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Audi And BMW Will Expand Their Factories This Year

According to Bloomberg.com, it seems that BMW, Mercedes and Audi AG (the world’s three largest luxury-car manufacturers), will expand their factory units in 2011 in order to keep up with the increasing customer demand.

Audi is targeting to overtake BMW as the largest manufacturer of premium cars by 2015 and for this reason it plans to increase the production of their cars and sport utility vehicles to more than the 1.15 million produced last year.

Mercedes and BMW have just about the same plans as Volkswagen AG’s Audi, with increased output at the Stuttgart and respectively Leipzig plant.

Juergen Pieper is a Frankfurt-based analyst for Bankhaus Metzler and he said that “the top three are poised for further growth”. “The momentum in luxury markets will continue this year and also in 2012.” He also recommends buying BMW, Daimler and VW shares.

This targeted increase in production output is directly linked to the continuous expansion of China’s market which became in the last years one of the two largest automotive markets in the entire world, after United States. To satisfy this increasing request, Audi is planning on spending $15.7 billion (11.6 billion Euros) through 2015 on plants as well as new models. Since 2009, BMW has already spent 1.5 billion Euros for the German plants and Daimler is at the moment building a small-car plant in Hungary for which they will invest a total of 800 million Euros.

BMW plans on selling more than 1.5 million units of their BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini models in 2011. In order to prepare the production of the highly-anticipated Mega City electric vehicle which is due in 2013, BMW is spending 400 million Euros at its factory unit located in Leipzig, Germany. The company also announced that it will roll out 20 new models by 2015 while Audi affirmed that they will launch 13 new models and upgraded cars in 2011.

As far as Volkswagen is concerned, they plan on investing more than 5 billion Euros for two of their factories in Germany, the one in Neckarsulm and the other in Ingolstadt, where the new Audi A6 model will be made. In addition, Audi said that pretty soon they will begin working on expanding the output of their factory located in Gyor, Hungary to 125,000 units per year.

In 2010, BMW finished a $750 million expansion of its United States factory, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in order to create the facilities for making the facelift version of the X3 SAV. The company has plans of increasing its production in South Africa, India and most important, China.

Source: BMWBlog via Bloomberg.com

Audi A6 Wins EyesOn Design Award

2012 Audi A6

The new generation of the Audi A6 won the EyesOn Design Award at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Thanks to its elegant yet sporty looks emphasized by the sweeping roofline, long engine hood and the prominent lines, the A6 allowed Audi to win its fourth award in the last three years. In addition, the car won the “Best Production Vehicle” award at Detroit, increasing Audi’s position as one of the most inspired automakers when it comes down to design.

Audi is a regular customer of this award as in 2009 the German automaker won the “Best Production Car Design” award with its beautiful R8 V10 car and the “Best Concept Vehicle” for the Sportback Concept which later on stood as a reference for the A7 Sportback production model. Last year at the 2010 NAIA, the automaker won the title for the “Best Production Car Design” with its A8 luxury sedan.

The new Audi A6 will go on sale in the United States this fall as a 2012 model. The car will feature a body made out of aluminum and high-tech steels, making it not only light, but also safe and stiff. For more information about the 2012 A6, read here.

2012 Audi A6 Launched

2012 Audi A6

Audi decided to roll out the big guns at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show and presented the 2012 A6 model in all its glory, along with the hybrid version. Following the design lines of its bigger brother, the A8, the mid-range sedan is without any doubt a very beautiful car. Measuring 16.14 ft long and 6.14 ft wide, but only 4.79 ft high, it has the best sporty proportions in this segment. The dynamic overall look of the car was created by the prominent lines on the flank, the sweeping roofline and the long engine hood. In my opinion, it is one of the best looking cars launched at Detroit, along with Hyundai’s Veloster three-door coupe. Personally I like the hybrid’s color better than the red of the regular model, but it is only a matter of taste.

The 2012 A6 will be available with two gas engines and three diesel power units. The fuel consumption through the entire model line has decreased to max 19% in comparison with the outgoing generation. One of the most interesting engines would have to be the 2.0 TDI (linked to a manual gearbox) which will do 48 mpg (4.9 L / 100 km) and emit only 129g CO2 km. The engines available for the new A6 develop between 177 hp (130 kW) and 300 hp (220 kW), all of them benefiting from the Start/Stop function, thermal management concept and energy recovery system.

2012 Audi A6

Regarding the drivertains available, customers will have to choose from one of the following: 6-speed manual gearbox, continuously variable multitronic and the all-new Sporty S tronic. Depending on the selection of the power unit, the 2012 A6 is available with either a front wheel drive or with the proprietary Quattro permanent all-wheel drive. For the top-of-the-line power units, the German manufacturer will offer an optional sport differential.

The 3.0 TDI engine is capable of outputting 245 hp and 368.78 lb-ft of torque between 1,400 and 3,250 revs. 0-60 mph is done in only 6.1 seconds, onto a limited top speed of 155 mph. The most powerful gasoline engine will be the 3.0 TFSI V6 that will output 300 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque. It will need only 5,5 seconds to reach 60 mph and to speed will be 155 mph. The car will do 26 mpg and emit 190g of CO2.

2012 Audi A6 Hybrid

Later on, Audi will be introducing the A6 Hybrid which will be the second hybrid model after the Q5 hybrid Quattro. It will feature a 2.0 TFSI 211 hp engine that will work close in hand with the electric motor, capable of outputting 45 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. The compact lithium-ion battery will be installed in the crash-protected area of the luggage compartment and will be capable of providing 1.3 kWh of nominal power, generating 39 kW.

The hybrid version of the A6 will be able reach 62 mph running only on electric mode and on a constant speed of 37 mph, it will have a range of 3 km. It will need 7.3 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint, onto a top speed of 147 mph. The car will do 37 mpg and its CO2 emissions stand at 142 g / km.

As standard, the 2012 Audi A6 will come with MMI radio complete with a generous 6.5-inch monitor, adaptive brake light, tire pressure monitoring system, start-stop button, front center armrest,  two-zone air conditioning system, alloy wheels and Audi’s pre sense basic system. As far as safety is concerned, the car packs two front side and head airbags along with four belt tensioners plus Audi’s head restraint system.

2012 Audi A6 Hybrid

Some of the most important optional features of the A6 include: the jaw-dropping 1,300-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, TV module, digital radio tuner, Bose surround sound, Bluetooth car phone and others as well. In addition, the A6 can be fitted with xenon plus LED headlights with LED taillights, plus adaptive light with the headlight range control.

The car will be available for sale in a couple of weeks at a base price of 38,500 Euros (in Germany).

2012 Audi A6 Premiere

2012 Audi A6

The sixth-generation of the Audi A6 was revealed yesterday although the public debut of the model will be in January at the Detroit Auto Show. The sales of the new model will start in the second part of 2012 and is considered as the sister car of bigger A7, both of them sharing engines, platforms, high-quality interior appointments, FWD and 4WD combinations as well as electric architectures.

Comparing it with its now 6-year old predecessor, the 2012 A6 now has a more edgy and crisper exterior look. However, the car is still an Audi with its angular headlamps, stylized horizontal taillights, six-corner single frame, prominent shoulder line underneath the side windows and a heavily curved roofline. The new model is now wider and shorter when put side by side with the 5th generation of the A6. The car is also a little bit lower and sits on a more generous chassis. The wheelbase of the sixth generation has been extended and the front track is also bigger. Although the frontal area of the car is now bigger, the drag coefficient is better, dropping from 0.29 to 0.26.

Unlike the flagship A8 that sports an aluminum-spaceframe build process, the 2012 A6 has a regular unitary steel platform, but in comparison to its predecessor, there is a bigger percent of high-strength steel which adds stiffness and reduces the weight at the same time. The car has now more aluminum parts; the material was used for the doors, bulkhead, trunk lid, front fenders and for the hood. By doing so, the German engineers managed to reduce the weight of the car to 3,472 pounds, which is 176 pounds less than the predecessor.

The 2012 A6 will be Audi’s second model that will be available with a hybrid drive, the same gasoline-electric system that is being used on the Q5 hybrid SUV. The car will have a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder power unit, capable of developing 211 hp. This conventional engine will work in combination with a 45-hp electric motor that will draw its battery from the 1.3-kW lithium-ion battery that is mounted within the floor of the trunk.

Conceived as a full hybrid vehicle, the A6 can offer a 100% true electric drive at speeds of max 62 mph. When the driver is traveling at a speed of approximately 37 mph, the car is claimed to provide zero-emission range of 1.9 miles. The hybrid will be able to sprint to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 148 mph. The combined city/highway fuel consumption is about 37.9 mpg.

Besides the modern gasoline-electric hybrid drive that will be available on the 2012 Audi A6, customers can also choose from the regular gasoline and diesel engines, which will all feature the stop/start technology, thermal management systems and brake-energy recuperation. Buyers of the A6 will have to choose from one of the following available transmissions, depending on their choice for the engine: regular 6-speed manual, a more modern continuously variable Multitronic and a sportier 7-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox.

When the model will be launched, it will be available with a choice of 5 engines, the most efficient one will be the 2.0 TDI that will do 48 mpg (4.9 liters / 100 km) and will have 129 g/km CO2 emissions. It will produce 177 PS (130 kW) and a torque of 280 lb-ft. These figures will allow the A6 to reach 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds and have a top speed of 142 mph (228 km/h).

A more powerful diesel engine will be the V6 3.0 TDI that will produce 204 PS (15 kW) and a 400 Nm torque. It will allow the car to do the 100 km/h sprint  in 7.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 149 mph (240 km/h). The fuel average consumption for this engine will be 5.2 liters / 100 km and the CO2 emissions will be of about 137 g/km.

An even more powerful diesel engine will be another 3.0 TDI that will this time output 245 PS (180 kW) and a massive torque of 369 lb-ft (500 Nm). It will take 6.1 seconds to do 0-100 km/h and the maximum speed will be limited at 155 mph (250 km/h). The average fuel consumption levels will situate at 6.0 liters / 100 km and the CO2 emissions will be about 158 g/km.

2012 Audi A6

The most “peaceful” gasoline engine will be the naturally-aspired V6 2.8 FSI that will produce 204 PS (150 kW) and a 207 lb-ft (80 Nm) torque. Linked to a multitronic transmission, it will need 7.7 seconds to reach 100 km/h and will have a top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h).

The flagship A6 model (until the S6 is launched), will be the powerful 3.0 TFSI V6 direct-injection engine that will be able to output 300 hp and a massive 324 lb-ft of torque. Linked to the 7-speed S-Tronic transmission, the car will be able to sprint to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds and have maximum speed of 155 mph. It will do about 26.7 mpg using the 3.0 TFSI and the S-Tronic transmission.

The 2012 A6 is the last of the Audi mainstream cars that sports the modular longitudinal architecture underpinnings. The car now has a better weight distribution thanks to the more generous engine bay which helped the German engineers to shift the engine rearward. They also worked on the steering which is now operated by an electrohydraulic pump and uses a more direct 16.1:1 ratio.

Inside the car you will notice the fact that it resembles a lot with the A7 model, having a very similar wraparound dashboard, just about the same multifunction steering wheel. The list of resembles does not end here as the MMI, switchgear and the instrument panel were borrowed from the A7. The list of options available for the 6th generation of the Audi A6 is quite generous: Bang & Olufsen sound system, online service that was developed with Google, head-up display and an 8” color screen just to name a few.

Video: Jaguar XF does great against its German rivals

Though everyone was impressed with the new Jaguar XF, everyone also agreed that the market it targets is highly competitive, with strong German rivals, such as the Audi A6, the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes Benz E Class. InsideLine put up the XF against these cars and you’d be amazed by the results. I mean, I like the XF, but didn’t imagine it will be that good. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that the Jaguar had the most powerful engine, the 420 hp Supercharged V8.


Leaked: Audi’s 5 years product launch schedule

Someone over at Audi will definitely have his ass kicked, because here’s what hit the net these days. It’s Audi’s product launch schedule until 2012. We have some highly anticipated cars on the list, like the A5/S5 Cabrio, R8 Targo, Q3 or the A7, plus the exact launch dates for each one. Here’s the complete list, including the Audi plants where each model will be built:

* September 2007: B8 A4 – Ingolstadt (Germany), Changchun (China), Vogosca (Bosnia)
* September 2007: C6 RS6 – Neckarsulm (Germany)
* January 2008: A3 Cabrio – Gyor (Hungary)
* March 2008: B8 A4 Avant – Ingolstadt (Germany), Changchun (China)
* June 2008: A3 Facelift – Brussels (Belgium), Ingolstadt (Germany)
* July 2008: Q5 – Ingolstadt (Germany), Changchun (China)
* August 2008: TT-S – Gyor (Hungary)
* September 2008: R8 V10 – Neckarsulm (Germany)
* December 2008: Q7 Hybrid – Bratislava (Slovakia)
* January 2009: A5 Cabrio – Ingolstadt (Germany)
* February 2009: RS5 – Neckarsulm (Germany)
* March 2009: R8 Targa – Neckarsulm (Germany)
* June 2009: A7 Coupe – Neckarsulm (Germany)
* July 2009: Q3 – Unknown, Changchun (China)
* August 2009: TT-RS – Gyor (Hungary)
* September 2009: A5 Sportback – Ingolstadt (Germany)
* December 2009: A1 – Brussels (Belgium)
* February 2010: Q5 Hybrid – Ingolstadt (Germany), Changchun (China)
* June 2010: New D4 A8 – Neckarsulm (Germany)
* October 2010: New A3 – Brussels (Belgium), Ingolstadt (Germany)
* January 2011: A7 Cabrio – Neckarsulm (Germany)
* January 2011: New C7 A6 – Neckarsulm (Germany), Changchun (China), Vogosca (Bosnia)
* May 2011: C7 A6 Avant – Neckarsulm (Germany), Changchun (China)
* June 2011: R4 – Unknown
* October 2011: A1 Cabrio – Brussels (Belgium)
* January 2012: A4 Facelift – Ingolstadt (Germany), Changchun (China)

You can see the leaked document after the jump.


Renderings: The next generation Audi A6

After all the big three German companies released new models in the luxury compact car class, the competition will move to the mid-size class, with new models scheduled to be released in 2009 and 2010. And here are some renderings, by Autobild, of the upcoming Audi A6. The front part is not very much changed, with the new model having the LED head lights Audi got us used lately, plus tail-lights very similar with the ones on the Audi A5. Like the guys over at German Car Blog said, it looks like a 4-door larger Audi A5, which is not bad at all.

View more photos after the jump.