- Hit the slopes with the Audi Carbon Ski
- Audi A6 allroad quattro wins OFF ROAD AWARD 2011
- VW diesels under U.S. review for fuel-pump flaws
- Falken Tire partners with Walker Racing for 2011 ALMS season
Posted: 12 Feb 2011 09:29 AM PST
Know-how drawn from skiing and motorsport has been used to develop the perfect ski. The Audi Carbon Ski concept is an eye-catching piece of sports equipment with a minimalist design that focuses fully on one premium material: carbon. The concept study was designed and developed at Audi Concept Design Munich – but like a racing car, it can only be mastered by a top professional. For this reason, the team surrounding chief designer Wolfgang Egger began working on the development of a serial-production ski with the ski specialists from Head. The Audi Carbon Ski may become available already in winter 2011/2012.
The technology transfer from the concept study to the serial-production Audi Carbon Ski was crucial throughout all of the developmental phases. A cab of high-strength carbon fiber encloses layers of aluminum and titanium, as well as a wood core. At 1,550 grams (with a ski length of 170 cm), the ski will be about 200 grams lighter than comparable models. This allows it to be incredibly maneuverable and agile.
The carbon allows the engineers to achieve optimal stiffness while also minimizing torsion, which is the twisting of the ski along its longitudinal axis. Outstanding strength, good dampening and low weight make the Audi Carbon Ski a carving ski that fully lives up to the Audi philosophy of “Vorsprung durch Technik.”
“As a long-time partner and sponsor of the German Ski Association, a ski produced by Audi is a logical consequence of this partnership. This is how the Audi Carbon Ski concept came about. And the ski’s brilliant handling characteristics have been confirmed by professionals from the sport,” said Wolfgang Egger, Head of Design for the Audi Group. “The serial-production ski was able to borrow from the concept study, and it features outstanding technical properties. At the same time, its minimalist design underscores the technical nature of the carbon.”
In January 2011, as part of the most famous downhill race in the world – the Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbühel – and in February 2011 at the World Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, customers were able to test the first prototypes of the Audi Carbon Ski. In addition to extensive tests by specialists from Head and the German Ski Association, these results will contribute to the ability to offer a perfected ski.
Audi Carbon Ski concept
During development of the Audi Carbon Ski concept (2008/2009), Audi profited from over 20 years of partnership with the German Ski Association and its own considerable experience in motorsport. Parameters that have proven reliable over many decades of ski sports were analyzed with the use of complex calculation methods drawn from motorsport. The result: construction specifications for a full-carbon ski that guarantees perfect handling properties. After extensive tests, scientific experts from the German Ski Association confirmed the high quality of the Audi Carbon Ski concept.
A ski is a technically sophisticated piece of sports equipment, but it is also a highly aesthetic object that is optimized for top performance. The project at Audi Concept Design Munich – in the heart of the urban district Schwabing – was based on these considerations. The team of young, international designers was able to transfer the Audi design gene from the brand’s cars to the ski. “Carbon and aluminum are central elements in Audi design – these exclusive materials underscore the outstanding quality of our cars,” Egger said. “The design of the ski also intentionally dispenses with unnecessary lines and concentrates fully on the material.”
“Thanks to its ideal combination of strength and light weight, carbon is used in motorsport for especially sensitive components that need to withstand the highest stress loads yet must at the same time be light in weight,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport. In the racing cars for the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) and the Le Mans sports cars, for example the new R18, the driver’s cockpit – the so-called monocoque – is made from high-strength carbon fiber. “When creating this possibly lifesaving carbon component, we use the same calculation methods as those that were used for the concept development of the Audi Carbon Ski concept,” Ullrich said.
The calculations for the ski define precisely how many layers of carbon must be used – in doing so, the carbon fibers are placed at a specific angle to each other. This allows the engineers to achieve optimal stiffness with minimal torsion. The layers are hardened under pressure in an artificial vacuum.
The influence on the handling properties of the ski is revolutionary: the ski flexes on the mogul slopes to achieve optimal grip on uneven surfaces. On icy patches, on the other hand, the ski must not twist, so that the steel edges can maintain their grip on the snow along their entire length. Thus, the ski never loses contact with the ground. The light weight of the carbon also plays a critical role for skiing curves. The weight per ski is a mere 960 grams.
Posted: 12 Feb 2011 09:14 AM PST
Readers of OFF ROAD magazine have selected the Audi A6 allroad quattro as the best model in the “Crossover” category. The Audi Q5 came third in the “SUV” category. The awards were presented last night in Munich.
In the survey of readers, the Audi A6 allroad quattro took first place in the “Crossover” category. The A6 allroad quattro is spacious, luxurious, distinctive and versatile. It offers excellent dynamic power and handling – in both on-road and off-road conditions.
The Audi Q5 also found favor among the magazine’s readers, taking third place in the “SUV” category. The Q5 combines the dynamics of a sporty sedan with a highly variable interior space. The midsize SUV is the perfect car for active types in all kinds of situations – from business or sports to leisure and family driving.
Posted: 12 Feb 2011 09:06 AM PST
Volkswagen AG vehicles are under review by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after reports of engines stalls, some at highway speed, that may be related to fuel-pump failures.
The auto-safety regulator has received reports of one accident and 160 complaints from owners and the company about loss of engine power and stalling, NHTSA said in a posting on its website Friday. The power loss and stalling was related to high-pressure pumps failing and contaminating the fuel system with debris, the agency said.
About half of the reports involved stalling with “many of these alleging stall incidents at highway speeds in traffic with no restart,” the agency said.
NHTSA is reviewing 97,272 cars equipped with 2-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel engines. They include 2009 and 2010 models of the Volkswagen Jetta and Golf and the Audi A3 that have TDI clean-diesel engines.
The safety agency, which received 52 of the complaints directly and the rest through the automaker, upgraded its investigation to an engineering analysis, a step that can lead to a recall.
“We take these matters very seriously and are cooperating fully with NHTSA during its investigation,” said Sheriece Matias, a U.S.-based spokeswoman for Volkswagen. “We will continue to work closely with the agency as the analysis continues.”
Posted: 12 Feb 2011 06:22 AM PST
Falken Tire’s professional sports car racing program has grown substantially since their entry into the American Le Mans Series in 2008. Starting with the bold decision to purchase its own Porsche and manage its own team for the 2009 season, Falken has taken a nonconventional approach to its racing program. Falken’s first full season championship effort took place in 2010. To date the program has shown signs of strong success by qualifying on the front row 3 times in 2010, but it has yet to achieve its ultimate goals of winning races at the GT level.
“The ever increasing competition amongst the already fierce GT class in which Falken competes in has forced us to look in all directions, outward and inward, in pursuit of excellence. As a result, Falken Tire has reached an agreement with Derrick Walker and Walker Racing to conduct our race team operations for the 2011 season. Derrick Walker’s motorsports career spans over 40 years including management positions within the Penske organization before beginning his own motorsports company in 1990. His experience in such series as Champ Car, Indy Car and Formula One combined with the involvement from manufacturers such as Porsche, McLaren and Cosworth, make us confident that Derrick will bring the highest level of professionalism and knowledge to our team for 2011. We are very excited for this new chapter in our motorsports history and cannot wait for the season to begin”, says Andrew Hoit, Falken’s Director of Marketing.
“I am proud to be involved with Falken Tire, they are clearly a company on the move both on and off the track. To be a part of their long-term goals and become involved in the American Le Mans Series is a great opportunity for us at Walker Racing”, states Derrick Walker.
Stay tuned for more announcements as Walker Racing’s facility in Indianapolis becomes the epicenter of Falken’s ALMS racing program.
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