Sunday, 10 January 2021

The Golf once again the favorite car of Germans and Europeans in 2020

It’s full speed ahead for the icon of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, the Golf, since all eight derivatives were made available in the fall of 2020. Last year it was once again the top-selling car in Europe with around 312,000 deliveries The Wolfsburg figurehead was once again the top-selling car in Germany last year, too, with around 133,900 deliveries to customers. “In 2020 the Golf is still exactly where it belongs,” says Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars. “With the Golf 8 we are seamlessly continuing the success story of its previous generations. The car is continuing to set technical standards in many dimensions,” said Brandstätter. “After the outbreak of the coronavirus in spring interrupted the market launch that had just started, the Golf had a lot of catching up to do in the second half of the year. In particular, the availability of all of the important model derivatives, such as the GTI, GTD und GTE, gave the Golf a second wind in the third quarter,” Brandstätter continued. The high demand for hybrid models also contributed to this success. Because of this, by the end of the year one in three Golfs was a hybrid. You can also see just how dynamic the back end of the year was in the fact that, of the approximately 312,000 Golf models delivered in Europe, around 179,000 hit the streets in the second half of the year alone. At the end of the year, the Golf was by far and away at the top of registration statistics in Germany, followed by two other Volkswagen models, the Tiguan and the Passat. A car from competitors only made it as high as fourth place on the sales list. The Golf was unanimously named the best car in the compact class by German trade press and won all 16 comparative tests in the Auto Motor und Sport, Auto Bild and Auto Zeitung magazines. The customers are of the same opinion, making the Golf the number 1 once again. “I would like to thank all of the customers who have given us their trust. But my gratitude also goes to our entire team that have done an excellent job during the difficult conditions of the coronavirus crisis,” said Brandstätter. Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

Sunday, 3 January 2021

BeRider eScooter-sharing

Since March 2020, the distinctive green BeRider fleet of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab’s eScooter-sharing service has covered over half a million kilometres. Due to high demand, ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab will keep the scooters on the road in Prague this winter. 

Since March 2020, the BeRider fleet of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab’s eScooter-sharing service has covered over 500,000 km. That equates to approximately 12 round-the-world trips in the Czech capital in less than 18 months. 

Jarmila Plachá, Head of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, emphasised: “The BeRider eScooter-sharing service is a perfect fit for today’s times and ideally complements our current ecosystem of mobility offers. Using an eScooter around town is practical, fun, environmentally friendly and – especially in COVID times – both safe and responsible. What’s more, BeRider ties in with Prague’s network of public transport, making it ‘simply clever’ for the last mile in the city, not just for the owners of a ŠKODA.” 

In its second season, BeRider was still very much in demand and enjoyed an extremely positive response. With 1,646 trips booked within a single day, BeRider achieved a new record in 2020. The scooters proved to be a popular choice in the Czech capital, even in adverse weather and cooler temperatures. So ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab decided to keep the green fleet on the road this winter too. On top of their regular equipment, the scooters have also been fitted with winter tyres to ensure maximum safety at all times, even in the colder months. 

A comprehensive set of hygiene measures are in place to help prevent users from catching the virus. Since the well-liked service entered its second season in March 2020, BeRider made face masks available for its customers, and the helmets – as well as top cases and handlebar grips – are regularly disinfected. 

The BeRider app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times and, following a redesign, is now even faster, more user-friendly and more reliable. 

The ‘minute packages’ were particularly well received in 2020. Customers can opt for a 100-, 200-, 300- or 1,000-minute package. Depending on the option chosen, the fee is then between CZK 4.20 and 2.90 CZK per minute. The Christmas vouchers – available in the BeRider e-shop – have also become a sought-after gift. BeRider’s special Christmas bundles – valid to the end of the year – are just one of the gift options available.

Article source: www.skoda-auto.com

Sunday, 27 December 2020

The Audi Q3 as a plug-in hybrid

Audi continues its electrification campaign: Presales of the Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e will start in the second week of January. The plug-in hybrid drive installed in both models delivers a system output of 180 kW (245 PS), and both compact SUVs can cover a distance of up to 61 km (37.9 mi) in the NEDC powered purely by electricity. In the WLTP, the distance is 51 km (31.7 mi) for the Q3 45 TFSI e and 50 km (31.07 mi) for the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e. The Q3 45 TFSI e costs EUR 46,000 (including 19 percent VAT), the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e EUR 1,400 more. Customers can claim a subsidy of EUR 6,750 in both cases. The combination of an electric driving experience, simple charging, and high level of suitability for everyday use makes Audi’s plug-in hybrid models especially appealing. The Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e complete the range of plug-in hybrids that Audi has brought onto the market since the middle of 2019. At the same time, these two compact SUVs mark the first step into the world of electrified Q models. 245 PS of system output, 13 kWh of energy capacity: the drive and the battery The two Q3 models both include a 1.4 TFSI as the combustion engine. This four-cylinder delivers 110 kW (150 PS). The drive is completed by a permanently excited synchronous machine (PSM), which provides 85 KW of power. The PSM is integrated in the housing of the six-speed S tronic together with the separating clutch. This dual-clutch transmission, which transfers the power to the front wheels, integrates an electric oil pump. This ensures the supply and thus the function of the clutches and with that the gear selection even when the TFSI engine is switched off. Great driving pleasure and high efficiency – the powertrain of these two new models offers both. The 1.4 TFSI and the electric motor together generate 180 kW of system output (245 PS) and system torque of 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft). Both the Q3 45 TFSI e and the Sportback take 7.3 seconds to burst from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph), and both reach a top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph). In the New European Driving Cycle, the consumption of the Q3 45 TFSI e is 1.7 to 1.4 liters of fuel per 100 km (138.4 to 168.0 US mpg) (39 to 32 grams of CO2 (62.8 to 51.5 g/mi)). The Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e records the same values of 1.7 to 1.4 liters of fuel per 100 km (138.4 to 168.0 US mpg) (38 to 33 grams of CO2(61.2 to 53.1 g/mi)). The total range achieved by both models is approximately 710 km (441.2 mi) – testifying to their great suitability for everyday use. The high-voltage battery is located under the vehicle floor in front of the rear axle. Its 96 prismatic cells store 13.0 kWh of energy. It owes this high value to the compact and relatively lightweight battery of a new cell generation. The battery system has its own cooling circuit, which can be coupled to the air conditioning system’s circuit to ensure effective cooling even when requirements are at their highest. Focus on efficiency: the drive management system The drive management system of the compact SUV models is designed for high efficiency. Except in extremely cold conditions, the SUVs are always started in electric mode. Both plug-in models can cover up to 61 km (37.9 mi) with zero local emissions in the NEDC (51 km (31.7 mi) for the Q3 and 50 km (31.07 mi) for the Q3 Sportback in the WLTP). The maximum speed they can be driven at here is 140 km/h (87.0 mph). At low speeds, the AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alert System) generates the legally prescribed e-sound to warn other road users. In “Auto-Hybrid” mode, the main operating mode, the drive management system divides the tasks between the 1.4 TFSI and the electric motor intelligently and efficiently. The electric motor supports the four-cylinder engine in many situations, for example when passing. When accelerating from low rotational speeds, for example, it applies the high torque that it generates due to its operating principle to bridge the few tenths of a second that the turbocharger needs to build up pressure – its deployment is imperceptible, but efficient. Drivers can prioritize electric drive with the EV button. The drive management system constantly evaluates numerous data points, including the route information from the navigation system and the data about the near surroundings from the vehicle sensors. This allows it to identify when the car is approaching a town sign, a speed limit or a roundabout, or getting too close to the vehicle ahead. When the foot is taken off the accelerator, the Audi Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e start to coast with the TFSI switched off in most situations. The right mode for the right requirements: “Hold”, “Charge” and dynamic Regardless of the intelligence of the drive management system, the driver always remains in control. By pushing the EV button, they can switch between auto hybrid and electric-powered driving, while a menu opens in the MMI operating system at the same time that offers two additional special driving modes: “Battery Hold” and “Battery Charge”. These serve to keep the battery charge at the current level or to increase the state of charge. What’s more, the driver can influence the character of the drive using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. By selecting the dynamic profile here, setting the S tronic to “S”, and flooring the accelerator, they get the full torque of the electric motor of 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft) available to them for up to 10 seconds. As soon as they take their foot of the gas, the electric motor switches to recuperation and recovers energy in generator mode. In this way, the vehicle can also decelerate quickly thanks to its electric motor. Irrespective of the driving profile, both models always recuperate when the driver steps on the brakes. Up to around 0.3 g– i.e. in the vast majority of brake operations in everyday driving – the electric motor performs the deceleration alone. It is only when the brake pedal is applied more heavily that the hydraulic wheel brakes come into play, activated by an electric brake servo. Thanks to the precise blending, the transition is practically undetectable, and the recuperation remains active. During braking, the system can recover up to 40 kW of power through the electric motor and store this in the battery. With its balanced character, the suspension of the compact SUVs provides an excellent partner for the drive. The standard Audi drive select system adds even more facets to the driving experience – as it accesses not only the engines but also systems such as S tronic and power steering. In addition to dynamic mode, it also offers the comfort, auto, and individual profiles. The two plug-in hybrids drive on 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, but wheels 18, 19 and 20 inches in diameter are also available as options. The body of these SUVs is 10 mm (0.4 in) higher than that of the Q3 models with conventional drive systems – which means the ground clearance remains the same despite the cover plate for the battery. Fully charged in 3 h 45 min: charging at home and on the go The Audi Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e can be charged using alternating current (AC) at a 400 V socket with an output of 3.6 kW. An empty battery can be recharged in 3 h 45 min using the standard power charging cable in this way. The free myAudi app allows the customer to control the charging, the timer and the pre-entry climate control remotely from their smartphone. Audi customers can choose to supply their house and garage with electricity from Volkswagen Naturstrom, which is generated completely from renewable sources. The compact plug-in hybrids require a mode 3 cable for charging at public AC charging terminals. The e-tron Charging Service, which covers the majority of countries in Europe, offers great convenience here: With a single card, the customer gains access to more than 155,000 charging points. Sporty and versatile: design and interior Both the new Q3 models impress with a powerful and sporty stance on the road. The interior is generous and variable. The front seats offer excellent comfort and a sporty seating position. The rear seats can be moved lengthwise as standard; their backrests are divided into three sections and recline at seven different angles. The luggage compartment has a basic volume of 380 l (13.4 cu ft), which increases to 1,375 l (48.6 cu ft) in the Q3 45 TFSI e and 1,250 l (44.1 cu ft) in the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e when the seats are folded down. As an option, Audi will deliver an electric tailgate that can also be opened with a foot motion. Two displays form the basis of the operating and display concept. The MMI touch with a 10.1 inch screen takes up a central position in the instrument panel and displays the energy flows of the hybrid drive and more. The driver can look either at a digital instrument cluster or at the Audi virtual cockpit, which is available in two sizes. A powermeter displays the system’s output, the status of the drive, the recuperation, the battery’s state of charge, and the range. Many functions can be operated through a natural-language voice control as a further input level, which also offers the option of accessing the knowledge of the cloud. Highly networked: Audi connect Together with the top-of-the-line MMI Navigation plus infotainment system as an option, the online services of Audi connect can also be accessed on board. They include the Car-to-X services, which make use of the principle of swarm intelligence: Information on roadside parking spaces, hazards, speed limits and traffic light phases is exchanged through the networking of the Audi fleet. The myAudi app tightly connects the car with the customer’s smartphone. Hardware modules such as the Audi phone box and the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with virtual 3D sound complete the infotainment program. The driver assist systems come from the premium class. They include the adaptive cruise assist (optional), which assists the driver with longitudinal and lateral control – substantially enhancing comfort on long journeys in particular. In order to maintain lateral guidance, the driver needs to apply just a gentle touch to the capacitive steering wheel, which is part of the system, to prove that they are paying attention. The Audi pre sense basic, Audi pre sense front, Audi side assist, and lane departure warning come as standard. Article source: www.audi-mediacenter.com

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Digitally planned production of the Audi e-tron GT

The Audi e-tron GT is the first four rings model for which production was planned entirely without physical prototypes. Multiple technical innovations made this possible, including three-dimensional building scans, machine learning processes and the use of virtual reality. All assembly processes, such as procedures and employee actions were tested and optimized in virtual spaces that model their real-world counterparts down to the finest detail. Virtual planning is now used across site boundaries, enabling digital, connected working without business trips or foreign assignments – and not just during the coronavirus pandemic. 3D scans and the planning in virtual spaces make processes more efficient and sustainable. Where is virtual planning used and why are 3D scans so important for this? A variety of prototypes are used in the conventional planning process for the production of a new Audi model. The vehicle prototypes are fabricated during the early planning phase as one-off models with hand-built parts. This is time consuming and cost intensive. Assembly Planning uses these prototypes to define and optimize the later production processes. What are the employee’s tasks? Where does a part have to be located for the employee to have optimal access to it? Can the employee hold and install the part by him- or herself? How does she have to move to do it? Are other parts in the way? What tools does he need? During production planning for the Audi e-tron GT, these questions were derived and answered entirely in the virtual world. Every step and every action was tested in the digital space using virtual reality. The goal of virtual planning is to ensure that during the later production of the vehicle, all processes are perfectly meshed and the cycles along the line are seamlessly coordinated. This requires that every detail of the production hall be modeled precisely and to scale. This is where 3D scans come into play. Using special hardware and software, they create a virtual reproduction of the physical production facility, including all equipment, tools and shelves. How do 3D scans work and what role does artificial intelligence play? A scanner – the hardware – is essential for generating the corresponding data. It is roughly two meters (6.6 ft) tall and is mounted on four wheels so that an employee can move it around the spaces. At the top is a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) unit and three additional laser scanners as well as a camera. Two processes are conducted simultaneously while scanning a space: The wide-angle camera takes a picture of the space while the lasers precisely measure it and generate a three-dimensional point cloud of the surroundings. 250,000 square meters (2,690,977.6 sq ft) of production hall space at the Neckarsulm site alone has already been scanned using this technology. But it is the interaction between the hardware and software that takes the points, images and data sets generated and turns them into a usable overall image that can be used with the existing planning systems. The software used here is an in-house Audi development based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The point cloud and the photographs are combined to produce a three-dimensional, photo-realistic space similar to what is seen in Google Street View. Proportions and sizes are true to scale and correspond to reality. The software also automatically recognizes all objects, such as machines, shelves and systems in the space. It also learns automatically with each scan to recognize, distinguish and classify objects even more precisely. For example, the system distinguishes between a shelf and a steel beam. The position of the shelf can be changed in the program later and relocated in the virtual space. That of the steel beam cannot. These data enable a virtual walk-through of the scanned production facility from any starting point and can be used directly in planning processes. Where is virtual planning with virtual reality already being used and what advantages does it offer? The Audi e-tron GT is the brand’s first vehicle for which the assembly procedures and associated logistics processes were tested exclusively virtually and without any physical prototypes. To do this, a holistic, virtual model of the planned assembly with vehicle data, material handling, equipment, tools and the planned processes is prepared as a so-called digital model. The 3D scans are one element of this. The digital model is the basis for further innovations, as Andrés Kohler, responsible for virtual assembly planning at Audi, explains. “Thanks to a VR solution developed here at Audi and the digital model, colleagues from all over the world can now meet in virtual spaces and find themselves in the middle of the production facility of tomorrow. They can look over the shoulders of digital workers as they perform the planned procedures. They can also experience and optimize the planned processes for any part variants in our application.” The results can then be used to train employees, also on the basis of the VR application. These new possibilities are now being used in an increasing number of additional projects and at multiple sites. A 3P workshop (3P = Production Preparation Process), for example, was held at the Audi site in San José Chiapa, Mexico, and project team members from Ingolstadt also took part. As digital avatars and thus completely virtually, the experts discussed and planned the production of the Audi Q5 face lift and the new Q5 Sportback in VR. All assembly procedures are jointly defined and tested in real time, as are ergonomic aspects or the exact arrangement of machines, shelves and parts along the assembly line. Audi is the Group lead for the development of the comprehensive VR solution including the digital model. The project is being continued across brand lines under the leadership of the four rings as a Group project and rolled out to more and more sites. More than buildings and processes: How does virtual container planning work? Virtual planning is not restricted to just processes and work procedures. Objects such as containers for the transport and storage of sensitive parts, called special load containers, can also be planned using this technology. These containers for individual, particularly sensitive parts of the Audi e-tron GT, such as electric modules or interior parts – were planned using Audi’s cross-site and cross-division virtually reality application rather than using multiple physical prototypes of iron and steel. Virtual container planning works like this: Since there are data sets for all parts, these can be loaded directly and to-scale in the VR application. As in the 3P workshops, multiple employees from different sites meet in a virtual space, where they use the part to check the perfect and tailored load carrier. Employees from Logistics, Assembly Planning, Occupational Safety, Quality Assurance, Material Flow Planning and also suppliers are involved in this process. They use digital pens to mark their changes on the virtual containers. The containers are loaded and unloaded, moved and measured during this process. Optimal safety of the part during transport is one objective of this planning. But employees or a robot must also be able to easily grab the part and remove it from the load carrier. Once the virtual design is complete, the data are simply exported and the special load carrier manufactured. What makes virtual planning so sustainable and ecological? Sometimes less is more. There are thus three points that make virtual planning so sustainable: Fewer resources: The virtual planning of the Audi e-tron GT without physical prototypes saved not just time, but also materials and thus resources. It’s the same thing with the special load carriers and virtual container planning: Making prototypes of iron and steel requires resources and energy. Virtual planning makes this step superfluous in many cases. Less waste: Rather than in special load carriers, sensitive parts were often transported in universal load carriers with a custom protective lining. This protective lining is always purely disposable, however, and the use of custom containers makes it superfluous. Virtual planning thus directly reduces waste. Fewer business trips: Sustainability and environmental protection are the primary goal. But in times of the coronavirus pandemic, there are also health reasons for reducing the number of business trips as much as possible. Virtual planning is a major contributor here. Processes that once required a physical meeting are now possible in a virtual space. What future perspectives does virtual planning open up? The digital model is the basis for further possibilities in the virtual space. If you combine the possibilities of virtual planning including the digital model, 3D scans and the virtual reality application with those of 3D printing, 3P workshops could also be conducted in mixed reality in the future. Individual parts would then be produced immediately via a 3D printer and only slight amounts of resources. This enables the physical testing of individual elements in the virtual space, such as assessing the haptics and weight of the parts. A key step combining the advantages of both worlds. Virtual meetings and collaboration via avatars in the virtual world could increasingly replace foreign assignments and longer business trips. It is already possible today to use the spaces created by the 3D scanner for digital indoor navigation. And the positioning of machines and equipment in the space can be planned down to the centimeter using augmented reality. Article source: www.audi-mediacenter.com

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Arteon and Arteon R Shooting Brake: presales of the new performance models now underway

The Arteon and Arteon Shooting Brake are the sporty avant-garde models among company and touring cars. In the product line revamped in autumn 2020, Volkswagen is now starting presales of the flagship models: the Arteon R and Arteon R Shooting Brake with a powerful and efficient 235 kW (320 PS) four-cylinder turbocharged engine (TSI). This high power is transferred to the four wheels by a new all-wheel drive system: 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring. The fastback version with its coupé-style rear end costs 61.484,87 euros in Germany; prices for the Shooting Brake as a dynamic reinterpretation of the estate car start from 62,347,56 euros.

The power plant for the Arteon flagships designed by Volkswagen R is the EA888 evo4 – the latest evolutionary stage of a high-tech turbocharged engine. The fourth generation of this agile TSI combines the power development of a sports car engine with the efficiency of an ultra-modern downsizing unit. The 2.0-litre TSI already develops its maximum torque of 420 Nm at 2,100 rpm. The engine makes this power available at a constant level up to 5,350 rpm, and therefore offers a very wide rpm range. The TSI delivers its maximum output between 5,350 and 6,500 rpm. The power is transferred to the all-wheel drive system by means of a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG). The efficiency of this drive system is shown by the identical consumption values for both R models: 7.9 to 7.7 l/100 km (combined NEDC value).

The 320 PS TSI ensures superior performance. Both Arteon R models accelerate to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds; the drive power is electronically limited at 250 km/h. In combination with an optional R Performance package, the two Volkswagen models can be ordered with unlimited top speed; in this case it reaches 270 km/h. However, it is less the catalogue figures that define the Arteon R and Arteon R Shooting Brake. Instead, it is the outstanding torque level that shapes the character of these two Gran Turismo models: the continuously available drive power harmonises ideally with the exceptional long-distance driving characteristics. At the same time, the two Volkswagen models offer an outstanding level of pure driving dynamics thanks to their new all-wheel drive system and the newly tuned and standard adaptive chassis control (DCC).

The all-wheel drive system – 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring – is equipped with selective wheel torque control. Here, a new rear axle drive distributes the power of the TSI not just between the front and rear axles, but also between the two rear wheels (torque vectoring). This noticeably increases agility, particularly when cornering. The driver can also influence the effect of torque vectoring and the stabilising driving dynamics systems via the standard driver profile selection and an almost continuously variable slider for the DCC running gear. The tyres were also specifically matched to the Arteon R models. The sportiest interaction of all drive and running gear parameters can be accessed directly by means of a blue R button on the multifunction sports steering wheel: the engine, gearbox, DCC running gear, steering and control systems are then switched to Race mode via the driving profile selection, instantaneously transforming the touring car into a sports car.

With their extensively customised design and exclusive equipment, the Arteon R and Arteon R Shooting Brake are very typical R models. The exterior equipment includes newly designed R bumpers (with distinctive air intakes at the front and a diffuser at the rear), mirror covers with a matt chrome look, an R logo projection at the front doors as part of the surround lighting, an 18-inch R Performance brake system with blue brake calipers (with R logo at the front) and 18-inch Sebring alloy wheels. Optional: the 19-inch Adelaide wheels and the 20-inch Estoril wheel rims. Make their presence known both optically and acoustically: the new standard sports exhaust system from Volkswagen R with two trapezoidal metal tailpipes each in the outer part of the diffuser.

The interior is enhanced by seats in black ArtVelours with R logo in the front seat backrests as well as the R multifunction sports steering wheel with large paddles for the DSG. Also standard: aluminium accents in Carbon look and an additional R layout for the digital instruments (Digital Cockpit). The blue typical for Volkswagen R is used as a contrasting colour for the decorative stitching on the seats, front armrest, gear lever cover and leather sports steering wheel. The inner area of the centre steering wheel clip is also finished in blue. The standard background lighting system can also be adjusted to a matching blue (as one of 30 colours). Sports seats with integrated head restraints (at the front) are optionally available; the seat cushion bolsters of these nappa carbon seats are upholstered in carbon-look leather.

Article source: www.volkswagen-newsroom.com

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Audi to compete in Dakar Rally

Audi is facing one of the greatest challenges in motorsport: The brand with the four rings will be competing in the famous Dakar Rally for the first time in 2022 with an innovative prototype. The alternative drive concept combines an electric drivetrain with a high-voltage battery and a highly efficient energy converter for the first time. Cross-country rallying will be the spearhead of the factory motorsport commitment in the future. “A multifaceted commitment to motorsport is and will remain an integral part of Audi’s strategy,” says Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management and Board of Management Member for Technical Development and Product Lines at AUDI AG. “We want to continue demonstrating the brand’s slogan ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ in international top-level motorsport in the future and develop innovative technologies for our road cars. The toughest rally in the world is the perfect stage for this.” After many international successes in a wide range of categories, Audi is thus returning to rallying, which marked the beginning of the brand’s successful history in motorsport. From 1981, the Audi quattro revolutionized rallying. Today, permanent four-wheel drive is a standard, not only for rally cars. It also guarantees maximum safety in the sportiest Audi production models, and now also electrically in the e-tron models. With the use of an alternative drive concept in the Dakar Rally, Audi is now facing up to the most extreme conditions. The vehicle will be driven by a powerful electric drivetrain. The energy required for this comes from a high-voltage battery, which can be charged as required while driving via an energy converter in the form of a highly efficient TFSI engine. The aim is to permanently improve the performance of the electric drivetrain and the battery in the years to come. The experience gained in this process should then be incorporated into the further development of future electrified production models. Audi is the first car manufacturer that has committed to develop a viable alternative drive concept for the Dakar Rally, making it a pioneer in motorsport once again. In 2012, Audi achieved the first victory of a hybrid racing car in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro remained unbeaten in the world’s most important endurance race three times in a row. Since 2014, Audi has also been successful in fully-electric racing with Formula E. First in a supporting role for the team of its longstanding partner ABT Sportsline, and from 2017 with full factory involvement. After six years, the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team is the most successful entry in the history of Formula E with a total of 43 podium finishes, including twelve victories. Special highlights include winning the drivers’ title in 2017 and the teams’ title in the first season on a factory level in 2018. “Formula E has accompanied the transformation phase at Audi,” says Markus Duesmann. “Today, electromobility at the four rings is no longer a dream of the future, but the present.” The Audi e-tron is a bestseller in many markets. With the RS e-tron GT, Audi will soon bring its sporty spearhead onto the road. And as early as 2025, around 40 percent of sales are expected to be achieved with purely-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. “This is why we are taking the next step in electrified motorsport by facing the most extreme conditions. The many technical freedoms offered by the Dakar Rally provide a perfect test laboratory for us in this respect.” The Dakar Rally will replace Audi’s factory involvement in Formula E, which will no longer be continued in the form of an Audi factory team after the 2021 season. The use of the newly developed Audi powertrain by customer teams will remain possible beyond next year. Customer racing remains the second major pillar in AUDI AG’s future motorsport program. Audi Sport customer racing will continue to offer its customers a comprehensive model portfolio, as well as intensive service for worldwide racing. In addition, the program includes competing with the Audi R8 LMS in major endurance races like the Nürburgring 24 Hours and in international racing series such as the Intercontinental GT Challenge. “In addition, we are evaluating other possible fields of activity for us in international motorsport,” says Julius Seebach, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “In doing so, we have our customers’ wishes in mind as much as the company’s future strategy, which is clearly focused on electrification and carbon-neutral mobility. This is why we are intensively preparing to enter the new sports prototype category LMDh with its highlight races, the Daytona 24 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours. The most important message for our fans is that motorsport will continue to play an important role at Audi.” From December 1, 2020, Julius Seebach will assume responsibility for the company’s international motorsport activities in addition to his function as Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. Dieter Gass, who has held management positions at Audi Sport for almost ten years and was jointly responsible for the sporting success as Head of Audi Motorsport from 2017 to 2020, will devote himself to new tasks in the future, following the successful conclusion of the factory involvement in the DTM. Article source: www.audi-mediacenter.com

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Five category victories: Major success for Audi in the Auto Trophy readers’ poll of the magazine Auto Zeitung

Victories in five categories: Audi achieved a major success in the Auto Trophy 2020 voting by readers of the specialist magazine Auto Zeitung. The A1 Sportback, A3 Sportback, Q2, Q8, and e-tron Sportback models each won in their categories. For the A3, it was already the third important award within the space of a few weeks. It previously claimed victory in its category in the “autonis” design competition by auto, motor und sport and the “Golden Steering Wheel” from Auto Bild. “The success with the Auto Trophy confirms that we are on the right track with our model policy,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Technical Development. “I am particularly happy that our successful A3 Sportback keeps on winning in comparative tests and competitions. It presents our technological expertise in the compact segment – from digital daytime running lights and the modern operating concept to all-round connectivity. It is a perfect all-around vehicle, sporty and balanced, and a real eye-catcher.” The Auto Trophy took place for the 33rd time this year. 18,811 readers of Auto Zeitung voted on the best brands and models from a total of 442 cars in 21 categories. The participants each had two votes: one for the overall winner of the category and one for the best imported model. The A3 Sportback won its category with 15.0 percent of the vote. The A1 Sportback won in the “City Cars” category with 21.7 percent of the votes cast. The most compact Audi model is an ideal companion not only in urban environments but also on longer journeys. Its infotainment and driver assist systems are on par with the full-size class. The Q2, which emerged victorious among the SUVs under EUR 25,000 with 17.4 percent of the votes, is a versatile compact SUV with good all-around qualities. The Q8, which dominated in the “Luxury SUV” category with 13.9 percent of the votes, combines great practical talent with the elegance of a four-door luxury coupé and confident driving characteristics. The same can be said of the fully electric Audi e-tron Sportback (winner of the “Electric SUV” category with 19.0 percent): The dynamic SUV coupé combines elegance with powerful performance and high-tech features with great everyday usability. Article source: www.audi-mediacenter.com