Wednesday, October 3, 2007

2008 Audi R8 Arrives

Audi Australia has today launched its most anticipated car yet, the R8 sports coupe. The $259,000+ car marks Audi's first attempt at joining the high-performance sports coupe club.

The R8 is powered by a high-revving 4.2-litre V8 FSI engine with 309kW and 430Nm, it will go from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds. On paper, the R8 should be able to steal some sales from the similarly priced Aston Martin V8 Vanquish.

Audi Australia's Managing Director, Joerg Hofmann, says the R8's introduction will help boost the company's profile in Australia.

"The Audi R8 will become an icon for Audi and albeit niche, this is a car that clearly embodies our Vorsprung durch Technik (progress through technology). It will be instrumental in further boosting our brand image and awareness in this market," Mr Hofmann said.

If you think 260k is a lot for an Audi, it's best to remember the car is engineered with huge racing credentials. Besides, almost 15% of the R8 is shared with the Lamborghini Gallardo, including the transmission and chassis.

Using a mid-engined concept and quattro drivetrain, the R8 promises to be one extremely competent car.

Audi's Space Frame ASF aluminium technology means the R8 weighs only 1560KG and the car utilises Audi's new magnetic ride adaptive damping system for better handling and comfort.

The R8 package includes high performance ceramic brakes, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, rear view camera, Audi's Multi Media Interface MMI and in another world first for Audi, the 2008 model R8 will be the first car in the world with all-LED headlights.

There will be two variants of the R8, the 6-speed manual variant ($259,990) and the six-speed sequential R-tronic version ($274,900).

Audi believes at least 100 Australians will take home an R8 per year. The German company is currently producing 20 R8s per day. The first 25 Australian buyers will take delivery within the next 2 months.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Audi Quattro’s Renewed Glory

Audi Quattro is a car make and model that is often identified with spectacular performance. This, together with its uniquely designed interiors and exterior, makes the Audi Quattro distinct from all other cars. Innovations of style and design that Audi has been recognized for are well manifested in all their Quattro models. No surprise then why first time Audi Quattro buyers owners always come away satisfied. For this reason, Audi continues its production of Quattro models, each one with upgrade than the last.

Cars of this must always be kept in good shape to ensure that the stunning performance it is capable of is never compromised. This is easy enough to do, since Audi Quattro Parts are being offered by a lot of aftermarket dealers. With such available sources in tow, even the oldest Quattro models will be able to regain a semblance of their former glory simply by securing new and high quality Audi Quattro Parts that match the specific make or model of the car in question. But while replacing old and impaired components with new Audi Quattro Parts, there is one device in particular that one must not forget: the Audi Catalytic Converter.

In this day and age, distinction is all very well and good but the emergence of greener technology, especially in the automotive industry, has given rise to the production of car devices that are more environmentally friendly. With car owners becoming more environmentally-conscious nowadays, making sure that one installs a catalytic converter in one's Audi vehicle is a must. An Audi Catalytic Converter is responsible for processing unburned fuel through a chemical reaction. Oxidization is the chemical reaction that turns carbon monoxide into a mixture of just carbon dioxide and water. This leads to the production of lesser harmful engine emissions. Thus, in the end, having a fully modified Quattro, updated with the latest Audi Quattro Parts that may include an Audi Catalytic Converter, is simply ideal. This is true not only in terms of acquiring a car capable of spectacular road performance but of having one that's healthy for the environment as well.


Audi R8 Best Handling Car of 2007

AutoCar awarded the Audi R8 as the best handling car of 2007. Why? Well watch this video and you will find out why!
The R8 is powered by a 4.2 liter V8 engine with an output of 420 hp. 0 to 60 mph sprint is made in just 4.5 seconds.


Power of Audi

It was a new record. About 250,920 spectators attended the 75th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and watched the Audi R10 TDI win back to back victories. For Audi, it was the seventh win in nine starts at the French long-distance classic. Indeed, when it comes to racing, Audi models have had a quite successful history. In the United States, the 2003 SSCA Speed World GT Challenge saw an Audi RS6 compete with Corvettes, Vipers and BMWs. All of them proved inferior to the RS6, as the Audi.

Taking engineering to the next level, Audi produces the same high octane design in every automobile it releases out in the consumer market. These cars are equipped with highly efficient parts and accessories that supplement the overall performance of Audi. On the subject of acceleration, the Audi Belts provide the essential capability to control the timing of the engine's valves. A timing pulley transmits force to the belt via evenly spaced grooves, which meet with the teeth in the belt. These same grooves and teeth prevent belt slippage. Synchronous belt drives are highly efficient and contribute to power transmission. The Audi belt basically connects the crankshaft to the camshaft which, in turn, controls the opening and closing of the engine's valves. Of course, efficient timing belts results clockwork precision in engine operation. On the other hand, another Audi part offers superior stopping power. The Audi brake booster, typically mounted on the firewall, amplifies the available foot pressure applied to the brakes. Its power is derived from the vacuum coming from the engine. Audi specifically developed the boosters to effectively support the braking technology in every Audi vehicle.

Audi sets new goals for the incoming years. The European car maker is working on pursuing leading-edge technology and innovative, unconventional design. With parts like the Audi belt and Audi brake booster, Audi's current success proves to be just the tip of a gigantic iceberg.


Audi Targets American Luxury Market

Audi AG is setting its sights on a far larger slice of the American luxury car market with a plan to more than double its sales there to 200,000 by 2015.

"We are selling 95,000 [vehicles] now. By 2015 we want a doubling of the number," Ralph Weyler, Audi's head of marketing and sales, told the Financial Times.

Audi's ambitious target is the German automaker's effort to close the sales gap with industry leader Toyota Motor Corp. by investing in territories where the Japanese car manufacturer dominates. The premium brand of Volkswagen AG will put emphasis on the manufacture and sale of sport utilities, the segment where Toyota is hauling shoppers.

Martin Winterkorn, the Volkswagen CEO, wants the brand to increase its global sales by ten percent a year and exceed eight million units by 2010.

Additionally, the German automaker will retool its dealership network in the United States. The company will also develop a new sport utility dubbed the Q5. This is to elevate its standing in the world's biggest auto market. This is why the company is improving not only the Audi clutch master cylinder and other auto parts but the entire lineup itself.

Audi has to struggle to cope with the increasing challenge in the American market where it is less successful that European automakers like BMW. Audi intends to become "the most successful premium brand in the world", with 1.5 million sales by 2015, although BMW's own unit sales targets are even more ambitious. Audi's newest models are receiving rave reviews in Europe, and in China the brand outsells both BMW and Mercedes.

In the United States, the brand has underperformed since the 1980s, when reported problems with "unintended acceleration" of one of its cars hit its business. To stress, Mercedes-Benz and BMW were quicker to develop sport utilities - a popular auto format in America. More recently, Audi has been successful with its Q7 SUV.

Audi planned to increase the quality of its dealers in the US, many of which are "multi-franchise" outfits selling its cars alongside those of other brands, Weyler said. The company has about 110 exclusive dealers, and will maintain its focus on large metropolitan areas on the American coasts and cities such as Dallas, Houston and Chicago.

Sales of luxury cars in the United States are proving tough in spite of recent market volatility linked to the subprime mortgage crisis. BMW, Mercedes, Toyota's Lexus brand and Audi all reported higher sales in August this year. Unlike Mercedes and BMW, both of which have factories in the United States, Audi had no plans for local production. "At the moment, we don't have adequate volume," Weyler said.

Volkswagen, on the other hand, is weighing the possibility of building its first US production plant.


Monday, October 1, 2007

Spy photos: Audi A1

Altough the car looks like a tuned Volkswagen Polo, the car you see in the photo is actually the future Audi A1. The future Mini rival will share the same platform,which will be cheaper to build and more flexible, with the 2010 Audi A3.

According to CarOnline there are chances to see on the streets derivates of the Audi A1 like the Q1 and the S1.  Also the quattro system will be available on the future Mini rival. More things will be revealed next month when Audi will unveil the A1 prototype at the Tokyo Motor Show.


2007 Audi TT Roadster 2.0 Road Test

"Audi's latest TT Roadster in 2.0 (Turbo) FSI guise nails its German rivals on almost every level, despite its smaller engine and lower price"

Test Model: 2007 Audi TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI S tronic
Colour: Sahara Silver
Options Fitted: Metallic Paint @ $1300 (yes because flat colours don't suit the TT)Fine Nappa Leather @ $800 (yes- for comfort alone) Electric Front seat/Lumbar support @ $2100 (No should be standard and the manual system works well)Xenon Plus Headlights @ 2500 (I'm a huge fan of Xenon and Bi-Xenon but at this price on this car I'd pass)Acoustic Rear Parking (a must – but again, rear sensors should be standard fit)
Recommended Retail Price: $77,500 without options

Where it sits: It's the entry level TT Roadster, but don't think for one minute that you've got a compromise. In many ways this car is the most rewarding drive of the two new TT Roadsters. The bigger engine 3.2 quattro S-tronic, commands a premium at $92,900.

We can be mildly dismissive of the weaker race here at Car Advice, generally preferring a seat behind the wheel of the more powerful variants of each model we test. Yes, it's downright immature and not professional.
But more power is not always better. Never so true than with the smaller engine TT Roadster 2.0 T (for Turbo) FSI fitted with Audi's warp-speed shifting S tronic gearbox.

Any pervious thoughts that my time with the less powerful TT might be a little dull were banished the moment I gave the car a gentle prod.

It's not just quick and that's 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds or better quick, it's more that bruup sound it makes every time the 2.0L direct injection turbocharged inline four shifts up a gear, with your right foot hard on the pedal. Almost sounds like Superbike legend Troy Bayliss, peddling up through the gears on his V-twin Duke*. Can't get enough of it!
There's barely any turbo lag, and that, with a positively decent 280Nm of torque, all the way from 1800rpm to 5000rpm, would have you believing this car is quicker out of the blocks than its 3.2- litre big brother. With a top speed of 237km/h its just 13km/h off the pace of the V6 which is limited to 250km/h.
If that doesn't do it for you, then 22kms of deserted snake bends (somewhere on the NSW coast) will see you begging for more. Bend to bend performance is erotic. Scuttle shake – non-existent. This is a seriously good drive.

The S tronic (twin clutch and twin gear sets) gearbox and the steering wheel mounted shift paddles is a marriage made in heaven.

With gear changes happening in 8 milliseconds, downshifts into corners sound like an F1 car.

Just like the new TT Coupe we road tested a month or so back, the TT Roadster has had a growth spurt. Longer, wider and way more stiffer in the body department. Try 120% stiffer – if you're talking torsional rigidity.
And that's not the only reason this TT Roadster behaves impeccably on the road. Unladen weight is just 1,295 kilos, which is remarkable when you consider the additional size and additional structural integrity.
You can put much of these improvements down to one major component. Audi's space frame body. It's 58% aluminium and only 42% steel, which adds hugely to the driving dynamics of this Roadster.

Steer into a corner and the TT sticks to a precise line regardless of the road surface. This is a particularly easy car to drive at pace, with excellent feedback through the steering wheel.
The electro-mechanical Speed Sensitive power steering does its job of ensuring the right amount of boost in almost all driving situations.
The car feels well planted at all times with wider low-profile rubber in 245/45 sitting on the standard 17-inch alloy rims. They look fine, but the optional 18's and 19's look better.

Like all cars in the Volkswagen group – Audi have got the compromise between ride quality and handling, pretty much right. The TT Roadster is a perfect example of that. You won't feel any harsh body jarring in this car, even if you're well into it, on less than perfect bitumen.

Brake pedal response is phenomenal and inspires tremendous confidence from behind the wheel. New brake pads generate substantially more friction and brake rotors and sufficiently large at 312 mm and 286mm respectively.
As good as the TT Roadster is as a fully-fledged sports car, it probably isn't the prime reason for buyers choosing this car.
It's all too easy to forget that the TT Roadster is also one of the finest looking drop tops in the automotive world. It's also got the fastest electric roof in the business. Twelve seconds flat – even at 30km/h and that's guaranteed. We timed it. MG die-hards lament.

I guess I'm sitting on the fence when it comes to the pros and cons of soft tops verses folding hard tops, but let's be honest – authentic drop tops are not metal, they're fabric!
The benefits are more to do with driveability than practicality. Less weight in a roadster is a major plus and when the roof is up – the centre of gravity is even lower.
The TT's folding roof is a clever system for a number of reasons; the framework under the fabric is a blend of aluminium and steel with an integrated glass rear window. Most folding roofs whether fabric or metal rob the boot area of valuable space, rendering them next to useless as a luggage area. Not so with the TT Roadster.

The Z-fold soft top fits neatly into it's own compartment between the bulkhead and rear lid leaving a decent size cargo area.

It's also wonderfully neat with its own built in tonneau cover. And for highway cruising – you'll need to hit the wind deflector button and all will be sorted.

Noise levels inside the car are not that dissimilar to that of the full metal coupe due partly to the acoustic mat between the frame and the skin, which also assists with thermo insulation inside the cabin.
I'm running out of superlatives for this review, but I need a couple more to describe the TT Roadster's interior fit out.
Audi does the finest production car interiors today, and that's just fact. But they seem to raise the Bar when it comes to their iconic TT.

From the ridiculously good sports seats covered in the most comfortable Fine Nappa Leather I've ever sat in, to the flat bottomed racing style steering wheel and bespoke-like switchgear and materials – its all top shelf and a level of quality unsurpassed by any of its competitors.

As an amateur audio buff, I can tell you that the bog standard Symphony sound system with 9 active speakers via a 6 disc CD changer head unit in the TT is a cracker - tried and tested with roof down at speeds north of 100km/h.
I'm utterly surprised that this thing only puts out 140watts but unfortunately there's still no standard fit MP3 input which allows you to plug an iPod directly into the head.
The driving position is Porsche like. I mean 911 Porsche like, in that you are sitting in the car – not on top of the car. The ergonomics are particularly well sorted and driver focussed. You could do a long trip in this car and still manage a game of golf at the end of it all.

As expected, a full inventory of the latest active and passive safety features are on board with dual stage airbags for driver and passenger only, remembering that the TT Roadster is strictly a two seater.
As far as German rivals for the TT Roadster 2.0 TFSI go, you could look at the Z4 2.5si Roadster, but that's going to cost you $80,000 with a 6-speed auto. It's also slower and not nearly as stylish.
You might take a peak at the SLK 200 K from Mercedes Benz, which has a 1.8-litre supercharged engine with a 5-speed auto and good for a 0-100km/h time of around 8 seconds. Problem is – you'll need to find $89,474 before you tick any of the options.


Audi Tuner - 2008 Hofele Design Audi Q7

Audi-Tuner Hofele-Design gives the Audi Q7 a new face.

Special attention of the new Hofele concept for the Audi Q7 draw the new bumpers, made of the high-quality material RIM. The front bumper is highlighted by the big air intakes, the Single-Frame grill from the S8, A8 or W12 and four Hella lights. These lights are LED day driving light + fog and cornering light. The use of the A8 grills makes the front rounder than on the original Q7.

An eye-catcher are the stainless steel tailpipes which are integrated into the rear apron. A flat roof spoiler sits on the edge of the tailgate. Door attachments with an air intake stretch the sides of the luxury SUV.

Wheel arch extensions on all four fenders cover the mighty wheels. As wheel and tire combination the new „Reverso 22" designer wheel in the size 10Jx22" with tires 295/30 R 22 are mounted. The four wheels with Pirelli tires cost 4.750,- Euro. The car is lowered 40mm and also wider thanks to wheel spacers. For cars with an adaptive air suspension an electronic lowering module is available.

With an electronic tuning kit, the output of the 3,0 TDI can be increased from 233 HP and 500 Nm to more than 280 HP with 580 Nm. Price for the kit: 1.150,- Euro.

Also available for the Q7: an exclusive interior concept with carbon, exotic woods and leather for instrument panel, steering wheel and door trims.

All parts are being mounted to the original points of fixation. This is easy going and requires no modifications to the car at all.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Audi A1 prototype testing

It seems that Audi has definitely decided to go after BMW's Mini, also some reports say that new A1 goes head-to-head with BMW 1 series. However it is obvious, Audi gonna come up with their new fighter for race in compact class.
If you ask me, these spy photos shows not much more than a pimped VW Polo, but there is no place for doubts that this is Audi's mule when you look at the licence plates, this prototype comes from Ingolstadt, Audi's home turf. What this will turn into we can expect to see at the upcoming Tokio Motor Show where Audi supposed to show conceptual look of the new A1; meanwhile we can play with PhotoShop
According to some reports, new A1 should debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, but knowing that it is already under active engineering and prototype testing I wouldnt be surprised if it happens earlier.


Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry Test Drive Audi R8

As players of one of the world's best teams, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi or Thierry Henry are not easily shaken. But whenever they receive the keys to their new cars from vehicle partner Audi the eyes of even these seasoned football stars start shining. Today was another such occasion: At the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona Ralph Weyler, Member of the Board for Marketing and Sales of AUDI AG, handed their new "company cars" over to the athletes. Audi and FC Barcelona have been partners since the past football season. The favourite product chosen from the sporty model range of the brand in Ingolstadt was again the Audi Q7.

Before the official hand-over of the vehicles in Barcelona, where the DTM is staging its penultimate race on Sunday, the footballers experienced the fascination of the Audi models in a special way: They had the chance to complete a few fast laps in the new Audi R8 sports car and proved to be as sporty as safe in their driving style. No wonder, after all, the two Audi factory drivers Mattias Ekström and Tom Kristensen had shared a few tips and tricks with the footballers. The favourite for the champion's title from Sweden and the seven-time winner of Le Mans accompanied the driver safety training which Audi had arranged for the players of FC Barcelona and chauffeured part of the team around the circuit in an Audi A4 DTM race taxi.

The footballers and the racers had already met the night before: Mattias Ekström and Tom Kristensen attended the Champions League home match of FC Barcelona against Olympique Lyon at Camp Nou, Europe's largest football stadium. "To watch this team play together with a crowd of 80,000 was an impressive experience," raved football fan Kristensen after the home victory.


Audi retires from Barcelona

DTM Barcelona: Scandal as Audi withdraw

A mass withdrawal from the DTM race at Barcelona by Audi overshadowed Jamie Green's maiden victory at the Catalunya circuit.

Audi management took the unprecedented step of withdrawing all of their cars after its principal title charges Martin Tomcyk and Mattias Ekstrom were involved in controversial crashes.

Audi Sport issued a statement claiming, "the Mercedes drivers used every opportunity to eliminate our cars."

The race began with Audi's Tomcyk on pole and he led Mercedes' Mika Hakkinen cleanly away at the start.

But what happened next between the pair was not so clean. Hakkinen caught Tomcyk's draught down the straight on lap six and was squeezed to the very inside of the first corner. Hakkinen braked too deep and the pair made contact, putting Hakkinen out and delaying Tomcyk.

Tomcyk's team mate and championship rival Ekstrom made his first pit stop around the same time leaving Mercedes driver in control of the race - Bruno Spengler leading from Bernd Schneider and Jamie Green.

Ekstrom's early pit stop left him battling in the pack and he caught Daniel la Rosa on lap 14. The pair were battling for position and when Ekstrom passed la Rosa on lap 14 he squeezed his rival off the track. La Rosa lost control on the grass and side-swiped Ekstrom's car, putting both out.

He later denied that he had continued to accelerate when he had been put on the grass and insisted that he had braked. But the stewards nonetheless penalised him and Hakkinen with fines and ten place grid penalties for the next race.

Tomcyk meanwhile was battling back through the field, moving up to seventh after his first pit stop but losing time running wide at turn one on lap 25. But he wasn't to last much longer - a problem with his battered car surfaced on his second pit stop and he subsequently retired.

That left Spengler looking at an open goal in terms of scoring championship points but he was delayed by a drive-through penalty. Schneider was eliminated with car failure which left Green poised to scoop his first ever win.

Further back the incidents continued. Spengler tried to pass Lucas Luhr around the outside but Luhr pushed Spengler wide and kept the position.

On lap 37 Mattias Lauda and Timo Scheider clashed, the contact sending Scheider's Audi into retirement. Temperatures were boiling on the Audi pit wall, but it was har do apportion blame for the collision.

The team finally snapped when Spengler passed Mike Rockenfeller on lap 46. Rockenfeller had defended his position very strongly and Spengler had gone up the inside of the Audi on the exit of La Caixa. The pair squeezed each other, contact was inevitable, and Rockenfeller was knocked across the gravel trap.

On the pitwall, Audi boss Wolfgang Ullrich had had enough. He ordered all remaining seven Audis directly into the pits to withdraw in response to the string of incidents. That ended the races of Rockenfeller, Luhr, Tom Kristensen, Alexandre Premat, Christian Abt, Markus Winklehock and Vaninia Ickx.

That left just six Mercedes circulating with Green leading. Paul di Resta, second, let Spengler past as per team orders but Green, as a first team driver, was spared the order and left to claim his maiden victory - although he clearly earned and wasn't involved in any of the controversy, it's likely that it will be somewhat overshadowed.

It remains to be seen what the consequences will be for the DTM - and Audi's participation in it - following this controversial twist.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Audi A5 receives two new engines

Audi, the German automaker continues to extend its A5 line. The recently launched A5 coupe receives now two new engines: a 3.2 FSI quattro and a 1.8 TFSI.

The 3.2 FSI engine helps the A5 to sprints from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds while the top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. The 1.8 TFSI engine helps the coupe to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 8.4 seconds while the top speed is of 228 km/h.The average fuel consumption is of 9.2 litres in the case of the 3.2 FSI engine and 7.1 litres at the 1.8 engine.

Press release: 

Audi continues to extend its A5 model line, which has enjoyed a successful start: as of now, the sporty coupé is available with two new engine versions. The 3.2 FSI quattro allied with the six-speed manual gearbox is an especially dynamic source of power, while the 1.8 TFSI, also with manual shift, offers an extremely efficient alternative.

The 3.2 FSI, with its power output of 195 kW (265 bhp), is the most powerful engine in the A5 model line. The Audi engineers concentrated all of their expertise in this power unit, combining FSI petrol direct injection with the innovative Audi valvelift system for variable valve lift control and various measures for reducing internal friction. All this work has resulted in supreme refinement and impressive pulling power, with 330 Nm of torque available all the way from 3,000 to 5,000 rpm.

The 3.2 FSI gives the A5 performance figures worthy of a sports car. With this engine, the grand tourer sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, and its top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h. The powerful coupé has an average fuel consumption of just 9.2 litres. The price of the Audi A5 3.2 quattro with manual gearbox is 44,200 euros.

Extremely high efficiency is the particular strength of the 1.8 TFSI. This four-cylinder engine, which is a new addition to the coupé model line, combines the benefits of the FSI principle with the advantages of turbocharging. These technologies together generate a power output of 125 kW (170 bhp). The peak torque of 250 Nm is available from as low as 1,500 rpm. The 1.8-litre engine comes with a manual six-speed gearbox and front-wheel drive.

With the powerful four-cylinder unit, the Audi A5 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 228 km/h. It sets excellent standards in terms of fuel consumption, limiting itself to an average of just 7.1 litres per 100 km. The A5 1.8 TFSI is available for 32,750 euros.


Audi to launch Q7 Hybrid in 2008

The Audi Q7 was the last SUV model to launch from the platform shared with the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne but it looks like it will be the first to launch a hybrid version. Automotive News is reporting that Audi will start production of the hybrid Q7 in late 2008, several months after introducing the new diesel models in the US market.

The hybrid system is being developed in conjunction with VW and Porsche. They have made the system modular so that it can be adapted to other vehicles in the product lineup. Porsche has already indicated that they will use the system on the upcoming Panamera sedan in addition to the Cayenne.

In the Q7 it will be paired up with a 3.6L V-6 and should yield about 23mpg. The electric part of the drivetrain will be able to drive the vehicle at up to 31 mph and the engine can be shut off at speeds up to 75 mph when coasting.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Abt Sportsline releases the Audi AS6 3.0L TDI

We're used to seeing plenty of highly modified petrol cars but every now and then a tuned oil-burner crops up. This time it's from the Bavarian-based Abt Sportsline, which has taken the wraps off its new AS6 3.0L TDI. The new car boasts a rare 100hp (75kW) per liter output, with a total 300hp (225kW) churned out by its 3.0L TDI mill. The maximum torque, which arrives at 4000rpm, is a staggering 600Nm.

The increases come from a series of upgrades including new engine management software and more boost from a custom Abt compressor. With the new performance numbers, the AS6 completes the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 249km/h.

Ensuring all that torque reaches the ground, engineers added a set of 20in wheels measuring 9in across. They also upgraded the brakes, added an adjustable suspension set-up and a complete bodykit. The latter consists of a set of side skirts, front spoiler and pumped fenders.


Audi R8 downed in Moscow

The Audi R8 isn't even on sale yet in most parts of the globe, but already we've heard of cars going up in flames in Germany and now we have a story about one that's gone amok in downtown Moscow. From the images, it appears the driver lost of control of the car in the wet weather, skidded across onto the median strip and then crashed into a small tree before spinning to a stop. The car must have been traveling at some speed because the crash managed to rip out the car's headlight out, projecting it several meters away onto a small patch of grass.

Every time we see a crashed exotic, we wonder when more car companies will start offering some kind of advanced driver training course as part of the car's purchase. Then again, there's no way to prevent the stupidity that makes someone want to speed in a built-up urban area in the wet. We hope the driver was at least smart enough to have insurance because it appears this R8 will have one very hefty repair bill.


600 New Employees for Audi

Audi is hiring young graduates in an effort to ensure the strong future of the brand. This year, the automaker is looking for 600 new employees.

German automaker Audi is making a bid to become the king of the mountain. Six hundred academics is the target for Audi. The young talents are there to unveil the new Audi RS6 - the company's most powerful production vehicle. Dr, Werner Widuckel, a Board Member for Human Resources at Audi AG, declared that the increase in their offering will mean more jobs in the future. Only motivated and dedicated employees will ensure company success and innovative power in the future," he said.

Most in demand are graduates in electrical engineering, mechatronics, mechanical engineering and automotive technology. Not only academics are attracted to Audi as an employer: 682 young people started their apprenticeships last week in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. Audi provides training in 20 different vocations.

"To a great extent, graduates want to identify with the products of their preferred employer. Factors such as market success and innovative power, interesting work and individual opportunities for development play an important role when choosing an employer," added Dr. Widuckel.

Last year, the automaker recruited 450 academics. The increase in the number of employees they are hiring shows the company responding to the need for engineers. The automaker is focusing on the employment of young engineers to develop highly-efficient diesel engines as well as alternative powertrains.


Preview: 2010 Audi A1 hatch and cabrio

The minicar segment is about to explode, with new models planned from most of the major carmakers including, for the first time, premium labels such as Audi, which is planning to launch the new A1 hatch in 2009. A concept version of the car will be displayed at next month's Tokyo Motor Show complete with a hybrid drivetrain. These new renderings give us an accurate look at what to expect, revealing designers are going with conventional hatchback styling and Audi's familiar oversized grille.

The A1 won't be a niche model. Audi management is hoping to sell more than 100,000 units per year and will likely add a 'shooting brake' mini-estate and cabrio to its lineup. Audi is also rumored to be working on a mini SUV labeled the Q1, which you can see a preview of by clicking here. In addition to the mild hybrid version, Audi will also build cars equipped with more conventional TSI and FSI petrol engines as well as its frugal TDI diesels displacing 1.4 and 1.6L.

The car will be built on a new platform that will also spawn the next-gen VW Polo as well as allow engineers to add quattro AWD for a low-volume performance model. The new platform also means engineers may add a new low cost dual-clutch transmission with seven gears in total. Unlike the production version of the VW up! concept, the Audi A1 won't be cheap and is expected to have a price tag of around €20,000. By contrast, VW's minicar is expected to cost close to €8,000.


2008 Audi R8 on tour around Canada

Audi has something good going on with the R8 supercar and they know it. The problem is, there isn't enough of them to go around. In order to make sure as many enthusiasts as possible get to lay eyes on the new machine, Audi is sending 15 journalists on a cross Canada jaunt from Cape Spear, all the way to the west, finishing up in Victoria, BC.

Friend of The Garage, Russ Bond from Painkillerz is lucky enough to be along for the section from Barrie, Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario. In fact, Russ is having a month filled with R8 goodness, having visited the press launch for the car last week and will spend next week with the press car. While Russ is on the road with the Audi R8 Trans-Canada Performance Tour, he'll be updating Painkillerz readers with daily photos and stories.