Monthly Archives: April 2015

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The new ‘e-diesel’ has a zero net carbon footprint, being created through high-temperature electrolysis powered from renewable sources.

An Audi research facility in Dresden, Germany, has managed to create the first batches of diesel fuel with a net-zero carbon footprint — made from carbon dioxide (CO2), water and renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power.

Germany’s government has welcomed the new technology, created in partnership with a greentech company called Sunfire. Johanna Wanka, Germany’s Federal Minister of Education and Research, even test drove the fuel and called it, “a crucial contribution to climate protection and the efficient use of resources,” according to an Audi press release.

Manufacturing involves first breaking down steam into hydrogen and oxygen through high-temperature electrolysis. The hydrogen then reacts with CO2 to create a liquid called “blue crude.” This is then refined to make the e-diesel.

The next stage for the project will be industrial scale production because Sunfire only has capacity to produce 3,000 liters (792.5 gal.) of e-diesel in coming months.

“If we get the first sales order, we will be ready to commercialize our technology,” said Sunfire CTO Christian von Olshausen in a company press release.

A spokesman for Audi said the project is still “purely a research project” and that commercialization is still “several years away”, but the company has already brought to market similar synthetic fuel in the form of compressed natural gas that is used in its Audi A3 g-tron cars.

Video: Porsche 918 Spyder Doing 217 MPH In The Australian Outback

Topping out a Porsche 918 Spyder requires a lot of room. The Australian government doesn’t mind if you rev your 918’s 4.6-liter hybrid V8 to 8,900 RPM, as long as your do it out there in the Open Speed Zone.

A one year open speed trial commenced on 1 February 2014 on a 204 km section of the Stuart Highway north of Alice Springs to just south of Barrow Creek. An unrestricted speed limit means you should drive at speeds that would keep yourself and other road users safe at all times.

Yeah, right. Porsche quickly shipped a 918 Weissach there to show us what’s it like at 217 mph. At that speed, you just keep your fingers crossed that no kangaroo hops in your path.

 

Audi reveals Prologue Allroad concept

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The new form of automotive freedom:
the Audi prologue allroad show car

– Third member of the Audi prologue family for all types of roads
– Innovative display and operating concept for digital interaction
– Powerful and efficient with plug-in hybrid technology from Audi

High-end technology and unrestricted everyday practicality, plus alluring elegance: The Audi prologue allroad is making its world premiere at Auto Shanghai. In any terrain, in any situation: the five-door model with the raised body provides a new emphasis in the Audi prologue show car family. Its operating concept enables digital interaction between driver and passengers; the plug-in hybrid drive impresses with 540 kW (734 hp), yet low consumption.

Audi prologue, Audi prologue Avant and now the Audi prologue allroad: the new Audi design language is diverse, emotional and groundbreaking.

Like all allroad models from Audi, the Audi prologue allroad makes no compromises. 15 years ago, a new class of automobile debuted with the Audi allroad quattro: a car combining the comfort and dynamics of the luxury class with maximum variability and masterful off-road capability. Audi is now presenting a study in China that reflects a fresh interpretation of the typical allroad themes, providing a clear glimpse at the brand’s design future. The design of the Audi allroad prologue accentuates the elegant sportiness and uniqueness of the allroad concept.

Powerful and elegant: the side view
Viewed from the side, the 5.13 meter (16.8 ft) Audi prologue allroad displays the new, dynamic interpretation of the Audi allroad philosophy. A long front-end, a roofline that quickly begins to drop again and extremely flat D-pillars give it an athletic profile and emphasize the elegance and dynamics of the allroad concept in a fresh way.

The prominent bumpers and the flared wheel wells make the all-around talents of the Audi prologue allroad abundantly clear at the very first glance. The proportions emphasize the front and rear wheel equally. The widely flared wheel wells house 22‑inch wheels with a five-arm design.

The show car, demurely finished in Dehua White, is a stage for progressive elegance in every detail. The window capping strips include sensor surfaces for the door locks; the covers for the charging port and fuel tank are also electric. Aluminum accents the roof rails, the mirror housings, the area around the windows and both the front and rear of the car. An extension offset in gray runs along the wheel wheels and the entire bottom edge of the raised body. It expresses the power and robustness of the car and makes it seem even wider.

Progressive: the front end
A flat and wide Singleframe grille dominates the front. It is flushly integrated into the body of the automobile. With their cohesive appearance, its brushed aluminum crossbars create a new variant of the Audi e-tron look. The show car’s wedge-shaped headlights feature Matrix laser technology, an innovation that further extends Audi’s lead in lighting technology. The light is broken down in to countless tiny pixels, and the possibilities for distributing this light are virtually boundless. LED light guides sketch a new e-tron light signature at the upper and outer edges of the air inlets, which are bisected by the bumper blade.

Dynamic: the rear
The rear of the Audi prologue allroad is strongly drawn-in laterally and as with a yacht is tilted in the direction of travel, giving the show car a dynamic appearance even when standing still. A narrow strip of lights connects the LED rear lights. Their housings are made of 3D glass producing three-dimensional, sculpted effects. The sporty rear apron includes flat, horizontally split opening on both sides that graphically integrate the exhaust system into the rear-end design. This detail symbolizes the drive concept of the Audi prologue allroad – the efficient interplay of combustion engine and electric motor.

Spacious and airy: the interior
With its serenely elegant and highly variable interior, the Audi prologue allroad is the perfect car for everyday driving and recreation. Driver and passengers experience the spacious interior of the show car as a luxurious lounge. Lithely drawn lines and slender geometric bodies convey the impression of expanse, serenity and lightness. The continuous center console and the front seats appear to float. The instrument panel features a strictly horizontal orientation. Its upper level is part of the wraparound – the arc encircling the cabin and the luggage compartment. A perforated trim panel covers the broad air vent; it retracts as soon as the air-conditioning is set higher.

Glimpse into the future: the instrument panel
The interior architecture of the Audi prologue allroad merges with a groundbreaking new display and operating concept. Across its full width, the front of the instrument panel is designed to be a display surface which integrates three touch displays. Aluminum frames surround the driver displays to the right and left of the steering wheel. The front passenger can configure infotainment options using a widescreen display fully integrated into the instrument panel. He can swipe to send these to the right driver display or to the Audi virtual cockpit future behind the steering wheel.

The center console tunnel houses an additional driver display for climate control system, infotainment and text input. Featuring innovative OLED technology with an extremely thin, flexible film, it displays brilliant, high-contrast images. When inactive, the display is in a flat retracted position; as soon as the car is started, it moves up at an angle. The brand with the four rings is also breaking new ground with the Audi virtual cockpit future, which lies in the driver’s field of view. High-resolution displays and three semi-transparent mirrors generate a virtual visual stage with three levels. Thanks to this staggered approach, information is structured better and is easier to grasp.

Innovation in the rear
Rear passengers in the Audi prologue allroad sit in individual seats. They use an additional OLED display on the center console to adjust the seats, the climate control system and the infotainment for their area or to exchange data with the driver. When the audio system is switched on, a sound spoiler moves out of the rear wheelhouse panelings, homogeneously distributing music in the interior in top quality. Two Audi tablets, which can be mounted in the backs of the front seats, also use OLED technology. They are extremely thin and slightly curved.

The show car offers its driver and passengers superior comfort before the car even begins to move. The “butler” – an innovative, intelligent software program – identifies the passengers as they get based on their smartphones and adjusts the seats and climate control system according to their preferences. The system also makes suggestions for music and route planning according to the owner’s preferences. The Easy Slot system in the center console connects the phones with the onboard infotainment system and charges them inductively.

Novel: the materials and colors
The color and trim concept in the interior of the Audi prologue allroad emphasizes comfort and sporty elegance. The upper section of the instrument panel is finished in Lifestyle Blue, while the lower zone, the seats and the carpeting are Sard Brown. Bezels of open-pored, dark fine-grain ash veneer adorn the wraparound, the doors and the center tunnel console. Aluminum elements set powerful accents.

Natural-looking Unicum leather is in large sections of the instrument panel, on the center console tunnel and on the seats. Artfully designed perforations in the seat center lines are evocative of the Singleframe grille bars. A generous band of Alcantara runs from the door inserts over the arm rests to the luggage compartment.

Powerful efficiency
Powerful on the road, superior in light terrain, always efficient: the technology in the Audi prologue allroad offers the ultimate in automotive freedom.

The 4.0 TFSI engine – a V8 with twin turbochargers – and the electric motor integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic produce 540 kW (734 hp) of system power and 900 Nm (663.8 lb-ft) of system torque. The quattro all-wheel drive system utilizes the power of the Audi prologue allroad perfectly in every situation.

The show car rockets from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.5 seconds, yet consumes just 2.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (98.0 US mpg) according to the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrids, which corresponds to 56 grams CO2 per kilometer (90.1 g/mi). The lithium-ion battery mounted in the rear of the car has a capacity of 14.1 kWh for a purely electric range of 54 kilometers (33.6 mi). With its AWC (Audi wireless charging) technology which the brand is developing for series production, the Audi prologue allroad can also be charged inductively.

The body of the Audi prologue allroad is 77 millimeters (3.0 in) higher than that of the Audi prologue Avant. The chassis is state-of-the-art. The front and wheel axles are lightweight, five-link constructions. The 20-inch brake discs are made of weight-saving carbon-fiber ceramic. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – offers a wide range between extremely comfortable cruising and tight handling. The dynamic all-wheel steering combines a variable-ratio, dynamic steering unit with an additional steering unit for the rear wheels to harmoniously resolve the conflict between dynamic driving and stability.

VW CrossBlue Update

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VW AG Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said last year his company needed just one thing to succeed in the U.S.: “More SUVs.”

Winterkorn aims to make the Volkswagen group the world’s leading manufacturer of SUVs and crossover vehicles ranging from low-budget compact models to new ultraluxury SUVs planned by its Bentley and Lamborghini brands.

VW has premiered a concept of a 5-seat, midsize SUV it is considering developing under the name CrossBlue. The company is preparing to start production of a 7-seat CrossBlue in Chattanooga, Tenn., next year.

The CrossBlue is larger than anything VW offers in Europe, with a shoulder-high bulging hood and the spaciousness and commanding perspective.VW is keeping the final design of the 7-seat CrossBlue SUV under wraps until shortly before its official launch next year.

Ready to rock off-road: T-ROC

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The T-ROC is a compact, three-door crossover with aggressive styling and extra off-road capability beyond the next-generation Tiguan. T-ROC occupants can look forward to a highly digital experience. There are no fewer than three screens facing the driver, including a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a removable touch-screen tablet that serves as the main infotainment screen, and finally, an over-the-top AMOLED (active matrix organic LED) display for the climate-control system. Users bent on viewing and recording what’s going on outside the vehicle can access the feeds from the front and rear cameras when toggled in Off-Road mode. Other modes include Street, in which the T-ROC behaves like an average, front-drive-based crossover, and Snow, which calls up appropriate settings for slick road surfaces.

The T-ROC adds a neat, black-finished roof cap—separated from the body by classy aluminum strips—with two removable sections that give it Targa-like open-air capability.

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has stated a new compact CUV, based on the Golf platform, will reach production around 2018. It will be based off the T-ROC concept.

The 2015 Volkswagen Alltrack Is The Best Golf For The Family Yet

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Volkswagen executives mentioned earlier this year at the LA Auto Show that two Golf-based wagons, the SportWagen and the Outback-like Alltrack, will be coming to the US.

The Alltrack, in case you don’t remember, is a crossover version the regular Golf SportWagen, which is basically a new version of the former Jetta SportWagen.

The Alltrack is already being produced 2015 in Europe. In America the Alltrack crossover will be available with a six-speed automatic and 4MOTION all-wheel drive. 4MOTION decouples the rear axle in order to save fuel until the point when you need extra traction, in which case it can send nearly 100% of the torque to the rear.

Think of the Alltrack as a stretched Golf with permanent all-wheel drive, higher ground clearance and underside protection, hill descent assist and a choice of gas or diesel engines. In short, the perfect family car.

Ask us about the Alltrack >>

 

2015 Volkswagen Golf R: The Ultimate Hot Hatch

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VW invented the hot hatchback, and the 2015 Golf R is the ultimate hot hatch.

Now in its seventh generation, the car that essentially invented the hot-hatch segment is still carving corners like a Porsche, yet retaining the practicality and refinement that makes hot hatches special.

Compared to the previous generation, the new Golf R has 36 more horses, is 0.6 seconds quicker to 60 mph, 75 pounds lighter, almost an inch lower, and has a revamped four-wheel drive system (with XDS+ electronic differential control on both axles), and DCC adaptive dampers. Yet it still gets 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

The hatchback’s automatic gearbox is so quick and responsive that most of the time you won’t even have to use the paddles. Toggle the ‘Race’ Driving Mode on the standard touchscreen and the Golf R tightens up the steering and suspension, and holds gears like a race driver.

Switch to “Comfort” and the engine immediately drops revs and quiets down, while the active suspension rides out harsh bumps. Or choose “Normal,” “Eco,” and customizable “Individual” modes as well.

Best of all, even though the Golf R is a 292-hp athlete, other than its badging, quad exhaust tips, and standard Bi-Xenon headlights, it still looks enough like a Golf that unless you blur through a speed trap (admittedly, hard to resist), the police will mistake you for a responsible young professional on the way to the office.

Maybe VW should call that “Stealth Mode.”

Ask us about the Golf R >>

Dashboard Navigation and Premium Sound for your Classic Porsche

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Porsche is responding to the growing demand for a built-in navigation/audio system device for classic sports cars. It fits perfectly into the DIN-1 slot that has been used in the sports cars for decades and is operated by means of two knobs, six discreetly integrated buttons and a touch-sensitive 3.5-inch display.

Thanks to the appearance of the black surface and the shape of the knobs, which are supplied in two authentically styled versions as standard, the navigation radio blends harmoniously into the dashboard of classic Porsche models. It bears Porsche lettering and is suitable for the sports car generations from the first 911 of the 1960s to the last of the 911 series with air cooling from the mid-1990s (993 series), including front-engine and mid-engine models.

The new navigation radio comes with all the key features of today’s systems. In addition to low-interference radio reception and precise navigation, it has interfaces for a variety of external music sources that can be controlled from the display. A smartphone can be connected via Bluetooth. In addition, the classic radio not only has a built-in microphone but also comes with an external microphone. The integrated amplifier delivers 4×45 watts and can be connected either directly to the loud-speakers or to the original sound system using an optional adapter cable.

The new navigation radio has been exclusively developed for Porsche Classic. Radio reception, for instance, has been optimized for traditional telescoping rod radio antennas. Drivers have a choice of arrows and two-dimensional or three-dimensional maps to display the route. The maps are stored on a microSD card with eight gigabytes of memory and are updated regularly.

In the United States, the Porsche Classic navigation radio is in the final testing stages. Availability and pricing for this market will be determined upon completion of testing.

Unfiltered. The new Boxster Spyder.

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The last time the Boxster Spyder was available as a new model on a Porsche lot was during the 2012 model year, and now it’s back and more powerful than ever.

In fact, the Spyder is the most powerful Boxster to roll out of a Porsche dealer. Instead of using one of the two engines already available for the Boxster, Porsche took the same route it did with the Cayman GT4 by cramming the 911 Carrera S’ 3.8-liter flat-six behind the seats and mating it to a six-speed manual transmission. The 911 engine injects 375 horsepower into the drop-top, and reduces its 0-to-60 time to just 4.3 seconds – 0.4 seconds quicker than the Boxster GTS. Additionally, this added power jumps its top speed to 180 mph – 6 mph higher than the Boxster GTS.

To help keep the added power in check, Porsche also spent a little time tweaking the suspension. It dropped the ride height by 20 mm (0.78 inches), firmed up the suspension and added in 911 Carrera S brakes.

There are two visual items that indicate this is a Boxster Spyder: the top and the rear cowl. Instead of being an electrically operated top, it is manual to help save weight, except for its electric latch. The rear cowl features a set of fins heading toward the rear of the car, which are staples of the Boxster Spyder. On top of the two obvious changes, the front and rear fascias are exclusive to the Spyder. The front end features larger air intakes and the lip sticks out farther, and the rear has a revised diffuser.

The interior also got a few upgrades for this new trim level. The Boxster Spyder comes standard with Sport Seats Plus, a smaller-diameter steering wheel, and “Spyder” embroidered on the headrests. To help shave a little extra weight, the Boxster Spyder loses its standard audio system and air conditioning.

As the new Porsche Boxster Spyder gears up for launch, the company has added it to the comprehensive Porsche online configurator. Upon visiting the online tool you are introduced to a number of special “exclusive” colors for the Spyder.

These options add a certain flair to the semi-stripped-out sports car and make it more of a collectible item than it already is. With cars like the Spyder, Porsche continues to hone their skills at the art of offering less and charging more.

Through the configurator you can spec up your Porsche Boxster Spyder down to the last details and have it customized with painted wheels, five different two-tone interiors, and Sport Design package.

The 2016 Boxster Spyder will hit dealerships in October 2015, but you may place your order now. Prices start from $82,100, not including the $995 destination charge.