Audi RS3 LMS of the second generation offered to customers for 2022

The second generation "Audi RS3 LMS" has been released for the next racing season.

This season, the car was driven only in the World Cup of touring cars, it was serviced by the Belgian Komtuju racing, and with it, Frederic Fervis and Jules Magnus have won so far.

The first generation of TCR "Audi" was sold in 180 copies, and the new model costs 137,500 euros (+ VAT).


Audi RS3 LMS
The first deliveries are expected in the last quarter of 2021, so that the teams can prepare for 2022.

"We waited a little longer to offer the car to customers. We collected valid data and impressions from our drivers, so that our engineers could improve some parts ", revealed Chris Reinke, the head of Audi sports. "The previous model has achieved more than 300 victories in 55 championship titles so far, so we hope that the second generation will be even more successful."

2022 Audi e-tron GT and RS GT Make Us Forget They're EVs

Audi's new e-tron GT Quattro and RS e-tron GT are great sports sedans first and electric cars second.

In conventional automobiles, the tall top gears of modern automatic transmissions largely silence the combustion events happening under the hood. So, when an EV hushes along at 85 mph or so and unfurls the lonesome two-lane expanses of the West, the fact that it's motivated by electricity instead of gasoline doesn't seem terribly relevant. It does become a bit more important if the battery is depleted and you lack a solid recharging plan. If you're range anxious about finding somewhere to recharge, the e-tron GT is rated for 238 miles and the 590-hp (637 in overboost) RS e-tron GT model is good for 232 miles, both of which are far short of the Tesla Model S's EPA range.

 
 
 
2022 audi etron gt
 

Stand on the GT's accelerator and you're instantly reminded that there are electric motors at play. The torque delivery is akin to the feeling you get when you hold a regular car in gear right at its engine's torque peak. Hit it, and boom, instant shove. An upshift from the rear-mounted two-speed gearbox happens at about 60 mph, which will remind some readers of an old three-speed automatic's one-two shift. Audi claims a 3.9-second run to 60 mph for the GT and 3.1 seconds for the RS GT. As with the Audi's platform-mate, the Porsche Taycan, those acceleration times are repeatable, provided you know the launch-control code—Dynamic mode, hard on the brake, accelerator to the floor. A whoosh accompanies the shove into the leather seat. (A vinyl- and microsuede-covered interior, marketed as being leather free, is standard.)

The mass of the battery tips the GT's curb weight past 5000 pounds, but since the pack is in the floor, the center of gravity is low. Imagine a 4947-pound Audi RS7 with a keel and you get the idea. At 55.0-inches tall, the largely aluminum-bodied e-tron GT is low for a modern sedan and nearly two inches lower than the RS7. Without gears to choose, the GT and RS twins remain at the ready for whatever the Angeles Crest and Forest highways throw at them.

2022 audi etron gt

Go for the RS version and you get summer tires, but even on the e-tron GT's all-season rubber, the standard three-chamber air springs keep the body flat and the handling secure without being boring. Although the steering is accurate and gets the nose pointed with unerring precision—and the many drive modes can adjust the effort—not a lot of feedback comes through the wheel. Sure, the regular GT's all-seasons howl in protest when they begin to understeer but add power and the system sends torque rearward and divides it as necessary to the left or right wheels to cancel the mild push in corners. What you feel, besides confidence, is a return to your intended path around an apex. The RS performs the same trick, but its summer tires provide more grip with a bit less squeal.

Provided you shut off the stability control, the rear end's ability to send power to the left and right will also indulge the aggressive driver by setting up an easy-to-control, power-on drift. Being (mostly) prudent adults, we kept such experimentation to the airstrip that Audi rented for us to safely experience the RS's zero-to-100-mph acceleration. Hauling these Audis down from speed are 14.2-inch front brake rotors on the regular GT and 16.1-inch tungsten carbide-coated units on the RS. Should that not be enough, the RS offers 16.5-inch carbon-ceramic jobs up front. Strong and fade-free, a couple of downhill sections in the canyons required a harder push on the brake pedal, a reminder that quickly decelerating 5000 pounds requires a lot of force.

2022 audi etron gt

Using the brakes in the GT and RS GT is something you'll do a lot. Unlike some competitors, Audi doesn't offer a one-pedal driving mode. The maximum regeneration mode (activated by the left "shift" paddle on the steering column) doesn't slow the car down much. Audi proffers that coasting is more efficient than maximizing regeneration. The net effect is that you drive the two e-tron sedans more like a conventional gas-powered car, another reason it's easy to ignore what's propelling you when you're behind the wheel.

Designers put a lot of thought into making the most of Audi's (and Porsche's) EV platform. Not only is the roofline low, but the cockpit and greenhouse are narrower than the body. It's a visual trick used by the Porsche 911 that results in a balance of elegance and aggression. Wide rear fenders flow rearward to A7-like taillights. Wheel sizes start at 20 inches; RS models offer a 21-inch option.

2022 audi etron gt

The relatively narrow cockpit is obvious when you're inside. Front-seat space is generous, but the roof looms close and the glass area is small for a sedan. The view out the back is restricted, but after a few miles you adjust to it. If you're thinking it's as bad as a Chevrolet Camaro, it's not. Rear-seat space also is in short supply, and the smallish door openings and low body make getting in and out a little more difficult than it is in an RS7.

An RS7 also sounds considerably better than both the e-tron GT and RS. Audi engineers did try various devices—including a didgeridoo—to give their electric sedans a soundtrack. Under hard acceleration there's a hushed roar and the volume increases in the most aggressive Dynamic mode, but it pales next to how the roar of the RS7's twin-turbo V-8 fires the synapses in your lizard brain.

2022 audi etron gt

Choosing between Audi's new electric sedans and its 591-hp RS7 is made even more difficult by how the pricing sandwiches the $115,545 gas car between the two. Before any incentives or tax credits, the e-tron GT starts at $100,945 and the RS opens at $140,945. Even though the e-tron GT is so good that we briefly forgot it was an electric, as new internal-combustion cars become rarer sights we're still going to pick them until we can't. As far as comparing it to the ridiculously quick, 1020-hp Model S Plaid, we'd love to answer that nagging question too. As soon as we get a Plaid to test, we'll let you know.

(caranddriver.com)

This is today the most desirable modern classic in Europe

There is simply no point in procrastinating, so right now: in your head: The most desirable modern classic of today in the EU is the Audi Quattro.
And here's why it's like that…

Imagine the following situation: the end of the 1970s is approaching. The world of Rally racing (until) that time is for some reason stubbornly loyal to two-wheel drive and any departure from that rule is absolutely undesirable.
But 1979 manages to turn out to be the year in which a revolution takes place in this dirty world of speed. And since then a new decade on the horizon has allowed manufacturers to experiment.

Audi enters the whole story at the same time without much thought and already has a finished product by the Geneva Motor Show. And the one shaped into a relatively angular body with three doors and all-wheel drive.

The machine in question is designed to make the most of the engine power and transfer it to the ground as well as possible. But already in the beginning, the Audi Quattro met with ridicule from many, because the weight was noticeably higher than the rivals with whom the car was to compete in the World Rally Championship.
As a result, the enthusiasm of many has waned considerably. But the team from Ingolstadt did not stop rubbing their hands.



The reason for this is the small million tests that turned out to be better than initially expected during the development of this now legendary model. Because of all this, the Audi Quattro was already one of the contenders for the throne of the best on the muddy tracks before the premiere.

This, of course, was soon proven in practice, and many infidels began to worship this car practically overnight. And with their adoration they ensured that this story continues forty years later.
But despite the changing times, it is this Audi model that for many is reputed to be the best of all time.

Basically, over the years, there has often been a debate in the media and on the sidelines about which car would be the most desirable modern classic of today.
And then the renowned portal Honest John began its story. And in collaboration with several other interesting sources, a rather extensive story was created.
The collaboration was reduced to pure statistics, ie readers' voting for the title of the most desirable modern classic of today. It lasted for months. And after all these months, the winner was obtained by the number of votes. Just as we are used to with such ideas.

The competition was impressive and strong - just like the one in which this Audi model found itself when it premiered in the world of Rally. But unlike this segment of the world of motoring, within these statistics there are several models that have nothing to do with the world of Rally.

The victory for the Audi Quattro was secured by a total of 24.3% of the vote, or almost a quarter of respondents. So more than for any political party in the last election.

Second place on the list was earned by the VW Golf GTI (Mk.1) with 18.3% of the vote, and the entire list on the back is completed by the Porsche 959 with a total of 1% of the vote.

As part of the list, it is actually surprising that, for example, the Porsche 911 was only in 5th place. But I guess it's because of the production of this model that goes back more than half a century.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that in the minds of the respondents, the 911 is not something from the past, but a car that is ubiquitous even today.

All this, of course, does not diminish the fact that the Audi Quattro came in first.
But I still can't help but wonder what the list would look like if a few American and Japanese cars from some bygone times were in competition.

On the contrary, I believe that, for example, the Ford Mustang and Nissan Skyline GT-R (KPGC10) would be at the very top.
I am also inclined to believe that voters would look favorably on the still few model that appeared on the market during the former development of the car world.
But these are just assumptions that are not important given the current list and its winner.

In this case, only the fact that very nicely shows that the Audi Quattro once again shone as one absolutely special car is important.

It is only sad that this company in todaytime no longer produces such models. And if we are realistic, given the times we live in and the trends they bombard us with, I somehow have a clear doubt that in twenty years some of today’s Audi models will find their place among the greats.

In fact, I'm sure he won't.

Audi offers entry into the world of motorsport for half a million euros

Back in March 2015, Audi's motorsport department introduced the LMS GT3 specification of the second generation of the R8 model before switching to a racing car with a V10 engine, which debuted in October 2018. Now Audi Sport has introduced the evo II specification of its mid-engined supercar, which sits between the GT2 and GT4 versions in a range of models designed exclusively for the racetrack.

Improved for the 2022 season, the new R8 LMS GT3 evo II comes with numerous improvements, the car's aerodynamics, chassis, traction control, engine characteristics and air conditioning have been changed.

While its predecessor under the car was crucial in providing greater thrust and thus greater cornering stability, the new configuration of this model relies primarily on a new rear spoiler that provides greater aerodynamic thrust and increases traction. For the first time, the suspension of the R8 LMS GT3 has shock absorbers that are adjustable in 4 different levels, and the slip control adjustment also has more options than before.

Audi Sport engineers have developed a new air supply system that allows better torque delivery from a medium-mounted 5.2-liter unit that develops up to 585 hp, depending on competition rules.

Photos of the interior are not shown but we know that the racing R8 got an improved air conditioning for greater driving comfort. These changes will be applied to new cars, but will also be available as part of a retrofit package for existing vehicles whose owners want new upgrades by Audi Sport.

Entering the somewhat serious motorsport competition is more expensive from year to year, which can be noticed at the price of the racing Audi R8. The version that was presented five years ago had a price of 359 thousand euros, while the model presented in 2018 cost 398 thousand. The newly presented R8 LMS GT3 evo II has a price of 429 thousand euros, but when taxes are added, that number goes above half a million. Add to that the costs of mechanics, equipment and transport, and it is quite clear that it is modern

Audi Q4 E-Tron price and spec details

Audi's take on the electric family SUV is cool and classy

Audi has revealed full details and prcies of the new all-electric Q4 E-Tron. It's the company's first electric car based on the same technology as the Volkswagen ID.3 and Skoda Enyaq iV and as well as being available as a regular SUV, you can also specify a coupe-like Sportback version.

The Q4 E-Tron introduces some new technology and offers some choice in terms of price and range. Firstly, there will be three variants from launch, the 35, 40 and 50 Quattro. As you may have already guessed, the 50 Quattro features all-wheel drive as standard – the 35 and 40 versions are rear-wheel drive only.

Rivals? There are a few that include the Skoda Enyaq iV, Volkswagen ID.3, BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQA and EQC. The market for mid-sized electric SUVs is really starting to heat up.

What it's like inside?
Details new to the Q4 E-Tron include a steering wheel with a flat top and bottom (with haptic touch panel buttons) on S Line models and additional storage cubbies, including bottle holders in the door armrests. The central MMI touchscreen (10.1-inch as standard, 11.6-inch as an option) still has haptic feedback like most larger Audis, but there is only one touchscreen, with manually-controlled air-con switchgear below it.

Much like Volkswagen’s ID.3 and ID.4, along with the latest Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Q4 will be available with an optional augmented-reality head-up display. The AR-HUD actively displays navigation directions in your field of view, gives you markers for the car in front when you have the adaptive cruise system active and even flags up the edges of your lane if you stray out of them.

Audi is particularly promoting the practicality aspect of the new Q4 E-Tron, saying that while it has the rough exterior dimensions of a Q3, it has space inside akin to the Q5 and quality like a Q7. The Q4 has a sliding rear bench, allowing for a boot volume of 520 litres in the non-Sportback variant.

What models and trims are available?
The Q4 E-Tron is available to order now and UK deliveries are expected in June 2021. Trims available at launch will be the Sport, S Line and Edition 1 forms. Every battery and powertrain combination is available with each equipment level.

Even though Sport is the entry level, it still comes equipped with LED headlamps, a 10.1-inch MMI infotainment screen and aerodynamic 19-inch alloy wheels. The S Line model will undoubtedly be the most popular – as is the case with all other Audi models – and gains 20-inch alloy wheels, sportier-looking front and rear bumpers and lowered suspension. The special Edition 1 trim will be a more elaborate offering, with Matrix LED headlights and unique interior and exterior trim.

Expected to join the range after the initial launch in June 2021 will be the Q4 E-Tron Vorsprung. Audi has confirmed It’s priced from £54,450 and gains 21-inch wheels, Nappa leather-trimmed seats and a more comprehensive driver-assistance package.

What else should I know?
The Q4 E-Tron can support 11kW AC charging and up to 125kW DC charging, with Audi claiming around 80 miles can be zapped into its new EV in just 10 minutes using those fastest of chargers.

Very little has changed between the production Q4 E-Tron and the concept car that debuted a couple of years ago. The Q4 SUV’s relatively boxy shape is emphasised by clean-cut wheelarches, a blocked-out grille in a very familiar Audi shape, and a single light panel that stretches across the rear. If you choose the optional matrix LED lights, you can customise the way the daytime running lights look with four distinct patterns.

Audi also offers something called ‘E-Tron Charging Service.’ It’s not an unheard of concept from manufacturers – you’re essentially given an RFID card and sign up to a tariff that gives you streamlined access to chargers from different networks, saving you the pain of signing up to individual ones.

Should I order one?
If you like the look of it. the Audi Q4 E-Tron is available to order now, with prices starting from £40,750. That figure soon balloons by choosing plusher models, larger batteries and optiona extras. The question is how much you think it's worth the premium over its Volkswagen Group sister cars, the ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq iV. We can't really answer that until we've driven it.

No model in the Q4 E-Tron range is eligible for the government's £2,500 plug-in car grant. We do like the sheer breadth of models available and the classy interior – and look forward to driving it. You'll be able to read about that here first.

(parkers.co.uk)

Audi Q5 First Test: The Popular Kid Gets a Fresh Wardrobe

Audi’s most popular model gets a midcycle refresh but leaves us wanting a bit more.

Just before 2020 ended, we had the chance to drive the 2021 Audi SQ5, the sportier variant of the Q5 powered by a punchy V-6 engine. Like we noted back then, the SQ5 delivers the best of both worlds. It's a comfortable SUV that's great for everyday driving, but also more dynamic when the road turns twisty. Now, we've driven and tested the 2021 Audi Q5, the toned-down normal version that competes in the compact-luxury-SUV segment, one of today's most popular. As you'd expect, then, the Q5 is indeed Audi's most popular model, making up 25 percent of the brand's sales, with the conventionally powered, non-S version responsible for most of that chunk (the balance includes not just SQ5s, but also Q5 PHEVs).

In order to be a popular player in one of the toughest segments, the Q5 has to bring plenty of goodness to the table, no? It combines attractive styling with a well-appointed cabin, all while keeping its prices competitive—something hard to find these days in the luxury game. For the 2021 model year, the Q5 received a midcycle refresh inside and out to bring more glamour and a bit more tech.

2021 Audi Q5: More Soft Than Sporty
As one would expect, the regular Q5 is toned down compared to the S variant, and that was notable during our time with this SUV. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbo I-4 with 261 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, the Q5 employs a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to all four wheels thanks to Audi's Quattro system. The engine is mated to a 12-volt mild hybrid system that's new for 2021, and which adds a combined 13 hp over the 2020 model.

That combination makes the Q5 a decent SUV on the road. The engine is lively, and while it lacks the push of a V-6, it feels completely adequate for an SUV this size. The one complaint we have is with the transmission taking too long to downshift, which we experienced mostly when trying to pass on the freeway. The engine also has a bit of turbo lag, which combines with the transmission issue to compound the sensation that it's weaker than reality when trying to pile on speed or pass another vehicle at freeway velocities. When reaching a cruising speed, though, the Q5 is in its element.

Drivers can choose between five driving modes—Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. We spent most of the time driving in Auto, but even when we turned on Dynamic mode, the Q5 had the same laggy feel as in Auto or Comfort. Even so, at the test track, associate road test editor Erick Ayapana was able to go from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, which is a strong number. Pedal overlap causes the transmission controller to launch at about 3,000 rpm, after which gearshifts are much more immediate and aggressive, according to Ayapana. That may be the trick to get an eager start, but it's not how you drive every day. Compared to a 2018 model, the 2021 Q5 was faster to 60 mph by 0.2 second, perhaps thanks to the mild hybrid system.

Overall, the ride is settled and comfortable. Whether you drive over harsh pavement or ruts, the suspension does a good job absorbing those imperfections before they get into the cabin. Even on twisty roads, the body is well controlled with little noticeable roll, but chief tester Chris Walton had mixed feelings during our figure-eight test, noting poor body control under braking and cornering. "The transmission, even in dynamic mode with S Drive, was not intelligent enough to hold second gear on the skidpad," Walton added.

Besides increasing power output and (potentially) lowering the Q5's acceleration time, the mild hybrid system also helps with fuel economy. For 2021, the Q5 delivers 23/28/25 mpg city/highway/combined, an increase of 1 mpg in city and combined ratings over last year.

2021 Audi Q5: Comfortable And Elegant

Inside, the Q5 blends a mix of premium quality and high tech. While it doesn't have the same avant-garde interior aesthetic as do the Q7 or the Q8 (these have a two-screen infotainment/HVAC setup on the center console), the Q5 features a 10.1-inch touchscreen atop the dash. It displays Audi's newest infotainment system—MIB 3—which is easy to use and fast to respond. The graphics are top notch, and the way everything is organized makes it easy to get around without having to dig through menus. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are wireless, and you can use voice commands to do unusual things like change the temperature or other settings in the car.

Our Prestige model—the Prestige trim costs $10,700 over a base Q5—checked pretty much every available box, which included everything from the 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system with 3D sound to Audi's "virtual cockpit," whereby a 12.3-inch display serves as the instrument panel and can show real-time Google Maps graphics. Our model also came with other goodies like a head-up display, a 360-degree bird's eye view camera system, and a panoramic sunroof.

 To maximize comfort, Audi also offers heated and cooled front cupholders, heated rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. The second-row seats fold almost flat in a 40/20/40 configuration, making it ideal to fit long items between the seats while maximizing passenger space.

And you'll want to maximize the room, as interior space is one of the areas where the Q5 needs to improve. Second-row legroom is a tad tight for adults with long legs. At six feet tall, this author's legs touched the back of the front seat with the driver's seat set to his driving position. Though there weren't any problems with headroom, the noticeable drivetrain hump also interferes with foot room whenever you have three passengers in the rear.

2021 Audi Q5: Safety Tech

Like some other luxury brands these days, the Q5 brings some standard safety systems but charges extra for others. Blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and parking sensors are standard across the lineup, but adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist is only available with the Premium Plus and Prestige packages—the two (out of three) highest trims.

These safety systems work well enough on the highway, keeping the Q5 centered in its lane even when lane markings weren't totally clear. We'd like to compare the Audi's systems to those from BMW and Acura, which are among the tops in the segment, to see which truly stands out.

Is The 2021 Audi Q5 Worth It?
Our Audi Q5 Prestige checked out at $56,840, a pricey ask no matter how you look at it. That's several thousand dollars more than a loaded Acura RDX or Lexus NX, but is in line with its loaded German counterparts. Should you have a tighter budget, the Q5 starts at $44,395, with the middle-tier Premium Plus package adding $4,800.

Despite the somewhat lazy-feeling powertrain, it's easy to see why the Q5 is Audi's most popular model. After all, most folks won't stand on it like we do during our holistiic evaluations, and this compact luxury SUV serves up tons of amenities, a well-appointed cabin, and fresh styling that should continue to resonate with a lot of customers. The Q5 is far from perfect, but it does a lot of things well and we can't see this newer version giving up much ground to BMW, Mercedes, Acura, and friends.

motortrend.com

2022 Audi RS e-tron GT Whirs Toward the Future

As Audi's version of the Porsche Taycan, the new RS e-tron GT is an exciting, Tesla-chasing ride.

To make sure the 2022 e-tron GT stands out among the brand's other electric offerings, Audi asked sound engineers to develop a new soundtrack specifically for the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT models. Before you go looking for it on Spotify, we'll tell you that this "song" is played just for the e-tron driver. It's a sort of intergalactic hum that transforms into a turbine whoosh as you accelerate. It says, "I am the future," and it'll have you thinking dilithium crystals and calling a Scottish engineer to see how everything is going, but it's not quite right for the e-tron.

The sound Audi should have used—and the one playing in my head right before hitting the accelerator—is the adrenaline-juicing click, click, click of a roller coaster on an upward climb. Flooring an e-tron GT produces the same lung-flattening rush of acceleration as a coaster in freefall.

Audi’s 2022 RS e-tron GT Adds More Speed to the GT
The e-tron GT has a twin at the Porsche dealer. The e-tron shares its platform, 800-volt electrical architecture, front and rear electric motors, two-speed automatic transmission at the rear axle, air springs, and all-wheel steering with the Porsche Taycan. While the Taycan offers a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive setup as well as the dual-motor-driven AWD 4S, Turbo, Turbo S, and Cross-Turismo, at least for now, the all-wheel-drive GT comes two ways, the 522-hp e-tron GT and the 637-hp RS e-tron GT. Accessing all of those horses requires using launch control, and then you only get the power for 2.5 seconds.

With typical use, you get a still heady 469 horses in the GT and 590 in the RS. The difference is one you're unlikely to miss on your drive to work. Audi's acceleration claims back up the roller-coaster feeling. Audi claims the base GT will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds with the RS reducing that to 3.1 seconds. While those numbers are important, the e-tron GT and RS's range figures will likely mean more to buyers. EPA numbers aren’t ready yet, but Audi estimates 238 for the regular version and 232 for the RS. That's not the sort of range that leads to bragging, especially if the conversation turns to Teslas.

On the road, the RS GT tours grandly. It hums and hauls so smoothly that the big numbers on the speedometer readout might come as a surprise. The low, hefty weight of electric cars works in their favor when it comes to stable cornering, and 590 electric horses are more than enough to reshape your eyeballs. The GT's biggest challenges come from not having the longest range and not being the quickest or flashiest thrill ride in the park.

Audi gets points for using the steering-wheel paddles to control regenerative braking. It's just the sort of setting you might want to change on the fly, say, heading down a steep hill or coasting along in highway traffic, and being able to adjust it without having to dive into a settings menu is smart. The middle setting will feel the most familiar to gas-engine aficionados, and the max regen is almost but not quite aggressive enough to allow for one-pedal driving. The RS we drove had optional rear-wheel steering as well as the standard dynamic steering, so not only was the steering ratio changing depending on our speed, the rear wheels also turn to stabilize at high speeds or reduce the turning radius in parking lots. Steering efforts are light, almost too light at slow speeds, but once you get used to it, you'll be flipping tight U-turns just for the fun of it.

Audi tilts the controls towards the driver, and everything you need is within easy reach. EVs have conditioned us to expect tech-focused or even minimalist interiors. The GT has a crisp digital display in front of the driver and a 10.1-inch touchscreen in the middle of the instrument panel, but there are—gasp—buttons for the climate control.

The GT does play into another electric-car expectation, however, that of the environmentally conscious and possibly vegan buyer. Leather-free interiors and recycled materials come standard, but if you want to sit on cow hides you can order up a less vegan-friendly version. Whether your seats were once alive or never alive, the GT supposedly seats five; just be sure to call shotgun. No one will enjoy the middle seat in the back. Legroom for the outboard rear seats is excellent thanks to cutouts in the battery, which mean deeper pockets for your tootsies. Headroom isn't as generous, as you pay for the stylish sweep of the roof with tiny back windows and an encroaching C-pillar.

Audi's brave new EVs start at $100,945 for the e-tron GT, a price that lines up with the similarly quick Taycan 4S. Bring a $93,190 check to the Tesla store and you'll drive away in the much quicker Model S Performance AWD. The RS version, with its carbon-fiber roof and extra power, starts at $140,945. That money would put you into an 1100-hp Model S Plaid+ AWD, which is likely to be the quickest EV when it actually reaches buyers.

Sizewise, the e-tron is about same length as an A7, but it's dramatically lower and wider. The wide rear end and taillights look particularly great, but in front, the wide crossbar through the grille visually weighs down the front end. Overall, the e-tron GT reads elegant and muscular. It's not a game changer coming after the Taycan or even the still-powerful grandfather of the segment, the Model S, but it's quite a ride.

caranddriver.com

Audi A4 Review: Premium Vibes, Premium Price

The verdict: Audi strikes a beautiful balance of sporty, luxurious and high-tech in the revised A4, delivering a satisfying compact sedan experience.

Verus the competition: It’s not as athletic as competitors like the Alfa Romeo Giulia or BMW 3 Series, but the new A4 makes up in comfort what it lacks in edginess. It’s easily as quick as most of its competitors, offers similar technology and provides a luxury experience that outshines rivals from Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.

There’s been a seemingly never-ending parade of new SUVs showing up in our testing queue lately. Everyone has a new ute to sell to an increasingly ravenous customer base that loves high-riding, family-friendly, cargo-hauling boxes — so when something comes along that’s the antithesis of that mindset, it’s deliciously refreshing. That’s what we have here with Audi’s latest A4. It got a decent refresh of its styling and content for the 2020 model year, and the 2021 model got even more tweaks and refinements. German luxury specialist Audi has delivered a beautifully balanced and fun-to-drive — but not overly sporty — compact sports sedan that reminds you just how much more satisfying a low-slung sports sedan is than even the most hairy-chested, overpowered SUV out there.

More, Greener Power
The news for the 2021 A4 primarily centers on a power upgrade. The car still offers two turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines, but both now make more power and feature a standard 12-volt mild-hybrid system to boost efficiency. Both engines gain 13 horsepower, leaving the base A4 40 trim with 201 hp and the upgraded 45 trim with a healthier 261 hp. Torque remains unchanged at 236 pounds-feet in the base 40 model and 273 pounds-feet in the 45. Both engines mate only to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is newly standard for 2021. The manual transmission was discontinued a while ago, and now there are no more front-wheel-drive models, either.

But you know what? I’m not even mad about it, because the A4 drives beautifully. The focus on balance is clearly apparent: The higher-spec engine I drove delivers ample, immediate thrust when called upon, and the automatic transmission is snappy and responsive. The car overall delivers a refined, poised driving experience that’s highly enjoyable. Its low seating position, tight handling and smooth yet communicative ride are all excellent reminders that, despite the usefulness of SUVs, they really aren’t made for enjoying the experience of driving.

This A4 is a bit too soft to be truly sporty; steering feel is direct but notably muted, and the suspension allows a bit more lean and bump-soaking cushiness than you’ll find in a comparable BMW or Alfa Romeo. Still, it’s no marshmallow, with the kind of higher-speed highway stability you expect from a German luxury brand. Overall, there’s just enough communication from the car’s mechanical components to be entertaining, and just enough isolation to keep things luxurious and refined.

Fuel economy for the 45 S Line version of the A4 is basically unchanged from 2020 despite the addition of the mild-hybrid system. It’s rated by the EPA at 24/31/27 mpg city/highway/combined — 1 mpg less on the highway than the 2020 AWD A4. If you opt for the base 2021 A4 with the less powerful engine, that’s estimated to net you a slightly better 25/34/28 mpg, but either way, the addition of standard AWD means there’ll be no getting the fuel economy of the FWD 2020 model, which rang in at 27/35/30 mpg.

In a week of mixed-use driving, I averaged 26.5 mpg — pretty good given the spirited manner in which I often found myself driving the A4. By comparison, the higher-powered A4’s rating is mid-pack among AWD compact luxury sedans: The new 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec is rated an inferior 21/29/24 mpg, the 2021 BMW 330i xDrive a superior 25/34/28 mpg and the new 2021 Genesis G70 2.0T AWD a considerably worse 20/27/23 mpg.

Still a Benchmark Interior — for Now
We’re worried about Audi’s trend toward replacing every switch in the cabin with touch-sensitive panels — something American automakers tried a few years ago that didn’t go over well. The panels take away tactile feel for buttons, making for a more distracting experience — especially given that, in many cases, the touch panels don’t operate perfectly, requiring you to focus extra attention on them to make sure the function you tried to select has actually been selected. I’m happy to say the latest update to the A4 hasn’t created a completely “glass cockpit” just yet; there are still dedicated climate-control buttons and knobs, for instance, unlike on some larger Audis, such as the A6 and A8.

The front and center touchscreen was updated for the 2020 model year, and as in many cars these days, it’s been artlessly pasted onto the dashboard like an afterthought — or a tablet in a dock. Thankfully, unlike the latest Mercedes-Benz products, the steering wheel does not employ touch-sensitive areas — something I never thought I’d need to say.

The overall interior experience in the A4 is as it ever was: chock full of top-quality materials, excellent design, comfortable seats and great visibility. It does feature a very low driving position, which takes some getting used to in an era when what’s left of the sedans out there feature ever more upright, high-sitting driving positions. Front-seat comfort is good, but backseat space is rather tight in terms of leg and headroom, as is common in the compact sedan class.

As in other high-end luxury cars, you can adjust the interior ambient lighting from a calm, subtle glow all the way up to full-blast, “Tron”-style Lightcycle, depending on your taste and tolerance for such things. The digital gauge cluster is one of Audi’s better electronic features; the brand was one of the first to employ such technology across its range, and while it’s become a lot more common in competitors, Audi still makes sure it’s is one of the best out there with easy-to-read displays, an easy switch between display modes and an acceptable level of customization without information overload.

Cargo room isn’t the most important thing in a compact luxury sedan, but the A4 does all right here, too, with a 12-cubic-foot trunk, according to Audi. That’s more than the Genesis G70’s 10.5 cubic feet but less than the Acura TLX’s 13.5 cubic feet — and a lot less than the BMW 330i xDrive’s 17.0 cubic feet, though I suspect that figure may be a product of some sketchy measuring on BMW’s part. (This is why Cars.com has launched its own cargo-measuring effort, though we have yet to flesh out the A4’s class).

Premium Digs at a Premium Price
The latest Audi A4 is the typical premium Audi experience. My test vehicle was an S Line version, which brings a lot of the exterior styling elements of the S4 performance sedan into the A4 line, with a few spiffs on the inside, as well. As is typical with a German luxury sedan, though, you can always have more upgrades if you’d like to spend a little more money.

My test car also featured the S Line interior package, which brought leather and Alcantara seats, aluminum inlay trim and stainless-steel pedals. It also had a Black Optic Package for the exterior, which adds 18-inch black wheels, black exterior trim and all-season tires (or, as in the case of my test car, 19-inch wheels running summer tires thanks to a further Black Optic wheel upgrade). The grand total for my highly optioned A4 came to $53,840 (including destination). That’s a hefty sum for a compact luxury sedan, but it’s by no means out of line with what competitors charge for their offerings.

In the end, Audi’s mild updates for 2021 continue the A4’s long-standing tradition of style, technology and comfort, offered up at a competitive price. We can only hope the next generation doesn’t go to a complete “glass cockpit” look that eliminates hard buttons in favor of touch panels — but I’m not really all that hopeful. If anything, that impending possibility makes this model look more appealing than ever.

cars.com

Audi E-Tron GT first details

Scorching-looking electric coupe from Audi targets the Tesla Model S

Audi has unveiled off its latest electric car, the new E-Tron GT. It's the second bespoke EV in the Audi range, and is closely based on the highly impressive Porsche Taycan. It's a four-door coupe that's set to go on sale in the UK later in 2021.

As well as sharing its basic proportions with the Porsche Taycan, the E-Tron GT will look familiar to anyone who is familiar with industry news. It is very similar to the concept car of the same name first shown at the Frankfurt motor show back in 2018. It's unusual to see a production car look so like a concept car like that, but this is no bad thing.

When it goes on sale, the cars it needs to beat will be the Porsche it's so closely based on and the evergreen Tesla Model S, which has just received a raft of improvements for the 2021 model year. Audi will have an advantage in terms of build quality and interior finish, but the Tesla gets a massive advantage from its Supercharger network of high-speed public chargers.

From launch, buyers will have a choice of two models: the e-tron GT quattro and RS e-tron GT. Both versions use an electric powertrain featuring a motor mounted on each axle for four-wheel drive.

What's it like inside?
If you've experienced any top-end Audi launched since the current A8, the interior of the E-Tron will will reassuringly familiar. It loses that car's three-screen set-up, but you still get the latest 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrumentation as well as a generously-proportioned 10.1-inch central screen for the infotainment set-up. There are physical buttons for the climate control system.

In addition, it's packed with equipment as you'd expect - so there are heated seats, user-configurable interior lighting, and these can be individually set-up for up to six users. There's an optional head-up display, and you can control all of this via the screens, buttons on the wheel and by Audi's latest iteration of its voice recognition system. You can also specify it with an autonomous self-parking system.

There are Vegan trim options including Dinamica and Kaskade, which are supposed to feel like Alcantara and wool. The more-sporting RS E-Tron GT will be available with microfibre trim for the dashboard and contrasting stitching for the steering wheel and centre console. You want open-pore walnut or carbon fibre? They're all there for you.

Practicality should like the Porsche Taycan - so a generous interior for four people, while Audi says the luggage capacity is 405 litres - about the same as a Volkswagen Golf with the rear seats in place.

Audi E-Tron GT charging and range
Audi is going for maximum efficiency here. It's super-sleek for the least air resistance at speed. Audi says that the new E-Tron GT has a drag coefficient of just 0.24Cd, which means it has one of the most aerodynamic bodies on sale today. What that means for you is that there will be low levels of wind noise at speed, and it will go longer without stopping on the motorway.

Both the E-Tron and RS E-Tron GT have the same generously-sized 93kWh battery pack (with a usable capacity of 85kWh). Audi says that will deliver a maximum range of 298 miles, although official figures are yet to be released.

The E-Tron GT will accept the latest rapid chargers, like the Porsche Taycan. What that means is you'll be able to hook it up to a 270kW public charger and give it an 80% charge in just 23 minutes. Or to put it another way, you'll get 62 miles of range for every five minutes of rapid charging. On a standard UK domestic wallbox, to fully recharge from empty will be an overnight operation, while using a three-pin plug should be just for emergencies...

How fast is it?
If you're looking for a surge of electric acceleration, you won't be disappointed. The entry-level E-Tron GT develops 475hp for a claimed 0-62mph time of 4.1 seconds. Maximum speed is 152mph, but as you can imagine, battery range will be severely compromised the closer you get to that speed.

The RS E-Tron GT is considerably quicker and more powerful. Maximum power is 600hp, although the car’s launch control system can temporarily increase power to 655bhp. Acceleration is boosted - 0-62mph time comes in at 3.3 seconds and the maximum speed goes up to 155mph (limited).

The RS E-Tron gets performance upgrades including uprated tungsten-carbide-coated brake discs, adaptive air suspension and optional four-wheel steering for improved high-speed stability. Handling on all models will benefit from its sophisticated double-wishbone suspension and electronically controlled dampers.

RS E-Tron upgrades
The sporting RS models will be available from launch and come with a whole range of upgrades to reflect their status as the ultimate E-Tron GT. It's visually different with a restyled bonnet and a sportier-looking bodykit. The front bumper is also deeper, while at the rear you get a less subtle-looking diffuser. Adaptive dampers lower the car at speed, while laser headlight technology on the RS will make night driving easier.

How much does it cost and when is it on sale?
The E-Tron GT will launch in two versions, the E-Tron GT Quattro and the RS E-Tron GT. Both go on sale in spring 2021 with UK deliveries to follow shortly after. The prices of all the various trims can be found below.

E-Tron GT quattro £79,900
E-Tron GT quattro Vorsprung £106,000
RS E-Tron GT £110,950
RS E-Tron GT Carbon Black £124,540
RS E-Tron GT Vorsprung £133,340

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