We were summarily impressed with the A3 sedan when we attended its press introduction in San Francisco a year ago. Since then, Audi dealers have had trouble keeping the little sedan on their lots as demand for the entry-entry-luxury segment ramps up. In order to broaden the A3 line, as well as go head-to-head with other small, high-performance German offerings such as the BMW M235i and Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG, Audi rolled out the S3 sedan – a more heavily pressurized and tightly suspended version of the previous 2.0 TFSI range-topper. So is this simply a Golf R in evening wear, or a legitimate successor to the performance Quattro throne? Read on to find out.
Tag - quattro
Audi Sport has pulled the covers off the 2014 spec R18 e-tron quattro after a week of heavy testing at Sebring International Raceway. While the name is the same as the current Audi LMP, the 2014 spec R18 is a huge leap forward in prototype design for Audi. Audi says the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro is the most complex race car they’ve ever built, and furthers the development of the successful WEC and Le Mans winning R18.
Major Equipment: “Prestige” equipment, navigation, DSG transmission, uprated leather interior.
Approximate mileage driven: 800
M. MITIAS: Since being introduced in 1998, the Audi TT has been known more for award-winning design than race winning performance, developing a loyal following among stylish urban professionals and little interest amongst hardcore track rats. Devoted Audiphiles wishing to devour sweeping turns and late apexes along with their creme brulee and mochaccinos typically opted for the street-cred approved S4, which rapidly became the tuner Audi of choice.
Meanwhile, Audi continued their steady march to introduce an S model of each car in their line to keep abreast of the dizzying performance arms race amongst luxury automakers. The Beetle in a black dress was sent off to martial arts class, and the result is less Laura Ashley and a lot more Lara Croft. The TTS package features an upgraded 2.0 direct injection gasoline engine, now producing 268hp and 258lbft of torque, Quattro AWD and six speed S-tronic direct shift transmission, along with electronic stability control, handy for keeping your TTS shiny and undamaged during those times when you get it all wrong.
In an attempt to do exactly that, we took our bright red test car to historic Waterford Hills Road Racing course for a few hours of very private lapping. There are few things in this world which make one feel as utterly privileged as having a race track entirely to oneself, and I’m unlikely to experience any of them. When it comes to track testing a car, an empty track is a luxury with purpose, however.
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Major equipment: : Premium Plus Package — bi-xenon headlamps, LED running lamps, auto-dim side mirrors, 18-inch wheels ($1,500)
In the fleet: 6/23/2009 – 6/29/2009
Approximate mileage driven: 750, including 30ish laps of Nelson Ledges Road Course
J. BARUTH: Johan de Nysschen, Audi’s dashing head honcho here in the United States, has repeatedly stated his desire to move Audi into pole prestige position among German luxury brands. Consider this supercharged A6 a toe dipped into the water. At more than fifty-two grand, this midsizer is priced head-ups with the BMW 535xi and just three grand short of a V-8 Mercedes E550. That’s pretty rarefied air, but in the “Premium Plus” trim sampled here, the A6 is decidedly short of equipment. There’s no navigation system, no backup screen, no keyless entry, and no flappy paddles on the steering wheel. Those of who are fans of mid-Eighties Buicks — and who isn’t? — will recognize this as “Custom” trim, rather than “Limited”.
This sedan’s a little light on the goodies, but it does have one feature to pique our collective interest: Audi’s new supercharged six-cylinder, debuting here ahead of its arrival in the upcoming S4 and revamped S5 models. For A6 duty, the engine is tuned to deliver a round 300 horsepower, just about what the previous-generation A6 4.2 turned out and well above the power level of the previous 2.7T twin-turbo V-6. Did we mention it was supercharged? Yes we did. So why is is a “3.0T”? Who knows? Audi is positioning it as a performance model, however, so we took it to the fastest road course on the East Coast to find out just how it performs.
Our man, Jack Baruth interviews Audi Product Manager, Carter Balkcom about the new 2009 Audi A4. Even though Jack thinks the camera makes his butt look huge, there is a ton of great information in this interview. Everyone leave comments about Jack’s first on-camera experience 😉