Audi has been dishing-out the money lately. First was the announcement of its new Mexican plant, and now the purchase of Ducati. While having a new manufacturing plant makes a plenty of business sense, having a motorcycle unit has left many scratching their heads.
Although not made official, Audi’s purchase of Ducati from the Investindustrial Group came in at around €860 million (US$1.2 billion). The company’s Chairman Rupert Stadler had the following to say:
“Ducati is known worldwide as a premium brand among motorcycle manufacturers and has a long tradition of building sporty motorcycles. It has great expertise in high-performance engines and lightweight construction, and is one of the world’s most profitable motorcycle manufacturers. That makes Ducati an excellent fit for Audi.”
As a motorcycle enthusiast, Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch had long coveted Ducati and had regretted passing up on an opportunity to buy the company back in 1984. This has led some analysts to perceive the acquisition as a trophy buy, one driven by VW’s passion for nameplates rather than industrial or financial logic. They doubt a tiny motorcycle maker would have a meaningful effect on a company as large as Volkswagen.
That said, we shouldn’t discount the German automaker’s strong track record of reviving tarnished brands such as Lamborghini and the implications it has on Ducati.
New Audi e-tron GT Concept Previews Audi’s Tesla Model S Fighter
The electrified fastback sedan will eventually join the e-tron SUV in Audi’s growing electric vehicle lineup.
Audi has revealed the e-tron GT concept, effectively previewing its answer to the Tesla Model S.
Based on the same platform as the Porsche Taycan, the e-tron GT will follow the e-tron and e-tron Sportback crossovers as the brand’s third electric car. It features a five-door liftback bodystyle that’s similar to the A7, though it slightly wider and sits lower to the ground than that Audi. In fact, the car’s center of gravity is more inline with an R8 supercar thanks to having its battery mounted below the floor.
Powered by an electric drivetrain that produces 590 horsepower, and with a permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring distributing that power, the e-tron GT can rocket to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.5 seconds and to 124 mph (200 km/h) in around 12 seconds. A 90-kWh battery allows it to drive over 249 miles (402 km) according to the WLTP test cycle, and drivers can expect to recharge a depleted battery to 80 percent in just 20 minutes
As with the e-tron SUV, the production e-tron GT’s design is expected to stay true to the concept. Audi says production will begin sometime in 2020.
What do you think about the Audi e-tron GT Concept? Do you like what you see, and does Tesla have something to be worried about? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Next Audi TT Sports Car Will Be A Four-Door Sedan?
The coupe and convertible segments have never been big, and they are declining very fast.
The SUV and crossover craze could result in the demise of the Audi TT as we know it.
According to a new report, the German sports car will reportedly ditch its two door and convertible layouts to become an a four-door only sports car.
Coupe and convertible sales are declining in North America and Europe, and they never really took off off in China. An Audi board member told that both the TT coupe and convertible are no longer financially feasibly given the perceptible decline of their respective segments.
If you set falling demand against rising costs, it’s obvious Audi cannot sustain its present course in the medium term,” the anonymous board member stated. ” Instead, there has been intensive consideration of the coupe and the convertible in the compact segment.”
Audi actually hinted at a four-door TT back in 2014 with the TT Sportback concept (pictured); however, plans to bring the model to market never got off the ground largely due to the Dieselgate scandal.
It appears the plans are back on, and Audi’s board of management has supposedly approved a design of the four-door model.
If the report is true, the four-door TT will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform and could arrive before 2020. Its proportions will remain roughly the same as the concept’s but the front- and rear-end design will adopt Audi’s latest design elements.
Audi R8 Puts On Sharper Look For 2019, Pumps Out 612 HP
Audi’s top model is more engaging to drive and stops sooner.
The Audi R8 has gone under the knife, emerging with a sharper look, more power, better handling and a number of tech upgrades for 2019.
Designers updated the German supercar’s front end with a wider grille surrounded by a frame that now underlines the headlights and three slots right under the hood inspired by the original Audi Sport Quattro coupe, while the rear gains a lower-positioned rear vent that stretches the entire width of the car and a more prominent diffuser.
Contrary to rumors, power still comes from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 rather than a turbocharged V6 as speculated, and output has been increased to 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque compared to the previous 533 horsepower and 396 pound-feet of torque.
A sprint from 0 to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h) comes in at 3.4 seconds for the coupe and 3.5 seconds for the convertible, while top speed is reached at 201.3 mph (324km/h) and 200.1 mph (322 km/h), respectively.
The R8 V10 Plus model has been renamed ‘R8 Performance’ and gets an evolution of the 5.2-liter that puts out 612 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque, representing an increase of 9 hp and 14.75 lb-ft. The V10 Plus coupe bolts to 62 mph in 3.1 seconds, while the Spyder takes 3.2 seconds. Top speed is limited to 205.7 mph (331 kph) and 204.4 mph (329 kph), respectively.
All R8 variants use a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system.
Elsewhere, Audi’s engineers dialed more response and feedback into the R8’s steering to deliver a more engaging drive and re-calibrated the ECU to reduce stopping distance by 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) from 62 mph and by 16.4 feet (5 meters) from 124 mph (200 km/h).
They also gave the dynamic handling system more distinct separations between the drive modes and added new settings for the R8 V10 Performance Quattro: dry, wet, and snow.
The updated Audi R8 goes on sale in Europe in early 2019, with North American delivers following at a later date. Do you like how it turned out?
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