Monday, 29 August 2016

Audi A3 Sportback g-tron

Audi g-tron unites ecology, economy and high-tech in groundbreaking fashion.
Not only can the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron use fossil natural gas and biomethane, it also runs on eco-friendly Audi e-gas, which Audi produces from wind energy at the world’s first ever industrial power-to-gas plant in Wertle in Emsland in the German state of Lower Saxony. This cutting-edge technology enables fluctuating energy sources such as wind and solar power to be stored on a large scale for the first time – a vital step forward for increasing renewable electricity, which is also good news when it comes to recharging the A3 e-tron, the sister model of the A3 g-tron.
The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron is equipped with an 81 kW (110 bhp) petrol engine that has been optimised for operation with natural gas, and is the first ever CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) car to be manufactured in series by the brand with the four rings. It has a bi-fuel design and is able to cover a distance of over 400 kilometres on a single tank of gas thanks to its low consumption of 3.2–3.3 kg/100 km on the NEDC cycle, and a further 900 kilometres on petrol power when no CNG filling stations are available. Running the A3 g-tron on Audi e-gas enables virtually CO2-neutral operation.
Audi e-gas is a synthetic methane gas that is manufactured using hydrogen produced by electrolysis and CO2 extracted from the exhaust-gas flow of a waste biogas plant. When Audi e-gas is produced using green electricity, exactly the same quantity of CO2 is absorbed as the Audi A3 g-tron releases in gas mode. Consequently, an A3 Sportback g-tron refuelled with Audi e-gas currently represents the most eco-friendly form of long-distance mobility.
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Monday, 22 August 2016

Finale of the Tour de France: ŠKODA KODIAQ is first across the finish line

The ŠKODA KODIAQ made a strong guest appearance at the finale of the Tour de France: the brand’s new SUV led the peloton across the finish line in Paris. Stephen Roche, winner of the 1987 Tour, was captivated by the driving performance of the lead car.
On yesterday’s final stage of the Tour de France, the ŠKODA KODIAQ was first across the finish line. According to former Tour winner Stephen Roche, the brand’s new SUV cuts a fine figure on the bumpy Champs-Élysées boulevard. “The ŠKODA KODIAQ offers a particularly generous amount of space”, said Roche, who sat behind the wheel of the SUV. “Its ride is very pleasant and the car responds to all your commands with a high degree of precision. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ŠKODA KODIAQ on its Tour debut”, said the Irishman, who acts as a brand ambassador for the Czech car manufacturer.
As the vehicle partner, ŠKODA provided around 250 support and escort vehicles as well as more than 50 team cars. One of those was the ‘Red Car’ – a ŠKODA SUPERB in Corrida Red, which served as official lead car for all 21 stages. In a similar design – with a red, grey and black camouflage car wrap – the ŠKODA KODIAQ led the peloton across the 21st and final stage to the finish in Paris.
Stephen Roche in an interview: “Paris is an electrifying experience”
Mr Roche, you have already experienced the finale of the Tour de France in Paris on multiple occasions – do you still get butterflies when you drive along the Champs-Élysées?
Stephen Roche: Yes, I don’t think that will ever change. This great city, all the people, the cheering – it’s an electrifying experience. It brings back memories from 1987. In cycling, there is nothing better than the finale of the Tour de France in Paris. Here at the finish, all the hard work of the previous three weeks evaporates. You’re just happy to be here.
This year you were able to drive a very special car on the last stage. What was your impression?
Stephen Roche: Throughout the entire Tour, the ‘Red Car’, a ŠKODA SUPERB, has lead the peloton. It’s a great car – spacious, comfortable and easy to drive. But the surprise for me this year was the new ŠKODA KODIAQ SUV. It was the first SUV ever that the A.S.O. has allowed to lead the finale in Paris. This is a special honour for such a great car. The ŠKODA KODIAQ provides an extremely generous amount of space, its ride is very pleasant and the car responds to all your commands with a high degree of precision. It was great fun to drive it.
As a ŠKODA ambassador, how have you found the experience of this year’s Tour?
Stephen Roche: I rode some of the stages in the ŠKODA SUPERB. I also hosted some guest events, cycling together with them and watching the Tour.
What impression has ŠKODA, as sponsor of the Tour de France, made on you?
Stephen Roche:ŠKODA impressed with absolute professionalism. The ŠKODA team comprises of hundreds of people, yet everyone knows exactly what they have to do at all times. They all do a wonderful job – you can just sense the brand’s close connection to cycling and their enthusiasm for it. I would also like to pay the drivers a compliment. It is enormously difficult to support the cyclists in the peloton without disturbing them.
Stephen Roche – a brief profile
He is a living legend: in 1987, Stephen Roche became the first, and so far the only, Irishman to win the Tour de France. At the end of an exciting tour, during which the yellow jersey changed hands nine times, he crossed the finish line with a lead of 40 seconds – he had not overtaken the runner-up Pedro Delgado from Spain until the final time trial. In the same year, Roche also won the Giro d’Italia and UCI Road World Championships. Eddy Merckx is the only other cyclist to win the triple.
The ŠKODA KODIAQ marks the beginning of the Czech brand’s global SUV campaign. It represents all of ŠKODA’s strengths – a distinct design that is full of character, an exceptionally large amount of space, a high level of functionality and the philosophy of the ‘Simply Clever’ features.
At 4.70 metres long, the SUV offers, along with excellent all-round qualities, the largest boot within its vehicle class and an optional third row of seats. Comprehensive connectivity, modern assistance systems and future-orientated infotainment are further highlights of the ŠKODA KODIAQ.
The Czech car manufacturer’s SUV will celebrate its world premiere on 1st September 2016 in Berlin. At the end of September this year, the ŠKODA KODIAQ will visit Paris once again – as a guest at the motor show in the French capital. The market launch will be at the beginning of 2017.
The name KODIAQ refers to the Kodiak bear, who lives on the island of the same name off the southern coast of Alaska. Size, strength, sense of family and outdoor skills – the bear and the new ŠKODA SUV both share common character traits.
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Monday, 15 August 2016

One millionth Audi Q5 leaves ingolstadt production line

Hugely popular Audi SUV celebrates landmark sales success
  • Production jubilee for mid-range SUV
  • Best-selling premium SUV in its segment: nearly 1.6 million deliveries worldwide
This Thursday, the one-millionth Audi Q5 drove off the production line at Audi’s main plant in Ingolstadt. The jubilee car, an SQ5 in Sepang Blue, will be delivered to a family in Germany. The international success of the Audi Q5 began in 2008, when Audi launched this model in the segment of mid-range SUVs – the second Q-model from the brand with the Four Rings after the Audi Q7. Since then, the Audi Q5 has developed into a favourite with the customers and can be seen on the roads of more than 100 countries. Because Audi produces this top-seller also in China and India for the respective local markets, worldwide deliveries sum up to nearly 1.6 million vehicles.
 “The Audi Q5 is a genuine guarantee of success for us. For that reason, I am very proud that we have created a worldwide crowd puller with this SUV model from the main plant in Ingolstadt. One million Audi Q5 cars – that is due to the outstanding performance of our production team. We achieved it with great effort and commitment,” stated Albert Mayer, Plant Director at the Audi site in Ingolstadt.
Peter Mosch, Chairman of the Group Works Council of AUDI AG: “On behalf of the Works Council, I would like to thank all the colleagues who put our Audi Q5 on the roads. Their skills make this SUV into an absolute bestseller.”
The company handed over a total of 266,968 Audi Q5 cars to its customers worldwide last year, which is about eight percent more than in 2014 (247,446). The success of the Audi Q5 is steadily continuing, with a further increase in unit sales of 4.7 percent in the first half of this year. The Audi Q5 continues to be the bestselling premium SUV in its segment. 
Audi employees in Ingolstadt build more than 650 automobiles of this model every day. In addition, the Audi Group produces this top-seller also in Changchun, China, and Aurangabad, India, for the respective local markets. Altogether, nearly 1.6 million of the Audi Q5 have been sold worldwide since the start of production in 2008. The SUV is especially popular in China, the United States and Germany.
Audi Ingolstadt is the lead plant and mentor for the new Audi plant in Mexico. The Audi Q5 will drive off the production line in San José Chiapa for the world market as of late September. 
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Monday, 8 August 2016

A car lifetime tested in fast forward: 100th Audi quality assurance ‘Inka’ test

Major milestone reached in rigorous Audi testing programme
  • 12 years of a car’s life replicated in just 19 weeks of testing
  • 100th car in the Ingolstadt corrosion and aging test is an Audi A4
  • Sylvia Droll, Head of Materials Engineering at AUDI AG: “Endurance test exemplifies our high quality requirements worldwide"
Ingolstadt, August 2, 2016 – Audi Quality Assurance has conducted its 100th ‘INKA’ test – on an Audi A4. The Ingolstadt corrosion and aging test is one of the toughest assessments a car has to go through at Audi. Performed at the Audi global headquarters, it simulates the challenges of 12 years of a car’s lifetime in a span of just 19 weeks. Quality Assurance uses this method to verify an Audi's effective corrosion protection and durability.
In the course of performing 100 ‘INKA’ tests, Audi Quality Assurance has completed a total of 322,500 testing hours, covered more than one million kilometres (621,371 miles) and driven through 2,800 mud tests and 1,900 salt tests.
“Audi stands for superior build quality, high-quality material appearance and high reliability – even many years after a car is first registered,” explains Sylvia Droll, Head of Materials Engineering. “The INKA test is an essential tool for assessing the quality of our models and for further optimising our production methods.”
The endurance test covers five phases. First the car is misted with salt in a climatic chamber at 35 degrees Celsius. Next it is exposed to a tropical climate of up to 50 degrees Celsius and maximum air humidity of 100 percent. In phase three, 80 halogen metal vapor lamps, each with an output of 1,200 watts, heat the body to a maximum of 90 degrees Celsius. In the process, the colours in the interior must not fade and the materials must not become brittle.
The fourth phase simulates winter-like conditions at the polar circle. At minus 35 degrees Celsius, a four-post hydropulse machine rocks the car to simulate the body torsion and strain on parts of the vehicle and engine mounts that cars endure on rough roads. In parallel – phase five – test drivers repeatedly drive through specially prepared routes on the open testing grounds.
A total of 12,000 kilometres (7,456.5 miles) are travelled with each model, including driving through saltwater and mud. At the end of the test, the quality inspectors dissect the entire car into around 600 individual parts and check these for weak points.
Audi Quality Assurance conducted the first INKA tests in 2002. Technical Development has been assessing pre-series cars using the same test method for 40 years now.
A video detailing the various processes involved in the INKA test on a Q7 model can be viewed, downloaded at up 1080p or embedded via this link:
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Monday, 1 August 2016


The Volkswagen Beetle is a genuine motoring icon.  It’s one of a handful of cars that, in the 20th Century, brought motoring to the masses as more than 20 million examples of the original Beetle were sold around the world.  And when it was reborn in 1998 as the New Beetle, a further million sales brought the Beetle’s distinctive character to a new generation. 
In 2011 the ‘New’ moniker was dropped and the Beetle comprehensively redesigned.  Its new shape was lower and wider, with a longer bonnet, and the Beetle’s more sporting and masculine stance captured the world’s imagination all over again.
Now, this latest iteration of perhaps the best loved Volkswagen is being refreshed, with changes that include a more sculptured body and a fresh interior design.  The styling enhancements and new options further enrich the appeal and value that is inherent in Volkswagen’s Beetle range, which is available in coupe and cabriolet forms and, with the new Beetle Dune, as a crossover.
The styling changes comprise sharpened lines for the front bumpers, while larger openings around the indicator and fog light surrounds give extra depth to the car’s appearance.  Meanwhile, the new Beetle R-Line trim has a more sporty bumper design unique to that model.  It features extra air intake openings along the upper edge of the bumper.
On the inside, the Volkswagen Beetle’s distinctive cabin has brighter instrument panel lighting and new dials and dash styling for the Design and R-Line models.  New upholstery materials bring further styling options.
In the new range the Beetle R-Line replaces the previous Sport trim level.  The R-Line will be available with Volkswagen’s powerful 2.0-litre TDI 150 PS diesel engine and a choice of either six-speed manual or six-speed DSG transmission.
The new Beetle R-Line also boasts sports suspension, 18-inch ‘Twister’ alloy wheels, and the unique new R-Line bumper.  It is also available with a new alloy wheel design, the 18-inch ‘Ashmie Adamantium’, at no extra cost. 
Whichever wheels are chosen, the sporty finish of the Beetle R-Line is enhanced further with a body-coloured rear diffuser and chromed twin exhausts.  And the R-Line’s exterior styling is developed with gloss black door mirrors and door protectors.  Of course an R-Line specification Beetle wouldn’t be complete without a rear tailgate spoiler.
Clearly Volkswagen’s designers have worked diligently to enhance the external look of the modern Beetle but, inside the car, the traditional Volkswagen driver-focused design remains.  In the R-Line this starts with ‘Sports’ instrument dials, while the pedals are trimmed in aluminium and the scuff plates feature the distinctive R-Line logo. 
The quality of the interior is evidenced by the leather-trimmed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, which has an R-Line badge insert and coloured stitching too.  The seats are finished in ‘Kyalami’ cloth and the R-Line badge is resplendent in the headrests.  Height and lumbar adjustment add to the comfort of the seats.
Finally, 2Zone climate control with automatic air recirculation, ambient lighting, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control increase the technology that is standard on the Beetle R-Line.
In addition to the debut of the R-Line trim, a new option pack is available for the Beetle Design.  The Black Style Pack includes 17-inch ‘Rotor’ black alloy wheels and a black painted roof.  The air intake grille is also coloured black, as are the outside decorative trim stripes.  The protective side moulding is painted black and has a chromed strip, while the wing mirror housing is painted black.  All of this extra equipment costs just £625¹. 
The Beetle of course has a wide array of personalisation options to match the individual customer’s choice.  Outside, two new pearlescent-effect colours are available: ‘Bottle Green’ and ‘White Silver’. The interior colours can also be changed, with the dash centre console and steering wheel inserts of the Design trim now being offered in a choice of Sandstorm Yellow, Tornado Red, Habanero Orange or Pure White for £125. 
Interior lighting colour, too, can be changed depending on customer preference, when the ‘Fender’ premium sound pack is purchased (£545).  It also includes eight-speakers and a subwoofer.  The body style of the Volkswagen Beetle is particularly receptive to changes in the wheel design.  For the daring, there is now even the option of fitting 17-inch ‘Orbit’ wheels in red: a £100 option on the Beetle Design.
Recently the Beetle range was extended to include the rugged Beetle Dune, too.  This charismatic new Volkswagen harks back to the famous Beetle dune buggies that roamed the West Coast of America in the 1960s and 1970s, and Dune models also benefit from the upgrades.
For more details on all the cars in the Volkswagen Beetle range, together with brochures and pricing and to use Volkswagen’s online configurator, please visit
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Monday, 25 July 2016

Order books open for the Audi SQ7 TDI – the UK’s fastest, most powerful diesel SUV

Technological trendsetter can now be configured on and ordered in UK Audi Centres nationwide
  • New 435PS and 900Nm Q7 flagship priced from £70,970 OTR, available to order now with first deliveries starting in August
  • Standard specification includes S-specific interior and exterior details, virtual cockpit, adaptive S air suspension, active sound exhaust system, rear view camera and Valcona leather upholstery with S embossing
  • New driving dynamics sports pack featuring quattro with sports differential, all-wheel steering and electromechanical active roll stabilization exclusive to the SQ7 TDI
  • Key optional equipment also includes 22-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, carbon ceramic brakes, Audi Matrix LED headlights, Tour pack featuring Traffic Jam Assist and night vision
Another pioneer joins the UK Audi range this week – the new SQ7 TDI, priced from £70,970 OTR, is notable not only as the first ever ‘S’ version of the Q7 luxury SUV, but also as the first series production car to incorporate new electric powered compressor (EPC) technology that consigns ‘turbo lag’ to history. Supporting two sequentially activated turbochargers, the EPC helps to generate pulling power that is unparalleled in this class, and the V8 TDI-powered Q7 flagship is able to deftly deploy it thanks to a chassis bolstered by state-of-the art electromechanical active roll stabilisation. The integration of both systems is made possible by a powerful new 48-volt electrical subsystem which makes its Audi debut in the Q7 and will be the springboard for numerous revolutionary new technologies in the Audi models of the near future.
As it is electrically driven and therefore not dependent upon exhaust flow like conventional turbochargers, the revolutionary electric powered compressor (EPC) brings its force to bear on the 4.0-litre, eight-cylinder TDI in less than 250 milliseconds, so its benefit is palpable from the second the accelerator pedal is depressed.
Whenever the exhaust gases provide sufficient energy two sequentially activated ‘conventional’ turbochargers take over, all-the-while accompanied by a compelling V8 bellow from the active sound exhaust system.
Now developing 435 PS and 900 Nm (663.8 lb ft) of torque, the redesigned V8 BiTDI firmly stakes this performance flagship’s claim as the most powerful diesel SUV on the market. With the electric powered compressor (EPC) supporting the work of the two turbochargers, especially at lower revs, step-off performance is exceptional, and this is reflected in a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.9 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155mph, and in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the SQ7 TDI returns up to 39.2 mpg combined. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 190 g/km.
TDI debut for Audi valvelift system (AVS)
The exhaust, which each cylinder discharges from both exhaust valves, flows through separate channels within a dual-flow manifold system. Each exhaust valve supplies one of the two sequentially activated turbochargers. The Audi valvelift system (AVS), which makes its debut in a TDI engine in the SQ7 TDI, keeps one valve closed at low and intermediate load and rpm so that the entire exhaust flow reaches the so-called “active” turbocharger. If engine speed increases to the range between 2,200 and 2,700 rpm, the respective second exhaust valve is opened and the second turbocharger is also activated.
The power for the EPC – which peaks at 7 kW – is provided by a 48-volt electrical subsystem, which also makes its Audi debut here. To meet its high power requirements, there is a separate 48-volt lithium-ion battery in the electrical subsystem beneath the luggage compartment. It has a peak output of up to 13 kilowatts, and is connected to the more familiar 12-volt electrical subsystem by a DC/DC converter.
In conjunction with the EPC, the 48-volt electrical subsystem also paves the way for incorporation of an electromechanical active roll stabilisation system. Here, a compact electric motor with a three-stage planetary gearbox separates the two halves of the stabiliser. On an uneven road surface, they are actively decoupled from one another, resulting in improved ride comfort, but during faster driving they are interconnected and twisted against each other. With this advanced stability system on board the SQ7 TDI rolls less in bends and the tendency to understeer is kept even better in check, enabling higher lateral acceleration and thus higher cornering speeds.
Sport differential for the first time in Q7
In the interest of agility the sport differential actively controlling torque distribution between the rear wheels can also be specified for the first time in the history of the Q7 in the new SQ7 TDI. All-wheel-steering is also available to promote even greater stability at higher speeds by turning the front and rear wheels in the same direction, and to aid low speed manoeuvrability in urban situations by turning them in opposing directions.
Housing all this technological accomplishment is an accommodating yet outstandingly aerodynamic body with a low 0.34 drag coefficient and the lowest weight in the class, made possible as a result of innovative multimaterial construction blending aluminium and steel in precisely the right proportions and locations. Underpinning it is standard S-specific adaptive air suspension that reacts to the movements of 20-inch alloy wheels and is controllable via the standard Audi Drive Select adaptive dynamics system.
Visual cues to the ranking of the SQ7 TDI include a unique radiator grille design, an aluminium finish for the side air inlets, mirror housings and door inlays, LED headlights with a striking double-arrow light signature and an exhaust system branching into four rectangular tailpipes.
Under the skin, seven comfortable seats across three rows are upholstered in high quality Valcona leather, and the 235 litres of luggage space can be expanded to up to 1,890 litres helped by the standard electrically folding third seat row. Accessibility is also aided by the standard powered tailgate. Occupants enjoy plenty of space as well, along with a generous quota of equipment as befits a model not only bearing the S badge, but also exemplifying Audi technological ingenuity.
Audi Virtual Cockpit as standard
The fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit is one of the many standard features, as is the Audi smartphone interface and MMI Navigation plus with the fingertip-sensitive MMI Touch pad control. Also new to the Q7 range is an embedded SIM card which immediately brings the benefits of Internet-based Audi Connect services to the car at no additional cost and without the need to insert a separate data-only SIM as was previously necessary. Google Earth mapping, Google Street View, news, weather, online traffic, flight and train information as well as local fuel prices and entertainment options are among the features available via the 7-inch MMI monitor and the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit display.
Audi Connect infotainment is offered on a three-month trial basis, or is included for three years if the optional Technology Package is specified. This cost-effective package also includes the Audi phonebox for wireless smartphone connection to the car’s antenna and wireless, inductive charging (according to the Qi standard) and a head-up display projecting key information onto the windscreen in the driver’s field of vision.
The Audi connect portfolio also includes a new permanently active element known as Audi Connect safety & service, which also integrates the myCarManager package. Thanks to this feature, help from the emergency or roadside assistance services is always available at the touch of a roof lining-mounted button (or automatically in the unfortunate event of a more serious incident), and via myCarManager customers can use their smartphone, in conjunction with the Audi MMI app, to precisely locate their car, lock and unlock it or check if the lights have inadvertently been left on.
Among the more indulgent options available for the new SQ7 TDI are alloy wheels of up to 22 inches in diameter, Matrix LED headlamps capable of diverting their beam around oncoming and leading traffic, S Sport seats plus with contrasting diamond stitching and two optional ‘3D’ surround sound systems from Bose and Bang & Olufsen, the latter offering up to 1,920 watts of music power.
From a more safety and efficiency-conscious perspective, customers can choose from a wide range of 24 optional driver assistance systems. The predictive efficiency assistant, for example, provides additional information in the instrument cluster to help the driver save fuel, while adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist relieves the driver in slow-moving traffic on well-surfaced roads with clearly defined markings by taking over the steering in many situations.
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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Family values help ŠKODA net another key award for Superb

The ŠKODA Superb has increased its remarkable tally of industry accolades by adding The Telegraph’s ‘Best Family Car 2016’ title to its collection. The Superb was named as a clear winner in the 2016 Telegraph Car Awards – seeing off some of the stiffest competition in the sector. 
Milton Keynes, 8 July, 2016: The Awards were judged by The Telegraph’s panel of road test experts with the findings based on a wide variety of factors including road tests, first drives and extended ownership assessments. The Superb was praised for its driving dynamics and high levels of equipment, with the panel highlighting its generous levels of interior space.
Commenting on the award, The Telegraph’s judges said: “You don’t even need to upgrade to the estate model to get huge practicality from ŠKODA’s Superb. Throw in a smooth ride, great safety credentials and low running costs and you’ve got a fantastic family car.”
This latest title comes in the same week that Auto Express named the Superb Best Family Car and Best Estate car as part of its 2016 New Car Awards. Since its launch last September, the third-generation Superb has won 11 industry awards in the UK – making it one of the most decorated cars in ŠKODA’s history.
The Superb range starts from £19,060 for the hatch version and £20,260 for the estate. Available with five trim grades, including the all-new SportLine variant - power outputs range from 120PS to 280PS, while transmission options include DSG automatic gearboxes and four-wheel drive.

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