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All-New, 2018 Audi Q5 is Roomier, Quieter, More Efficient

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German automaker Audi has taken the wraps off the all-new, second-generation Q5 SUV and its everything we expected.

Unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the new Q5 represents an evolutionary design shift and equipment enhancements over the first-gen model. It borrows many styling cues from the larger Q7, including the Audi’s new flared Singleframe grille design with horizontal bars.

The new Q5 is slightly larger than its predecessor in nearly every dimension, meaning more cargo room and space for rear seat passengers. Yet, despite being larger, it manages to be almost 200 pounds lighter, thanks to the use of high-strength steel and aluminum components.

Audi’s engineers and designers also succeeded in improving aerodynamics, reducing fuel consumption and mitigating wind noise and vibration.

Four-cylinder Q5 models come standard with the company’s ‘ultra’ technology, which leaves the rear axle disengaged when not needed. Adding to that, there is now an adaptive air suspension system that compliments existing controls for damper firmness by allowing buyers to adjust the vehicle’s ride height.

Inside, the latest Q5 benefits from a long list of improvements over the outgoing model, including Audi’s latest infotainment and safety technologies, an ambient lighting system that can switch between 30 different colors, and an available Bang & Olufsen sound system.

The new, 2018 Audi Q5 goes on sale in early 2017 and will be offered with both gasoline and hybrid powertrains.

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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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