Monday, 6 July 2015

Audi star trio shines bright at the auto express awards

Three coveted trophies go to the Audi A3 Cabriolet, A6 and TT Coupé at this year’s Auto Express New Car Awards
  • Audi A3 awarded Best Cabriolet – priced from £26,125 OTR
  • TT wins Best Coupé category – pricing starts at £29,810 OTR
  • Best Executive trophy goes to the Audi A6 for the second consecutive year – available in SE, S line or Black Edition from £32,295 OTR
  • Audi A1 commended in Best Premium Small Car category
In another stellar year for Audi, three of its most popular models have received best-in-class honours in the annual Auto Express Awards. The enduring appeal of the Audi A6 and A3 Cabriolet has been enough to secure both models a second consecutive triumph this year as Best Executive Car and Best Cabriolet respectively, while the third generation TT, a newcomer to the awards, takes its first victory as Best Coupé.
Commenting on the hat-trick for Audi, Auto Express Editor-in-Chief Steve Fowler remarked: "These models are at the top of their game and it’s easy to see why they have garnered such high praise this year. Staying ahead of the curve in these hotly contested classes is no mean feat, but that’s exactly what the A6 and A3 Cabriolet have achieved for the second year in succession. The third generation TT is a new submission to our awards this year, and with even more clean-cut styling, a noticeably more sporting slant than its predecessors and the breathtaking virtual cockpit for good measure it’s a no less deserving recipient of a class award."
André Konsbruck, Director of Audi UK, added: "An Auto Express Award based on the opinions of the magazine’s respected road test team is highly valued by all of us at Audi, so to receive three simultaneously is particularly gratifying. Our wins bear testament to the relentless and very significant investment in product development which keeps Audi in the vanguard of automotive design, engineering and technology."
The Best Executive Car trophy is yet another testimonial for the Audi A6 and in particular the TDI ultra, which the esteemed magazine has named as its pick of the bunch. Just a few weeks ago an A6 TDI ultra set a new GUINNESS World Records title for driving to the most countries (14) on a single tank of fuel. The unmodified example completed a staggering 1158.9 miles and averaged 75.9mpg with no need for a fill-up at the pumps. This extraordinary economy return easily surpassed the official 67.3 mpg figure specified by the NEDC. Its EU6-compliant 2.0 TDI engine also emits just 109g/km of CO2 when fitted with the latest generation of S tronic transmission, which features an innovative free-wheeling function combined with start-stop technology to further reduce fuel consumption. Developing 190PS and 400 Nm between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm also equips the A6 Saloon with a 0-62 mph sprint time of 8.2 seconds and 144 mph top speed.
The 2.0 TDI ultra engine is also available in the A6 Avant, which offers an impressive 565 litres of luggage capacity and a maximum trailer load of 2,000kg. The increase in weight over the saloon is kept to a minimum thanks in part to GFRP springs fitted as standard on the rear - a first on an Audi series production model - and efficiency is remarkably well matched despite the extra space and practicality – up to 64.2 mpg combined is possible, corresponding to emissions of 114g/km.
TT goes straight to the top
In its very first year as a contender in the Auto Express New Car Awards, the all-new TT has impressed the judges enough to take the category win. An impressive 50kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to further advanced aluminium and steel hybrid construction around the Audi Space Frame, its revolutionary interior was the first to feature the stunning all-digital virtual cockpit that is now available for the new Q7 and will make its way into the forthcoming Audi A4. The renowned quattro all-wheel drive system can of course be specified in conjunction with the punchy 230 PS 2.0 TFSI engine, and as an alternative a front-driven ultra version featuring the 2.0 TDI unit with 184 PS is capable of 62.8mpg combined and 116g/km.
Another winning year for the A3 Cabriolet
Ranked at the very top of the Auto Express convertible list is the four-seat A3 Cabriolet. Along with its retractable fabric roof and three comprehensively equipped trim specifications (SE, Sport and S line), a broad range of TFSI and TDI engines are available. The most efficient is the frugal 1.6 TDI with 68.9mpg capability and 110 g/km CO2 output, and the most potent is the 300PS S3 Cabriolet, boasting a 5.4 second 62mph sprint time and 155mph top speed.
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