2012 Audi A6
It seems that the German automaker Audi is having a difficult time keeping up with the increasing demand. For example, if you want to get the new A6 sedan, you’ll have to wait about three to four months to drive it. The car will be available starting with next month and buyers are already eager to get one as soon as possible.
2011 Audi A3
According to spokeswoman Esther Bahne, buyers of the new A6 and the compact A3 will have to wait a long time, due to the models ‘popularity. She added that customers have to wait about eight to ten weeks more than usual, after they place an order.
Volkswagen AG, along with the rest of the two German giants, BMW and Mercedes, reported record sales last month, with the VW unit selling more cars than the other two. In order to satisfy the increasing demand in the Chinese market along with the US and China, all of the aforementioned manufacturers are either opening up new plants or expanding their current ones.
As far as BMW customers are concerned, they have to wait about three models for the vast majority of the models in the lineup, except for the very popular X3 SUV for which you’ll have to wait even six months, according to Birgit Hiller, a spokeswoman for BMW.
2012 Audi A6
Getting back to Audi, they managed to account 47% of VW’s operating profit in the first nine months of last year. VW’s luxury division managed to increase deliveries by more than 30% in the last five years, achieving 1.09 million units last year.
2012 US-Spec Audi TT-RS
We have good news and bad news about the US-spec 2012 Audi TT-RS. The good news is that back in September last year the German automaker said that they will be bringing the TT-RS in the United States. The bad news is that they will bring only 1,000 units of the car, or at least that is what they said at the Chicago Auto Show a couple of days ago. The TT-RS will be $10,000 more expensive in comparison with TTS model, which has a starting price of $51,000. The TT-RS will be available at US dealerships at the end of this summer.
2012 US-Spec Audi TT-RS
The car will feature a 5-cylinder 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that will be 20 hp more powerful in comparison to its European sibling, rounding up the total output to an impressive 360 hp. This power unit will be exclusively mated to a traditional 6-speed manual gearbox, allowing the TT-RS to do the 0-62 mph sprint in only 4.6 seconds. We don’t know its top speed but it should be a little bit higher thanks to the extra 20 ponies under the hood.
2012 US-Spec Audi TT-RS
If you didn’t know, the TT-RS is the most powerful and expensive TT money can buy these days and it is easily distinguishable by its high-gloss black single frame grille with a frame in matte aluminum appearance. It also sports xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, imposing side sills, exterior-mirror casings in a matte aluminum look (which I really don’t like) and cool massive rims in a 5 twin-spoke design.
2012 US-Spec Audi TT-RS
Inside the cabin, the 2012 Audi TT-RS sports heated sports seats that are wrapped in a leather and Alcantara combination with a silver contrasting stitching and the embossed “TT RS” logo. It also has aluminum pedals and a leather multifunction sports steering wheel.
2012 Audi Q3
According to sources cited by WorldCarFans, the German automaker Audi has presented three new models to its dealers located in the United States, cars that will be exhibited next month at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The cars mentioned are the A3 Sedan Concept, a bright orange Q3 and a hybrid version of the Q5.
The most important one would be the A3 sedan which will most likely be intended for the United States market where customers prefer small sedan body styles rather than hatchbacks. The new A3 will probably be available in five different body styles, as follows: a 2-door cabriolet, a 3-door coupe/hatchback, a 4-door sedan as well an Avant version and a Q3 crossover. The 3-door coupe/hatchback will borrow the styling design of the A5 Coupe.
Most likely, the new A3 will be a scaled-down version of its bigger brother, the A4. The new car will be wider, longer and lower in comparison with the current generation and the sedan version will offer more legroom than the current A4.
As far as the engines are concerned, the new A3 will be available with a 1.2-liter, a 1.4-liter as well as an all-new 1.6-liter which will replace the twin-charged 1.4-liter. The more powerful 2.0 TSI will deliver 230 hp (233 PS / 171 kW) and 300 hp (304 PS / 224 kW) for the high-end A3 models. Most likely, the 300-hp engine will be available for the S3 model. A possible next-gen RS3 might get a 2.5-liter TFSI power unit that will most likely output approximately 350 hp (355 PS / 261 kW).
Diesels will also be available, the current 1.6 TDI and the 2.0 TDI, as well as a new more powerful 2.0 TDI that will produce about 210 hp (213 PS / 157 kW).
The same source said that the new generation of the Audi A3 will be presented this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
ABT Audi A7
One of the sexiest cars in the last years is the Audi A7. The tuners over at ABT Sportsline considered that there is still room for improvement and came up with a tuning program for the car which includes both a power boost and aesthetics changes.
ABT Audi A7
As far as the engine is concerned, the 3.0 TDI is now available with two upgraded power levels: the first one delivers 282 hp (207 kW) and 500 Nm of torque; while the other outputs 310 hp (228 kW) and 610 Nm of torque.
If you like the 3.0 TFSI petrol engine, ABT can increase its power to 410 hp (302 kW) from the standard 300 hp (221 kW).
ABT Audi A7
I like that they didn’t messed with the look of the car and they made only discreet modifications. The new front spoiler fits in very nicely with the lines of the car while the side skirts and the rear skirt look like they’ve been designed by Audi themselves. That new 4-pipe exhaust unit gives the A7 a more muscular look. In addition, ABT is offering a couple of 19- and 21-inch rims in many designs.
MTM Audi A7
MTM is not one of those tuners known for releasing imposing body kits. They became popular tuners for their Audi-based projects. A few days ago they revealed their first development stage tuning program for the beautiful A7.
Available for the 3.0 TDI engine – which is one of the most popular in Audi’s range – this tuned power unit outputs 285 hp / 210 kW. The standard engine outputs only 180 kW. This power upgrade will set you back 1,250 Euros.
MTM Audi A7
In the following period, MTM will complete this tuning program with an upgraded suspension that will improve the A7’s handling; along with a new light alloy rims design.
The program also offers a new rear diffuser that is integrated in the bumper along with a new exhaust system with two double tail pipes.
MTM Audi A7
Audi TT and Bugatti Veyron ar 2 of the most loved and wanted cars in the world (of course, both of them in their own price brackets). But what would a combination of the two look like? Well, some guy had the idea of designing a possible result and here it is: Audi OniX.
Audi OniX Concept Car, the child of Audi TT and Bugatti Veyron
The 2011 edition of the Chicago Auto Show will open its doors on February 9th, lasting until the 20th of the month. Here are some of the most important cars that will be exhibited at this important automotive event.
2011 Audi TT-RS
Audi will be bringing three new production models in the United States: TT-RS, 2012 Audi A6 and the 2012 Audi A7 Sportback. The sexy TT-RS is the most powerful and expensive TT model and will be offered with a 5-cylinder 2.5-liter supercharged power unit that outputs 340 hp. At first, the car will be sold with only a 6-speed manual gearbox. Later on, the German automaker will introduce other transmissions.
The A6 grabbed the EyesOn Design award a couple of weeks ago at the Detroit Auto Show and will feature a V6 3.0-liter supercharged engine which will probably be linked to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The A7 Sportback will be offered with the same engine that churns 333 hp and will be linked to a 7-speed dual-clutch automated-manual gearbox.
2012 BMW 1-Series Convertible
BMW will take to the Chicago Auto Show two of their newest models: the 2012 1-Series and the gorgeous 2012 6-Series. The first one will be available with new styling features that should be popular among American customers. The 128i and the 135i models will carry the 3.0-liter engine which is available in the 3-Series. The 128i will pack 230 hp under its hood while the 135i will be able to output 300 hp. If this isn’t enough, you could get the 1-Series M-coupe which will offer you 335 ponies to play around with.
If you like to drive with the top down, the 6-Series Convertible is the way to go. The car will feature a powerful V8 4.4-liter engine that cranks up 400 hp and is mated to BMW’s 8-speed automatic gearbox.
2012 Buick Verano
For those of you that prefer a car from the domestic market, the 2012 Buick Verano might be what you need. Placed below the Regal, the Verano will feature a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that outputs 177 hp and is linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. A couple of months later, the Verano will be available with a 2.0-liter.
2012 Chevrolet Sonic
Aveo is dead, long live the Sonic. Chevrolet will be taking to Chicago their new car which will come with a 1.8-liter engine that produces 135 hp and is mated to either a 5-speed manual (as standard) or with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car will also be available with a 1.4-liter turbocharged power unit that will be linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox, outputting 138 hp.
2011 Chrysler Town & Country
Being a North American auto show, it is obvious why all of the local automakers will be bringing their latest models. Chrysler will roll out the 200, 300 and the all-new Town & Country models. The first one will be the company’s new mid-size sedan, replacing the now defunct Sebring. As far as the engine choices are concerned, the 200 can be fitted with a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter, mated to a 4-speed / 6-speed automatic gearbox. The high-end 200 model will be equipped with a more powerful V6 3.6-liter that produces 283 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Presented at the Detroit Auto Show, the Chrysler 300 will be shown at Chicago next week. It will be available in three versions, as follows: Touring, Limited and the 300C. The first two versions will pack a V6 3.6-liter engine that produces 292 hp while the 300C will get a massive V8 5.7-liter that is good for 370 hp. The Town & Country will be available with a V6 3.6-liter engine which will be mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The model will be available with the following trim levels: Touring, Touring L and Limited.
2011 Dodge Durango
Dodge will be bringing the Charger, Avenger, Journey and the Durango. The first one will feature two new sets of engines for the SE and R/T models. The SE will pack a V6 3.6-liter power unit that outputs 292 hp while the R/T will get a more powerful 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that will offer 370 ponies. Both of the engines will be linked to a 5-speed automatic gearbox.
The Avenger will be available in four trim levels: Express, Mainstreet, Lux and R/T. The car will have a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that will output 173 hp, fitted with a 4-speed automatic transmission for the Express trim while the Mainstreet and Lux get a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The R/T will benefit from a V6 3.6-liter engine with 283 hp and a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The Journey is a crossover/SUV which will be available in a 5-seater or 7-seater configuration. The model will be offered in five different trim levels: Express, Mainstreet, R/T, Crew and Lux. The entry-level Express will get a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine that offers 173 hp and will be mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The rest of the trims will get a V6 3.6-liter that outputs 283 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The Durango will be available in three different trim levels: Express, Crew and Citadel. All of them will benefit from the same power unit, which will be a V6 3.6-liter that produces 290 hp. The customers that choose the Crew or the Citadel trim levels can get a more powerful engine, in the shape of a 5.7 HEMI V8, good for 360 hp. Regardless of the engine, all cars will get a 5-speed automatic gearbox.
2012 Fiat 500
After a couple of years of waiting, Fiat will be delivering the lovely 500 model to the US market. For this reason, they will exhibit the car at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. The model will be available in three trim levels: Pop, Sport and Lounge. The engine will be a 4-cylinder 1.4-liter that will output 101 hp and will be linked to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Later on, Fiat will launch the 2-door convertible 500C model.
Join us tomorrow for the second part of the article.
2011 Audi A8
A few years ago, value for money has not been seen as one of the major “musts” for luxury car customers but nowadays we live in a world of competitive value or better said, perceived value, and things have changed dramatically since then.
Lucky for us that there are resources from where we can get all the necessary info, like Strategic Vision’s annual Total Value Index. With a 14th-years old history, the latest edition shows us a clear winner in the luxury car segment – Audi.
2011 Audi A8
Audi, with its A8 flagship as well as the A5, Q7 and the gorgeous TT, came out on top in the respective segments. The people over at Strategic Vision determine the vehicle’s “total value” by using the responses coming from well over one hundred thousand new car customers every year in order to compile a comprehensive collection of 442 different data points.
To start calculating the “total value” they first point out that owners make about value (e.g. price paid, expected fuel economy, innovation, expected resale value, expected reliability, etc.). After that, the study takes into consideration the importance of variables that make up the ownership experience which is in fact the worth of the attribute weighed against the expenses.
Here is the complete Total Value chart for all segments, as rated by the new car customers:
Small Car: Honda Civic Hybrid 814; Honda Civic Coupe 812
Small Multi-Function: Volkswagen Golf 790
Mid-Size Car: Ford Fusion 802
Mid-Size Multi-Function: Subaru Outback 760
Large Car: Volkswagen CC 806
Near-Luxury Car: Hyundai Genesis 852
Luxury Multi-Function: Lincoln MKT 815
Luxury Car: Audi A8 821
Specialty Coupe: MINI Cooper Hatchback 817
Premium Coupe: Audi TT Coupe 816
Mid Specialty: Honda Accord Coupe 781
Convertible: Saturn Sky 817; Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 814
Premium Convertible/Roadster: Audi A5 Cabriolet 820
Minivan: Volkswagen Routan 748; Honda Odyssey 746
Entry Utility: Hyundai Tucson 800
Mid-Size Crossover Utility: Ford Flex 786
Mid-Size Traditional Utility: Toyota 4Runner 762
Large Utility: GMC Yukon 747
Near-Luxury Utility: Mercedes-Benz GLK 799
Luxury Utility: Audi Q7 798
Standard Pickup: Honda Ridgeline 732
Full-Size Pickup: Dodge Ram 1500 767; Ford F-150 766
Heavy Duty Pickup: Ford F-250/350 698
Audi R18 At Sebring
We talked about the Audi R18 at the end of last year when the German automaker officially launched it. This week they took the car along with its nine factory drivers and did a couple of laps at Sebring. This testing session was a part of their preparation for the upcoming 24 Hours Le Mans.
All of the drivers managed to drive both the R18s as well as the old-generation R15 TDI. Speaking of the R15, Audi said that the R15 “Plus Plus” will race alone at this year’s 12 Hours of Sebring. Usually, Audi goes here to test the hardware before the 24 hours race at Le Mans.
From what we know now, the Audi R18 will have its official debut at Le Mans. The company’s motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich stated that Sebring is a good opportunity to test the car’s mechanicals and the climate in Florida is more conductive to testing in comparison to the European venues
The car features a 3.7-liter V6 engine that retains the diesel concept that made the German automaker victorious in 2006. The chassis and the aerodynamics package of the car were inspired by the R8 production model and the R10 / R15 TDI.
Ford’s vehicle to vehicle communication system
It seems that pretty soon our cars will “talk” to each other and they will have the possibility to alert us to threats that we aren’t aware of. There is more than just one automaker that is developing such a car and the US government is looking for ideas to expand this promising technology.
The Blue Oval has already shown us that the technology works and can be implemented, launching a crash-avoidance system that will allow vehicles to communicate with each other at distances of more than 900 ft. This system uses the Wi-Fi and GPS signals emitted 10 times / second in order to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle. The driver gets a warning when the system detects a risk like someone running a red light at the next intersection.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that this technology could address to 4.3 million crashes, or approximately 80% of the accidents that do not occur because of drunk drivers.
The Swedish automaker Volvo managed to successfully participate in the very first successful test of a “road train”. These so-called road trains consist of cars that are equipped with sensors that have the capability to monitor the distance, speed and the direction of the car in front and mimic its actions. These semi-autonomous vehicles are “tethered” and follow a lead car which is driven by a professional driver.
Audi will be launching pretty soon a 3-year project dubbed “Audi Urban Intelligent Assist”. Through the company’s Electronics Research Laboratory, located in Silicon Valley, Audi wants to link drivers to the road through connected vehicles in order to ease the congestion and increase safety in traffic.
The United States Department of Transportation said that this technology “has the potential to save a lot of lives.” The idea behind this project is to benefit from short range communications, like Wi-Fi but considerably faster and more secure, in a complex system that allows cars to communicate to each other and the surrounding infrastructure.
The Blue Oval company has been working on this technology for about 10 years and pretty soon it will be rolling out a pair of Taurus sedans in order to demonstrate it. In its plans to accelerate the development of the system, Ford will be creating a task force of scientists, planners and engineers. They said that they will be doubling their budget for researching intelligent cars.
As far as the current crash-avoidance systems are concerned, most of them use radar, but according to Ford; Wi-Fi and GPS are superior because the radar needs a direct line of site to spot the hazards. Wi-Fi technology allows for a 360-degree around the car.
In order to make this system compatible on a large scale, the cars must be able to speak the same “language”. The goal behind this project is to come up with a standardized system that could be used for all cars. Ford is planning to complete the initial research in two years and the technology itself could be implemented within 5-10 years.
The 2011 North American International Auto Show is the first important auto show of the year and this edition at Detroit we’ve seen some interesting cars announced. Here is a personal top ten in my opinion; the ranking has been done randomly.
The American-spec Volkswagen Passat was one of the biggest names this year at Detroit. Formerly teased as the new “NMS” sedan, the car will be available in the US starting with this August at a very affordable price of less than $20,000. The new Passat will be available in three different trim levels. The first one will get you the entry-level 5-cylinder power unit that produces 170 hp. The other gasoline engine is the more powerful VR6 6-cylinder unit that churns 280 hp. If you prefer diesel, you will be happy to hear that the car will be available with a TDI unit that produces 140 hp.
One of my personal favorites at Detroit was the new Audi A6. The German automaker unveiled the model prior to the auto show and at its official debut, the car won the “Best Production Vehicle” award, given by EyesOn Design. The new generation of the beautiful A6 will be available with five different engine options – two gas units and three diesel engines. The most affordable model will be the one with the naturally aspirated 2.8 FSI that outputs 204 hp and offers 280 Nm of torque. The other gas engine is a 3.0 TFSI that will be good for 300 hp and 440 Nm of torque. The entry-level diesel engine is the 2.0 TDI which will produce 177 hp and 380 Nm of torque. The other two variants are based on the 3.0 TDI engine – one of them will output 204 hp / 400 Nm, while the other will churn 245 hp / 500 Nm of torque.
Another German car made it into the top, the new generation of the Mercedes C-Class, another looker. The new model is drop-dead gorgeous both inside and out. Along with the styling changes, the C-Class will get two new engines, including the 4-cylinder 1.8-liter turbocharged unit that will output 201 hp. The other one will be a more potent V6 3.5-liter that will crank up around 300 hp.
Design-wise, the Hyundai Veloster was the coolest car this year at the NAIAS. This gorgeous three-door sports coupe was officially unveiled, after years of unconfirmed rumors. The styling of the car was inspired from a sports bike and the car will be available with a brand new engine. I’m talking about a 1.6-liter Gamma 4-cylinder unit which will be the company’s smallest GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) unit. Developing 138 hp and linked to either a 6-speed dual-clutch (DCT) gearbox or a standard 6-speed manual transmission, the Veloster will certainly be a hit.
Finally something from the domestic market and by that we mean the Ford Vertrek. It seems that this cool-looking SUV / crossover will be the base of the upcoming generation of the Escape. Under its awesome design, the car has a 4-cylinder EcoBoost 1.6-liter engine that outputs about 160-180 hp. In addition, the Blue Oval will also offer a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost as well as a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder unit. In Europe, the car will probably also get a 2.0-liter TDCI engine. All of these engines will feature the Auto-Start-Stop technology which will lower the fuel consumption by 5%.
Mach7 Motorsports Falcon
We’ve talked about the Mach7 Motorsports Falcon last week and it had to be in this top as it will be a very potent American supercar. The car will be powered by a massive V8 6.2-liter LS3 Corvette engine that churns 500 hp in its standard version. If you want more muscles, the car can be fitted with either an LS7 or LS9 supercharged power unit that will output 640 ponies. With the LS9 package, the car will do the 0-62 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds, onto a top speed of well over 200 mph.
GMC Sierra All-Terrain HD Concept
The GMC Sierra All-Terrain HD Concept rocked the 2011 Detroit Auto Show with its very powerful 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine that is good for 397 hp and 765 lb.-ft of torque. With many “green” cars launched at the event, this GMC model was an exception to this rule.
Ford C-Max Energi
Speaking of efficient cars, Ford unveiled two versions of the C-Max model, dubbed Hybrid and Energi. The latter has a high-voltage lithium-ion battery, a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle gas engine and of course, an electric motor. The car runs primarily on electric mode with certain conditions – when the battery is empty for instance – allowing the car to switch to a “charge-sustaining hybrid mode for continued optimal fuel efficiency.” The Hybrid is like all the hybrids nowadays, packing an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery and the same engine we mentioned before, except for the plug-in component.
The Chevrolet Aveo was officially killed in US when the company launched the new Sonic model. The car will be available with a choice of new engines, including 4-cylinder petrol and diesel power units with outputs starting with 70+ hp for the 1.2-liter versions and ending with 115 hp for the 1.6-liter units. With a price tag of only $12,115 – it is the ideal car for taking you from Point A to Point B.
BMW 1-Series M Coupe
We almost forget the highly-anticipated BMW 1-Series M Coupe. The smallest M model ever made comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter engine that cranks up 340 hp. What I love about the car is that the Germans decided to offer only a manual gearbox for it, making it an authentic driver’s car.
If I’ve didn’t include a car that you consider to be worthy of this top, I am open to suggestions and opinions. Maybe the 6-Series Convertible or the Chrysler 300 should have made it into the top; I’ll let you decide that.
All things considered, the 2011 Detroit Auto Show was pretty interesting, with many production models and concepts revealed, showing us that the future of the automobile looks promising.
2009 Audi RS6
In the recent tuning programs launched by Romeo Ferraris, they decide to improve some not-so-fast-cars like the Smart ForTwo and the Abarth 500. A few days ago they announced that they will be offering a tuning kit for the Audi RS6. The model will get a new performance upgrade courtesy of Romeo Ferraris and this power kit will add 140 hp to the engine, allowing the power unit to produce 720 hp, which is quite impressive. The torque will also be improved by 200 lb.-ft, rounding up to a total of 850 Nm. Thanks to these modifications brought to the engine, the Audi RS6 developed by Romeo Ferraris will do the 0-62 mph sprint in only 3.8 seconds, 0.8 seconds faster in comparison to a standard RS6. With this tuning package, the Audi RS6 will be able to reach a top speed of 205 mph.
The tuning company will also offer a more affordable program for the RS6, which will increase the output of the engine with only 51 hp.
The extra juice under the hood will be possible thanks to the two new sports filters, a re-mapped ECU, a new exhaust system and high performance metal catalysts. In order to stop this beast, Romeo Ferraris will offer a new set of Brembo brakes that measure 405 mm along with HP1000 series brake pads.
The kit for the Audi RS6 is already available for purchase, but the price list has not been revealed yet.
Audi R8 Sport Wheels
A new tuning program has been developed for the beautiful Audi R8, this time by the German engineers from Sport Wheels. This package offers a new set of wheels along with performance upgrades and other visual updates. The performance pack of the program includes a level 2 software optimization, along with a customized muffle with throttle system and center tube outlet. With this modification, the Audi R8 can develop 600 hp and 580 Nm of torque.
The car rides on Jofiel X black/red wheels that measure 9×20 and are covered by the Dunlop Sport Maxx GT 235/30-20er tires for the R8’s front axle and 11×21 rims wrapped in 295/25-21er tires for the rear. In addition, the car packs a Variant 3 KW HLS 4 aluminum coil-over suspension.
As far as the aerodynamics are concerned, the Audi R8 is made out of high-strength uberlight carbon steel which can be found on the rear spoiler (with the integrated diffuser), rear apron and the front bumper (with the grill).
Audi R8 Sport Wheels
The price for the front bumper (with the grill), the cooling ducts and the ribs made in carbon will set you back 7,799 Euros. The rear diffuser costs 3,799 Euros while the rear spoiler is 1,990 Euros. The aforementioned level 2 software optimization can be purchased only along with the customized muffler and has a list price of 4,599 Euros. Those wheels cost an additional 4,599 Euros. For those of you that really want the ultimate Audi R8, you have to say goodbye to 21,990 Euros for the MOV’IT-CER ceramic brake calipers. The aluminum coil-over suspension costs another 7,349 Euros.
Audi R8 Sport Wheels
We will let you do the math.
Possible 2012 Audi Q3
The Q-Series family from Audi will soon receive another member as the long-anticipated Q3 will be released in the following period. This isn’t really big news as the crossover has been in the works for quite a while. Up until recently we didn’t had any spy photos of the car but the one above looks like the Audi Q3. The German automaker announced recently that the Q3 will go into production this year at the company’s factory located in Martorell, Spain. Also, by 2013 Audi will decide on various A3 derivates, including a sedan.
Most likely, the new Q3 will borrow many design ideas from the Cross Coupe concept which is a car that isn’t all that longer than the A3 compact hatch. The Cross Coupe measures only 172.4 inches, making it only one inch longer than the A3. The Q3 will most likely be a uniquely small-ish crossover. Other probable details that will be most likely borrowed include the larger than traditional Audi-style grille, a more aggressive exterior look, big rims, roof rails and LED daytime running lights.
According to some sources, the Audi Q3 will share the same platform as the VW Tiguan and most likely it will be available with a turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engine that will output about 200 hp. In the works there is probably a diesel version. If there will be a TDI engine, the Q3 will most likely get the 3.0-liter V6 engine that churns 282 hp.
Once it will be officially launched, it will have to face up some great competitors in this segment: the Land Rover LRX, the Mercedes BLK Class and most important, the very popular BMW X1.
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.