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2017 Audi R8 Spyder is Primed for Lovers of Open-Air Driving

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2017 Audi R8 Spyder, topless

At the 2016 New York International Auto Show, Audi showed off the convertible version of the second-generation R8 supercar, giving lovers of open-air driving something exciting and German to look forward to this summer.

The R8 Spyder is powered by the same naturally-aspirated, 5.2-liter V10 engine as its fixed-roof counterpart and makes 540 horsepower and 398 lb-ft. of torque.

That power is divided between all four wheels by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with shift paddles and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.6 seconds on route to a top speed of nearly 200 mph (322 km/h).

Surprisingly, the topless R8 manages to return fuel economy of about 20 mpg in a mixed European cycle.

The cloth soft top, which is available in red, black or brown, weighs almost 100 pounds (45 kg) and can be opened or closed in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph (50 mph). When closed, it flows into two fins that accentuate the supercar’s long deck lid.

Retractable roof aside, the R8 Spyder is more or less identical to the new, 2017 Audi R8 coupe that was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. At the front, we see a wider rendition of Audi’s trademarked Singleframe radiator grille with honeycomb inserts, angular headlights, and a deep bumper with two large air ducts.

The rear end is highlighted by a two thin and elongated taillights, a discreet spoiler that automatically extends, a big air diffuser, and two air vents.

Is the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder everything you have asked for in a convertible? Let us know in the comments below.

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Audi Introduces First Vehicle-Integrated Toll Technology

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Audi integrated toll payment tech

Audi has expanded its vehicle-to-infrastructure technology by launching a vehicle integrated toll payment system, the first automaker to offer such a technology.

Billed as a “vehicle-to-infrastructure” (V2I) technology, the Integrated Toll Module was developed in partnership with Gentex and is built into the vehicle’s rearview mirror, sparing owners the inconvenience of attaching an unsightly transponder to the windshield or managing multiple toll accounts. It communicates with sensors used throughout the US and parts of Canada and Mexico to facilitate access to toll roads.

Owners can register the module with their current account, a new account, or a nationwide tolling account and will be able to adjust its settings through the vehicle’s Multimedia Interface (MMI).

The technology rolls out later in 2018, though it remains to be seen which Audi models will be equipped with it.

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2018 Audi RS4 Avant Is A No-Nonsense Performance Wagon

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New, 2018 Audi RS4 Avant Sports Wagon

Audi has been a dominant force in the performance car segment for decades now and it plans to remain so with the help of the RS4 Avant, a no-nonsense sports wagon that should put a smile on anyone’s face.

Picking up from where its predecessors left off, the latest Audi RS 4 Avant was promised to be a much better vehicle in a every way, shape or form, and — at least on paper — that’s a promise Audi’s engineers managed to fulfill.

Let’s start with the most controversial aspect of the new Audi RS4 — its twin-turbocharged and intercooled 2.9-liter V-6. Although smaller and more muted than the previous model’s naturally aspirated V-8, the engine is smaller, lighter and has a higher output of 450 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of maximum torque available from 1900 to 5000 rpm.

That power is channeled to all four wheels through a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission and a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, allowing the performance-tuned wagon to accelerate from zero to 62 mph (100 k/h) in just 4.1 seconds before reaching an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph (241 km/h), or 174 mph (280 km/h) if you’re willing to pay extra for it.

Quite a number of those who have test driven the car have expressed amazement at the potency of the V6 and the speed at which the RS4 accelerates, with one enthusiast at stating:

“Aside from the fact that it has been downsized from a V8 to a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6, Audi’s RS 4 has already proven to be one of the fastest vehicles the current market has to offer. Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting Audi to surpass its predecessors, but here we are, and it actually happened.”

Fortunately, the new RS4 has the handling chops to match its speed. Despite a not-so-svelte curb weight of 3,946 pounds (1,790 kg), it is expected to deliver clinical precision around the corners even with its standard suspension and 19-inch wheels. Buyers can opt for twenty-inch wheels, a mode-adjustable suspension, dynamic steering, and ceramic brakes for an even more smile-inducing level of performance.

The new RS4 is visually differentiated from its lesser siblings with blistered fenders inspired by those of the original Quattro making it 1.2 inches wider front and rear, a rear diffuser, a roof spoiler, and two large oval tailpipes. The options list includes a Nogaro Blue exterior color that evokes the classic RS2 Avant.

The interior is the very definition of darkness, with RS-specific gauges and carbon trim with aluminum contrast elements brightening things up a tad bit.

While not entirely ruled out, the new Audi RS4 Avant isn’t likely to come to North America. It has a starting price of €79,800 (~ $95,674) in Germany, and £61,625 (~ $81,235) in the United Kingdom.

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You Can Now Have Amazon Music In Your Audi

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2017 Audi A4 Avant interior

Audi has added Amazon Music connectivity in some of its 2017 and 2018 models, notably the A3, A4, A4 allroad, Audi Q7, R8, TT and 2018 models of the Audi Q5 and A5

Users can stream Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music via the German automaker’s MMI system and MMI connect mobile application, giving you access to up to 40 million songs.

The driver uses the interface to make song selections, scroll through the playlists and stations, browse new releases and charts and search the music library.

Those with an active Audi Connect Prime subscription can also get remote vehicle services with their Audi connect mobile application, including Speed, Curfew and Valet Alerts, as well as remote lock and unlock capability and online car finder.

No more having to use Bluetooth or USB connections, which are becoming relics by the day.

Is Alexa voice controls next to come to cars?

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