- Germany against USA in the Porsche Arena
- Audi Seeks to win over BMW’s 5-Series enthusiast With A6 Sedan
- APR Motorsport qualifying results at the Kia 200
- Audi Q5 hybrid quattro
Posted: 05 Mar 2011 08:25 AM PST
World premiere at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix: the Fed Cup World Group play-off between Germany and USA will be held in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena simultaneously with the opening of the long established tournament on 16 and 17 April 2011. The winner will be promoted to the group containing the world’s top eight tennis nations. It is the first time that a Fed Cup match will be staged in conjunction with the qualifying weekend of a WTA tournament. The Fed Cup for women is the counterpart of the men’s Davis Cup.
“We’re delighted the ITF and WTA have taken up our offer and that we can celebrate the premiere in Stuttgart,” said Markus Günthardt, tournament director of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. “The duel between Germany and USA is a real highlight and therefore a worthy way to kick-off our tournament.”
Alongside the Dane Caroline Wozniacki, the current world No 1, six other Top 10 players have entered the 34th edition of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Andrea Petkovic and Julia Görges, upon whom German hopes will rest in their match against USA, will also be competing in the Easter week for the 721,000 dollars prize money and the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet. In addition to the Fed Cup play-off and the world’s best women players, spectators in the Porsche Arena can also look forward to the Berenberg Bank Classics, an exhibition match between the tennis icons Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander, on Monday 18 April.
The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix will take place from 16 – 24 April 2011 in the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart. Tickets for the world class tournament are available from Easy Ticket Service (Telephone +49 (0) 711-2555 555, Internet www.easyticket.de).
Posted: 05 Mar 2011 08:09 AM PST
Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Audi luxury brand will target executives with a revamped A6 sedan to increase sales and lure customers from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and Daimler AG (DAI) at the more expensive end of the product range.
“The A6 is the epitome of the top-of-the-range sedan,” development chief Michael Dick said in an interview. “I’m convinced it will attract many buyers in the business community. This is an important segment for Audi.”
Audi aims to increase A6 deliveries by one-third after selling about 1 million of the model’s previous generation during its seven-year lifespan, Dick said at the carmaker’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. The overhauled version goes on sale in Europe in April starting at 38,500 euros ($53,655).
The A6, the carmaker’s second-best selling model, competes with the more expensive BMW 5-Series and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The model, positioned between the A4 and A8, is key for Audi because it has better profitability than the A4 and higher sales than the flagship A8. Audi is showing the A6 at the Geneva auto show which began this week.
“The A6 is the most important car for Audi, it generates both margin and volume,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. “The model marks a gateway to the top range of the luxury spectrum.”
The VW unit, which has a goal of toppling BMW as the biggest luxury-auto maker in 2015, is enhancing the high end of its 36-model lineup, introducing the new A7 Sportback last year and an updated version of its A8 flagship sedan.
Audi will spend 11.6 billion euros worldwide outside China on new products, plants and technologies over the next five years. The brand aims to increase 2011 sales by about 10 percent to a record 1.2 million cars and sport-utility vehicles this year. Models hitting showrooms this year include the RS3 sportback, a hybrid Q5 SUV and the Q3 compact SUV.
The new A6 is shorter and wider than its predecessor and weighs up to 80 kilograms less thanks to increased use of aluminum and high-tech steels, Stefan Sielaff, head of design at Audi brand, said in an interview last month.
The A6’s share of its market segment will increase to 20.7 percent next year in western Europe from 18.9 percent in 2011, following the full introduction of the new version, IHS Automotive forecasts. The 5-Series and E-Class will both decline to 21.4 percent from 22.7 percent and 22.5 percent respectively, the automotive industry analyst said.
BMW, based in Munich, Germany, introduced a new version of the 5-Series sedan, priced from 40,300 euros, last March, a year after Mercedes came to market with its updated E-Class, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer’s second-best selling model. The E- Class sells in Europe from 39,835 euros.
Audi is ramping up production of the new A6 and wants to build about 200,000 of the car in the first year that output is running at full capacity, Dick said. Audi sold 204,300 A6s last year, second only to the 302,000 A4s, which is smaller, that the luxury-car maker delivered.
Still, BMW doesn’t anticipate 5-Series sales being affected by the pending introduction of the new A6, sales chief Ian Robertson said last month.
“The demand curve for the 5-Series will remain strong all year,” Robertson said at a Feb. 21 event. With the model now available in markets around the world including an extended version for China, “we’re having very strong demand,” he said.
The new AG hits the U.S. in the third quarter and will be priced “competitively” with the 7-Series and E-Class, spokesman Oliver Strohbach said.
Posted: 05 Mar 2011 07:23 AM PST
At risk of sounding cliche, Miami is hot and so was the qualifying round of the CTSCC in GRAND-AM for the 200 race tomorrow afternoon. The PerfectPedal Audi S4 prepared by APR Motorsport for the GS class and driven in qualifying by Gary Gibson placed 16th while the VW DriverGear GTI MK6’s placed 6th and 8th in ST class. Less than one second separates the top 15 qualifiers in ST and GS seems to be primed for a close race to the finish. APR Motorsport is in great position with both GTI’s thanks to Ryan Ellis in 181 and Chris Gleason in 171.
Gary Gibson navigated the Audi S4 with expertise after a slew of development enhancements greatly improved the braking and handling. APR Motorsport spent the long weeks between Daytona and this week’s race equipping the S4 with some new setup changes and components developed in conjunction with APR, LLC. Gary relayed, “After the braking upgrades over the last few weeks just like our sponsor provides for my racing simulator, the S4 now has the PerfectPedal too! There is nothing as confidence inspiring in racing knowing that no matter how fast you go, you have the PefectPedal to slow you down even faster. I am able to enter the turns with greater aggression and really get full use of Audi’s quattro all wheel drive. Josh and I are ready for the race!”
The VW DriverGear GTI’s have come off of their win at Daytona with great results in practice and good positioning in qualifying. Ryan Ellis, driver of the 181 GTI, debriefed us, “With good practice rounds putting me at the front, I was able to set my best lap early on. I can’t believe how close the qualifying field is and the race tomorrow is going to be a heated contest. I’m glad the APR team has Ian and I so well prepared. Our GTI is the perfect race car for the forthcoming challenge and I thank VW DriverGear and PlaySeat for their support in our efforts. Go APR!”
Chris Gleason drove the 171 GTI MK6 to a successful 8th position in qualifying. Chris and Ryan will start tomorrow’s race nose to tail allowing for team strategy in a very closely matched field. Chris Gleason relayed about his qualifying run, “Like Ryan, I wanted to take advantage of the good positioning practice gave us for the start, I had a little bobble in turn 2 of the the first hot lap but my 3rd hot lap was clean and strong. I may have lost some speed on turn 8 but after a good position was achieved I switched to a strategy of saving the tires for the race. I am excited for my brother and I as we co-drive with our team in 181 for a podium. APR has done a great job with our GTI and I know tomorrow is going to be a tough race but Kevin and I know the car will do what we need it to.”
Follow Live Timing and Scoring of tomorrow’s 200 race at GRAND-AM.com and visit APR, LLC’s Facebook page for live updates from the APR Motorsport pits. The race will be aired on SpeedTV March 19th at 2PM EST.
Posted: 03 Mar 2011 07:11 AM PST
Power like a V6, fuel consumption like a four-cylinder TDI – the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro, scheduled to arrive at dealerships at the end of the year, is the first mass-produced hybrid model from Audi that makes use of two drive systems. Delivering 180 kW (245 hp) of system performance and 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft) of torque, its 2.0 TFSI gasoline engine and electric motor ensure sporty dynamics while achieving an average fuel consumption in the normal cycle (NEDC) of under 6.9 liters per 100 km (33.60 US mpg).
During the development process, Audi focused on a high share of electrically powered driving. The sportiest hybrid SUV on the market can drive up to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) under electric power alone and covers about three kilometers locally emission-free at a speed of 60 km/h (37.28 mph). With the powerful, lightweight lithium-ion battery and many other solutions, the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro represents the state of the art.
The 2.0 TFSI and the electric motor of the Audi Q5 hybrid are mounted directly behind one another as a parallel hybrid system – a straight-line concept with impressive efficiency. Together they have a system output of 180 kW (245 hp) and a system torque of 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft). The Audi Q5 hybrid sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.1 seconds, while the interim sprint from 80 to 120 km/h (49.71 to 74.56 mph) is accomplished in fifth gear in 5.9 seconds. The propulsion ends at no less than 222 km/h (137.94 mph).
In the normal cycle, the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro consumes 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (33.60 US mpg) – that corresponds to a CO2 emissions level of 159 g per km (257.50 g/mile). The 75-liter (19.81-US gallon) tank yields an impressive range comparable to that of a TDI.
The 2.0 TFSI in the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro has a displacement of 1984 cc. Its output is 155 kW (211 hp), with the maximum torque of 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) permanently available between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm. The four-cylinder unit combines gasoline direct injection with turbocharging. The Audi valve lift system (AVS) further increases power, torque and efficiency by switching the stroke of the exhaust valves between two stages depending on the load and rpm.
The 2.0 TFSI has been overhauled in some respects for use in the Audi Q5 hybrid. The drive of the ancillary units has been dropped, and the crankshaft bearing and fine tuning of the turbocharger have been adapted to the specific demands. A secondary air system at the cylinder head makes sure that the exhaust gas treatment cuts in particularly fast. Integrated in the engine control unit, the so-called hybrid manager controls the efficient change and smooth transitions between the operating modes.
A largely modified eight-speed tiptronic serves as the power transmission without the aid of a torque converter. Its place is taken by the disk-shaped electric motor, combined with a multi-plate clutch bathed in oil, which couples and decouples the electric motor and the TFSI. The innovative decoupler operates precisely and smoothly in any situation.
The highly comfortable and fast-shifting hybrid gear unit contributes significantly to the efficiency of the Audi Q5 hybrid – its eight gears are widely spaced. When the 2.0 TFSI is deactivated, an electric pump maintains the oil pressure in the hydraulic system to safeguard the convenient start-stop feature.
Power electronics and electric motor
The radiator tank in the engine bay houses the power electronics. The so-called pulse-controlled inverter serves as a controller between the battery, which outputs direct current, and the electric motor that operates on alternating current. Innovative technologies keep the volume and weight of the power electronics low, with cooling provided by a separate low-temperature water-filled circuit. The component includes a DC/DC converter that couples the electric consumers in the 12 V electrical system with the high-voltage network.
A permanently excited synchronous machine serves as an electric motor, as a starter and – during deceleration – as an alternator. It delivers up to 40 kW (54 hp) of power and 210 Nm (155.63 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor is integrated in the engine’s cooling circuit.
A lithium-ion battery system, weighing merely 38 kg (83.78 lb), serves as the energy store for the electric motor of the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro. The compact unit with its 26-liter (6.87 US-gallon) capacity is positioned in a crash-safe area under the loading floor, with hardly any detriment to the luggage compartment. The battery consists of 72 cells; at 266 volts its nominal energy is 1.3 kWh and its output 39 kW.
The lithium-ion battery is cooled by air in two ways, depending on the requirement. At low-temperature load, it draws temperate air from the vehicle interior by way of a fan. If its temperature exceeds a certain limit, a separate refrigerant circuit is activated. It is coupled to the main climate control system of the vehicle and uses a separate evaporator. This efficient, active cooling mechanism is a major factor in the hybrid system’s high electric availability and sets the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro apart from many other hybrid vehicles.
The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro can be driven in five operating modes. Driving with the combustion engine alone, with the electric drive alone or in hybrid mode is possible, as are recuperation and boosting. At a standstill – before starting or at a traffic light, for instance – both drive sources are deactivated. In this “comfort” start-stop mode, the climate control system remains active. Once the driver releases the brake, the Q5 hybrid quattro begins coasting. It can be driven up to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) under electric power – with almost no noise or local emissions. At a constant speed of 60 km/h (37.28 mph), it has a range of 3 km – enough for many residential areas and city centers.
The driver can change between three programs using a button on the center console or the selector lever. The EV characteristic map gives priority to the electric drive in the city, the D mode controls both motors for optimal consumption, and the S mode as well as the touch control gate of the tiptronic are designed for a sporty driving style.
If the driver accelerates quickly, the combustion engine takes over and delivers traction. Now the electric motor’s main job is to power the on-board consumers and keep the accumulator battery charged. In quick acceleration, or “boosting,” the electric motor operates together with the TFSI; at full throttle in the S mode the full system output is briefly available. In such cases, the hybrid drive supplies the propulsion power of a large naturally aspirated engine, but with far more efficiency.
When the driver releases the accelerator, the electric motor acts as an alternator and recovers energy. In most situations the TFSI is then decoupled from the drive system so as not to cause any drag losses. The electricity recovered by the electric motor here and in braking is buffered in the lithium-ion battery. If the driver brakes only slightly, the electric motor performs the deceleration by itself; in more forceful braking the hydraulic braking system is simultaneously activated.
The Audi Q5 hybrid features a novel display concept, in which each of the hybrid drive’s driving modes can be experienced. The tachometer has been replaced on the instrument cluster by a “power meter,” with a needle that indicates the total system output on a scale of 0 to 100. A second scale is divided into colored segments; its green and orange segments clearly show which drive system the Q5 hybrid quattro is currently using. An additional instrument displays the charge level of the battery.
At the same time, the display of the driver information system and the large monitor of the MMI Navigation plus show the operating states and power flows in the hybrid system in elegant graphics with a three-dimensional effect. The MMI screen also displays differentiated consumption and recuperation statistics in easily understandable bar graphs.
The latest-generation MMI navigation plus is standard in the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro. The storage capacity of the hard drive is 60 GB, the menus can be selected via a state-of-the-art wizard, and the album tracks are displayed using the cover artwork. An external device such as a cell phone or player can be connected via Bluetooth, and the voice input understands town and street names in a single command. The resonant Audi sound system is also standard.
quattro drive and chassis
quattro permanent four-wheel drive reliably applies the power of both power units to the road in any situation. In the normal condition the sporty drive is emphasized at the rear; if need be, it transmits most of the power to the axle with the better traction. The sophisticated chassis includes many aluminum components for reduced weight. The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro is capable of pulling trailer loads of up to 2000 kg (4,409 lb).
The steering is based on an electromechanical system. The system is extremely efficient because it consumes no energy when driving straight ahead. The brake servo is additionally supplied by an electric vacuum pump. A complex control strategy adapts the braking to the conditions of electric driving and energy recuperation.
Subtle visual effects on the exterior are a signature feature of the Audi Q5 hybrid quattro. The rear hatch, fenders and aluminum door sills bear hybrid badges. The radiator grill is painted a high-gloss black, and the tailpipes are trimmed in chrome. An exclusive paint finish in Arctic Silver metallic is available as an option.
The 19-inch cast aluminum wheels were specially designed for the hybrid – their ten spokes are reminiscent of turbine blades. The tires are size 235/55. Audi also offers customers 19- and 20-inch diagonal wheels, and an S line bumper is available from quattro GmbH.
The body is extraordinarily light, with the rear hatch and engine hood made of aluminum. The rigid body shell incorporates hot-shaped steel in numerous places, combining low weight with extremely high strength. Despite an extensive array of standard equipment, the Q5 hybrid quattro with its curb weight of less than 2000 kg (4,409 lb) is the lightest hybrid SUV on the world market. All of its hybrid components add less than 130 kg (286.60 lb) of extra weight.
Equipment and trim
The climate control system in the Audi Q5 hybrid is adapted to the requirements of electric driving. A high-voltage electric drive was used for the compressor. It operates on-demand, making it highly efficient. An electric auxiliary heater ensures that the cabin heats up quickly.
The Audi Q5 hybrid quattro offers virtually the same equipment as its successful sibling models – the model series leads the European market in the mid-sized SUV segment. The options also include the advanced Audi driver assistance systems.
A new feature is Internet connectivity via the optional Bluetooth car phone online. A UMTS model connects to special services from Google and the World Wide Web, allowing the car to retrieve the latest news and weather information. Through the fast connection the hybrid SUV also downloads three-dimensional satellite images and aerial photos from Google Earth. These appear in a bird’s eye view on the monitor, and the computer fills in the roads. Another high-end feature is the WLAN hotspot, which allows passenger to connect up to eight terminal devices to the Internet.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.
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