Audi – Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:05:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 Roaming with Buffalo in a 2017 Audi A4 Allroad http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-audi-a4-allroad-roaming-with-buffalo-ladder-ranch/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-audi-a4-allroad-roaming-with-buffalo-ladder-ranch/#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:01:40 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1145753 Steve Dobret’s voice is calm and comforting as it crackles over the radio. “It’s a good day to get lost out here,” he says. During his 24 years as the manager of New Mexico’s Ladder Ranch, he’s explored every inch of this 156,000-plus acre property. As he guides us to one of his favorite spots...

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Steve Dobret’s voice is calm and comforting as it crackles over the radio. “It’s a good day to get lost out here,” he says. During his 24 years as the manager of New Mexico’s Ladder Ranch, he’s explored every inch of this 156,000-plus acre property. As he guides us to one of his favorite spots at the ranch’s north end, his white Chevrolet Silverado bounces over rocks that we edge around in our Gotland Green 2017 Audi A4 Allroad. The wagon’s ground clearance is good, but it’s no truck. Gray rain clouds hang low, and thick fog obscures the rutted two-track, so we take it slow as we scan the horizon for bison.

“Do you hear the music playing?” Dobrett jokes as we climb up and over a ridge and see some 200 bison huddled together, their damp, dark-brown fur matted and dripping. Dobrett comes to a stop but waves us on, telling us we can drive into the heart of the herd if we go slowly and keep quiet. The Allroad’s 252-horsepower, turbocharged inline-four faintly hums as the stout Michelin Defender LTX light-truck tires we strapped on for this trip delicately crush bushes and brush. When grunting bison fill each of the Allroad’s windows and mirrors, we turn off the engine, get out of the Audi, and lean against the driver’s door, listening to the deep, powerful breaths of the broadchested bovines.

2017 Audi A4 Allroad front view 01

Media mogul Ted Turner had the right idea buying this property in the early ’90s, wanting somewhere to kick back, hunt quail, and concentrate on his ongoing conservation efforts. Ladder Ranch sits just outside the small town of Truth or Consequences, which changed its name from Hot Springs in 1950 when the NBC Radio quiz show “Truth or Consequences” offered an annual party to any town that renamed itself after the program. The ranch rests in the foothills of the mountainous Black Range, with elevation spanning from 4,500 to 10,000 feet, and it shelters four tributaries of the Rio Grande river — the Animas, Seco, Palomas, and Cuchillo — which help support breathtaking biodiversity.

The Allroad feels surefooted on this red gravel trail. Its body stays composed as its suspension soaks up the washboard earth.

Turner’s then-wife Jane Fonda decorated the property’s adorable, two-story ranch house (Turner still visits often, and the house can be rented as part of a Ted Turner Expeditions experience), while he focused on creating a privately owned preservation for New Mexico’s flora and fauna. Throughout Ladder Ranch’s 245 square miles, you can see elk, deer, antelope, mountain lions, bears, buffalo, turkeys, and wolves wandering through cottonwoods and pines and across desert grasslands. There are even petroglyphs carved into rocks by ancient indigenous peoples. The rich habitat around Ladder Ranch allows at-risk species, such as leopard frogs and cutthroat trout, to survive and also helps healthy species thrive.

Turner brought in Dobrett — a respected biologist researching quail — from the outset to build up the property’s quail population as well as nurture habitats for other sensitive species. Dobrett started by removing 250 miles of perimeter fence so Turner could bring buffalo onto the property. Now, a quarter century later, Dobrett oversees a team of employees and a herd of more than 1,000 bison. “I never had any experience with bison when I came here,” he says. “Twenty-four years of handling buffalo has taught me a lot about that species. It’s been an all-around education to the facets of ranching and managing wildlife on the property.”

2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter in motion 01
It’s hard to believe places like this exist. Staring out on the open expanses of land at Ladder Ranch is overwhelming, almost as overwhelming as standing in a herd of a couple hundred bison

Through the bison’s measured inhalations, we hear one sharp, snappy snort and turn to see a giant female with her tail pointed straight up. Dobrett says she probably thinks the Audi is a “critter” because of its peering, eye-like LED headlights and tells us to move slowly as we get back into the Allroad. We shift the wagon’s seven-speed automatic transmission into drive and begin to herd the bison, but it’s not long before they buck and run toward the hills where we can’t follow.

Ladder Ranch is lovely but also daunting, with the majority of its rugged terrain pretty much inaccessible to anything without hooves or paws. “There are about 500 miles of ‘road’ on the ranch,” Dobrett says. “We try to get out and clean them once a year if we can. Some of the roads, we don’t, and they’re not very passable.” It’s a 20-mile straight shot to Turner’s ranch house where we’re shacking up, but we’ll need most of the day to get there, winding our way up and down tight mountain passes, tiptoeing through deep creeks, and doing our best not to beach the Audi on a boulder. The Allroad’s plastic-covered belly can handle scratches from small stones and tall grass, but it’s best to avoid the big stuff.

2017 Audi A4 Allroad rear three quarter Ladder Ranch 02 Ladder Ranch 01 Ladder Ranch 03

The rain slows to a stop, and we set off south with Dobrett leading the way. The car’s adaptive dampers are set in off-road mode, and the Allroad feels surefooted on this red gravel trail. Its body stays composed as its suspension soaks up the washboard earth, and its rear end breaks loose and slides as we power out of slippery corners. Dobrett heads up a particularly steep stretch of road, and after the crest his taillights disappear in the fog. We charge after him but stomp on the brakes near the top, stopping to turn on hill-descent control, which holds the Allroad at a set speed. The ABS gnaws at the brake rotors as the car saunters down the slope at a steady 6 mph. We land in a stark, narrow offshoot of Cuchillo Creek, where the dried-up bed is a craggy mess of sharp stones and bulging landmasses laced in loose gravel. Worse yet, heavy mist has once again settled on top of us, so visibility is nil. We switch on the Allroad’s front and rear fog lights before crawling forward, getting out every few hundred feet to lift and heave particularly gnarly stones; the heated steering wheel, part of the $500 cold-weather package, is now much appreciated.

The Allroad shimmies as the tires claw at the glassy, muddy route, which thankfully turns to gravel when we eventually reach the top.

Slivers of sunlight leak through the overcast sky as we slowly make progress. We’re happy to have satellite radio playing through the wagon’s Bang & Olufsen audio system, the music helping to keep the mood light as we navigate the ranch’s remote and wild terrain. As the creek jogs left, the bed turns to soft, smooth sand that the Allroad plows across. “That should be the worst of it,” an apologetic Dobrett says. We begin to climb again, and as we snake up narrow passes, horses and stallions start to appear in the mist, steam shooting from their splayed nostrils. The clouds clear, and we see snowcapped mountains jutting up from the skyline, and in the foreground a huge herd of giant elk prances up the face of a verdant slope.

2017 Audi A4 Allroad cabin

We stop on the spine of a tall hill, pull up Google Maps on the Allroad’s navigation system and confirm what we already know: We’re in the middle of nowhere. We stare out across the boundless landscape, appreciating the opposing color palette that seems like it shouldn’t blend together as well as it does. As we walk, we scoop up black, pearly white, and pink dirt sandwiched together like Neapolitan ice cream — an amazing soil variety the likes of which we’ve never seen before. We get back in and press on, but it’s not long before we stop again near the edge of Animas Creek, where Dobrett points toward a humongous tree with a thick trunk. “I like that tree,” he says looking up at its lanky branches, spinning and twisting out in every direction like long, white ribbons. “It’s mystical. It’s a mystery how these trees got here. It’s the only canyon in this drainage that has these Arizona sycamores. They’re more common west of Continental Divide, but for some reason we have them here. And they’re ancient trees.”

Back in the Audi we cross the first of about two dozen creeks that grow wider and deeper as we get closer to the ranch house. We enter each creek slowly, making sure the Audi won’t bottom out, then go flat out toward the far bank. The rushing water overwhelms the Allroad’s flared wheel wells, flies up, and lands on the windshield, causing the rain-sensing wipers to turn on. Fortunately the wagon has no issues fording the little rivers. “I know you’ve heard me say it before, but that should be the worst of it,” Dobrett says just as we come to an appropriately named pass called Greasy Hill. Not a minute after Dobrett jinxed us, we hit a slick patch of road that sends the Allroad into a four-wheel slide, and the passenger-side tires land in a deep rut on the edge of the trail. The wagon is fine, but we have to back down the hill to level ground and take another shot at the ascent. The Allroad shimmies as the tires claw at the glassy, muddy route, which thankfully turns to gravel when we eventually reach the top. Just below us is the white ranch house.

The Audi Allroad isn’t a rugged, do-it-all, off-road machine, but it doesn’t mind having some fun with a little light rock crawling. Who cares about a few scrapes on the underbelly of an all-wheel-drive wagon?

“I was concerned that we were going to tear up the car or get stuck where we’d blow a tire or bust something, but as it turns out, it performed just fine, especially in the rocks and mud,” Dobrett says as we drink coffee next to a hissing fireplace. “It just doesn’t have enough clearance.” Maybe not to make it across Ladder Ranch completely unscathed, sure, but the Allroad has plenty of clearance and absolutely enough talent to be considered a light off-road vehicle. Ladder Ranch turned out to be more treacherous than originally expected, but the Allroad handled it just fine, and its underbody has a few scars to prove it. The ranch’s chef, Tatsu Miyazaki, cooks us an unexpectedly luxurious meal that starts with salad and soup made from locally sourced, seasonable vegetables, moves to a perfectly cooked, prime cut of bison that comes from the same place that processes Turner’s herd, and ends with a delicious mousse sitting atop a frothing mixture of water and dry ice.

When we ask Dobrett what he’s going to do now after such a long tenure at Ladder Ranch, he says, “I’ll stay connected to this ranch as long as Ted wants me. I think it’s an example to others how a ranch can be managed, balancing commerce and conservation.” After a handshake, he tips his cowboy hat as a goodbye. We can barely keep our eyes open as we slink back toward the fire and collapse onto one of the house’s bison-fur rugs, rubbing our bare feet along the soft center. We smile as we drift to sleep, recalling the hauntingly beautiful sound of 200 bison taking deep, heavy breaths.

About Ladder Ranch
Ladder Ranch is part of the larger Ted Turner Expeditions luxury travel experiences, featuring eco-conscious adventures individually tailored to guests interested in anything from mountain biking to bison photography to simply exploring the ranch’s 156,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness. A three-night expedition for two people with accommodations at Ted’s house starts at $9,000. Visit theladderranch.com.

2017 Audi A4 Allroad Specifications

ON SALE Now
PRICE $44,950/$52,625 (base/as tested)
ENGINE 2.0L turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4/252 hp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm, 273 lb-ft @1,600-4,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION  7-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD wagon
EPA MILEAGE 23/28 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 187.0 x 72.5 x 58.8 in
WHEELBASE  110.9 in
WEIGHT 3,825 lb
0-60 MPH  5.9 sec (est)
TOP SPEED  130 mph
Ladder Ranch 06 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter 04 2017 Audi A4 Allroad rear view Ladder Ranch house Ladder Ranch 07 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front view 02 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter 03 Ladder Ranch 04 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter 02 Ladder Ranch 05 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter in motion 03 Ladder Ranch dining Tatsu Miyazaki 2017 Audi A4 Allroad badge 01 2017 Audi A4 Allroad badge 02 2017 Audi A4 Allroad engine 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter 05 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter 06 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter 07 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter 08 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter 09 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter in motion 04 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter in motion 05 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front three quarter in motion 06 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front view 03 2017 Audi A4 Allroad front view in motion 2017 Audi A4 Allroad grille 2017 Audi A4 Allroad instrument panel 2017 Audi A4 Allroad rear three quarter 02 2017 Audi A4 Allroad rear three quarter 03 2017 Audi A4 Allroad rear three quarter 04 2017 Audi A4 Allroad rear three quarter 05 2017 Audi A4 Allroad rear three quarter in motion 02 2017 Audi A4 Allroad rear three quarter in motion 03 2017 Audi A4 Allroad side profile in motion 02 2017 Audi A4 Allroad side profile in motion 2017 Audi A4 Allroad side profile Ladder Ranch 08 Ladder Ranch 09 Ladder Ranch 10

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Audi Taking Reservations in Norway for Upcoming e-tron quattro Concept http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-opens-reservations-norway-upcoming-e-tron-quattro-concept/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-opens-reservations-norway-upcoming-e-tron-quattro-concept/#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:02:58 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1154306 As Volkswagen Group pushes ahead, trying to get beyond its infamous Dieselgate, one of the company’s brands, Audi, has just opened up ordering for its new e-tron quattro SUV. However, as Dieselgate affected the group’s global market, the e-tron quattro SUV will first only be sold in the Norwegian market. First shown in 2015, the...

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As Volkswagen Group pushes ahead, trying to get beyond its infamous Dieselgate, one of the company’s brands, Audi, has just opened up ordering for its new e-tron quattro SUV. However, as Dieselgate affected the group’s global market, the e-tron quattro SUV will first only be sold in the Norwegian market.

First shown in 2015, the Audi e-tron quattro Concept blended the brand’s new design language with an aggressive exterior design and a relative size that was in between the Q5 and Q7 SUVs. Little is known about the production version of the e-tron quattro. However, Audi has released a few technical specs of the e-tron quattro. The SUV will be powered by three electric motors, two for the rear wheels, and one on the front axle.

Power from the three motors is said to produce 435 hp on a normal charge. However, owners are able to select a boost function that increases power over a short period. In this mode, power is increased to 503 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 62 mph takes just 4.6 seconds and its top speed has been limited to 130 mph to help further its range. Speaking of range, the 95 kWh battery pack is good for 310 miles, just behind Tesla’s 351 mile range in its Model S 100D.

Audi e Tron Quattro concept rear three quarter Audi e Tron Quattro concept fornt side in motion Audi e Tron Quattro concept front end 02 Audi e Tron Quattro concept rear side Audi e Tron Quattro concept rea three quarter in motion Audi e Tron Quattro concept interior view Audi e Tron Quattro concept front three quarters Audi e Tron Quattro concept front three quarters in motion Audi e Tron Quattro concept front three quarter Audi e Tron Quattro concept front end Audi e Tron Quattro concept rear end 03 Audi e Tron Quattro concept rear three quarter 02

According to the Audi site, those customers in Norway can put down 20,000 kroner, about $3,000, and reserve the upcoming electric SUV. However, Audi didn’t state when the e-tron quattro would actually become available, only that it’s coming sometime in 2018.

Electrek.co reports that Harald Edvardsen-Eiback, head of Audi Norway said, “Interest in the Audi e-tron quattro has been tremendous since the first concept was shown in 2015. Norway is a pioneer in the market of electrification and we are proud to be the first in the Audi Group with a solution like this. This first electric model is perfectly suited for the Norwegian market with both quattro all-wheel drive, plenty of interior space, high ground clearance, and not least, long range. This may be the perfect car for many Norwegian households.”

Audi e Tron Quattro concept rear end 02

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Audi E-Tron Sportback Set for Production in 2019 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-e-tron-sportback-headed-production-2019/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-e-tron-sportback-headed-production-2019/#respond Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:55:10 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1152214 At the Shanghai auto show today, Audi revealed a concept that previews a coupe-like SUV bound for production in 2019. It’s not just a design concept. The Audi e-tron Sportback concept features an electric drive system that will be adopted in future all-wheel-drive models from the automaker. One electric motor on the front axle and...

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At the Shanghai auto show today, Audi revealed a concept that previews a coupe-like SUV bound for production in 2019.

It’s not just a design concept. The Audi e-tron Sportback concept features an electric drive system that will be adopted in future all-wheel-drive models from the automaker. One electric motor on the front axle and two on the rear send power to all four wheels. Delivering almost 500 hp in boost mode, the e-tron Sportback can reach 62 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds. Range is estimated at more than 310 miles on a single charge.

Audi e tron Sportback Concept front look

Like any concept should, the E-tron boasts dramatic styling elements, including large 23-inch wheels, bulging rear haunches, and configurable lighting signatures. When the doors are opened, drivers and passengers are greeted with visual welcome signals from the lights. Below the daytime running lights and to the left and right of the grille, there are two light fields each with 250 LED lights, which are used to create graphics and signals to other drivers on the road.

Inside, the e-tron Sportback holds up to four people. The model features a floating center console and two different touchscreens for accessing control systems. You’ll also notice there are no exterior mirrors thanks to small cameras that help provide a view of the outside environment, all while eliminating blind spots for the driver.

Arriving in 2019, the fastback e-tron will follow the launch of the standard Audi e-tron SUV, which comes out next year. The brand’s first dedicated EV was previewed by the Audi e-tron Quattro Concept, which is capable of 310 miles of range and can sprint to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds.

Audi e-tron Sportback concept audi-sportback-etron-concept-teaser-4-1 Audi e-tron Sportback concept Audi e-tron Sportback concept Audi e-tron Sportback concept Audi e-tron Sportback concept Audi e-tron Sportback concept Audi e-tron Sportback concept Audi e-tron Sportback concept Audi-e-tron-Sportback-Concept-cockpit Audi e-tron Sportback concept audi sportback etron concept teaser 5 audi sportback etron concept teaser 6 audi sportback etron concept teaser 7 audi sportback etron concept teaser 1 Audi e-tron Sportback concept audi sportback etron concept teaser 2 audi sportback etron concept teaser 3 audi sportback etron concept teaser 4

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By Design: Audi Q8 Concept http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-q8-concept-by-design/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-q8-concept-by-design/#respond Mon, 17 Apr 2017 15:40:01 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1144542 For a long time Audi stood for refinement, graceful styling, and intelligent detail design. We owe the benefits of a now almost-universal flush side glass to Audi, along with the serious, widespread application of low-drag aerodynamics for mainstream vehicles. Those huge grilles from more than a decade ago were unpleasantly obtrusive but were offset by...

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For a long time Audi stood for refinement, graceful styling, and intelligent detail design. We owe the benefits of a now almost-universal flush side glass to Audi, along with the serious, widespread application of low-drag aerodynamics for mainstream vehicles. Those huge grilles from more than a decade ago were unpleasantly obtrusive but were offset by the most refined and agreeable interiors in the business. As the market has moved from sporty coupes and sedans to taller, heavier, and bulkier SUVs, the focus has changed, and Audi’s subtle styling refinement has transformed into a blockier, coarser, and more trucklike look. This disappoints me slightly, but Audi buyers are presumably getting more of what they truly want — or, at the very least, what marketers and stylists think they want.

The Audi Q8 concept’s grille is imposingly big but is now defined by an irregular octagonal perimeter affixed to a black-painted frame that projects the ensemble forward. Five black horizontal bars with double-radius leading edges sit unobtrusively behind six double-radius vertical bars with kinks in them that align with the four innermost creases on the hood. There are a couple more creases outboard, one aligning with a sharp edge in the A-pillar, another with a little inset below the side windowsill that runs onto the front fender top. Add in creases above each wheel and a few horizontal and arched lines in the body sides, and you can see that the die makers were kept busy getting this car’s skins ready for production.

There is no denying this is an attractive package, but it is reasonable to question whether it is sensible to transport only four people and a limited amount of luggage. The available space is truncated by the falling roofline and extensive mechanical and electric hardware carried under the load floor to accommodate all-wheel drive, hybrid motors, and batteries. But efficiency and practicality are no more a part of what this design is about than they were in planning and building Duesenberg J or Packard V-12 two-seat roadsters. Economist Thorstein Veblen laid out the underlying reasons for things such as this concept SUV late in the 19th century in his seminal “The Theory of the Leisure Class.”

There will always be a desire and a need for excess, and we are all beneficiaries of the search for ways to indulge those who seek to have more than others. When I compare the 10-year-old economy model I keep as a second car for local use to the ultra bare-bones first car I owned long ago as a teenager, I realize that every one of the improvements appeared first on cars meant for, as is this Q8 concept, the rich and privileged. This is not a car I’d want under any circumstances, but if there are inexpensive all-wheel-drive hybrids years from now, it will be because this and other over-the-top models exist now. So, long live conspicuous consumption.

By Design Audi Q8 Concept front three quarter

1. Wheel openings in the body sides are complex, with four sharp-edged surface changes in the semicircular wheelhouses. Clean, interesting, and different from any other car.

2. A sort of hip line is embossed high up on the body side, suggesting a rear fender shape that really isn’t there.

3. This is an access door for energy supply. And yes, there is one on the other side. But unlike old Jaguars with two gas caps, one is for liquid fuel, the other for electrons.

4. It seems stylists can’t keep themselves from indenting the bottom of doors, whether it makes sense or not. This shows up in dozens of designs these days.

5. This crisp line in the sides keeps the body from appearing too tall.

6. A mighty lot of ribs and creases on top of the front end. Some align with the grille bars, others delineate surface changes, providing some linearity for the blocky form.

7. Somehow the shapes in the head- lamp area suggest macramé hangings. Certainly there is nothing particularly automotive about these shapes.

8. Fairly sophisticated texturing is hidden away inside the grille and below the lamps.

9. Quite large corner air inlets are very nicely framed with what appear to be metal castings.

10. This painted bar, horizontal at its extremities then rising to a high plane, was used on Oldsmobiles from 1946 to the early 1950s. It still looks good in this form.

11. The lowest part of the front end is a handsomely sculpted piece, nicely completing the front-end graphics.

12. Yet another well-sculpted piece of bright trim, this carries a clear, clean horizontal hard line and peculiarly abstract curves above and below that reference.

By Design Audi Q8 Concept rear three quarter

13. Audi PR makes a big deal out of the wheels: “Five intertwining Y spokes project a filigreed, three-dimensional, and powerful image.” Translation: messy, complex, and hard to keep clean.

14. This projection of a front fender profile is clean, flowing, and quite successful.

15. The coupe roofline is sporty, but somehow a vehicle this big and heavy for just four seats and with limited luggage space begs the question: why?

16. An innovative and quite nice idea is tucking some of the rear body face into a dramatic slot cut into the rear body side. It works well and adds a lot of interest.

17. The overhanging roof is punctuated by four crisp longitudinal lines and a depressed center panel.

18. Notice the transverse rib derived from the fender profile on top and the trailing edge of the side slot, resulting in a tiny flat band across the tail.

19. This transverse rib comes off the top wheel-opening circle and helps break up the height of the rear face of the body.

20. Only four ribs under the tail, versus eight on the front end. The entire lower body trim piece is nicely shaped, somewhat repeating the lines at the lower front end.

By Design Audi Q8 Concept interior

21. Clean door panels, but the grab handle on the front of the armrest is a bit too far forward to make it useful for closing the doors.22. Slim, slotted, and elongated ventilation outlets are different from usual practice and all the better for it.

23. The idea of sharp surface changes resulting in bands of nearly flat material, as used on the exterior, is recapitulated inside the cabin as well, to good effect.

24. There is a great deal of screen area on the instrument panel, making extensive use of images.

25. There are a lot of switches and buttons attached to the steering wheel, which is very sporty in shape and execution.

26. The pedals and footrest are presented nicely with bright perimeters. A luxurious touch.

Audi Q8 Sport concept front end Audi Q8 Sport concept side Audi Q8 Sport concept rear three quarter Audi Q8 Sport concept front three quarter Audi Q8 Sport concept rear quarter panel Audi Q8 Sport concept interior Audi Q8 Sport concept headlamp Audi Q8 Sport concept interior view Audi-Q8-concept-cabin-56 Audi-Q8-concept-dashboard-57 Audi-Q8-concept-front-seats-57 Audi-Q8-concept-front-spoiler-56 Audi-Q8-concept-front-three-quarter-01-57 Audi-Q8-concept-front-three-quarter-02-57 Audi-Q8-concept-front-three-quarter-03-57 Audi-Q8-concept-front-three-quarter-04-57 Audi-Q8-concept-rear-three-quarter-01-57 Audi-Q8-concept-rear-three-quarter-02-57 Audi-Q8-concept-rear-view-01-57 Audi-Q8-concept-rear-view-02-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-front-bumper-lip-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-headlamp-01-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-grille-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-headlamp-02-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-side-mirror-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-center-console-58 Audi-Q8-Concept-dashboard-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-motor-02-56 Audi-Q8-Concept-motor-01-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-front-seats-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-door-sill-badge-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-wheel-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-tail-light-56 Audi-Q8-Concept-cabin-58 Audi-Q8-Concept-side-profile-58 Audi-Q8-Concept-rear-three-quarter-58 Audi-Q8-Concept-rear-view-58 Audi-Q8-Concept-front-view-58 Audi-Q8-Concept-dashboard-56 Audi-Q8-Concept-center-console-57 Audi-Q8-Concept-cabin-57

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Audi Sportback e-tron Concept Teased Ahead of Shanghai Debut http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-sportback-e-tron-concept-teased-ahead-shanghai-debut/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-sportback-e-tron-concept-teased-ahead-shanghai-debut/#respond Sun, 16 Apr 2017 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1151858 Audi has teased the Sportback e-tron Concept ahead of its official debut at the 2017 Shanghai auto show. Based on the newly released shots, the concept could preview the upcoming second generation A7 hatchback since that model is due for a redesign. Based on the teaser shots, the Audi Sportback e-tron Concept is a large...

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Audi has teased the Sportback e-tron Concept ahead of its official debut at the 2017 Shanghai auto show. Based on the newly released shots, the concept could preview the upcoming second generation A7 hatchback since that model is due for a redesign.

Based on the teaser shots, the Audi Sportback e-tron Concept is a large hatchback with a coupe-like roofline that gives it a sportier profile. The front fascia features slim headlights and has an illuminated Audi logo in the center.  Audi’s trapezoidal grille design but it’s only a design feature to give the Sportback e-tron a family resemblance to the brand’s vehicles since it’s an all-electric vehicle. Additionally, instead just a flat, grille-less look, Audi has added what appears to be diamond-shaped patterns to give the car a more distinctive front fascia. In the back, the Sportback e-tron features a full length taillight design that runs across the whole rear end the car, making it look wider.

In addition to previewing the design of the next generation Audi A7, the Sportback e-tron concept could also feature a future all-electric powertrain that could be used throughout the Audi lineup. Once the second generation A7 hits production, expect it to receive a range of turbocharged gas engines that could range from four- to eight cylinders. High-performance S7 and RS 7 models should follow soon after the standard A7 hatchback arrives.

audi sportback etron concept teaser 5 audi sportback etron concept teaser 4 audi sportback etron concept teaser 6 audi sportback etron concept teaser 7 audi sportback etron concept teaser 2 audi sportback etron concept teaser 3

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Audi R8 LMS GT4 is the Newest Factory Racer for Privateers http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-r8-lms-gt4-newest-factory-racer-privateers/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-r8-lms-gt4-newest-factory-racer-privateers/#respond Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:08:57 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1151019 The GT4 Euro Series must be big money, considering it’s attracted some of the biggest automakers like flies to honey. Audi is the latest to jump in the privateer fray, offering the Audi R8 LMS GT4 to flush would-be racers who wish to compete in the popular series. Unlike FIA’s GT3 and WEC series, which...

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The GT4 Euro Series must be big money, considering it’s attracted some of the biggest automakers like flies to honey. Audi is the latest to jump in the privateer fray, offering the Audi R8 LMS GT4 to flush would-be racers who wish to compete in the popular series.

Unlike FIA’s GT3 and WEC series, which require prohibitively high costs to compete, and is generally unfriendly to small-time competitors, the GT4 series is comprised primarily of privateer amateurs and small race teams looking to compete not for prize money or glory, but for practice, experience, and sometimes, just for fun.

2017 Audi R8 GT4 top view 2017 Audi R8 GT4 tail lights 2017 Audi R8 GT4 side profile 2017 Audi R8 GT4 headlights

The new Audi R8 LMS GT4 is the newest member of this series, and like all of the other cars, is tuned to return identical, homologated performance figures as the rest of the field. In true GT4 fashion, the R8 GT4 shares more than 60 percent of its components with the regular road car, keeping costs and complexity at a minimum.

It looks like the GT4 retains the same 5.2-liter V-10 as the road car, detuned from a mighty 602 hp to a series-mandated 495 hp. Mechanical details are scant, but the R8 meets all FIA and GT4 series safety and tech requirements.

Considering the style of GT4 competition, this is shaping up to be quite the series. McLaren, Porsche, Aston Martin, and Chevrolet have all tossed their hat into the ring. Look for R8s to enter the starting grid sometime later this year, when deliveries begin.

2017 Audi R8 GT4 tail lights

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Audi Q4 and Q8 Production Plans Announced http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-announces-plans-q4-q8-production/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/audi-announces-plans-q4-q8-production/#respond Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:15:15 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1149963 Audi is making a big push for SUVs, both large and small. Today, the automaker announced production plans for two new models that will arrive near the end of the decade, the Q4 compact utility vehicle and the larger Q8. In 2019, Audi will begin production of the Q4 in Györ, Hungary. Here, it will...

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Audi is making a big push for SUVs, both large and small. Today, the automaker announced production plans for two new models that will arrive near the end of the decade, the Q4 compact utility vehicle and the larger Q8.

In 2019, Audi will begin production of the Q4 in Györ, Hungary. Here, it will join the Q3, which is destined to transfer from its current facility in Martorell, Spain in 2018.

Adopting the styling of a coupe, the Q4 will slot between the traditional Q3 and Q5 crossovers. Not much else is known about the mid-range model at this point.

Audi-Q4-concept-sketch-front-three-quarters1
Audi Q4 Concept

Audi announced plans for the Q8 to enter production in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2018. The plant has produced the Q7 since 2005, and it currently makes the second-gen model including key variants such as the Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid and a sporty S model.

The Q8 will serve as Audi’s flagship SUV and will utilize a fastback design. A concept unveiled at the recent Geneva Motor Show hinted at a radical design for the model, and previewed a mild hybrid powertrain capable of producing 469 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Audi design chief Marc Lichte called the Q8 Sport concept 95-percent production ready.

In a statement, Audi production boss Hubert Waltl said the two new Q models will “increase our competitiveness in an extremely important segment.” That’s especially true in the U.S., where Audi’s best-selling model last year by far was the Q5.

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Breaking Down the 2018 Audi S5 with Exterior Designer Frank Lamberty http://www.automobilemag.com/news/breaking-2018-audi-s5-exterior-designer-frank-lamberty/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/breaking-2018-audi-s5-exterior-designer-frank-lamberty/#respond Mon, 10 Apr 2017 10:00:25 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1148626 During the recent U.S. launch of the 2018 Audi S5, we sat down with Audi exterior designer Frank Lamberty in Palm Springs, California. He’s cheerful, animated, and visibly thrilled to talk shop for any length of time. Automobile Magazine: Looking at the new A5 and S5, I can’t help but notice a pattern similar to...

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During the recent U.S. launch of the 2018 Audi S5, we sat down with Audi exterior designer Frank Lamberty in Palm Springs, California. He’s cheerful, animated, and visibly thrilled to talk shop for any length of time.

Automobile Magazine: Looking at the new A5 and S5, I can’t help but notice a pattern similar to other revolutionary designs like the original R8 and TT. Some of the original purity, softness, and simplicity have been lost compared with the original, more elegant A5.

Frank Lamberty: You mention the TT, the R8, and the A5. All the first of their kind. When you do a successor the story is always different. And normally with a foundation in such an iconic design you should just leave it, although you don’t want to fall into the Porsche 911 trap. Is the theme radical or respect? The original cars have a first, clear thought.

The first TT was very industrial, carving off the corners, and a lot of its influence can be felt in the A8 and A6 of its time. This was quite an intellectual design, and somewhat polarizing. But there came a time where we wanted to reach more customers and sell more cars, and the era that followed was a little more mainstream. We still wanted to stay simple, but needed to get more emotional and more fluid, and that’s how the R8 and A5 came to be. How do you write the story from there?

2018 Audi S5 front three quarter 01

AM: Well, the S5 has definitely gone sharper, more geometric, and more masculine. You see it most prominently in the grille.

FL: Yes. We got feedback it was a little bit too soft, too elegant.

AM: That language makes a lot of sense on SUVs like the Q8 quattro concept from Detroit this year, but seeing it on a car like S5 signals to me a change in design philosophy. Eventually though, you can’t just get infinitely sharper and tougher — where is this all going?

FL: You are right, and you have a very good eye and sense for the design. What I will say is that at Audi we have an excellent tooling division. I say that because we have very strong in precision, quality, and perfect lines when it comes to working with steel. The cutlines on the hood, the radius we can bend on the S5 character line, or how tight the radius is on the rear decklid is. Nobody else can do that among our competitors. We accentuate that because we are proud we can do it, but I see your point that it could get to be too much.

AM: It fits for certain cars, but I don’t think you want to lose the calmer beauty in some areas.

FL: Right now we have the combination of really sharp lines, yes, but also strong volumes. The S5 shows the character line, but also lots of volume and tension especially on the rear fenders. It’s about combining elegant treatment with precision, although you are right the simplicity got lost a little bit. The result though is more drama and emotion. And I really want to point out that despite that, we are still nothing compared to how insane some car design has gotten out there.

AM: Do you mean the Japanese, say, Lexus?

FL: It’s gone crazy compared to 10 years ago. I don’t know what drugs those guys are taking.

AM: So while they’re doing that wild stuff, explain your future design direction. Is the Prologue concept a signal we’ll get some more stateliness and elegance?

FL: If you take close look, the A5 and S5 are already a bridge. The “Power Dome” hood, the fluidity of the lines in profile.

2018-Audi-A5-Sportback-side-1

AM: It feels like you’re going for something timeless, something that will age well.

FL: Compared to the competitors we’re still very clean, simple, reduced. The A4 is this way, but of course we get feedback that it’s not enough.

AM: People say it’s boring.

FL: Exactly. And that’s the situation we’re in, finding the balance. The best way out of that conundrum is to create a new design philosophy. For that you have to create a new car.

AM: So what’s in the pipeline?

FL: Things will come up. We showed the Prologue and Q8 concepts because there are products behind them. That’s the direction. The new theme is all about highlighting Quattro. Mercedes is doing their rear-wheel-drive focus with all of their lines pointing to the rear, and we will play up Quattro. And there are many ways we can do that.

AM: What about some of the nods to older Audis, like the C-pillar and rear scoops on the Q8 concept that reference the Ur-Quattro?

FL: Yes. And I’ll say that although the Ur-Quattro is not a beautiful car, if you have the heritage, you have character. This is what we want to transfer, but it’s a matter of knowing what to use and how to use it.

AM: But is there still a case for pure clean-sheet design? I think about the R8’s side blades as something that was totally Earth-shattering for Audi design.

FL: It’s a good point, and the R8 was a chance to create a totally new feel of a car. For sure we could have done something more like a study we once did with bigger links to the Auto Union history, but we wanted to create new symbols. And the original A5 was the first chance in a while to do a coupe, so it was its own kind of new car. And that had a certain unique character. If you have a strong idea, it’ll work out.

2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 26

AM: How do electric vehicles offer the chance to design something innovative?

FL: I hope it could mean a totally new field of design based off of a new architecture. Right now, if you take a look at Tesla, what’s happening is if you add batteries on the floor, the cars get taller. It often means cars without such sporty proportions. So you have to think if we’ll still have beautiful coupes in the future. I think eventually we’ll have to consider leaving the cars we know behind and thinking about totally new concepts.

AM: So how is that playing out at Audi?

FL: We’re working on answers. I’m interested in how customers will react to something that could be a total shock. If we really embrace new technology, a new layout, I want to demonstrate that in design. If we look at the GTs from the 60s, they had a long hood because of a big inline engine with a power dome because of the height. But I can’t tell you how the design for such a car might look until there’s a new kind of technical layout.

AM: It seems like right now we’re in a bit of an in-between phase.

FL: Very much so. Time will tell how much the customer is really ready for the ultimate look of future EVs. As long as there are no compromises, it’ll be fine.

2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 04 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 05 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 14 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 12 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 26 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 18 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 17 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 15 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 08 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 09 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 10 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 11 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 22 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 25 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 32 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 23 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 24 2017 Audi R8 V10 at M1 Concourse Racetrack 16 2018 Audi S5 top view 2018 Audi S5 rear three quarter 02 2018 Audi S5 rear three quarter 01 2018 Audi S5 rear end 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter in motion 03 2018 Audi S5 front view in motion 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter 02 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter in motion 01 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter in motion 02 2018 Audi S5 pedals 2018 Audi S5 instrument panel 02 2018 Audi S5 instrument panel 01 2018 Audi S5 headlamp 2018 Audi S5 grille 2018 Audi S5 rear three quarter in motion 2018 Audi S5 dashboard 2018 Audi S5 cargo space 02 2018 Audi S5 cabin 2018 Audi S5 side profile 02 2018 Audi S5 tail lamp 2018 Audi S5 tail light 01 2018 Audi S5 tail light 02 2018 Audi S5 wheel 2018 Audi S5 rear seat 2018 Audi S5 front seats 2018 Audi S5 exterior detail 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter 01 Audi-Q8-concept-front-three-quarter-01-57 Audi-Q8-concept-front-spoiler-56 Audi-Q8-concept-front-seats-57 Audi-Q8-concept-dashboard-57 Audi-Q8-concept-cabin-56

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First Drive: 2018 Audi S5 Coupe http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-audi-s5-first-drive-review/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-audi-s5-first-drive-review/#respond Mon, 10 Apr 2017 09:00:25 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1148527 CASTAIC, California — Audi has long fended off criticism its cars look boring, clinical, and dispassionate. One notable exception came out in 2007, when Walter de Silva’s A5 coupe stole away haters’ hearts with its stunning elegance and clarity of form. The rowdier S5, first with its 4.2-liter V-8 and then later with its 3.0-liter...

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CASTAIC, California — Audi has long fended off criticism its cars look boring, clinical, and dispassionate. One notable exception came out in 2007, when Walter de Silva’s A5 coupe stole away haters’ hearts with its stunning elegance and clarity of form. The rowdier S5, first with its 4.2-liter V-8 and then later with its 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, would make those hearts quicken. Given that big shadow, it’s probably best we can’t see the outside of the all-new 2018 Audi S5 from the vantage point of its driver’s seat. From this intimate perspective, we’re too busy glancing between the hot coupe’s gorgeous Virtual Cockpit display and the scenery above southern California’s Castaic Lake, awash in greenery following months of heavy rains.

As many swivel-necked passers-by can attest, the new S5’s sharper, more geometric lines cut a clean but striking profile. The demure poise of its antecedent has been chiseled away. Nowhere is that clearer than head-on, where the once-soft grille and rounded taillights have grown edges with confident exactitude. Out back, too, the taillights have more defined presence, echoing the tighter surface tension of the rear decklid. Even the trademark character line, running from the front fender to the taillights, is missing some of its original wave-like smoothness. “With a successor [to an icon], the story is always different,” contends Audi designer Frank Lamberty.

2018 Audi S5 rear three quarter

Not only does the 2018 S5 have its own legacy to reckon with, but BMW and Mercedes have recently cast their lines into the M- and AMG-lite ponds, hoping to split the difference between hum-drum luxury and raw performance with their respective M Sport and AMG 43 models. The hallmark of Audi’s S cars, from the S4 to the S8, has always been a balance of performance, subtlety, and everyday usability. If all of the advanced tech baked into this new S5 is any indication, Ingolstadt isn’t ceding an inch of its territory without a fight.

For starters, the S5’s interior presents a restrained, refined alternative to the C43 AMG’s glitz and glam. Balancing the stellar Virtual Cockpit instrument display is a pleasant mix of metal, leather with Alcantara door cards, and well-hidden plastics. If you opt for black rather than red or gray, the standard panoramic sunroof solicits brightness to an otherwise glum interior.

Optional carbon-fiber inlays add a moody vibe, while contrast stitching for the diamond-pattern S sport seats lends a touch of style. The buckets are heated, complete with eight-way adjustability, lumbar support, and driver memory function. Their chunky bolstering has the right heft to keep the driver snug during hard cornering without bruising ribs and the fat flat-bottom steering wheel is easily maneuverable, particularly when wrapped in leather as part of the Nappa hide package.

2018 Audi S5 front seats 2018 Audi S5 center stack 2018 Audi S5 shifter 2018 Audi S5 intstrument panel

When the new 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 hurls you back into your seat, it’s nice to feel the support and have something to hold onto. The engine brims with 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, up 21 hp and 44 lb-ft. Not only is the engine 31 pounds leaner than the old supercharged V-6 — courtesy of an aluminum crankcase and pistons — but peak torque is now on tap at 1,370 rpm instead of 3,000 and the curve stays as flat as Ryan Reynolds’ abs until 4,500 rpm. The twin-scroll turbo is mounted between the cylinder banks in a “hot V” arrangement, yielding shorter runs with better throttle response and reduced turbo lag.

That muscle is managed by a ZF-derived eight-speed automatic transmission similar to that of the RS 7, which powers all four wheels according with a 40:60 bias in favor of the rear. If you’re wondering why Audi would forgo a dual-clutch here, apparently the new motor’s torque would have made the S5 too jerky at low speeds, while the torque converter in the eight-speed manages things better. The other upshots are shorter initial gears for better acceleration feel and taller top gears for better highway fuel economy and reduced engine noise. As for a six-speed stick? It never had a chance. Demand simply isn’t there, and full functionality with Audi’s driver assistance systems is tied to the automatic.

Audi claims a sprint to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds quicker than the Mercedes C43 AMG and 0.4 seconds quicker than the BMW 440i xDrive. The truth is that the S5 feels even faster. Given Audi’s historical tendency to play it safe with these figures, our butt estimates something more like 4.2 seconds. Put your right foot to the mat, and prepare for a smooth, seemingly unending swell of oomph as the V-6 rises from a healthy growl to a progressively richer, more expressive song at about 5,400 rpm.

2018 Audi S5 front three quarter in motion 03

The powertrain is so effective and seamless that, combined with the sport rear differential and continuous damper control from the $2,500 S Sport package, as well as the $1,150 dynamic variable-ratio steering, we found ourselves terrorizing the mountains north of Los Angeles without necessarily meaning to. Body control is almost total just north of the triple-digits, the adaptive dampers soaking up bumps and quick transitions before our own feeble neurons even fire to react. Ride quality doesn’t suffer one iota on the larger 19-inch wheels, which look far more stylish than the standard five-spoke 18s. The upgraded steering varies its ratio according to vehicle speed and selected driving mode (Dynamic is the way to go), ensuring the car always responds naturally to inputs and never feels like it’s getting too far ahead of you. The standard 15:9:1 ratio feels listless and disconnected, by comparison.

We chew up big, downhill sweepers with ease as Lake Castaic sparkles below. At 3,836 pounds, the S5 feels hefty but sure-footed, thanks largely to the optional rear diff. The center diff can send up to 85 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle, where the rear diff can send all of that available mustard to either rear wheel. Corrections happen seamlessly and without a trace of brake-based intervention. When you step onto the brakes of your own accord, the six-piston front calipers send the pads biting into the 13.8-inch rotors with predictable and generous force.

For all its virtues, the S5’s planted poise and unflappable neutrality come at something of a cost. The nature of Audi’s handling philosophy, and of Quattro, is to remain balanced at all times. If sliding and hanging out with the rear out is your thing, then look to the rear-wheel-drive basis underpinning the Benz and Bimmer. If the Audi’s conservative interior isn’t flashy enough compared to the C43, or the BMW’s six-speed manual is just too irresistible, the other Germans are perfectly good options. But Audi’s focus on timeless design, advanced tech, and stout, usable performance makes the 2018 S5 every bit the worthy heir to its predecessor. That sort of beauty, perhaps, is more than skin deep.

2018 Audi S5 Coupe Specifications

ON SALE Now
PRICE $55,575 (base)
ENGINE 3.0L turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6/354 hp

@ 5,400-6,400 rpm, 369 lb-ft @ 1,370-4,500 rpm

TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
LAYOUT 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine AWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE 21/30 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 184.7 x 79.9 x 53.9 in
WHEELBASE 108.8 in
WEIGHT 3,836 lb
0-60 MPH 4.4 sec
TOP SPEED 155 mph
2018 Audi S5 front three quarter 01 2018 Audi S5 front view 2018 Audi S5 side profile in motion 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter in motion 02 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter 02 2018 Audi S5 front end detail 2018 Audi S5 exhaust 2018 Audi S5 wheel 2018 Audi S5 headlight 2018 Audi S5 wheel and caliper 2018 Audi S5 badge 2018 Audi S5 tail light 2018 Audi S5 cabin 2018 Audi S5 drive mode selector 2018 Audi S5 grille 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter 03 1 2018 Audi S5 paddle shifter 2018 Audi S5 seat detail 2018 Audi S5 menu selection dial 2018 Audi S5 engine 01 2018 Audi S5 engine 02 2018 Audi S5 engine cover badge 2018 Audi S5 engine badge 2018 Audi S5 steering wheel controls 01 2018 Audi S5 seat stitching 2018 Audi S5 engine cover detail 2018 Audi S5 engine start button 2018 Audi S5 interior badge 2018 Audi S5 steering wheel controls 02 2018 Audi S5 wheel 2018 Audi S5 top view 2018 Audi S5 tail light 02 2018 Audi S5 tail light 01 2018 Audi S5 tail lamp 2018 Audi S5 side profile 02 2018 Audi S5 side profile 01 2018 Audi S5 rear window 2018 Audi S5 rear three quarter in motion 2018 Audi S5 rear three quarter 03 2018 Audi S5 rear three quarter 02 2018 Audi S5 rear three quarter 01 2018 Audi S5 rear seat 2018 Audi S5 rear end 2018 Audi S5 pedals 2018 Audi S5 instrument panel 02 2018 Audi S5 instrument panel 01 2018 Audi S5 headlamp 2018 Audi S5 grille 2018 Audi S5 front view in motion 2018 Audi S5 front three quarter in motion 03

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Dream Theater: Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 Replica Lets Its Owner Live Out Group B Rally Fantasies http://www.automobilemag.com/news/dream-theater-audi-sport-quattro-s1-e2-replica-lets-owner-live-group-b-rally-fantasies/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/dream-theater-audi-sport-quattro-s1-e2-replica-lets-owner-live-group-b-rally-fantasies/#respond Tue, 04 Apr 2017 21:00:39 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1146797 When Audi introduced all-wheel drive to the World Rally Championship, the sport would never be the same. Yet, after the Quattro’s introduction, the sport changed so drastically and so quickly that soon Audi’s own entrants were getting beat. To get back to the top of the World Rally Championship arms race, Audi introduced the WMD...

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When Audi introduced all-wheel drive to the World Rally Championship, the sport would never be the same. Yet, after the Quattro’s introduction, the sport changed so drastically and so quickly that soon Audi’s own entrants were getting beat. To get back to the top of the World Rally Championship arms race, Audi introduced the WMD that is the Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2.

The Quattro S1 E2 was powered by a turbocharged 2.1-liter five-cylinder engine fitted with one of the world’s first anti-lag systems. Power was officially stated at 470 hp, but cars routinely made much more than 500 hp, and there are  rumors that peg the Group B racer as having more than 700 hp.

1987 Audi Sport Quattro S1

With that kind of power at hand and the likes of Walter Röhrl, Michele Mouton, Stig Blomqvist, and Christian Geistdorfer behind the wheel, the car managed to snag second overall during the 1985 season and fourth overall in 1986. A year later, after the class was banned from WRC, Röhrl would take a slightly modified Sport Quattro S1 E2 to Pike’s Peak, winning the hillclimb outright.

This particular Sport Quattro S1 E2 is a replica painstakingly built to the exact specification of the Sport Quattro S1 E2 that won the Rallye Sanremo in 1985 with Röhrl behind the wheel. The decision to build a replica version of that specific Sport Quattro S1 E2 came after its owner, Volker Gehrt, met Roland Gumpert, the head of Audi Sport during the early days of all-wheel drive and a man that had more than a hand in the creation of the Quattro, including his 25 World Rally Championship wins and four World Rally Championship titles.

When Gehrt began talking about building the real thing, Gumpert was the man who advised him on where to source parts, how things went together, and every detail he could remember from the time to recreate the Sanremo Sport Quattro S1 E2. He even arranged a surprise meeting with the legendary Röhrl, whose signature remains on the car’s roof.

The result, well, it speaks for itself. Just listen to that turbocharged five-cylinder growl and tell us there was a better rally era.

Sport Quattro 1985 Audi Sport Quattro Bonhams Side 1985 Audi Sport Quattro Bonhams Front Three Quarters 1987 Audi Sport Quattro S1

 

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