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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 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 sent to all four wheels via 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 regular suspension setup and 19-inch wheels. Buyers can opt for twenty-inch wheels, an 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, but RS-specific gauges and carbon trim contrasted by aluminum elements help brighten 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.

Audi

Audi e-tron Electric SUV Can Travel Over 248 Miles

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Audi e-tron prototype electric SUV

Audi has revealed that the e-tron can travel over 248 miles (399 km) on a single charge using the WLTP test cycle. Not only that, but the electric SUV can also accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than six seconds.

The Audi e-tron features a variable recuperation system that recuperates energy with up to 22 lb-ft. of torque and 220 kW of electric power, representing more than 70 percent of its operating energy input. According to the German automaker, no other production electric car has achieved that level.

The recuperation system accounts for up to 30 percent of the e-tron’s impressive range and features three modes: manual coasting recuperation using the shift paddles, automatic coasting recuperation via the predictive efficiency assist, and brake recuperation with smooth transition between electric and hydraulic deceleration. That’s right, this EV can recuperate energy solely via the electric motors and without using the conventional brake.

Two electric motors deliver 365 horsepower (265 kW) and 413 lb-ft. of torque, though a boost mode that can be activated in a 8-second window allows the driver to increase power up to 402 horsepower (300 kW) and 490 lb-ft. of torque.

Reservations for the Audi e-tron begin in September 2018.

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Audi’s Baby Q3 SUV Grows Up With Athletic Style, More Substance

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2019 Audi Q3 Luxury Small SUV

The Q3 is no longer the oldest kid on the block. For 2019, Audi’s smallest crossover-SUV gets a complete overhaul inside, outside and under the hood.

The previous-generation Q3 was on the market for over six years, making it a granddaddy by automotive standards. The first thing one notices about the new Q3 is a crisper, more athletic styling that clearly inspired by the much large Q8. Highlights include a sloping, coupe-like profile, vertical grille bars like on the Q8 and a few other Audi models as oppose to horizontal bars, headlights resembling those of the A3 Sportback in shape, a sportier-looking front bumper, and large taillights.

Not only was the Q3 old, but it was also smaller than than its contemporaries. Fortunately, it has undergone a growth spurt and measures approximately 3.8 inches (9.65 cm) longer than the older model, with an extra three inches (7.6 cm) added to the wheelbase. This of course means more room for rear seat passengers and their gear.

Cargo capacity stands at 23.8 cu.ft (674 liters) with the rear seats up and up to 53.9 cu.ft (1,526 liters) when folded. By comparison, the 2018 BMW X1 boasts 17.8 cu.ft (505 liters) of available trunk space, and offers 54.73 cu.ft (1,550 liters) with the seats down.

Design wise, the Q3’s interior has transformed from one of the blandest and most chintzy to arguably the most premium in the segment. It’s very attractive and features the latest technologies, including Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster, an 8.8-inch center dash infotainment display (a larger 10-inch unit is optional), the Connect portfolio with “swarm intelligence”, which helps cars communicate with each other regarding road and weather hazards.

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and two USB ports in the front are all standard, as are two additional USB ports and a 12-volt outlet for rear seat passengers. Wi-Fi hotspot is part of the options list.

Safety has been improved with forward emergency braking, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, as well as adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist and active lane assist.

As far as power goes, buyers in Europe will be able to choose between several petrol and diesel options, among them the German automaker’s 2.0 TFSI 190 PS unit that works in conjunction with a 7-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. The North American engine lineup will consist exclusively of gasoline units.

The new Q3 also benefits from automatic damping control and a “dynamic handling system” with six drive modes: Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, Offroad, Efficiency and Individual.

European sales of the all-new, 2019 Audi Q3 begin in November 2018, with North American sales following at a later date. Have Audi’s designers done a good job?

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Audi TT Celebrate Its 20th Anniversary With A Facelift

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2019 Audi TT Coupe Sports Car

It’s hard to believe the Audi TT has been on sale since 1998, before the turn of the century. Now in its third generation, the German sports car celebrates its big 20 by getting a few design tweaks and more standard features.

The updated exterior is said to give the TT a more masculine and sporty appearance. Highlights include a revision to the Singleframe grille and side air inlets on all variants, while opting for the newly-designed S Line package adds a full-length front splitter, a titanium-black grille, vertical air inlets below the taillights, and a wider rear diffuser.

Buyers have the option of three new color options for 2019 — cosmos blue, pulse orange and turbo blue — and can select wheel designs ranging in size from 17-inches to 20-inches.

The 2019 TT is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder but with three states of tune. The base version generates 197 hp in the 40 TFSI, while in the 45 TFSI model the 2.0L engine generates 245 hp. The performance-oriented Audi TTS packs 306 hp and 285 lb-ft. of torque

The TTS Coupe reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 4.5 seconds, while the TTS Roadster takes 4.8 seconds.

Inside, the the small Audi sports car comes with a longer list of standard equipment that includes sport seats, a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display, Audi’s drive select dynamic handling system, multifunction steering wheel , illuminated USB ports, and a rain and light sensor.

Sales begin in the fourth quarter of 2018 in Europe before expanding to other countries.

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