyway, so the carmaker hasn’t set out to load the “S” model up with gaudy aggression.

Confirmed pricing for the SQ7 is yet to be announced, but Audi New Zealand tells me it is anticipating a $180,000-ish retail price — around the same RRP as a Porsche Cayenne S Diesel.

In all it’s an impressive achievement. This car boasts the attributes of a sports wagon, but with the dimensions of a large SUV.
More than that, though, it stands as a showcase for what Audi’s boffins are capable of achieving dynamically and technologically, along with the hardware they’ll use to take the brand into an increasingly electric-powered and possibly self-driven future.


AUDI SQ7 TDI
ENGINE:
4.0-LITRE BI-TURBO DIESEL V8
PRICE:
$180,000 (estimated)
Pros:Impressive test bed of new technologies, 320kW V8 that still proves suitably frugal, standard specification list extensive
Cons:Exhaust burble becomes a bit tiring in the cruise, styling quite restrained

- End -

Credit: CAMERON OFFICER, Driven.co.nz

Audi Motorsport Newsletter 18/2016

23 May 2016

Highly-regarded one-make cup debut for the new Audi R8 LMS in Asia: in the hotly contested Audi R8 LMS Cup season opener in Shanghai, the victories went to junior Martin Rump and the experienced sports car driver Rahel Frey.

Audi R8 LMS Cup: wins for Martin Rump and Rahel Frey

Audi R8 LMS Cup season starts in Shanghai: on the debut of the new Audi R8 LMS in the popular one-make cup in Asia, the fans witnessed a victory in the first race for junior Martin Rump ahead of veterans Marchy Lee, Rahel Frey and defending Champion Alex Yoong. In the second race, the 50th Audi R8 LMS Cup race, the Swiss lady Rahel Frey celebrated a convincing start-finish victory from pole position. Second place went to Alessio Picariello ahead of Alex Yoong. After the first of six race weekends in the championship, Rahel Frey sits atop the standings by four points from Martin Rump.

Three wins in Australia

Victory in the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championship (VSCRC) in Australia for Audi customer team Jamec Pem Racing: in the second race weekend of the season at Sandown Raceway, Steven McLaughlan secured pole position in his Audi R8 LMS ultra before going on to win all three races.

Audi customer team takes three podiums in Thailand

Podium results at season opener in the Thailand Super Series (TSS) in Buriram (Thailand): the Australian Daniel Bilski claimed a second and a brace of third places in an Audi R8 LMS entered by B-Quik Racing.

Audi R8 LMS for the PlayStation

From the race track to the PlayStation: the racing game Gran Turismo Sport, which is available from November in stores for the PlayStation 4, was presented to the specialist press and fans in London. Gaming fans then have the opportunity to drive an Audi R8 LMS that features the livery of the 2015 Nürburgring 24 Hours race-winning car. An initial preview was given at the presentation in London, where Audi driver Kelvin van der Linde also in attendance with the Audi R8 LMS.

DTM drivers eagerly await 24-hour race

Four Audi DTM drivers compete this coming weekend (May 28–29) in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. Last year’s winner Nico Müller starts for Audi Sport Team WRT. Edoardo Mortara, second in the DTM drivers’ classification, starts in one of the Audi R8 LMS cars entered by Phoenix Racing. Team Boss Ernst Moser’s squad has already won the Eifel classic twice with Audi in 2012 and 2014. Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider are not just team mates in the DTM. For the 24-hour race, they share an Audi R8 LMS from Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, which makes its debut with the four rings this year.

Miguel Molina ‘down under’ in Audi R8 LMS

Miguel Molina makes a detour to Australia between the two DTM rounds in Spielberg and at the Lausitzring: this coming weekend, the DTM driver contests two rounds of the Australian GT Championship on Philipp Island in an Audi R8 LMS. The Spaniard deputizes in the Audi customer team Jamec Pem Racing for defending Champion Christopher Mies, who is in action for Audi Sport Team WRT at the 24-hour race around the Nürburgring. For Molina it is the first journey down under and the second race in a GT3 sports car.

Rockenfeller drives historic tractor

Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller faced an unusual challenge during the DTM event in Spielberg: Rockenfeller dared to swap between his near 460 hp Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM and get behind the wheel of a Steyer Daimler Puch built in 1948. In a competition with two DTM driver colleagues, ‘Rocky’ also demonstrated his abilities with the tractor. The challenge was to complete a slalom course within a specific time and afterwards to park the antiquated vehicle backwards. In the end, Rockenfeller narrowly missed taking victory.

BBQ under the bull

To mark the DTM race weekend in Spielberg, Audi invited guests once again to the BBQ beneath the Red Bull Ring’s steel trademark. Innumerable guests marveled as Dieter Gass tapped the beer keg left handed. In addition to the eight DTM drivers and their team bosses, representatives from the ITR, the Red Bull Ring management as well as international media representatives accepted the invitation from the four rings. Among the attendees were also the ARD expert Norbert Haug and a delegation from Audi Hungary.

Audi TT cup adorns Audi Forum Neckarsulm

A prominent addition: Visitors of Audi Forum Neckarsulm can now enjoy a vivid experience of the Audi Sport TT Cup race car at close range. In the cradle of premium vehicles, the Audi TT cup is one of the most recent exhibits. A contest with attractive prizes and interesting information about the “young” Audi one-make cup that entered its second season at the beginning of May complement the display of the Audi TT cup. Visitors will be able to enjoy the 310-hp racing version of the popular sports car on-site until May 28.

Lucas di Grassi maintains Formula E championship lead

Lucas di Grassi maintained his Formula E championship lead with third place in his ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team’s home race in Berlin. Before the final two races in the electric racing series, which are held in London on July 2–3, the Audi factory driver sits one point ahead of Sébastien Buemi. Di Grassi celebrated together with his team mate Daniel Abt on the podium in the heat of the German capital. The youngster scored the best result to date in his Formula E career after finishing second.

A word from … Mattias Ekström

The DTM star talks about his turbulent weekend at the DTM in Spielberg and his wins in the World Rallycross Championship.

From eleventh on the grid to second – not something you see every day in the DTM …

Absolutely! Sometimes a second place feels like a win. Today was such a day. The race was fantastic and was huge fun. I overtook several rivals on the track, we had the right strategy and an extremely fast pit stop – I think only 2.6 seconds! And this although my guys had worked until late in the night to give me a perfect car again after the mess in turn one yesterday.

New lap record on Saturday, a fantastic comeback drive on Sunday – why on the other hand did things not run so well in both qualifying sessions?

To be around tenth position twice in qualifying is not good enough to win races in the DTM. On Saturday I deserved the grid positon because I was simply the crucial tenth too slow. But on Sunday I was good enough be between third and fifth – and then somebody gets in my way! I’d love to banish the qualifying blues. At the Lausitzring we must try to qualify in the top five. That would already feel like a small victory because qualifying is everything in the modern DTM. On some tracks you can make up the difference in the race – assuming the fools are far enough away …

You heavily criticized some of your fellow drivers at the weekend. Why?

I get along with almost everybody on the DTM grid. But there are two or three candidates who still haven’t grasped how the DTM functions. In my opinion they cause damage and accidents in almost every race – I’m sorry for the other drivers, teams and the fans. I’m not in a position to say they don’t belong here. But their performances in the races don’t belong here. This is not what the DTM is all about. I’ve repeated myself often during this weekend: the two, three candidates are really nice people, but when they climb into a race car they are unrecognizable.

This coming weekend, you compete again in the World Rallycross Championship. With two consecutive wins most recently things are running perfectly for you, or not?

The crazy thing is that I feel completely at home in both my Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM as well as my Audi S1 EKS RX quattro. However, in the DTM I fight in the midfield, in the World Rallycross Championship for victory. You also need a little luck in motorsport. Perhaps I had more than my fair share of luck on the first couple of weekend in rallycross and too little in the DTM. But I hope that the hard work in both series’ pays off. Anyway, giving up is not an option for me. Anybody who knows me knows this. I’ll fight until the bitter end.


Coming up next week
26–29/05 Nürburgring (D), 24-hour race
27/05 Marcel Fässler’s 40th birthday
27–28/05 Lime Rock Park (USA), races 10 and 11, Pirelli World Challenge
27–28/05 Phillip Island (AUS), round 4, Australian GT Championship
27–29/05 Imola (I), races 3 and 4, Italian GT Championship
27–29/05 Sepang (MAL), round 1, Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup
28–29/05 Silverstone (GB), round 3, GT Cup Championship
28–30/05 Oulton Park (GB), races 3 and 4, British GT Championship
29/05 Phillip Island (AUS), round 1, Australian endurance championship

- End -

Audi Motorsport Newsletter 17/2016

16 May 2016

While Mattias Ekström continued his winning streak in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and is leading the standings the teams of Audi Sport customer racing celebrated GT3 successes with the Audi R8 LMS in three European racing series.

Mattias Ekström wins again in Belgium

Mattias Ekström is the man of the hour in the FIA World Rallycross Championship: Just one week after the 1-2 victory of his team, EKS, at the DTM opener at Hockenheim, the Swedish Audi driver won the race at Mettet (Belgium). For the third time in a row, Ekström was “top qualifier” in his Audi S1 EKS RX quattro after the four qualification races. Following commanding wins in the semi-final and the final, the two-time DTM Champion is the sole leader of the World Championship for the first time in his rallycross career. His team, EKS, continues to lead the teams’ championship.

Second place following recovery at Silverstone

At Silverstone, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT clinched its first podium position in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this season. Brothers Laurens and Dries Vanthoor, together with their teammate Frédéric Vervisch qualified for grid position eleven on the second race weekend, but clearly advanced in the race. Following three hours of racing, the Belgian driver trio crossed the finish line in second place, trailing the winners by just nine tenths of a second. As a result, Vanthoor/Vanthoor/Vervisch have moved up from ninth to third place in the standings.

Victory and podium places in Austria

The customers of Audi Sport customer racing contested a successful DMV GTC visit in Austria. “Ronny C’Rock” from Team Land Motorsport won round two at the Red Bull Ring in the new Audi R8 LMS with an advantage of eight tenths of a second. Third place went to Tommy Tulpe at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS of Team HCB Rutronik Racing. In the weekend’s first heat, Tulpe had taken second place overall, trailed by his teammate Fabian Plentz who competed in an Audi R8 LMS ultra. In the subsequent Dunlop 60 race, Plentz/Tulpe in the Audi R8 LMS jointly achieved second place and took victory in their class.

Podium place at hillclimb race in Asturias

José Antonio López-Fombona in the Audi R8 LMS ultra clinched another trophy. In Fito, in the north-west of Spain, the Spaniard took third place in class in the FIA European Hillclimb Championship classification. In round four of the season, the privateer with Team AMP Classic was the best GT driver and the fastest finisher in Category 2 of the Asturian Hillclimb classification.

Timo Scheider in “ZDF Fernsehgarten” TV show

Spectacular appearance of Timo Scheider at the “ZDF Fernsehgarten:” In a television show on the occasion of the Eurovision Song Contest, the two-time DTM Champion took dancer and “Let's Dance” jury member Isabel Edvardsson for a ride in the Audi RS 5 DTM race taxi. In a challenge called “elk test,” the Swede had to slide small wooden elks onto a wire while Scheider was driving.


Audi Sport TT Cup title winner Kisiel to contest Audi R8 LMS Cup

Jan Kisiel, the winner of the 2015 Audi Sport TT Cup, will be on the grid in the Audi R8 LMS Cup this year. The 21-year-old Pole is going to drive one of the near-570-hp GT3 race cars for Team KCMG. Last year, Kisiel proved his talent in the Audi Sport TT Cup. In the Audi one-make cup, he won five of the twelve races, was on podium nine times and secured the title in commanding style. The fifth Audi R8 LMS Cup season will kick off with two races at Shanghai Audi International Circuit on May 21 and 22.

 

A word from ... Lucas di Grassi

The Brazilian celebrated his first victory with Audi in round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Spa.

Together with Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis you achieved your first victory with Audi. Did you expect that at Spa?

In our sport, the rule applies that the race isn’t over until you’ve crossed the finish line. Sometimes you’re unfortunate or make mistakes yourself, but now and then it happens to others – that exactly was the case at Spa. We didn’t have the fastest car, but made no mistakes. After turn one, we were in third place and when a Porsche lost ground we were running in position two for a long time. When the leading Toyota retired, we were in front. After all, endurance racing is also about having staying power.

What did you feel on clinching victory?

It was a tremendous feeling, but this victory had been due for some time. In 2014, Tom Kristensen, Marc Gené and I were in a good position to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, but it wasn’t enough. The year before, at Sebring, we lost victory after 12 hours of racing by only 7.6 seconds. Now we clinched our first winners’ trophy. Hopefully, a lot more of them are going to follow.

You’re contesting the FIA WEC with Audi Sport and the FIA Formula E Championship with Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport. You’ve won three FIA Formula E rounds in the current season, and now have clinched victory in the WEC. Is this your year?

Being in contention for top results in both racing series with strong teams and great race cars means a lot to me. Competing in parallel is something I regard as a gain. For one, it’s about the methodology of managing a limited amount of energy. Even though the technological concepts differ from each other, they make similar demands on us as drivers. For the other, being among the best in both series sharpens your senses and competitive spirit. I’m sure the two programs help improve my own skills, which the teams in the two series I compete in benefit from.

 

Coming up next week

19–22/05 Mosport (CDN), rounds 8 and 9, Pirelli World Challenge

19–22/05 Buriram (THA), rounds 1 and 2, Thailand Super Series

20–22/05 Red Bull Ring (A), rounds 3 and 4, DTM

21–22/05 Le Castellet (F), round 3, V de V Endurance Series

21–22/05 Spa (B), rounds 3 and 4, GT Open

21–22/05 Shanghai (CN), rounds 1 and 2, Audi R8 LMS Cup

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Special edition of the Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus: “selection 24h”

13 May 2016

One year ago the Audi R8 LMS won the 24 Hours Nürburgring on its debut. The GT3 car’s victory marked the start of a successful year of motor racing for Audi Sport. The brand now celebrates the R8 LMS with the “selection 24h” special edition, a homage to its tally of 323 wins in national and international race assignments since 2009.

The “selection 24h”, being built in a limited production run of 24, is based on the Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus*. Its 5.2-liter V10 mid-engine develops 449 kW (610 hp) and accelerates the top model of the Audi R8 car line from 0 to 100 km/h(62.1 mph) in a mere 3.2 seconds, before advancing to a top speed of 330 km/h (205.1 mph). That makes the Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus both the fastest and most powerful production Audi of all time. A newly developed quattro drive distributes its power fully variably between both sets of wheels. The suspension, the aerodynamics configured to handle high downforces and the operating concept featuring the Audi virtual cockpit are all motorsport-inspired. That is because Audi developed the second generation of the R8 in parallel with the GT3 racing model R8 LMS. Close cooperation between race car engineers, motorsport specialists and developers has brought both models a significant boost in performance.

The dry weight of the Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus is 1,454 kilograms (3,205.5 lb); its body built using the multimaterial construction principle weighs a mere 200 kilograms (440.9 lb). The combination of aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP) in the Audi Space Frame opens up entirely new dimensions with regard to weight, rigidity and crash behavior.

The technical package in the “selection 24h” special edition comprises dynamic steering, the adaptive damper control system Audi magnetic ride and Audi laser lighting. The tricolor paint finish consisting of Suzuka gray as the basic color, with mythos black and Misano red highlights, evokes the successful Audi R8 LMS.

The front spoiler, the exterior mirror housings, the engine compartment cover, the rear wing and the diffuser are made from gloss-finish carbon fiber. The same applies to the sideblades with matt-finish “R8 24h” logo. The tailpipes of the sport exhaust system feature black trims and the 20-inch forged aluminum wheels in 10-spoke Y design are painted gloss anthracite black. Inside, the limited-edition model offers full-leather upholstery and trim in the color rotor gray, with Alcantara headlining. The air vents and the extended inlays for the surround of the Audi virtual cockpit are made of gloss-finish CFRP. The latter also bear the matt-finish “R8 24h” logo. The illuminated door sill trims are also made of gloss-finish carbon. They display the serial numbers 1 to 24 for each of the limited-edition cars. As an exclusive feature of the limited edition, the entry lights on the doors project the Audi R8 logo onto the road surface. In future, every R8 customer will be able to personalize their car with a near-unlimited range

of lettering and logos from the Audi exclusive offering.

The “selection 24h” special edition of the Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus is a homage to Audi’s remarkable achievements in endurance racing. In the Le Mans 24 Hours alone, the brand with the four rings has celebrated 13 overall wins in the past 15 years. The first five of these were clinched by the R8 sports prototype, which gave its name to the production sports model. The GT3 racing car Audi R8 LMS made its competition debut in 2009. It has since collected over 300 wins worldwide, including overall wins in

24-hour races on the Nürburgring, at Spa-Francorchamps and Zolder, and in Dubai. It also has a class victory in Daytona to its name. Last year, the new generation of the Audi R8 LMS made a dream debut and won its first 24-hour race on the Nürburgring at the very first attempt.

The Audi R8 “selection 24h” will be on view to the public for the first time at the AUDI AG presentation area in the paddock at the 24 Hours Nürburgring. Orders for the special model can be placed from May 10, 2016. It costs EUR 229,000 in Germany.

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 16/2016

10 May 2016

Audi was successful this weekend not only in the WEC and in the DTM. At the Hockenheimring, DTM driver Mattias Ekström’s Team EKS celebrated a one-two result in the World Rallycross Championship round held as part of the DTM’s supporting program. And with the Audi R8 LMS Audi customer teams achieved further triumphs.

One-two result for Ekström’s team in the World Rallycross Championship

Mattias Ekström and Toomas Heikkinen celebrated a one-two win in round two of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Hockenheimring. In their two 560-hp Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars, the Swedish-Finnish duo dominated the event throughout the weekend. “Winning in front of so many DTM and rallycross fans is incredible. This is an experience you can only dream of,” said Ekström who contested a double program of rallycross and DTM racing at Hockenheim. With 48 points in the drivers’ standings Ekström now equals the score of overall leader Petter Solberg. In the teams’ classification, EKS with 93 points already has a 45-point advantage over the second-placed Volkswagen RX Sweden team.

Success for Mies and Ide in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup celebrated its second consecutive victory in the main race. In round two of the season at Brands Hatch in the UK, the German Christopher Mies and his Belgian teammate Enzo Ide triumphed in the Audi R8 LMS. After taking a podium place in the qualifying race, the duo started from third place on the grid and made up one position at an early stage. Following the pit stop, Christopher Mies took the lead and went on to defend it up to the finish. A success was recorded by Marlon Stockinger and Franck Perera as well. In an Audi R8 LMS of Audi customer team ISR, they took pole position and finished the qualifying race in second place.

Steven McLaughlan wins in Australia

In round three of the Australian GT Championship at Perth, Steven McLaughlan in an Audi R8 LMS of Audi customer team Jamec Pem Racing triumphed in race one. Halfway through the one-hour race the Australian took the lead, crossed the finish line with a near-five-second advantage and celebrated his first victory in the Australian GT Championship. In third place, James Koundouris and Marcus Marshall achieved a podium place in an Audi R8 LMS as well and will be traveling to round four at Phillip Island as the leaders of the standings.

Double dose of joy for Jamie Green

Before the DTM season opener at Hockenheim, Jamie Green had two reasons to celebrate. His wife, Ginny, gave birth to their daughter, Georgiana, on Monday. After their two sons, Zachary and William, this is the Green family’s third child. Also at the beginning of the week, the Audi driver was happy about the surprise championship title win by the English Premier League club Leicester City. Green is a great soccer fan and was born in Leicester.

Celebration for Mike Rockenfeller

Mike Rockenfeller was treated to a surprise celebration before Saturday’s DTM race at Hockenheim. The driver from Audi Sport Team Phoenix contested his 100th race in the series at the season opener and was presented with a cake on this special occasion. “I had completely forgotten about it, so I was particularly pleased about my team’s thoughtfulness,” said Rockenfeller who is contesting his tenth DTM season this year and won the title in 2013.

Benoît Tréluyer on skiing tour in the Alps

Audi driver Benoît Tréluyer undertook a demanding glacier skiing tour in his home country of France. Together with a good friend, rally driver Yoann Bonato, the endurance race driver climbed an Alpine summit south east of Grenoble in the week prior to the WEC race at Spa. The Col de la Muzelle, at an altitude of 2,600 meters, was the target of the two-day tour. “We’ve spent a night in a mountain hut at sub-zero temperatures,” reported Tréluyer. “But the stunning view and the ski descent were worth every drop of effort.”

WRT Karting Academy visits Audi at Spa

Four members of the WRT Karting Academy experienced a visit to Audi on the FIA WEC weekend at Spa. Team WRT – one of Audi’s most successful outfits in GT3 racing – has been promoting young drivers in kart racing since 2015. The young talents, Ugo de Wilde, Antoine Potty, Maxime Potty and Charles Weerts, traveled to Spa accompanied by Team Director Vincent Vosse, WRT Co-Managing Director Kathleen Schurmans and Team Coordinator Frédéric Colaux. The guests watched the third free practice session from the pits of Audi Sport Team Joest and Audi driver Benoît Tréluyer personally provided them with insight into the team’s work.

A word from ... Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich

The Head of Audi Motorsport about Audi Sport’s successes at Spa and at Hockenheim.

How did you experience this weekend?

It’s been a strong and successful weekend for Audi Sport – particularly Saturday. Celebrating victories in the WEC and in the DTM on the same day is something that cannot be taken for granted. So, our joy about them was all the greater. A big thank you goes to everyone involved in them. It’s a shame that things didn’t go so well on Sunday at Hockenheim in the DTM. We’re trying to understand what the reason was. But we’re already looking ahead to the next two races at Spielberg.

How do you rate the success with the Le Mans prototypes at Spa?

For our LMP squad, it was a really difficult weekend. Obviously, having won the race with our car number “8” is a very nice result. But it’s also clear that we still have a lot of work to do.

Mattias Ekström won the round of the World Rallycross Championship at Hockenheim. Were you able to watch the one-two result of his team?

Unfortunately, not – I was in a meeting during the final rounds. But of course I’m happy for Eki. I heard that it was a really strong performance.

The Audi Sport TT Cup had a successful start of the season at Hockenheim as well ...

I watched race two on Sunday and really liked what I saw. There are some promising young talents on the grid that we’re promoting and that have great potential.

 

Coming up next week

13–14/05 Red Bull Ring (A), rounds 5 and 6, DMV GTC
13–14/05 Imola (I), round 1, GT3 Le Mans Cup
13–15/05 Korea International Circuit (ROK), rounds 1 and 2, GT Asia
14–15/04 Silverstone (GB), round 2, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup
14–15/04 Fito (E), round 4, Spanish Hillclimb Championship
14/05 Nürburgring (D), round 3, VLN

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Audi Sport teams ready for DTM start

5 May 2016

Audi Sport did its homework. The eight Audi drivers are in perfect shape. And the Audi Sport teams are ready for the new DTM season that begins at Hockenheim this weekend as well.

When the race trucks of the teams start heading for Hockenheim this Wednesday, the Audi Sport teams, Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg, are looking back on some intensive weeks. Following the DTM pre-season tests at the beginning of April, all eight Audi RS 5 DTM cars were completely dismantled once more. Every part was checked before the race cars consisting of some 4,000 single parts were assembled again and fitted with the race engines for the 2016 season.

ABT Sportsline has been active for Audi Sport in the DTM since 2004. Phoenix and Rosberg have been competing in the popular touring car series for the four rings since 2006 and thus for more than ten years as well. Still, all three teams have optimized their processes for a DTM weekend once more last winter, analyzed data for hours on end, and invested in their technical equipment. 

“In the DTM, even the smallest details matter,” says Hans-Jürgen Abt, Team Director of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. “We optimally prepared and are all fired up to clinch another DTM title for Audi – it would be our sixth one.”

ABT is the DTM master of quick pit stops, and for good reason. The choreography of the tire change which, ideally, takes less than three seconds and involves 13 mechanics is practiced in Kempten several times a week. Before the first race weekend, the squad practiced nearly 800 pit stops and spent many hours in the outfit’s own gym. 

Anyone having to lift a DTM wheel weighing some 20 kilograms or control a power wrench at a speed of 18,000 revolutions per minute to loosen the wheel nut with a force of 2,000 newton meters has to be in top physical shape. That’s why Audi Sport Team Rosberg has its own gym at which a fitness coach trains the mechanics twice a week. The team from Neustadt an der Weinstraße is proud of a DYI pit stop simulator based on a Piaggio van sporting the look of the Audi RS 5 DTM and nicknamed “Marianne.”

“We enlarged our engineering office last winter,” says Arno Zensen, Team Director of Audi Sport Team Rosberg. “By hiring new employees, we received new impulses and have optimized our work and quality processes. Plus, we purchased new equipment that makes even more precise measurements possible and saves time – this is particularly important in view of the DTM’s current format.” 

The people at Phoenix Racing in Meuspath looked for optimization potential in winter as well. The result is a leaner structure with shorter decision-making processes. “We’re in a better position than we were last year,” Ernst Moser, Team Director of Audi Sport Team Phoenix, is convinced. In recent days and weeks, his squad spent a lot of time internalizing the processes of a DTM weekend and to correctly interpret the most recent changes to the regulations.

“We have strong teams and all of them are able to win races and the championship,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Teamwork is a very important factor. We constantly exchange information and every team has access to the data of all eight cars. In view of the extreme competitiveness in the DTM, that’s our key to success.” 

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The Audi SQ7 appears in Marvel’s "Captain America: Civil War"

26 April 2016

For Marvel fans who can’t wait for the official movie release date on April 28, Audi is already offering an exclusive peek at the spectacular duel in the new Audi SQ7*.

The Super Heroes in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War drive Audi cars. Also making its Hollywood debut in the third installment is the Audi prologue, as the show car belonging to Black Panther/T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman. Robert Downey Jr., who plays Tony Stark/Iron Man, is once again in an Audi R8*, this time as a V10 plus Coupé. The main character, Captain America played by Chris Evans, catches a ride in the new Audi SQ7. “Captain America has superpowers, his trademark is the indestructible Vibranium shield. The Audi SQ7 adds a new superpower to his arsenal, making this sporty SUV the perfect fit for him,” says Anthony Russo, who directed the movie along with his brother Joe Russo. Other vehicles in supporting roles include the new Audi A4 Sedan* and the Audi A7 Sportback*.

“Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is another good strategy fit for the Audi brand,” said Giovanni Perosino, Head of Marketing Communications AUDI AG. “This film showcases futuristic technologies and other powerful resources, including Audi vehicles like the new performance SUV Audi SQ7. These legendary heroes, much like Audi models, demonstrate leadership, high performance and pure fun to fans and moviegoers worldwide.”

In addition to the new Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War movie, directors Anthony and Joe Russo also filmed an exclusive Audi video featuring the chase scene shown in the film and the new Audi SQ7. The video can be viewed online starting on April 18 at audi.com/MarvelCaptainAmerica prior to the release of the movie.

About Marvel's Captain America: Civil War

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps - one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.


Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Frank Grillo and Martin Freeman, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl.

Anthony & Joe Russo are directing with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2016.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit marvel.com. © 2016 MARVEL

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 12/2016

14 April 2016

Audi sport customer racing celebrates victories in two different championships.

Audi triumphs in Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT makes a successful start in the first Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race weekend at Misano. Frédéric Vervisch and Laurens Vanthoor won the main race held under clear blue skies on Sunday afternoon. Starting from third on the grid, Verwisch drove the opening stint in the Audi R8 LMS with start number one around the 4.226-kilometer long track close to Rimini. After a thrilling battle for position, the WRT driver took the lead for the first time on lap eleven. Finish driver Vanthoor, who took over driving duties halfway through the race, crossed the finish line as winner after a flawless performance. The Belgian duo heads the standings in the drivers’ classification before the second race weekend at Brands Hatch at the beginning of May.

Young driver Nicolaj Møller Madsen also had reason to cheer. The former Audi Sport TT Cup driver and current Phoenix Racing driver was best in the Silver Cup together with Markus Pommer at the end of the 60-minute sprint race.

Audi customer team wins DMV GTC season opener

Victorious weekend for Audi customer team HCB-Rutronik Racing at the DMV GTC season opener at Misano, Italy: Fabian Plentz dominated each of the three qualifying sessions after setting the fastest laps and was overall winners in the second race on Saturday afternoon. In addition, the Audi driver from Hannover celebrated another podium finish in the third race. He took second place together with team mate Tommy Tulpe in Saturday evening’s 60-minute night race.

Teufel helps with engine development

Since the 2015 season, Teufel Audio has been an Audi partner on Miguel Molina’s RS 5 DTM. Now Audi Sport uses its partner’s products in racing development as well. The loudspeaker models, Concept C and Consono 35 Mk3, transmit sounds from the acoustically insulated engine dynamometers in Neuburg an der Donau. The speaker boxes are located in the engineers’ control room. The linear adjustment of the loudspeakers provides developers with an opportunity of acoustical dyno monitoring for the first time and complements existing measurement methods.

Marcel Fässler in kart race with Fans

In Switzerland, Marcel Fässler’s fans had the opportunity to compete with their idol on a race track. The Audi driver was pitted against 27 participants who had either won a tipping contest or are members of his fan club on a kart track in Roggwil in his home country on Wednesday. “It was fun to see my supporters again and to experience a nice kart race with them,” said the three-time Le Mans winner.

Allan McNish visits awards ceremony

Long-time Audi driver Allan McNish was invited to the Segrave Trophy awards ceremony as a former winner of the accolade. The Scotsman received the prestigious award of the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in 2008 and 2014. This year, the club honored motorcycle racer John McGuinness. “As a motorcycle fan, I watched his victory on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Tourist Trophy – that was fantastic,” McNish recalls. Other guests at the ceremony included racing legend Stirling Moss.

A word from ... Oliver Jarvis

The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will start next weekend in the British Audi driver’s country.

Silverstone is the traditional venue of the FIA WEC season opener. What can the fans expect this year?

The race last year was incredibly thrilling, so I’m hoping for an open competition again this year. I can imagine the battle to become a real thriller again because all three manufacturers worked hard over the winter and did a lot of development work. We’re going to get an initial impression by the time we go into qualifying, although the race will be about a lot more than good individual lap times. That’s when consistency, reliability, strategy, teamwork and the performance of all three drivers will be crucial.

What personal goal have you set yourself?

I’d like to pick up where we left off in 2015 with my teammates, Lucas di Grassi and Loïc Duval. We’ve increasingly gelled as a team, which has been shown by our performances, too. Obviously, I’d like to clinch a nice result at my home round in front of family and friends. The Le Mans 24 Hours, though, is the most important event. I’ve been on podium there before and know what an overwhelming feeling that is. But this year, I expect it to be as hard as never before because the competitive pressure is enormous.

The British fans can watch the opener to a world championship at Silverstone. What are the best reasons to visit the FIA WEC?

Our world championship attracts the fans with an open paddock and a particularly friendly atmosphere. We drivers look forward to the fans and enjoy signing autographs. In the FIA WEC, the spectators in the grandstands witness one of the world’s fastest racing categories. Gripping battles are typical for our sport. Last year, the front runners overtook each other several times per lap. Anyone who’s ever watched a Le Mans prototype in fast turns like Becketts or Maggotts will be impressed – and all this at really fair ticket prices.

Coming up next week

15–16.04. Long Beach (USA), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 3

15–17.04. Long Beach (USA), Pirelli World Challenge, round 5
15–17.04. Silverstone (GB), WEC, round 1
15–17.04. Oschersleben (D), ADAC GT Masters races 1 and 2
16–17.04. Nürburgring (D), qualification race for the 24-hour race
16–17.04. Ubrique-Benaocaz (E), Spanish Hill Climb Championship, round 2
16–17.04. Brands Hatch (GB), British GT Championship, round 1
15–17.04. Hockenheim (D), Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy, races 1 and 2

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Audi launches Audi Sport – Born on the track, built for the road

7 April 2016

Auckland, 24 February, 2016 - Audi New Zealand has today unveiled Audi Sport, its new premium “brand within a brand”, comprised of the high performance R and RS range of models.

At the heart of the new sub-brand are Audi’s professional motorsport vehicles and drivers, along with the customer racing teams, (including two New Zealand based Audi R8 LMS vehicles which compete locally and overseas), and the high-performance R and RS models originally born on the track and now built for the road.

According to Dean Sheed, Audi New Zealand General Manager, “New Zealanders’ love of Audi Sport models and passion for performance has seen us achieve the number one position for percentage of R and RS sales worldwide. Audi Sport is perfectly suited to our market so we are thrilled to be able to introduce it and bring additional focus to the racing heritage and performance characteristics at the heart of our brand.”

Headlining Audi Sport, is the breath-taking new Audi R8 V10 plus, boasting exceptional driving technology, optional state of the art laser headlights* and billed as the most powerful and fastest production Audi yet. Also in the line-up is the complete range of RS models, from the new RS 7 and RS 6 Performance vehicles offering a potent mix of sportiness and sophistication, through to the charismatic and multi-award-winning RS 3 Sportback.

Audi Sport will have another physical presence besides the vehicles themselves, in the form of a dedicated space in dealerships which will feature merchandise, display models, and dedicated sales people with specialised knowledge. Eight dealerships nationwide will have an Audi Sport presence, five of these will have both R and RS models while the other three will focus specifically on RS models.

Says Mr Sheed, “An immensely important aspect of Audi Sport is of course our customers, and we look forward to not only providing in-dealership access to vehicles, information and genuine Audi Sport merchandise but also to providing them with specific Audi Sport assistance, communications, specialised driving and invitation only events.

“Our range of performance vehicles with their powerful engines, technical innovations, sporty styling and quattro all-wheel drive are perfectly suitable for everyday use but are also right at home on the track, and owe their existence to our motorsport credentials. We’re pleased to now be able to offer our customers access to these vehicles and all that goes with them via the Audi Sport banner.”

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 11/2016

6th April 2016

An Audi Sport customer racing team won the opening round of the VLN endurance championship season at the Nürburgring with the Audi R8 LMS.

VLN: Phoenix Racing at the front with two Audi R8 LMS

At the opening round of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring, Frank Stippler and Anders Fjordbach in a Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS took first place ahead of their team mates Christopher Haase and Laurens Vanthoor.

Two victories in Australia

Victorious start to the Australian GT Trophy Series season: Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer won both 50-minute races at Sandown with an Audi R8 LMS.

Ekström thrills national footballer Volland

Mattias Ekström treated Kevin Volland to a highlight at the Hockenheimring. Immediately following the German national footballer’s sixth appearance in an international fixture, the friendly against Italy, the striker from TSG Hoffenheim climbed into the passenger’s seat of Ekström’s Audi S1 EKS RX quattro. In the race car of his privateer rallycross team EKS, the Swede did a few laps with Volland and his Hoffenheim teammate Mark Uth during tests. Both soccer players were visibly thrilled with the 560-hp four-wheel drive vehicle.

Two new Audi R8 LMS cars in Japan

Audi is represented in the Japanese Super GT Championship with two new R8 LMS cars in the 2016 season. Audi Team Hitotsuyama relies on continuity with its drivers. The squad is now in its six consecutive year of running with the German automobile manufacturer and entrusts the Briton Richard Lyons and the Japanese Tomonobu Fujii with driving duties of its new race car. At the same time, in Audi Team Braille, Audi Sport customer racing is welcoming a new customer in the Super GT. One of the two race drivers is the Japanese Masanobu Kato. He is supported by the German Pierre Kaffer, who has been contesting GT3 races in the Audi R8 LMS for several years.

Audi Sport TT Cup celebrates successful track day

Potential guest entrants for the Audi Sport TT Cup proved their prowess on this year’s track day of the Audi one-make cup. At the Audi driving experience center in Neuburg an der Donau, the participants from 16 nations spent a day with theoretical and practical contents. In addition to presentations held by Project Leader Philipp Mondelaers and Technical Project Leader Detlef Schmidt, the applicants hit the track in the 540-hp Audi R8 V10 and the Audi TT cup with 310 hp. The search is on for guest entrants on the seven race weekends in the Audi Sport TT Cup.

Adrien Tambay visits Akrapovič

Adrien Tambay visited Audi Sport partner Akrapovič in Slovenia. The DTM driver attended a seminar in Ljubljana as a guest. At the event, the Frenchman provided 80 dealers from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Italy with insight into Audi’s DTM program. Tambay subsequently used the opportunity to visit Akrapovič’s plant in Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia, where 800 employees produce high-end exhaust systems for the road and racing.

Lucas di Grassi triumphs in Formula E in Long Beach

Lucas di Grassi reclaimed the Formula E championship lead after taking his second victory and fifth podium visit this season. The Audi factory driver, who competes in the electric racing series for the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport team, won a thrilling race staged on the doorstep of Hollywood. Team mate Daniel Abt’s third place completed the German team’s excellent result. Following oversea races in Asia as well as South and North America, Formula E now comes to Europe: the next race is held in the heart of Paris on April 23.

A word from ... Rahel Frey

The GT3 driver is facing an intensive season with Audi.

This week Team Yaco Racing received the Audi R8 LMS, designated as car number 50, from Audi Sport customer racing. What’s behind this?

Audi Sport customer racing has built and delivered an amazing number of 50 new R8 LMS cars to date. Competing in car number 50 is a way of paying homage to this round lot. Our team boss, Uwe Geipel, took over the car on Thursday. My teammate, Philip Geipel, and I are excited about the new ADAC GT Masters season coming up and are looking forward to the Audi R8 LMS. Our season starts at Oschersleben on April 16.

What are the capabilities of the new Audi R8 LMS and what strengths characterize the team?

Our season in the ADAC GT Masters concluded with a race victory at the Hockenheimring and now we want to build on this success with the new generation Audi R8 LMS. The car has been rigorously developed and it has been victorious at three 24-hour races so far. It has very sophisticated aerodynamics and more set-up options than its predecessor. The car can be set up to suit any customer wish. As a team we’re challenged to put this on track through good communication between the drivers and the engineers. Our big advantage is being a well-gelled team. In 2016, we’re in our third year of running as a driver pairing. This year, the ADAC GT Masters will be particularly competitive because many first-class teams with good drivers have submitted entries for the series.

Will the program in Germany completely fill your schedule?

No, I have the opportunity to handle many other commitments for Audi. This year, I’m contesting races with the Audi R8 LMS in Asia again. For the Audi driving experience, I took part in the FIS Ski World Cup Finale in St. Moritz and for the Swiss importer AMAG I conducted driver training sessions in Samedan.

Coming up next week

04/04 Oschersleben (D), Media day ADAC GT Masters

08–10/04 Misano (I), Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, round 1
08–09/04 Misano (I), DMV GTC, rounds 1 and 2
09–10/04 Misano (I), Blancpain GT Sports Club, round 1
09–10/04 Okayama (J), Super GT, round 1

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Audi delivers fiftieth new generation R8 LMS

1 April 2016

Audi Sport customer racing handed over the fiftieth Audi R8 LMS to a customer team in motorsport on Thursday. The squad of Yaco Racing based in Plauen took over the GT3 race car at Audi Sport’s Böllinger Höfe site.

Audi is one of the most popular suppliers of the new generation of GT3 race cars. Only half a year following the production launch at Böllinger Höfe, Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, handed over the fiftieth car of the new generation. “We achieved the mark of fifty race cars sold in clearly less time than with the predecessor model,” says Reinke. “This is a result which all employees of Audi Sport customer racing can be proud of in the fiercely competitive global GT3 market.”

Yaco Racing’s team boss Uwe Geipel and race driver Philip Geipel (D) were obviously excited about the new season in the ADAC GT Masters on taking possession of the new car. The racing series will start at Oschersleben on April 17. Sport1 will be airing live coverage of all 14 rounds of the season. “We’ve been relying on Audi since 2013,” says Uwe Geipel. “Our development in racing is the reward for our commitment. Last year, we clinched our first victory in the finale at the Hockenheimring. We’re proud of starting the new season with the fiftieth model of Audi’s latest GT3 race car generation and are setting our sights on our next successes.”

Audi is represented in all renowned national and international GT3 racing series on four continents with the Audi R8 LMS. The company produced 137 cars of the preceding model, combined with the fiftieth R8 LMS of the new generation now totaling 187 GT3 models having been made in Neckarsulm. The R8 LMS is based on the high-performance sports car for the road with which it shares 50 percent of its components, including the production V10 engine.

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 10/2016

29 March 2016

Audi prepared for the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC, which starts in three weeks, at the prologue in Le Castellet, South France.

Audi at FIA WEC prologue in Le Castellet

Audi warmed up for the fifth FIA World Endurance Championship WEC season at the prologue in Le Castellet. Over the Easter weekend, the new Audi R18 encountered for the first time the LMP1 racecars produced by the other two automobile manufacturers. “This was however no show of strength in respect of the season opener at Silverstone in three weeks time,” said Dieter Gass, Deputy Head of Audi Sport. “We have made many excellent findings during this test, which we must now implement technically.” Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) performed the test work on Friday and Saturday. After the end of the prologue, Lucas di Grassi/Loïc Duval/Oliver Jarvis (BR/F/GB) continue the test on Sunday and Monday on the high-speed circuit in Southern France.

Audi R8 LMS ultra wins at Silverstone

An Audi Sport customer racing team won the opening round of the Dunlop Endurance Championship in Great Britain. Tockwith Motorsport took victory with the Audi R8 LMS ultra at Silverstone. After 32 laps, Phil Hanson and Nigel Moore crossed the finish line with a 2 minute 10 second advantage and also set the fastest race lap. The stewards stopped the race early as the weather continued to deteriorate.

Busy schedule: Mattias Ekström presents private rallycross team for 2016

Audi driver Mattias Ekström will again participate in the FIA World Rallycross Championship title chase alongside his DTM commitment this year. With his privateer rallycross team EKS, the 37-year-old Swede will be on the grid himself in selected world championship rounds. Taking the wheel of the second Audi S1 EKS RX quattro of Team EKS for the first time this season will be the Finn Toomas Heikkinen.

Tom Kristensen attends Audi R8 Spyder world premiere

Audi Sport legend Tom Kristensen visited the New York International Auto Show. The nine-time Le Mans winner attended the world premiere of the new Audi R8 Spyder together with Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director of quattro GmbH, and Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America. During the premiere, Kristensen also signed a painting of the Audi R8 and the R18 e-tron quattro from artist Bill Patterson.

New livery for the Audi R8 LMS

The Audi R8 LMS is starting to the new season sporting a fresh livery. In the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and at Spa, the GT3 race cars supported by Audi are going to compete in hues of silver, red and black. The conspicuous choice of colors and their geometric surfaces embodies Audi Sport’s new look and takes its cue from the livery of the Audi R18 LMP1 race car. A 28-degree angle defined by the red rhomb is the central design element. The rhomb on the roof emphasizes Audi Sport’s central position. The new silver hue creates more depth and underscores the raised power, red underscores sportiness while the mat-black areas visually reinforce the proportions.

Premiere with three race drivers

Audi Hong Kong extended an invitation on the occasion of the market launch of the new Audi R8 V10 coupé. 300 guests witnessed the presentation of the high-performance sports car and saw the Audi R8 LMS race car that is closely akin to it as well. Three race drivers accompanied the premiere: Edoardo Mortara from the DTM, and Marchy Lee and Alex Yoong from the Audi R8 LMS Cup welcomed the members of the media and other guests in Hong Kong.

Audi R8 LMS Cup announces calendar

The Audi R8 LMS Cup in Asia is about to enter its fifth season. Now, Audi’s first motorsport one-make cup has announced its calendar for the 2016 season. The twelve races will be held in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea and Taiwan.

21–22/05 Shanghai (CN), rounds 1 and 2
23–24/07 Chang (THA), rounds 3 and 4
13–14/08 Kuala Lumpur (MAL), rounds 5 and 6
24–25/09 Korea (ROK), rounds 7 and 8
15–16/10 Penbay (ROC), rounds 9 and 10
04–05/11 Shanghai (CN), rounds 11 and 12

Audi customer team with strong pairing in ADAC GT Masters

Audi customer team Aust Motorsport based in Rietberg, Germany, is entering the ADAC GT Masters with a promising driver duo. Audi factory driver Marco Bonanomi and the Swede Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky will be sharing an Audi R8 LMS in the racing series for GT3 sports cars. Åhlin-Kottulinsky competed in the Audi Sport TT Cup in 2015. Bonanomi will be assisting the young female driver with his experiences from LMP racing.

Audi R18 at Freeride Challenge in Italy

Audi is the official partner of the Freeride Challenge Punta Nera in the Dolomites. The spectators at the winter sport competition around Cortina d’Ampezzo were not only thrilled about the exciting competitions on snow, but also got a taste of motor racing. In parallel to the event, Audi displayed the R18 TDI with which the brand won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012.

A word from ... Marcel Fässler

The Audi driver before the start of the fifth FIA World Endurance Championship WEC season.

A long winter comes to an end and in three weeks the season starts. Your feeling?

First of all the winter did seem to be very long, but after the tests started an old motorsport rule proved itself to be true yet again: the time to the first race literally flies by. We’ve already made some essential development steps, but we are well aware that there are still a few things to do.

The 2016 Audi R18 features plenty of new technologies. How do these new innovations affect your work in the cockpit?

As a matter of fact, our current racecar shares barely a single bolt with its predecessor. The aerodynamics are new and the hybrid system now processes 50 per cent more energy, namely 6 Megajoule. As a result, an entirely different strategic approach is possible and necessary with the energy recuperated. Since the start of testing we have put a lot of time into fully understanding these processes and to fathom out the possibilities. The prologue at Le Castellet was another step in the right direction.

Are different demands now made of you and your team mates in the cockpit?

The Audi Sport engineers have attached great value in providing us with the optimum support. The new hybrid system is much more powerful, however, it must not change the handing of the racecar or our driving style too much. This is why the current set-up work is still very basic, because during the race weekend at Silverstone it should only be about fine tuning.

A year ago the opener was a real thriller. Will the FIA WEC spoil the spectators again this time around in Great Britain?

At the start of the 2015 season we didn’t know where we stood in comparison to the competition. Then the race developed into one that I would consider as one of best in my career. The battle with my Swiss countryman Neel Jani was just fantastic. Again this year we don’t know how strong the others are. I can only wish that the fans in Great Britain enjoy the beginning of an exciting season.


Coming up next week

01–03/04 Silverstone (GB), International Endurance Series, 24-hour race, round 3
01–03/04 Sandown Park (AUS), Australian GT Trophy Series, round 1
02/04 Nürburgring (D), VLN, round 1

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Audi R18: Innovation boost for new hybrid sports car

23 March 2016

For the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi is emphasizing focal areas in the 2016 season: The Audi R18 that has been redesigned from scratch has almost nothing in common anymore with its predecessor. It features a more radical aerodynamics concept, including a new safety cell, its hybrid drive system is battery-operated for the first time, the V6 TDI engine has been revised, and new system solutions have been added. As a result, Audi’s LMP1 sports car is a vehicle that is more powerful and – once more – clearly more efficient than its predecessor. While the new R18 is Audi’s strongest race car to date, it consumes less fuel than any of the generations before it.

Power output of more than 1,000 hp delivered by the TDI and hybrid powertrain, ten percent less fuel consumption than before – Audi is achieving new best marks under the efficiency regulations. The FIA WEC regulations have been providing automobile manufacturers with incentives to build increasingly efficient race cars since 2014. Starting in the 2016 season, this competition will intensify, as the upper limit for fuel consumption will considerably decrease by 10 megajoules per lap at Le Mans. “The result is a race car that manages energy even more effectively than before. This is an objective we’re pursuing for our road-going automobiles as well,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “This type of motorsport continues to set an example for automotive engineering. For Audi, production relevance has been a core topic of all racing programs for 35 years.”

All development engineers at Audi Sport were challenged to enhance the efficiency of the Audi R18. As a result of switching to the 6-megajoule class, the hybrid system, due to the regulations, now recovers 50 percent more energy. The car’s aerodynamics concept is fundamentally new. Nearly all vehicle systems have been refined or redesigned. Consequently, energy consumption decreases, the race car has become lighter, and allows for more favorable packaging of the component assemblies. This has resulted in an R18 which even visually clearly differs from its predecessor.

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 09/2016

21 March 2016

At the second round of the Australian GT Championship and in the Sebring 12 Hours, Audi customer teams won trophies in GT3 events.

Success for Audi in Australia

Audi customer team Jamec Pem Racing scored the most points at the second Australian GT Championship race weekend. During the Grand Prix weekend in Melbourne, the series staged four separate races. Christopher Mies and his Australian team mate Geoff Emery scored 135 points in Albert Park. Second best drivers in the field were James Koundouris and Marcus Marshall who collected 124 points. Koundouris won the final race in his Audi R8 LMS from Emery, after Mies had finished second in race one.

Podium result for Audi at Sebring

An Audi customer team took its next podium finish in IMSA in the USA. After Magnus Racing won the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, the American privateer team also collected a trophy at the Sebring 12 Hours. The two Americans John Potter and Andy Lally finished third in an Audi R8 LMS with the German Marco Seefried in a race dominated by heavy rain and a lengthy red flag period.

Many honors for Tom Kristensen

Tom Kristensen made a star appearance at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The Dane – with six victories in the endurance classic the record holder – was inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame. Fellow endurance racing legend Derek Bell presented Kristensen with the award. The officials also had another big surprise in store for the Dane and renamed the third corner on the track ‘Kristensen Corner’. Much to the delight of the fans in Florida, the endurance king also drove some laps of honor in an Audi R8 sporting the design of the racecar from Champion Racing, with which he celebrated his third victory at the race track. In addition to autograph sessions, hot laps and interviews, the long-serving Audi driver’s agenda also included visits to the Audi Turn 1 Club and meetings with guests from Audi of America.

Nico Müller visits Audi quattro Ski Cup finale

Audi driver Nico Müller visited the Audi quattro Ski Cup finale in St. Moritz. The Swiss DTM driver qualified for the finale after winning a Swiss qualifications tournament in Verbier in January. He finished in the top ten in an amateur race this weekend. He subsequently enjoyed as spectator the Audi FIS Ski World Cup professional race. “That was stunning final weekend,” said Müller. “Professionals, amateurs and the spectators were treated to first class winter sport.”

Ekström visits talents in Audi Sport TT Cup

DTM driver Mattias Ekström paid a surprise visit to the young talents from the 2016 Audi Sport TT Cup during their fitness camp. At the team’s hotel in Oberstdorf, the Swede talked about his early days in motorsport. After sharing a few anecdotes from his career, Ekström stressed the importance of keeping one’s feet on the ground, as well as team spirit and personal discipline on the road toward becoming a professional racer. Every driver, he said, had to think about his or her next steps and always stay focused on clear aims. At the Audi Sport TT Cup fitness camp, the young participants are preparing for the new season in Audi’s one-make cup.

New career opportunities for talents in Asia

In 2016, a valuable opportunity will be opening up to talented race drivers from the Formula Masters China Series (FMCS). The best drivers from the racing series that is organized by Volkswagen Group China will be able to prove their prowess in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. Three drivers will have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive one-day test in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. The selected drivers can look forward to the chance of earning a guest drive in the one-make cup in Asia. In addition, there will be a chance of visiting the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring as a guest.

Markus Pommer in ‘Formula 1 at School’

School pupils were delighted about the visit by a real racing driver as highlight in the competition ‘Formula 1 at School’. Markus Pommer, who goes hunting down points this year at the wheel of a Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS, was impressed by the creativity of the young people. At the Audi Forum Neckarsulm, the up-and-coming teams competed against one another with their self-designed and built model cars. Pommer watched as the teams ‘flawless’ in the juniors up to 14 years of age and ‘ThunderStormRacing’ in the seniors up to 19 years of age prevailed. Markus Winkelhock, who followed the competition with great interest in the past, unfortunately had to cancel at short notice due to illness.

Lucas di Grassi and Loïc Duval in Mexico

Members of the media in Mexico showed great interest in meeting the two Audi drivers Lucas di Grassi and Loïc Duval. The Brazilian and the Frenchman answered the questions of a large number of journalists at the press conference hosted by the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Mexico City and gave extensive interviews. From September 1 to 3, 2016, the endurance racing series will be held at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez for the first time.

A word from ... Tom Kristensen

The Dane was an inductee into the Hall of Fame at the Sebring 12 Hours

With six wins to your name, you are still the record holder at the Sebring 12 Hour. You have now been inducted into the Hall of Fame. How important are the race and the honor to you?

I’m proud of the honor because the Sebring 12 Hours is one of the world’s best endurance races. The circuit is an absolute classic with its rough surface and challenging layout. Many great race cars have been developed into winners here. It was fantastic to win the 12-hour race with the Audi R8, R10 TDI, R15 TDI and the R18 TDI when they made their race debuts at Sebring. I hope that the circuit retains its classic character with the bumps and blind corners for many years to come. This is why we drivers love the track so much. 

The officials had another surprise in store for you...

Correct! While the inclusion of new members into the Hall of Fame was announced some time ago, renaming Turn 3 into ‘Kristensen Corner’ was a real surprise. I really didn’t expect it. Many thanks to the official at the Sebring International Raceway.

During this weekend you delved deep into the history and were allowed to drive one of your former race winning cars. What did you think? 

I returned again in an Audi R8. It was a fantastic feeling to drive Audi’s most successful LMP sportscar again in front of such a huge crowd – ‘Kristensen Corner’ in particular was great fun. I have fond memories of the race eleven years ago when at that time JJ Lehto, Marco Werner and I together with Frank Biela, Allan McNish, Emanuele Pirro and the Champion Racing squad clinched a one-two. That was the last victory for the R8 at Sebring. 

After spending so many years as racing driver at Sebring, you could enjoy the event as visitor. Your impressions? 

You could feel the enthusiasm of the fans throughout the entire weekend. It goes without saying that I didn’t waste the opportunity to visit the traditional spectating points around the track and to meet the public. I also visited the Audi Turn 1 Club, gave a lot of interviews, signed autographs and gave my guests on the passenger seat a feel for the circuit while lapping at speed in an Audi. One of my co-drivers was the well-known American motor racing team boss Chip Ganassi who won the ride at a charity event. It really was a wonderful weekend. 

Coming up next week 

25–26.03 Le Castellet (F), FIA WEC Prologue

26–27.03 Nogaro (F), French GT Championship, rounds 1 and 2 

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All-wheel drive in series production: Audi A4 allroad quattro can be ordered now

15 March 2016

The new Audi A4 allroad quattro* is the perfect companion for all situations. With 34 mm (1.3 in) more ground clearance compared with the A4 Avant*, powerful engines and quattro drive as standard, it also has no trouble driving on terrain where the paved road ends. Customers in Europe can order the new versatile mid-size car now.

The new Audi A4 allroad quattro features an original appearance. Its “allroad” look with powerfully flared wheel wells, rugged underbody protection and a silver-colored rear diffuser attracts attention. The distinctive sporty front end with its jagged headlights and sculpturally shaped Singleframe grille further underscore its extroverted character.

High-torque TFSI and TDI engines ensure superior driving performance with improved efficiency. A prime example of this is the 3.0 TDI which is available in two power output versions. The diesel models with 160 kW (218 hp) and 200 kW (272 hp) will be available at the start of ordering. The 2.0 TDI and 2.0 TFSI engines will follow in time for the market introduction this summer.

Audi is introducing the new quattro drive with ultra technology together with the 2.0 TFSI. This represents the start of another chapter in the quattro success story. This new all-wheel drive system that has been optimized for efficiency does not exhibit any perceptible differences to permanent systems in terms of traction and driving dynamics. The car sets standards in its class, especially under everyday driving conditions, with its low fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions.

Prices for the new Audi A4 allroad quattro with 2.0 TDI 120 kW (163 hp) and a seven-speed S tronic start in Germany at 44,750 euros. Standard features include 17-inch aluminum wheels, higher roof rails, a power tailgate and xenon headlights.

 

Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi A4 allroad quattro:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.7 – 4.9** (35.1 – 48.0 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 154 – 128** (247.8 – 206.0 g/mi)

Audi A4 Avant:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.4 – 3.8** (36.8 – 61.9 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 147 – 99** (236.6 – 159.3 g/mi)

**Fuel consumption, CO2 emission figures and efficiency classes given in ranges depend on the tires/wheels used.

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 08/2016

14 March 2016

The Audi customer team International Motorsport took a second place in the New Zealand Endurance Championship.

International Motorsport runner-up in Waikato

Audi Sport customer racing team International Motorsport achieved a podium finish in the New Zealand Endurance Championship at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in Waikato. In the one-hour race, Neil Foster piloted an Audi R8 LMS ultra from third position on the grid and finished runner-up in the overall race results.

Rockenfeller and Scheider to contest Nürburgring 24 Hours

In total, they have won three DTM titles for Audi, in 2016, they are again competing as teammates in the DTM, and on May 28/29, they are going to form a driver team in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring: Timo Scheider and Mike Rockenfeller will be competing for Land-Motorsport in the Eifel. The two former winners of the endurance race are going to share the Audi R8 LMS of the privateer from the Westerwald region with their German compatriot Marc Basseng – the 2012 Nürburgring winner – and the American Connor de Phillippi.

Audi Sport Team Abt wins award 

Audi Sport Team Abt delivered the best pit stops in the 2015 DTM season. On Adrien Tambay’s Audi RS 5 DTM, the mechanics from Kempten performed the quickest tire changes. Tire partner Hankook has now presented the team with the Best Pit Stop Award for this feat. Since 2011, the tire manufacturer has been honoring the squad performing the fastest stops. For the Abt crew this marked the second award after 2012. It was also the third time for an Audi team to be victorious after Audi Sport Team Phoenix was the first winner in 2011.

Miguel Molina promotes DTM in Spain

The Spaniard Miguel Molina was pleased to see the keen interest of local media in the DTM. On the Jarama race track near Madrid, the Audi driver got a total of 26 journalists in the mood for the new season. During taxi rides in the Audi RS 5 DTM sporting the livery of partner “Teufel,” the members of the media were amazed about the speedy work at the limit.

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT with high-caliber line-up

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has submitted a subsequent entry for a surprise driver pairing: Will Stevens, a Formula One driver last year, and Audi driver René Rast from the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) are forming a driver team in the Blancpain GT Series. The 24-year-old Briton and the 29-year-old German are going to contest the Endurance Cup and the Sprint Cup of the racing series together in an Audi R8 LMS. The duo will be competing in eight of the ten races – only at the rounds at Brands Hatch (Sprint) and at the Nürburgring (Endurance) they will not be on the grid due to overlaps with FIA WEC commitments.

Product presentation with race drivers in Abu Dhabi

Audi Middle East presented the new Audi R8* and the Audi Sport brand to the media in the region for the first time. Edoardo Mortara was a current motorsport representative at the event, he has been competing for Audi in the DTM since 2011. Five-time Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro also shared insight from his career with Audi. In addition to the high-performance R8 model, the journalists also learned about the RS 6 Avant*, RS 6 Avant performance*, RS 7 Sportback* and RS 7 Sportback performance*. The 48 media guests experienced the models at the limit on the race track of Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. At the same time, Audi Middle East also presented seven new Audi Sport dealerships. Romolo Liebchen, who was part of the development of Audi Sport customer racing, was also at the event.

Audi R8 LMS to be featured in TV commercial

The Audi R8 LMS is turning into a TV star. B-Quik is active in Thailand as a major aftermarket service chain and fields the GT3 race car in the local Thailand Super Series. Now a TV commercial has been filmed on the Kaeng Krachan race track near Phetchaburi. The Audi R8 LMS is featured in a starring role in the 30-second commercial that is broadcast in the region. The team members are showing their skills of changing wheels during pit stops, emphasizing their claim of being an efficient service provider to customers in everyday life as well.

André Lotterer visits Audi Forum’s Grand Finale Night in Tokyo

Audi driver André Lotterer was one of 300 guests attending the Grand Finale Night in Tokyo. Audi Forum Tokyo hosted the closing event to thank visitors and employees on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. Audi driver Lotterer has repeatedly attended events and awards ceremonies at Audi Forum Tokyo as a guest before.

A word from ... Timo Scheider

The two-time DTM Champion before the 2016 season.

The 2015 DTM season ended in a victory for you at Hockenheim. What are your plans for 2016?

This victory was a sweet season highlight and it really felt good to start the winter this way. Obviously, as a team, we’d like to pick up again where we left off. For the last race weekend of the 2015 season, we came up with some ideas for our set-up strategy, which clearly helped me. The most recent tests that Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green did for the 2016 season were focused on the same technical aspects. That gives me a positive feeling.

There’s little change in the 2016 season. Will that be of some help to you?

It’s true that there’s little change. According to the regulations, there can be almost no further development of the car. I’ll keep driving for Ernst Moser’s Audi Sport Team Phoenix and Laurent Fedacou will continue to be my engineer for the third consecutive year. We have excellent rapport. For Laurent, the success at Hockenheim was his first ever in the DTM, so the only factor that has changed in my surroundings will be our new chief mechanic. These continuities will no doubt help me be as good as possible from the first race weekend on.

What will be crucial in 2016 when it comes to victories in the DTM?

We’re again talking about nuances that make the difference. We don’t have a lot of practice time before the races, so we need to get everything nailed down as best we can. Especially at the beginning of the season, it’s important to quickly find a good rhythm. The number of races has been new since last year. Before, if you’d finished a race with zero points, you were immediately out of the circle of favorites. Since 2015, we’ve been contesting twice as many races. That means the championship stays open longer and therefore more thrilling, too.

How intensive will the 2016 season be?

This year, I’m going to contest more races in total than in 2015. The DTM and my preparation for it have absolute priority though. But I have the opportunity to drive a second Audi: the Audi R8 LMS. I’m competing for Land-Motorsport in the Nürburgring 24 Hours. The new Audi R8 LMS is absolutely beautiful and a real race car. It was developed by the team of Audi Sport customer racing and its technical director Armin Plietsch, who was my race engineer when we clinched the DTM titles in 2008 and 2009. I’m already looking forward to the DTM season and the endurance race.

Coming up next week 

16–19.03 Sebring (USA), IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 2
17–20.03 Melbourne (AUS), Australian GT Championship, round 2 
18–19.03 Mugello (I), International Endurance Series round 2, 12h Mugello
19–20.03 Barcelona (E), V de V Endurance Series, round 1

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Audi Sport TT Cup before start of second season

11 March 2016

In two months from now, the Audi Sport TT Cup will be starting its second season at the Hockenheimring. Some of last year’s international talents have again applied for the one-make cup – they are going to meet with promising new entrants.

There is still a lot to be done by the officials before the first race weekend of the Audi one-make cup at the Hockenheimring. The organizational team of quattro GmbH headed by Project Leader Philipp Mondelaers is currently working at full stretch on finalizing the driver lineup. “14 drivers have already been confirmed as permanent entrants,” says Mondelaers. “With the remaining six entries we’re spoiled for choice and are soon going to announce the junior talents that will be completing the field.”

In 2016, five drivers who previously proved their prowess in the Audi Sport TT Cup will be on the grid again. They include the German Dennis Marschall, who finished in third place overall last season, as well as the Finn Joonas Lappalainen. In 2015, 18-year-old Lappalainen was the youngest driver in the Audi Sport TT Cup field and won the two rounds of the season finale at Hockenheim. Nicklas Nielsen is one of the newcomers to the driver squad. The Dane has a track record of numerous successes in national and international kart racing and defeated today’s Formula One driver Max Verstappen on several occasions in his career. Sheldon van der Linde is another rookie. The South African in 2015 won the Volkswagen Polo Cup in his country and would like to follow in the footsteps of his brother Kelvin, who has begun a promising career in Audi’s GT3 racing program.

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Audi Motorsport Newsletter 07/2016

7 March 2016

Two Audi privateer drivers took a win in the season opener of the Australian GT Championship.

Audi victory in Australian opener

Audi privateers James Koundouris and Marcus Marshall celebrated a win in the season opener of the Australian GT Championship in Adelaide. At the chequered flag, the two local drivers held an advantage of 1.282s in the second of three heats with their Audi R8 LMS. The German Christopher Mies was credited with the fastest lap of the weekend. Last year’s title winner set a lap time of 1m 20.321s in his no 1 Audi R8 LMS during the third heat.

Mike Rockenfeller in an Audi SQ7 TDI against jet aircraft

Audi campaigner Mike Rockenfeller experienced what was arguably the most unusual acceleration competition in his career as a race driver. In the new Audi SQ7 TDI* that celebrated its debut at Audi’s annual press conference, the DTM Champion was pitted against an Alpha Jet. At the Maribor airport in Slovenia a fierce sprint battle ensued in which the SQ7 TDI with an electric compressor, 435 hp of engine power, and the former Le Mans winner at the wheel delivered a brilliant performance. Video footage of the duel at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJCIp2J_iMw

Mattias Ekström on the world’s steepest road

Audi driver Mattias Ekström went to the limits of physics. In the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, the Swede tried out the capabilities of the new Audi A4 quattro*. Partner Red Bull prepared Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh with snow, slush and gravel. With a 37-percent grade, it is the world’s steepest residential street. On the slippery surface, Ekström easily chauffeured free skier Bene Mayr, snowboarder Heikki Sorsa and downhill mountain biker Aaron Gwin uphill, thanks to quattro drive. Subsequently, all four aces went downhill again using the sports equipment of their choice. Video footage of this stunt at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH7hqFMxsTw

Big program for Phoenix Racing

Team Phoenix Racing will be contesting three GT racing series and two 24-hour races with the Audi R8 LMS in the 2016 season. At the Nürburgring, Frank Stippler/Anders Fjordbach (D/DK) will be on the grid at all rounds of the VLN Endurance Championship. In the ADAC GT Masters racing series, Markus Pommer/Markus Winkelhock (D/D) will be representing the team’s colors. In the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, Phoenix Racing is going to battle for successes with Markus Pommer/Nicolaj Møller Madsen (D/DK) and Niki Mayr-Melnhof/Markus Winkelhock (A/D). In addition, the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and at Spa are on the squad’s agenda, just like customer commitments in the Audi R8 LMS Cup and other races in Asia.

Two new Audi R8 LMS for kfzteile24 APR Motorsport

Audi Sport customer racing team kfzteile24 APR Motorsport is entering two Audi R8 LMS in the ADAC GT Masters. This marks the fourth consecutive season that the team from Waldshut-Tiengen in the Black Forest region relies on the GT3 sports car from Audi. As in 2015, the duo of Swede Edward Sandström and Daniel Dobitsch team up again. Sandström won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring last year. He shared the race winning Audi R8 LMS in the Eifel with Laurens Vanthoor. The Belgian is new to the team this year and will drive together with Florian Stoll, who was the best-placed Audi driver in the ADAC GT Masters last year.

Audi drivers and race car in Geneva

Four Audi drivers visited the Geneva Motor Show. DTM driver Nico Müller was present at Audi’s booth with the R8 LMS in which he won the Nürburgring 24 Hours. From the WEC, Loïc Duval and Marcel Fässler traveled to the event. Rahel Frey, who is active in GT3 racing with Audi, was a guest at gasmobil’s booth, where she promoted the alternative fuel with a natural gas powered Audi A3 Sportback g-tron*.

Oliver Jarvis at half marathon in Cambridge

Audi driver Oliver Jarvis contested a half marathon in the British university city of Cambridge in February. The race driver from the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) ran the 21-kilometer distance in 1h 24m48s, achieving 75th place in his class in a field of 975 entrants. “It was a fantastic event with an incredible atmosphere,” said the 32-year-old Briton. “Parts of beautiful downtown Cambridge were closed to traffic for our run. Together with a few good friends I really enjoyed the day.”

A word from ... Hans-Jürgen Abt

The team boss of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline about the 2016 season.

The DTM test at Monteblanco started the countdown to the season opener at Hockenheim. How great is the thrill of anticipating the new DTM season?

Really great – and that not only goes for me, but for all the mechanics, engineers and, obviously, the drivers. Even though this largely escapes the fans’ attention, we worked hard over the winter months to be even better prepared than before. Working with our new driver Nico Müller has already been a lot of fun as well.

What are the aims of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline for the 2016 season?

The same as in the past 16 years that we’ve been contesting the DTM: We want to win races and battle for the title. We know that the competition may even be fiercer than before, but that’s exactly the kind of challenge we love. Last year, two of our drivers, Mattias Ekström and Edoardo Mortara, still had chances of winning the title on the final weekend. We’d like to travel to the finale again this year with such a starting base.

In 2016, the company, ABT, is 120 years old. How are you celebrating your anniversary?

2016 is really a special year for us. Running a family-owned business across several generations can’t be taken for granted. That’s why I’m really proud of my family and, obviously, our employees. In the middle of February, we spent two nights celebrating with nearly 900 guests in Kempten. I was very happy to see so many friends and partners accept our invitation. It was an event loaded with fun and partying but, above all, a lot of fond memories.

What role has Audi been playing in the history of ABT Sportsline?

The main role. This year – which, by the way, is another small anniversary – we’ve been involved in touring car racing with Audi for 20 years and celebrated many successes together. In our daily business as a tuning company, we’ve always been exclusively working together with the Volkswagen Group. And we’re already planning our next joint projects – on the racetrack and on the road.

Coming up next week

12/03 Marco Bonanomi, 31st birthday

11-13/03 St. Petersburg (USA), rounds 3 and 4, Pirelli World Challenge

 

Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi A3 Sportback g-tron:

CNG consumption in kg/100km: 3.6 – 3.3;

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.5 – 5.1;

Combined CO2 emissions in g/km (CNG): 98 - 89;

Combined CO2 emissions in g/km (fuel): 128 - 117

Audi R8:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.3 – 11.4;

Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 287 - 272

Audi A4 Sedan:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.3 - 3.7;

Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 144 – 95

Audi SQ7 TDI:

This car is not yet on sale. It does not yet have type approval and is therefore not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC. The aforementioned fuel consumption and emission values are provisional.

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Audi SQ7 TDI: Driving Innovation

4 March 2016

With 320 kW (435 hp) and 900 Nm (663.8 lb ft) of torque, the new Audi SQ7 TDI* is the most powerful diesel SUV on the market. It also leads the competition in numerous other technical fields. Its redesigned 4.0 TDI engine features a world first: An electric powered compressor gives the SQ7 TDI outstanding off-the-line performance. Yet it consumes on average 7.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (31.8 US mpg).

“Following the launch of the successful SQ5*, we are now also applying the concept of a diesel-engined S model to the Q7 model line. So equipped, the SQ7 TDI with a V8 TDI engine achieves the consumption figures of a six-cylinder. The new technology solution of the electric powered compressor in the SQ7 TDI is a world first in the competitive environment, with which Audi once again underscores its claim Vorsprung durch Technik,” said Dr. Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development.

Forced induction: Three chargers working together
The 4.0 TDI has been newly developed from the ground up. It combines best-in-class performance with low consumption and guarantees maximum dynamics. The V8 engine has a displacement of 3,956 cc. The two exhaust-gas turbochargers are activated selectively according to the concept of sequential charging, since exhaust gas only flows through one turbocharger at low and intermediate load. The second turbine is only activated at higher loads. An electric powered compressor (EPC) augments the work of the two turbochargers, particularly in the lower engine speed range, providing for extremely dynamic off-the-line performance.

With 320 kW (435 hp) and 900 Nm (663.8 lb‑ft) of torque between 1,000 and 3,250 revolutions per minute, the SUV sets new benchmarks in the segment. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.8 seconds; top speed is 250 km/h (155.3 mph) (governed). In the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), it consumes 7.4 liters per 100 kilometers (31.8 US mpg). This corresponds to COemissions of 194 grams per kilometer (312.2 g/mi).

Forced induction concept and electrical system: Electric powered compressor (EPC) and 48‑volt subsystem
The electric powered compressor is a world first in a production vehicle. This EPC strongly supports the 4.0 TDI engine when starting off and accelerating from low load for pure dynamics with no turbo lag. It is placed in the air path downstream of the intercooler, close to the engine. Because the EPC does not require any exhaust-gas energy to develop boost, it can be used at any time, thus making it the solution for the traditional weaknesses of the classic exhaust-gas turbocharger. With this technology, turbo lag is history. The EPC provides the engine the boost energy needed for the dynamic delivery of power in less than 250 milliseconds. Driven by a compact electric motor, its compressor wheel spins up to 70,000 revolutions per minute. The 4.0 TDI thus develops its immense power with no perceptible lag: It is available immediately upon depressing the accelerator. That is a major plus, particularly when starting off.

The Audi valvelift system (AVS) is also making its debut in a diesel model from Audi. The inlet and exhaust cam shafts each have two cam contours per valve. On the inlet side, one cam contour supports starting off in conjunction with the EPC, while the other optimizes cylinder filling and thus power at high engine speeds. The AVS system on the exhaust side enables activation of the second exhaust-gas turbocharger. The sequential charging system controls the two exhaust-gas turbochargers so that only one turbocharger is used at low engine speeds. The second is activated additionally at higher loads and engine speeds. The customer benefits from very good torque delivery and dynamic response across the entire engine speed range.

The exhaust streams from the two exhaust valves are hermetically separated, with each driving one of the two turbochargers. In the lower engine speed range, one valve per cylinder remains closed, so that the full exhaust stream flows to the active turbocharger. When load and engine speed increase, the AVS opens the second exhaust valves. This directs flow to and activates the second exhaust-gas turbocharger. The engine achieves its maximum output in this biturbo mode. The switching by the AVS enables fast and precise activation of the second exhaust-gas turbine.

The power for the EPC, which reaches a maximum of 7 kW, is provided by the 48‑volt electrical subsystem. The SQ7 TDI uses this higher-power electrical system, which facilitates the high-power systems electromechanical active roll stabilization (EAWS) and EPC. To meet their high power and energy requirements, the electrical subsystem includes its own 48‑volt lithium-ion battery mounted beneath the luggage compartment with a nominal energy content of 470 watt-hours and peak output of up to 13 kilowatts. A DC/DC converter connects the 48‑volt and 12‑volt electrical systems. The required energy is provided by a more powerful and highly efficient generator with an efficiency of over 80 percent at an output of up to 3 kW. This is a so-called MOSFET generator (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor), which reduces electric losses and increases efficiency. MOFSETs replace the diodes used previously. In addition, the 48‑volt storage unit supports the 12‑volt electrical system when required. This also reduces the load on the 12‑volt lead battery.

V8 TDI – further technical highlights
The intake side of the 4.0 TDI is on the outside, the exhaust side with the two turbochargers is on the inside of the 90-degree internal V. This layout provides for short gas paths, i.e. spontaneous response and short paths for the emissions control system. The common-rail system generates up to 2,500 bars of injection pressure. Ignition pressure reaches the 200‑bar mark in broad sections of the characteristic.

The innovative thermal management and sophisticated measures in the crankshaft and camshaft drive reduce friction. With the combination of a NOx oxidating catalytic converter and a downstream SCR catalytic converter, which is integrated into the diesel particulate filter and uses AdBlue injection to reduce oxides of nitrogen, the V8 TDI has a particularly efficient emissions control system. A sound actuator in the exhaust system amplifies the sonorous eight-cylinder sound. SQ7 TDI drivers can choose how much attention they want to draw to themselves by using the Audi drive select system to vary the amount of sound.

The biturbo V8 combined with the EPC is a core element of the global Audi diesel strategy. With high torque even at low engine speeds and low consumption figures, it is also ideally suited for markets such as the United States. Its engine characteristic combines supreme pulling power with sporty agility – ample off-the-line performance and spontaneous response.

High efficiency: The eight-speed tiptronic
The 4.0 TDI in the Audi SQ7 TDI works with strong partners. The proof is in the road behavior, from extremely comfortable cruising on the Autobahn to dynamic handling on mountain passes. The redesigned eight-speed tiptronic is impressively efficient. It changes gears extremely quickly and efficiently, and at high speeds allows coasting at idle. A self-locking center differential is the heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. It is compact, lightweight and interacts very precisely with the suspension control system.

The maxim of lightweight construction also applies to the suspension – its links are made primarily of aluminum. Electromechanical power steering, the Audi drive select driving dynamics system and adaptive air suspension with
S-specific tuning are standard. An optional brake system with extremely lightweight carbon fiber-ceramic disks will follow shortly after the market launch. Audi offers the SUV with 20‑inch wheels on 285/45 tires, with options up to 22 inches from the quattro GmbH program.

Networked suspension control
Audi offers the SQ7 TDI with an optional driving dynamics package comprising three technology modules: sport differential, electromechanical active roll stabilization and all-wheel steering. The highly integrated suspension control unit is used in the SQ7 TDI. It assumes the central control of the adjustable shock absorbers, the air springs, the sport differential and roll force distribution. By bundling all relevant suspension functions into a central control unit, the developers achieved an optimal networking and coordination of the functions among themselves. The customer thus experiences outstanding handling in any situation.

Sporty or comfortable: Body roll stabilization
A new solution in the competitive environment is the electromechanical active body roll stabilization. Here a compact electric motor with a three-stage planetary gearbox separates the two halves of the stabilizer. On an uneven road surface, they are actively decoupled from one another, resulting in improved ride comfort. During sporty driving, the tubes are interconnected and twisted against each other. That significantly reduces body roll, i.e. the lean of the car. Together with the transmission, the electric motors produce anything up to 1,200 Nm (885.1 lb‑ft) of torque. The effect is taut, sporty handling: The car leans less in bends and the tendency to understeer is further reduced.

The front and rear stabilizer can be adjusted independently of each other. This active distribution of stabilizer forces between the front and rear axle has a positive effect on road behavior. Steering precision and the agility of the car improve significantly.

Compared with conventional hydraulically switched stabilizers, the 48‑volt-based system from Audi offers major advantages. It can develop more power, it works faster and it is activated even at low speeds. Because it requires no oil, the electromechanical active roll stabilization is also maintenance-free and environmentally friendly.

Bold road behavior and handling: All-wheel steering in combination with sporty and direct front-axle steering
With all-wheel steering, the rear wheels turn in by as much as five degrees, making parking easier. The more direct front-axle steering ratio of the SQ7 TDI improves the handling characteristics. Depending on the situation, the rear wheels steer opposite or in the same direction as the front wheels, improving dynamics and stability.

High agility in every curve: quattro with sport differential
For sporty drivers, it is one of the central objectives of road behavior: neutral handling up to the limit, even at high engine power. The optional sport differential provides stable and precise steering, particularly when accelerating dynamically out of curves. Variable torque between the wheels on the rear axle offers supreme control in curves. The SQ7 TDI is pressed precisely into the curve as a result. Even if the rear end starts to swing out, the quattro sport differential brings it back under control. This technology is available for the first time in the Q7 model line and is reserved exclusively for this top model.

Lightweight construction – innovative multimaterial construction
Thanks to systematic lightweight construction, the Audi SQ7 TDI is the lightest SUV in its segment, yet makes no compromises with respect to crash safety. The body features an innovative multimaterial construction. Hot-shaped and extremely strong sheets form the backbone of the occupant cell; the outer skin is made of aluminum. The center of mass is low – another factor for the sporty handling. The drag coefficient is an outstanding 0.34.

Powerful sportiness: Exterior styling
The new Audi SQ7 TDI strikes an impressive balance between powerful and intensified stylistic elements. At 5.07 meters (16.6 ft), it is approximately as long as the base model. The Audi DNA, such as the sculpted Singleframe radiator grille, distinctively highlighted wheels and flared quattro-style blisters, is unmistakable. All lines and surfaces are designed precisely and incisively, and accentuate the width of the car and thus the solidness of the overall concept. The SQ7 TDI has a new radiator grille with an S‑specific design at the bumpers. Other distinguishing features are the side air inlets, the mirror housings and door inlays in standard aluminum. The exhaust system terminates in four rectangular tailpipes.

Light – LED headlights standard
The headlights have a pronounced three-dimensional appearance overall with a double-arrow signature. The standard LED and optional Matrix LED headlights plus the dynamic rear turn signals underscore Audi’s leading role in lighting design and technology. With the LED and matrix LED headlights, the daytime running lights together with the turn signals form a double light guide arrow – a new and unique light signature within the Audi family. Each Matrix LED headlight divides its high beam into 30 individual light-emitting diodes paired with three reflectors. A camera on the interior mirror analyzes the traffic situation. Given this information, the control unit individually turns the diodes on and off, or dims them in 64 stages each, depending on the situation. With the millions of different resultant beam patterns, the high-end headlights superbly light up the road, without blinding other road users. Traffic signs are illuminated with less power so that the driver is not blinded by glare.

The functional range of the Matrix LED headlights also includes intelligent cornering lights, created by a shift in the light center position. If the car is equipped with the optional MMI navigation plus, this system’s route data will trigger the cornering light to illuminate around the corner just before the driver begins turning the steering wheel. The large LED rear lights vary the theme of the headlamps: The tail lights, activated when the ignition is turned on, create a double arrow like the headlights. The brake light is located in the two upper chambers; the interior of
the light has a three-dimensional appearance, with lightness and elegance.

The choice is yours: five seats or seven
Passengers in the Audi SQ7 TDI experience the largest interior in the segment. Audi offers the SUV with a choice of either five or seven seats. The second row comes standard with a three-section backrest with segments that can be folded down separately. The optional third row folds up and down electrically.

Interior quality with S-specific design language
More space in the interior sets a new benchmark in the segment. Diffuser vent wrap and application strips emphasize the horizontality and spaciousness of the interior. Comfort features are luxury-class. With the SQ7 TDI, customers have the choice between sport seats and sport seats plus. The sliding/folding seats provide for easier access to the optional third row. The power tailgate is standard. The SQ7 TDI boasts elegant design solutions in the interior, including analogue instruments with gray faces and white needles, special welcome screens and S badges.

The complete interior lighting including the luggage compartment employs LEDs. The first upgrade level, the lighting package, is standard. Capacitive (contactless) switches control the light in the door pockets and the reading lamp. The instrument panel and door trim contain so-called contour lighting – extremely slender LED light guides that follow the broad lines. Ambient lighting is also available. This includes lighted door sill trims and additional contour lighting on the center console. The top version allows the driver of the SQ7 TDI to customize the interior lighting. Via the MMI, the driver can adjust it in several profiles and in five zones, and regulate the color of the contour lighting in the “drive select” profile in 32 steps.

Markedly sporty: exclusive materials, colors and equipment features
The new SQ7 TDI is available in 12 colors. The distinctive radiator grille and underbody guard that encloses the four rectangular tailpipes are finished in twilight gray matt. Thanks to a wide range of equipment, the SQ7 TDI can be configured to be both sporty and elegant. Two-piece applications enable diverse material combinations and further individualization. The SQ7 TDI is also available with the design selection Kodiak brown: a full-leather interior with contrasting stitching, an Alcantara black headlining, sport seats plus with Valcona leather in Kodiak brown and contrasting stitching, and luxury velour floor mats. The two-piece trim strip of Sono aluminum and carbon twill copper is exclusively available for the SQ7 TDI.

High-resolution graphics: Audi virtual cockpit
With its 12.3‑inch display, the optional Audi virtual cockpit presents logically structured information in brilliant graphics. Driver ergonomics are excellent, and operation is intuitive. The driver chooses the display mode via the multifunction steering wheel. A head-up display is also available as an option.

The optional MMI navigation plus with MMI all‑in‑touch includes a large glass surface on the center tunnel console that provides the finger with haptic feedback after each click. The MMI logic allows for intuitive system operation and also understands terms from everyday speech.

Potent computing power: Infotainment and Audi connect
MMI navigation plus, the optional top-of-the-line infotainment system in the SQ7 TDI, uses the second-generation Modular Infotainment Platform. Thanks to the integrated LTE module and the Wi-Fi hotspot included in the Audi connect package, passengers can surf at high speed with their mobile devices. The Audi connect package brings comprehensive online functions on board.

New on the market is the Audi connect safety & service package, which also includes the myCarManager package. With this, customers can use their smartphone to lock and unlock the car or check the vehicle status, for example.

Another infotainment highlight is the Audi smartphone interface. In the car, a tailored environment on the MMI monitor makes it easy to control smartphones with iOS or the Android operating system.

The sound systems in the SQ7 TDI are as innovative as they are upscale. In the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, the digital signal processor drives 11 channels with a total of 23 speakers in such a way that the sound is equally precise and harmonious in every seat. Four speakers installed in the A‑pillars and driven via separate channels broadcast those elements that generate the spatial height, creating a big virtual stage. Newly developed speakers and an amplifier with 1,920 watts guarantee musical enjoyment at the highest level. The Bose Surround Sound system, which generates the surround sound with 19 speakers, also features two speakers located higher up in the A‑pillars to produce the third dimension.

Optionally, two Audi tablets can be docked in the backs of the front seats. This solution is currently the only removable rear seat entertainment system available in the segment as standard. The Audi tablets make the premium infotainment accessible to the rear passengers as well. With integrated entertainment media and the navigation system from the infotainment system, the Audi tablets bring the full functionality of current high-end Android tablets to the car.

Simply the best: Driver assistance systems
The SQ7 TDI offers a wide range of 24 driver assistance systems to help drivers travel safely, fuel-efficiently and comfortably. The predictive efficiency assistant, for example, provides additional information in the instrument cluster to help the driver save fuel. The standard Audi pre sense city – an anticipatory warning and emergency breaking function for avoiding accidents and protecting pedestrians – makes the SQ7 TDI even safer.

The adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist relieves the driver in slow-moving traffic on well-paved roads by taking over the steering in many situations. The predictive ACC enables the anticipatory adjustment of driving speed to the route and speed limits, such as when entering towns.

In Europe, the Audi SQ7 TDI can be ordered beginning spring 2016. It will be offered in Germany for a base price of €89,900. This price includes a significantly expanded range of standard equipment, valued at approx. €10,000, compared with the base model. Examples include LED headlights, 20-inch wheels, sportily contoured bumpers and door trim strips, adaptive air suspension with S-specific tuning, electrically adjustable and heated sport seats in Alcantara and leather, brushed aluminum inlays, 3-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel with shift paddles, anti-theft alarm and an enlarged tank with 85-liter capacity. In addition, the Audi SQ7 TDI is also the first production vehicle to feature an electric powered compressor with a 48-volt electrical subsystem. The factory-installed sound exhaust system provides for a sporty, unmistakeable V8 sound.

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Stage debut: the new Audi Q2

3 March 2016

Audi is revealing the new Audi Q2* at the Geneva International Motor Show. The compact SUV is an urban-type vehicle for everyday driving and recreation, uniting a progressive design with a high level of functionality. Connectivity, infotainment and assistance systems are on level of full-size class.

“In the Audi Q2 we have developed a distinctively geometric form language with model-specific design characteristics. The car exhibits an independent character within the Q family,” says Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte.

Rugged look
The result: a powerful SUV that shows a lot of vertices and edges. At the front, a strong image is created by the Singleframe grille in octagonal design that is positioned high as well as large air inlets. Especially eye-catching is the low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with color offset blades. This contrast accentuates the sportiness of the Audi Q2. The rear body terminates in a dynamic way with a long roof spoiler and a diffuser that has an underbody-protection look. 

In a side view, the high shoulder line is especially eye-catching as are the concave flanks in the door area. The latter emphasize the wheel housings and thereby the quattro character of the compact SUV. The vehicle measures 1.51 meters (5.0 ft) tall and 1.79 meters (5.9 ft) wide. The overhangs are short with a vehicle length of 4.19 meters (13.7 ft) and a wheelbase of 2.60 meters (8.5 ft).

Technology from the full-size class
Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the full-size class – including the Audi pre sense front that is standard. The system recognizes critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up: adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and parking and cross-traffic assist rear.

Highly connected
The Q2 is equipped with a standard MMI screen that is positioned high on the instrument panel. The infotainment system can be operated by a rotary/push-button control and two buttons on the center tunnel. When MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is ordered, the user also gets a touchpad on the central control element. In addition, the system can be conveniently controlled by natural language operation and the integrated MMI search. A Wi-Fi hotspot enables surfing and streaming with mobile end devices. Furthermore, customers can use MMI touch to query the online services of Audi connect. The flat rate data plan required for this is included thanks to the SIM card (embedded SIM) that is permanently installed in the car. It also permits roaming in most European countries. Cell phones with iOS and Android operating systems are integrated into the car via the Audi smartphone interface. The free Audi MMI connect app enables online media streaming and transfer of a calendar from a smartphone to the MMI. The app for iOS operating systems also has the myAudi destinations function. It makes it possible to send the data of a desired navigation destination from any app to the MMI navigation plus system. The system then uses it for navigation.

Simply functional
The Q2 fulfills fundamental expectations of an SUV with a high entry, good visibility and a large luggage compartment (405 to 1,050 liters (14.3 - 37.1 cu ft) of capacity). The highlight is that the driver’s seat position is sporty and low in relation to the steering wheel like in an Audi sedan. Optional practical solutions are available such as a power tailgate and a three-way split rear bench backrests with cargo through-loading.

Individual customization
The Audi Q2 is as individual as its drivers – inside and out. Many equipment packages, exterior colors and expressive colors for interior trim and seat upholstery allow plenty of creative space for personal configuration. One option is the LED lighting package, in which the interior is staged in a particularly attractive way with illuminated trim elements.

Drivetrain and chassis
The Q2 is launching with a selection of six different engines. Along with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder TFSI, two four-cylinder gasoline engines are being offered with 1.4 and 2.0 liters of displacement. In addition, three four-cylinder diesel engines are available with 1.6 and 2.0 liters of displacement. Their power output ranges from 85 kW (116 hp) to 140 kW (190 hp). As an alternative to the six-speed manual transmission, Audi also offers the S tronic dual clutch transmission with seven speeds for all engines. In the case of the top TDI and the 2.0 TFSI, a newly developed dual-clutch transmission is used, which has a new type of oil supply and reduced friction. Both engines may also be combined with a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system as standard equipment. Installed at the rear on the front-wheel drive versions is a semi-independent suspension, while the quattro models have a four-link suspension. Progressive steering is standard in all versions. It varies the steering gear ratio as a function of the steering input; the ratio is made more direct with large steering movements. Adaptive dampers are available as an option, as is the Audi drive select system with which drivers can set an individual characteristic for their Q2.

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