Sure, I love my car, and I haven’t even owned it for a year yet, but that won’t stop me from pondering my next auto purchase. Just about everyone loves to imagine themselves in a newer, or simply, a different car now and then. I haven’t even cracked 50k miles on my 2008 Jetta Wolfsburg yet (although I’m getting close), so we’ve still got a lot of time to spend together. This means, practically speaking, my next car purchase is years away. And that’s ok, because the object of my affection has just been introduced as a concept.
Audi unveiled its new A3 Sedan Concept to the world at the Geneva Auto Show this week, and it’s an absolute beauty. I already liked the A3 in its current form and, in fact, considered buying one while I was car shopping last year. I’m a huge fan of Audi’s styling over the past decade, and this new little sedan seems to have all their best attributes combined in just the right ways. As I browsed through photos, wishing I could have seen it in person, it occurred to me that it looks great from every angle. (more…)
Development of Audi’s new A7 is nearing completion, as Autocar’s spy cameras catch it treading in the snow. The A7, as one might expect, is to be a combination of features from the A6 and A8. It shares a chassis with the A6, but gets interior treatment similar to that of the more luxurious A8. It’s targeted competition includes BMW’s 5-Series GT and the Mercedes-Benz CLS. (more…)
There has been a trend towards heavier cars lately as available features (including safety equipment) increase. For obvious reason, weight gain is not good for performance. To address this dilemma, Audi has developed a lightweight A5 concept, designed to improve acceleration and handling. The result is a trimmed down A5 that weighs in at 2888 lbs, about 500 less than the 3400-lb Euro-spec A5.
Car and Driver compared the lightweight concept with a 2.0T to a stock A5 (equipped with a 3.2-L V6). They report that Audi’s attempt to improve upon the performance of the V6 coupe has been quite successful. Cornering has improved noticeably and a 0.3-second improvement in 0-60 is expected, compared to the 3.2’s time. Apparently Audi is working on a second lightweight concept to target the performance of the V8-powered S5.
I’ve been telling myself (and my wife) for while now that I would love to own a European car. Something about them gives me a good vibe. Also, being 6’9″ tall, I need all the leg/head room I can get. The Germans seem to have a reputation for making cars well suited to us taller guys. That would naturally lead me to Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Porshe, and VW. Posrche is out of the question (for now), VW’s tend to be a bit small still, the BWM 3 series is cramped, and Mercedes Benz comes with a big price tag, and a reputation for frequent problems. Although I was skeptical about how well I would fit in an A4, I decided to give one a try. Having one parked in my driveway would bring me great joy.
I arrived at the dealership hoping it would be love at first sight (or sit). I sat down in the black 2.0T sedan and sure enough, I was really surprised by how comfortable I was once I got the seat adjusted to my liking. I was impressed by the amount of leg room and head room. The leather seat was quite comfortable, but lacked the lateral support of others I’ve been in. The rear seats split and fold down completely, expanding the impressively large trunk.
That’s right folks. What could be better than looking at the actual earth while driving on it? Looking at pictures from outer space, of the earth you are driving on, while driving on it. The technology of the future makes this possible, thanks to Audi and Google. The 2011 Audi A8 will be the first production vehicle to feature the Google Earth software built right in to its navigation system. Audi has also given the A8 the ability to connect to cellular date networks via a built in modem or a bluetooth connection to a cell phone.
According to Wrecked Exotics, the driver may have fallen asleep, causing the R8 to to skewer itself from end to end. I don’t know about you but those pictures give me the heebie jeebies. I mean, the last time I fell asleep behind the wheel all I did was mow down three mailboxes and a wandering goat. Well, that was the time in Italy. I did hit a Cardinal once in Ohio – poor guy skewered my grill but didn’t make it past the radiator. Gosh I’m lucky.
No, I don’t think they’ll be completely disappearing any time soon but they may become more difficult to find. And that may not necessarily be a bad thing. The trend towards smaller, more efficient gasoline engines has made its way to Germany’s big V8s.
Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz have begun, or plan to begin downsizing their big displacement, high performance V8s in favor of smaller, turbocharged versions boasting better gas mileage.