Sunday, 10 October 2021

Four Audi R8 LMS at the Intercontinental GT Challenge in Indianapolis

Audi Sport customer racing is ready for the next race of the 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge. This year, the North American round at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be taking place from October 15–17. A total of four Audi R8 LMS cars will be representing the brand with the four rings in the Indianapolis 8 Hour. Two race cars will be fielded by Audi Sport Team WRT and another by Audi Sport Team Saintéloc. An additional R8 LMS from Saintéloc Racing rounds off the Audi line-up. At the race in the U.S. state of Indiana, the three GT3 sports cars of the Audi Sport Teams will be adorning a special “Stars and Stripes” livery. “With our customer teams WRT and Saintéloc Racing, we have a strong package for this year’s Indianapolis 8 Hour. They are ready to give it everything in order to clinch a good result,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “The teams will be competing with a special livery on the cars that features a ‘stars and stripes’ design as a tribute to the USA.” At the season opener of the 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge, the Spa 24 Hours, Audi Sport Team WRT finished runner-up with Kelvin van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts. Since then, Audi has been leading the manufacturers standings with a 15-point advantage. In America, the teams and drivers have the chance to further extend their brand’s lead at the second of three rounds in the only worldwide GT3 racing series. Vanthoor and Weerts, who recently became the overall champions of the GT World Challenge Europe, will again be competing with Audi Sport Team WRT in Indianapolis. They will share the cockpit with Christopher Mies. The sister car will be driven by Mattia Drudi, Robin Frijns and Nico Müller. Team WRT is no stranger to the race in Indianapolis. The team finished fourth in last year’s round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge at the venue. he French Saintéloc team will be competing in the North American round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge for the first time in 2021. Christopher Haase and Markus Winkelhock will be sharing the car together with Patric Niederhauser for Audi Sport Team Saintéloc. The trio drove to sixth place in the 2021 Spa 24 Hours. The team’s second race car is a privateer entry and the drivers will be announced at a later date. The 2021 edition of the Indianapolis 8 Hour will be the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s second North American visit to the legendary “Brickyard.” The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most famous motorsport facilities in the world. Opened in 1909, the track is best known for oval races, including the annual Indianapolis 500. Article source:

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Powerful estate with all-round talent – the new Golf R Estate

The new Golf R Estate is Volkswagen’s most powerful and dynamic Golf Estate so far. Sportiness meets everyday practicality. Top performance meets flexibility, with a spacious interior. The 235-kW (320-PS) Golf R Estate remains true to the tradition of its predecessors: a flexible all-rounder, comfortable leisure and family estate, and a sporty companion with impressive dynamics – thanks in part to the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, including R Performance torque vectoring with wheel-selective torque control on the rear axle. Breath-taking agility and optimum everyday practicality – that is what the new Golf R Estate offers. The sport estate features impressive performance, thanks to the 4MOTION all-wheel drive and R Performance torque vectoring. The Golf R Estate also sets visual benchmarks with its sporty interior and exterior design. The Golf R Estate is the perfect combination of the compact Golf R and a spacious estate. Sportiness, performance and emotions meet space, flexibility and top quality. Driving dynamics in a new dimension Like the compact Golf R, the Golf R Estate also comes with the newly-developed 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, including R Performance torque vectoring with wheel-selective torque control on the rear axle. This not only distributes the power between the front and rear axle as needed, via a new rear-axle differential, but also between each rear wheel. The innovative drive system significantly increases the agility of the new Golf R Estate, particularly in corners. At the same time, it also increases safety, as more power is guided to the outer wheel at the rear of the car when cornering. This provides the car with a high level of traction, whilst maintaining neutral handling characteristics. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is linked through the Vehicle Dynamics Manager to other chassis systems, like the electronic differential lock (XDS) and optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), which allows various configurations. The result: an extremely precise and neutral driving experience, optimal traction, and outstanding agility. In short: maximum driving pleasure. The final fine-tuning of the new Golf R Estate took place on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. With the optional R-Performance package, the high-performance estate has two additional driving profiles: in the “Special” mode, all the key drive parameters are designed for the Nordschleife and other similarly demanding racetracks. The “Drift” driving mode offers new driving dynamics away from public roads and considerably increases fun and safety levels when drifting sideways. The Golf R Estate is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine from the EA888 series. Now in its fourth generation, this engine generates 235 kW (320 PS) and allows the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. The standard top speed of 250 km/h can be increased to 270 km/h with the optional R-Performance package. A true performer, even in day-to-day use Even with the R-specific sport chassis and sporty design, the Golf R Estate by no means comes up short when it comes to everyday practicality. For example, the “Comfort” mode – one of four standard driving profiles – is designed for optimal comfort, achieved using the engine, transmission, damper and steering parameters, as well as R Performance torque vectoring. The dynamic estate car also boasts a generous amount of space. The long wheelbase of the Golf R Estate – 50 mm longer than the Golf hatchback – allows a particularly spacious interior. Passengers in the rear of the car, in particular, benefit from the larger dimensions. The maximum boot capacity, when loaded to roof level and with the rear seats folded down, is a mighty 1,642 litres. The optional, electrically-retractable trailer hitch rounds off the Golf R Estate as a high-performance estate car for everyday use. Article source:

Friday, 24 September 2021

ŠKODA AUTO uses eco-materials in its vehicles and is researching biological raw materia

In collaboration with the Technical University of Liberec, ŠKODA AUTO’s Technical Development department has developed a sustainable, ecological material and applied for a patent. The innovative raw material is made from sugar beet pulp. ŠKODA AUTO is also researching another material based on the reed plant miscanthus. Both could be used in the interior of new ŠKODA models in the future, for example for the door trim and decorative inlays in the dashboard. Using a purpose-built OCTAVIA, ŠKODA AUTO demonstrates the wide range of possible applications for the new materials. Johannes Neft, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development, explains: “We aim to play a pioneering role in the area of sustainability. We are taking a holistic approach to this issue, and we are addressing much more than just the CO2 emissions of our vehicle fleet; we are also focusing on researching and using ecologically sourced materials and investigating, for example, how materials such as coconut fibres or rice husks can be used in the future.” ŠKODA AUTO has already applied for a patent on one material that is ideally suited for use in the interior of its vehicles; the car manufacturer uses a special process to dye sugar beet pulp to create design accents in the interior. The car manufacturer obtains the material directly from the town of Dobrovice, not far from its headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. This avoids long supply chains and optimises the CO2 footprint. ŠKODA AUTO has obtained another sustainable material from the reed miscanthus: The fibres can be processed and used for the door trim, for example. Organic residues from production make excellent ecological raw materials, as they can be processed further without the need for additional resources. This reduces the requirement for industrially produced raw materials. From raw material to the vehicle: a walk-through OCTAVIA demonstrator In partnership with the Technical University of Liberec, ŠKODA AUTO is continuously working on innovative and sustainable materials that can be used in vehicle production. ŠKODA AUTO is trialling new basic materials in an OCTAVIA specially prepared for this purpose. The floor and right-side panel of the so-called ‘demonstrator’ have been removed to give designers and engineers an unobstructed view of the interior. This is where they process the new materials and test them for feel and fit to give them an accurate picture of which eco-materials are suitable for use in series production models. Door panels and vehicle pillars are finished using miscanthus-based fabric, and sugar beet shavings are used in the door panels and on the dashboard. ŠKODA AUTO has designed its vehicle production to be as sustainable as possible: for example, 30 per cent of the seat covers in the Design Selection ‘Lodge’ for the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV are made from 100% new wool, which is certified in accordance with the strict requirements of the Woolmark Company. The remaining 70 per cent of the fabric is made of polyester from recycled PET bottles. The covers offer a unique feel and ensure outstanding seating comfort. ŠKODA also pays particular attention to sustainable leather production; the cognac-coloured leather of the Design Selection ‘ecoSuite’ is tanned using an extract from olive leaves. Another option for the use of renewable raw materials is the regenerative fuel HVO, to which the diesel engines of ŠKODA vehicles will be converted from model year 2022. Pure HVO is already available in Sweden and Finland and is produced from various renewable sources. Using these fuels can reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent. Article source:

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Audi Hungaria: 40 Million Engines – from Győr to the World

The 40 millionth engine has rolled off Audi Hungaria’s production lines: a 190 horsepower (140 kW) electric drive, which will be transported from the plant to Brussels on CO2-neutral, “green trains”, where it will be installed into a purely electric Audi e-tron model. Audi Hungaria started making engines in 1994, and has grown to become the largest engine manufacturer in the world. 2018 was the beginning of a new era, as Audi Hungaria began series production of electric motors, with over 200,000 units manufactured in Győr to date. In the spirit of electromobility, the company is already preparing to manufacture the next generation of electric motors. “The manufacturing plant in Győr is a key pillar of the Audi Group's international production network, making major contributions to the success of our Group with its efficient processes, attractive product range and excellent team. As a result, Audi Hungaria has gained an excellent reputation in the production of engines and electric drives in recent years, and will consistently keep on the path it has embarked on,” said Peter Kössler, Board Member for Production and Logistics of AUDI AG. “As the world's foremost engine manufacturer, Audi Hungaria has nearly 30 years of experience in the production of efficient combustion engines, and as on 2018, we are now expanding into electric drives as well. The completion of our 40 millionth engine is yet more proof of our excellent performance. I am proud of the Audi Hungaria team. Their high level of professional expertise and dedication is what guarantees our preparedness for any future challenges,” added Alfons Dintner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi Hungaria. Four-cylinder Otto engines made up the largest proportion of the 40 million engines made by Audi Hungaria, with over 19 million produced in total. Four-cylinder diesel engines took second place, with over 11 million units, while the six-cylinder Otto engine models made up almost 4.5 million units of the 40 million engines manufactured in Győr. “This is the era of transitioning to electromobility, and we require cutting-edge technology, established professional expertise and a dedicated team to successfully take on the upcoming challenges. Here at Audi Hungaria, every factor is in place to guarantee our continued success. My team and I stand ready to produce the next 40 million engines, from Győr to the world,” said Robert Buttenhauser, Member of the Board of Directors of Audi Hungaria and Director for Engine Production. In the spirit of electromobility, Audi Hungaria has been manufacturing electric drives for three years now, and is already making preparations to manufacture the next generation of electric motors. In the future, the electric powertrains for the Group’s purely electric models will be manufactured in Győr, and will be based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform developed in cooperation with Porsche. A 15,000-square-metre area has been set up in an existing production hall for manufacturing the new engines. 700 employees will be involved in the series production. In addition to powertrain production, a number of additional components such as stators and gearbox components for the new generation of e-motors will also be manufactured here. The history of engine production at Audi Hungaria began in 1994, with a four-cylinder, five-valve unit. Its engine manufacturing portfolio has been continuously expanding since, with the introduction of new engine types such as CNG engines and electric drives. Audi Hungaria has now grown to become the largest engine manufacturer in the world. The company's employees manufacture almost two million engines annually for the Volkswagen Group's 38 vehicle factories worldwide. Article source:

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Four generations of the brand’s bestseller, the ŠKODA OCTAVIA

ŠKODA AUTO embarked on a new era on 3 September 1996. In Mladá Boleslav, one of the most modern car plants in Europe went into operation, while series production of the ŠKODA OCTAVIA, the brand’s most important new model, began there at the same time. Since then, around 7 million units of the four contemporary OCTAVIA generations have been delivered. The ŠKODA OCTAVIA has played a pivotal role in ŠKODA AUTO’s successful development over recent years. Since series production began 25 years ago, around 7 million customers have opted for the bestseller from Mladá Boleslav. From day one, it has offered outstanding spaciousness, state-of-the-art technology, a high level of safety and excellent value for money. In addition, it has featured innovative technologies in every generation – in the current series, for example, the OCTAVIA iV’s plug-in hybrid drive. Thanks to these qualities, the OCTAVIA set out to become the heart of the brand a quarter of a century ago. In 1996, ŠKODA AUTO presented its first compact class model after being integrated into the Volkswagen Group. The traditional name OCTAVIA was used as the model designation. Between 1959 and 1971, more than 280,000 units of this legendary model series rolled off the production line, including the OCTAVIA COMBI. The Latin word ‘octavia’ means ‘the eighth’. The newcomer was the brand’s eighth model after the Second World War and also the eighth ŠKODA model with all-around independent suspension since ŠKODA introduced the concept in 1933. The ‘‘original OCTAVIA’’ was also in great demand beyond the borders of what was then Czechoslovakia and contributed many successes in the 120-year history of ŠKODA motorsport, including the class victory hat-trick at the Monte Carlo Rally from 1961 to 1963, the ŠKODA OCTAVIA’s class victory in the 4,000-mile race from Montreal to Vancouver in Canada in 1962 and at the Shell 4000 Rally in 1963. The history of the modern OCTAVIA began in 1992, around a year after ŠKODA AUTO had joined the Volkswagen Group when the compact class model was gradually being developed. With the help of computer-aided design (CAD) technology, a body with an unmistakable, timeless design was created on the new Group platform – the work of designer Dirk van Braeckel and his team. At the same time, preparations were underway to build a new production facility in Mladá Boleslav that would enable efficient modular production and the assembly of components and subassemblies delivered just-in-time. The body skeletons travelled along the assembly line on height-adjustable assembly plates, eliminating the need for hanging fixtures from conveyor systems. A new paint shop was added to the assembly line in the 37,500-square-metre, expansively glazed hall. After the grand opening of the facility on 3 September 1996, the production capacity increased by 90,000 to 350,000 vehicles per year. One of the hallmarks of the practical liftback was its high level of active and passive safety, including front and side airbags. The generous boot was easily accessible via the large tailgate and offered space for 528 to 1,328 litres of luggage. In 1996, its opening sales year, customers could choose from two four-cylinder petrol engines (1.6 MPI/55 kW and 1.8 20 V/92 kW) and a turbo diesel – the economical 1.9 TDI had a standard consumption of 5.1 litres of diesel per 100 km and an output of 66 kW. The engine range was gradually expanded to include the top-of-the-range 1.8 20 V Turbo/110 kW. The OCTAVIA COMBI made its debut in March 1998, and a version with all-wheel drive was added in 1999. By November 2010, more than 973,000 liftbacks and over 472,000 estates of the first OCTAVIA generation had been produced. This was followed by the even more successful second generation of the modern ŠKODA OCTAVIA, which went out to customers from 2004 to 2013. In addition to even greater utility, it also offered many technical innovations, such as petrol engines with direct injection and the automatic DSG dual-clutch gearbox. The third generation of the OCTAVIA rolled off the production line between 2012 and 2020, and on 11 November 2019, the Mladá Boleslav-based automaker unveiled the current, fourth generation of its bestseller. Today, ŠKODA AUTO offers the OCTAVIA with the widest range of engines in the history of the model series. The line-up includes saloon and estate body versions with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. In addition to efficient petrol and diesel engines, the range also boasts a wide selection of alternative drive systems, including natural gas (CNG) as well as plug-in hybrid drive and mild hybrid. The amount of interior space has again increased compared to previous generations, and the new OCTAVIA is also safer and offers greater connectivity than ever. The ŠKODA OCTAVIA enjoys global demand as an established name in its segment. This is also confirmed by numerous awards from renowned trade magazines. Article source:

Friday, 27 August 2021

Next generation Rally2 version of ŠKODA FABIA has entered test phase

ŠKODA Motorsport is busy developing a rally version of the all-new ŠKODA FABIA. A first prototype of the future ŠKODA FABIA in Rally2 version has already been tested on tarmac and gravel roads in the Czech Republic, France and Spain. The all-new ŠKODA FABIA is coming onto the international market. As the road car makes the switch from generation three to four, the rally version follows suit. ŠKODA Motorsport has already started testing the future ŠKODA FABIA in Rally2 version. A first prototype has been in action on gravel and tarmac stages in the Czech Republic, France and Spain recently. “The all-new ŠKODA FABIA for the Rally2 category has entered the development and testing stage. Fortunately, our technicians can build on comprehensive know-how and expertise of the ongoing ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo project, which still is very successful worldwide,” comments Michal Hrabánek, Head of ŠKODA Motorsport. Since April 2015, the ŠKODA FABIA is collecting more rally trophies than any other car in its category. Starting with a so-called R5 version, which has later been renamed to Rally2, the Czech rally car until today racked up nine titles in support categories to the FIA World Rally Championship, numerous regional and national championships, nearly 1.400 overall and class victories as well as close to 3.300 podium positions worldwide. ŠKODA Motorsport has already sold more than 400 units of the R5, Rally2 and Rally2 evo variants. According to the Rally2 regulations of the FIA, the next generation Rally2 version of the ŠKODA FABIA is again powered by a 1.6 litres turbo petrol engine connected to a five-speed sequential gearbox and four-wheel drive with mechanical differentials. Article source:

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Formula E home victory for Audi in Berlin

Lucas di Grassi won the first of the two final races of the Formula E World Championship in Berlin with the Audi e-tron FE07. For Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler it was already the third triumph in front of the home crowd after 2018 and 2019. The trophy for the winning team was accepted by Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH and responsible for motorsport at Audi. “This was an important win in the title fight and a fantastic start to the Berlin weekend. I’m very proud of the whole team which delivered a gripping performance.” Lucas di Grassi laid the foundation for victory on Saturday already with a strong qualifying performance. From third on the grid, the Audi driver put the two DS Techeetah cars of Jean-Éric Vergne and António Félix da Costa, that had started in front of him, under pressure from the very beginning. He overtook the two Formula E champions with determined moves and then used his “Attack Mode” at exactly the right moment. After 38 laps, di Grassi crossed the finish line 0.141 seconds ahead of Edoardo Mortara in the Venturi Mercedes EQ. “The first free practice on Friday was difficult,” said di Grassi after his twelfth victory in Formula E. “But the team did a great job overnight. The car felt fantastic today. Thanks for that! After I took the lead, it was all about keeping Edo behind me. It wasn’t easy and I had to fight until the last corner, but we made it.” Teammate René Rast also thrilled the fans on the grandstands at Berlin-Tempelhof with a strong race. The German dropped back to 15th on the opening lap but then used his Attack Mode particularly effectively and even made it an Audi 1-2 for a short time. “I worked my way to the front pretty well,” said Rast. “But of course I knew that I wouldn’t be able to defend the position when the other drivers use their Attack Modes. It would have been possible to get a better result if I could have got past Lucas.” Rast finished ninth and once again scored the extra point for the fastest race lap. Both drivers of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team still have chances of winning the World Championship title in the all-important final race of the season on Sunday at 15:30 local time (CEST). Lucas di Grassi is sixth, only eight points behind, René Rast twelfth, 20 points behind. In the teams’ championship, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler is only nine points off the top. “It was a fantastic race for Audi,” said Team Principal Allan McNish. “Lucas and René both drove great. We’re still in the title fight and will try everything tomorrow. But first we enjoy today’s success.” Customer team Envision Virgin Racing also still has a chance of winning the drivers’ championship and the team standings with both drivers. However, Nick Cassidy and Robin Frijns finished 14th and 15th on Saturday without scoring any points. Article source: