Audi R8 LMS and Audi RS e-tron GT prototype: today meets tomorrow

“The Audi RS e-tron GT prototype is the first all-electric high-performance model from Audi and the next icon in the RS model portfolio,” says Rolf Michl, Director Sales & Marketing Audi Sport GmbH. “With it, we are heralding a new era of the two letters RS at Audi.” The Audi RS e-tron GT prototype gives a glimpse of the derivatives of the brand’s first all-electric model series which rolls off the production line in Germany at the Audi Böllinger Höfe site in Neckarsulm. The small-series production facility, where the Audi R8 has been built up to now, has been expanded, upgraded and converted for its new task. The integrated assembly of two cars with completely different drive technologies on one line is unique in the Volkswagen Group. 

Based on the standard R8, Audi Sport customer racing has been building the GT3 racing car in the second generation since 2009, as well as other racing derivatives. 50 percent of the assemblies of the model, which will fight for the fifth overall victory in Spa this coming weekend, come from series production. Before the starting flag drops at 3.30 pm on Saturday, the Audi RS e-tron GT prototype will lead the field of the 24-hour race into the formation lap – and GT racing into an exciting future. 

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Readers’ choice for best new design features: Audi victorious in five out of ten categories

“Each of these models is part of the Audi family, yet has its own character,” said Head of Design Marc Lichte, who accepted the five trophies on behalf of the entire design team. “At Audi, design is the number 1 reason for buying. That is just one reason why it is so extremely important to us as a premium brand that the design of our models not only appeals to us, but also meets the tastes of our customers. You have once again given us an important confirmation of this with the ‘Autonis’.”

Robust and innovative: outstanding small and compact cars

The Audi A1 citycarver claimed victory in the “Small Car” category with 33 percent of the vote. It debuted last year and is characterized by a thoroughly robust, off-road look. This includes not just the large, octagonal Singleframe, but also the redesigned side sills with contrasting attachments, the higher ride height and underbody protection in stainless steel paint.

The winner in the “Compact Car” category was the new Audi A3. 19.6 percent of the vote went to the premium compact model, which has been available to order since March. It is the first Audi model to offer Matrix LED headlights in combination with digital daytime running lights. The latter are a 3×5 pixel field of LED segments that gives each A3 derivative its own unique light signature.

In the “Compact SUV” category, 24.4 percent of the participating readers cast their vote for the Audi Q3 Sportback. A distinguishing feature of the SUV coupé is the low roofline, which makes the model appear significantly longer than its sister model, the Q3. In addition, the Q3 Sportback is almost three centimeters (1.2 in) flatter and thus has a more muscular appearance.

Strikingly updated and strongly characteristic: the winners in the mid-size and full-size classes

The Audi A5 offers an even more determined appearance since last year’s model update. The Singleframe with the honeycomb insert is flatter and somewhat wider than on the previous model. Air vents above the grille are reminiscent of the classic Audi Sport quattro from 1984. 36.3 percent of the vote in the “Mid-Size” category underlines the success of this product improvement.

The Audi RS 6 Avant claimed victory in the “Full-Size” category with 22.6 percent of the vote. A significantly flatter Singleframe, a body widened on both sides by roughly 40 millimeters (0.1 in) with widely flared wheel arches and an RS-specific bumper with rear diffuser and oval tailpipes underscore the unmistakeable character of the high-performance Avant compared with the A6 Avant basic model.

“Autonis”: more than 100 new models put to the vote

With a total of five victories, Audi was the top winner at this year’s “Autonis.” The premium brand thus clearly impressed the readers of auto, motor and sport with its models. Overall, there were more than 100 new models from various manufacturers to choose from. Some 16,000 participants cast their readers’ choice votes.

Small Q, big coup: The Audi Q2 in new top form

Even more striking at the front and rear: the exterior design

The Audi Q2 is a robust, sporty all-around vehicle as its design indicates at the first glance: It is sporty, elongated, and powerful at the same time, and its corners and edges give it an even more confident appearance. The compact SUV measures 4.21 meters (13.8 ft) in length, 17 millimeters (0.7 in) more than before. The wheelbase of 2.60 meters (8.5 ft), the width of 1.79 meters (5.9 ft), and the height of 1.54 meters (5.1 ft) have remained the same. The drag coefficient with sport suspension is 0.31 – a top-of-the-range result in the small SUV segment.

The Audi designers have now applied the motif of the polygon, which already characterized the front and shoulder line, to the rear end as well: The bumper has an integrated angular diffuser insert with large pentagons on both sides. The front has also been modified, and the surfaces below the headlights now have a more distinctive shape. The large implied air inlets, which are also pentagonal, also appear even more expressive, especially in the optional S line equipment line. The octagonal Singleframe is slightly lower than before, making the front section appear wider.

The color palette of the updated Audi Q2 includes five new colors: Apple green is celebrating its premiere with the brand, and Manhattan gray, Navarra blue, arrow gray, and turbo blue are newly available for the compact SUV. The blades on the C-pillars are painted either in body color or designed in black, gray, and silver shades, and genuine carbon is also available as an option.

In addition to the basic version, Audi offers the advanced and S line exterior equipment lines. In the basic version, the attachments in the lower area of the body are grained black; in the advanced line, they are painted in Manhattan gray, and in the S line, they are painted in the body color. Both lines include mirror housings in the body color, and the front entries feature illuminated aluminum strips. Two versions of the black styling package and the exclusive carbon styling package are available in addition.

Top-of-the-line technology: Matrix LED headlights

Even in the standard version, the revised Q2 illuminates the road with LED headlights, and Audi will install the new Matrix LED headlights upon request. One shared module houses seven individual LEDs. The intelligently controlled high beam light always illuminates the road as brightly as possible without blinding other road users. Ten further light-emitting diodes installed behind rhomboid optical components generate the daytime running light. Seven LEDs generate the dynamic turn signals independently.

For the rear lights, Audi offers a version with LED technology. If the Matrix LED headlights are on board, the dynamic turn signal is also included. When the car is locked and unlocked, dynamic light sequencing plays in the headlights and rear lights.

One TFSI, one TDI: the engines for the Q2

The compact SUV is being launched on the German market with two powerful engines. The 1.5 TFSI that powers the Q2 35 TFSI has an output of 110 kW (150 PS) and produces 250 Nm (184.4 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm. At low loads and engine speeds, its efficiency system, cylinder on demand (COD), temporarily deactivates the second and third cylinders. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) takes 8.6 seconds; its peak is 218 km/h (135.5 mph). These values apply to the versions with six-speed manual transmission and seven-speed S tronic to in equal measure.

The diesel engine in the Q2 35 TDI also outputs 110 kW (150 PS) and produces a maximum torque of 360 Nm (265.5 lb-ft). It allows similar driving performance to the 1.5 TFSI. Like all engines in the Q2, the 2.0 TDI complies with the limits of the new Euro 6 AP emission standard. This is in part due to the twin dosing technology that reduces the NOx emissions of the TDI considerably. Two SCR catalytic converters work together here: One is located directly behind the engine, and the other is installed further back in the exhaust system under the vehicle floor. They cover different operating situations and complement each other’s effects.

The seven-speed S tronic transmission is optional for the 1.5 TFSI and comes as standard with the 2.0 TDI. Audi can also equip the diesel model with quattro all-wheel drive as an option. Its multi-plate clutch, which transfers the engine torque to the rear wheels steplessly as needed, belongs to a new generation. It is around one kilogram (2.2 lb) lighter than the predecessor component and offers increased efficiency thanks to various small optimization measures performed on the bearings and oil supply, for example. An entry-level engine and further engine versions will follow in 2021.

A pleasant place: the interior

The spacious interior of the Audi Q2 accommodates five passengers. They can get in with ease at sit in a comfortably elevated position. The optional panoramic glass sunroof brings light and air into the car; tinted privacy glazing, which is also optional, shields the rear seating area from view. The luggage compartment holds 405 liters (14.3 cu ft), expanding to 1,050 liters (37.1 cu ft) when the rear seat backs are folded down; these figures are reduced by 50 liters (1.8 cu ft) each for the TDI engine with quattro drive. On request, Audi will deliver the storage and luggage compartment package and a tailgate that opens and closes electrically. With the 1.5 TFSI, the Q2 can tow trailers weighing up to 1,500 kilograms (3,306.9 lb) with the optional coupling.

The interior design of the compact SUV echoes the taut design language of the exterior. The round air vents with their jet design and the gear lever knob – or selector lever of the S tronic – have been retouched slightly. The interior S line is available as an alternative to the basic variant. Both versions can be combined freely with the three exterior variants.

New package strategy: equipment and materials

Audi has bundled all seats, upholstery, and colors into seven packages, four of which are assigned to the basic interior, while the other three are assigned to the interior S line. In the packages for the basic interior, standard or sport seats are available with fabric upholstery or a combination of leather and artificial leather.

The seat upholstery is generally kept in black. Depending on the version, they feature accent stripes on the side bolsters or contrasting stitching in gray, black, and brown.

Sport seats come as standard with the interior S line. The upholstery, which features embossed S logos on the backrest, consists either of fabric and artificial leather, chrome-free tanned leather, or a combination of leather and the Dinamica microfiber material, which is a new addition to the range and will replace Alcantara. Dinamica looks and feels like suede but consists mainly of recycled polyester, which is sourced from textiles and PET bottles, for example. The interior S line also features accent stripes and contrasting stitching in gray and black.

The packages include further equipment, such as the pedals and footrests, which are made of stainless steel in the interior S line, the front door sill trims (illuminated and with S logos in the interior S line), and the inlays, which are available in matt brushed aluminum with the interior S line. The feature known as Format light graphics is particularly attractive: The trim strip on the instrument panel and the knee pads on the center console are backlit, with the light shining through numerous millimeter-sized openings.

Customers who order the ambient lighting package plus can choose from ten colors. Some convenience features are available individually in the fresh Q2. However, most are bundled in the new climate control, comfort, function, interior, infotainment, dynamism, and assist systems packages. This provides a better overview of the extensive range of configurations for the vehicle, especially since the packages have been compiled such that they accommodate the customers’ wishes, which Audi has analyzed in detail. Audi will roll out this new strategy in all model series and adjust them to the respective preferences in the important global markets.

Highly connected: displays, infotainment, and Audi connect

The range in terms of displays and infotainment is structured in three levels in the Q2. An analog instrument with a monochrome display comes as standard, and a color display is available as an option. The top-of-the-line version is the Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch diagonal. As regards infotainment, the MMI radio plus comes as standard. It includes a DAB tuner and a seven-inch color display. The first option is the connectivity infotainment package with an 8.3-inch display, preparation for navigation system, and the Audi smartphone interface. The top-of-the-range infotainment system is the MMI navigation plus, which is available in the navigation package. It is operated via the rotary pushbutton on the center tunnel (MMI touch) or via natural-language voice control.

MMI navigation plus brings the Audi connect services on board via an LTE module; these services include navigation with Google Earth™ and online traffic information. A Wi-Fi hotspot connects the passengers’ mobile devices. The services of Audi connect emergency call & service and Audi connect remote & control are new additions and are both part of the standard equipment of the updated Q2. They allow the owner to lock the vehicle remotely or check the fuel fill level, for example. To do this, owners can use the myAudi app on their smartphones, which is also free. Customers who wish to prohibit the transfer of data can activate privacy mode in the MMI system.

Hardware elements such as the Audi smartphone interface or the Audi phone box, which connect mobile phones to the car directly, complete the infotainment program. The Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System actuates 14 loudspeakers with an output of 705 watts – its performance is a special feature in the compact SUV segment.

Even greater confidence on the road: the driver assist systems

Audi provides numerous driver assist systems for the revised Q2. The Audi pre sense front safety system, which uses radar to monitor traffic in front of the car, comes as standard. It can warn the driver of impending collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. Should the driver not react, the system attempts to avoid the accident or reduce its severity by braking.

The optional assist systems are subdivided into the “Drive,” “Park,” and “Safety” packages.

The “Drive” package comprises multiple elements: the navigation package, the Audi virtual cockpit, the emergency assist, traffic sign recognition via camera, cruise control, and the adaptive cruise assist which is based upon it. In many situations, it can assist the driver with accelerating, decelerating, and steering within the lane.

In order to maintain lateral guidance, the driver need only gently touch the capacitive steering wheel, which is part of the system, to prove that they are paying attention. The adaptive cruise assist operates up to a speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph).

The assist package Park bundles the parking system plus, the hold assist, and the reversing camera. The assist package Safety includes Audi pre sense basic, Audi side assist, and the rear cross-traffic assist. Further systems include the lane departure warning, automatic distance control, camera-based traffic sign recognition, and the park assist, which is based upon the assist package Park. It steers the Q2 into and out of parking spaces automatically.

Progressive steering as standard: the suspension

The Audi Q2 is a sporty compact SUV. Its standard equipment includes the progressive steering, which becomes more and more direct the further the driver turns the steering wheel. It thereby ensures excellent handling while maneuvering and a great driving experience on winding roads. In the models with front-wheel drive, wishbones and MacPherson suspension struts guide the front wheels, and a torsion-beam structure is installed in the rear. The 35 TDI quattro features four-link suspensions.

The dynamic package includes further elements: a sport suspension that lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.4 in) (standard with the S line), brake calipers painted in red, a sound actuator for the engine, and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, which is also available separately. This system enables the driver to configure the drive, steering assistance, and other systems in five modes: auto, efficiency, comfort, dynamic, and individual. The driving experience becomes even more versatile with the dynamic package plus, which includes the suspension with damper control. It offers a wide range, spanning from snappy and taut handling to highly comfortable cruising.

The range of wheels and tires starts with the 16-inch and 205/60 formats. In the advanced and S line lines, the Audi Q2 comes with 17-inch wheels and 215/55 tires. Topping the range are 19-inch wheels from Audi Sport with 235/40 tires. Three new rim designs complete the offering. With roughly 20 centimeters (7.9 in) of ground clearance, the compact SUV also does well on unpaved roads. The ESC stabilization control has an integrated offroad mode.

Prices: starting at approx. EUR 25,000, “edition one” at market introduction

Presales of the Audi Q2 on the European market will begin in the fall of 2020. It will cost approx. EUR 25,000 in Germany with the entry-level engine. The prices for the Q2 35 TFSI start at EUR 27,196.64 (including 16 percent value added tax).

For the market introduction, Audi will also introduce the “edition one,” a special edition model with exclusive equipment. It is painted in apple green or arrow gray, with an S line bumper with a gray contrasting paint finish and a large roof edge spoiler adding accents. Attachments such as the mirror caps and Audi rings are painted black, and 19-inch wheels from Audi Sport and the sport suspension further accentuate the look. Matrix LED headlights illuminate the road.

In the interior, the Q2 “edition one” is based on the S line interior. The headlining consists of black fabric with rock gray contrasting stitching adorning the leather/artificial leather covers for the sport seats, which are also black. The entries feature illuminated aluminum panels. The pedals and footrests are made of stainless steel. The ambient lighting package plus and the backlit trims round off the equipment.

Small Q, big coup: The Audi Q2 in new top form

Progressive design, compact dimensions, and great driving pleasure: The Audi Q2 established itself as a car full of character right away when it was introduced on the market four years ago. Audi has now refreshed the car, giving the exterior an even more distinctive profile with striking details and new headlights. The Audi connect services now connect the compact SUV even more closely with its owner, and state-of-the-art assist systems make for an even more confident driving experience.

Audi R8 LMS on course for more titles

Audi R8 LMS GT2

Audi R8 LMS GT2 launched in China: After the first customers in America and Europe have taken delivery of the Audi R8 LMS GT2 for the 2020 season, interested parties in Asia can now look forward to the model. The Chinese professional racing driver Cheng Congfu gave instructions to potential customers on the details at the Shanghai race track. With 470 kW (640 hp), the Audi R8 LMS GT2 is the most powerful racing car in the Audi Sport customer racing range. It has been specially developed for club racing and is aimed at gentleman drivers. Audi Sport customer racing Asia subsequently exhibited the R8 LMS GT2 in the paddock at the second round of the China Endurance Championship in Ningbo from 16 to 18 October. Other potential customers can get to know the model on a tour of China until November.

Audi Sport customer racing

Audi trio in Goodwood: Goodwood SpeedWeek from October 16 to 18 this year replaced the cancelled traditional events Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Speedweek. As a unique interactive event, it brought the fascination of racing home to the spectators in a live stream. Audi Sport customer racing presented itself with several models at this year’s event in the south of England. The Scottish racing driver Gordon Shedden drove the GT3 version of the Audi R8 LMS and achieved the best time trial result of a GT driver in 1.17,392 minutes. In its green hell lievry, the racing car corresponded exactly to the start number 1, which had been on the grid at the Nürburgring 24 Hours three weeks earlier. The correspondingly painted special edition for the road could also be admired in Goodwood. The nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen made racing hearts beat faster with the 640 hp top racing model Audi R8 LMS GT2.

Audi R8 LMS GT4

First victories for Audi in the DTM Trophy: Team Hella Pagid – racing one celebrated its first victories with Audi in the DTM Trophy in Zolder on the fifth race weekend. In the first qualifying session, Lucas Mauron had secured the pole position in front of the new champion Tim Heinemann in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 with a margin of 90 thousandth of a second. After the start of the first race, the Swiss driver with Brazilian roots lost first place to Nico Verdonck, who then led the field for 13 laps. In the 14th lap privateer Mauron overtook his opponent and won after 20 laps with a lead of 1.2 seconds. The second race also started for Mauron in first place. This time the 22-year-old young driver stayed in front and won after 20 laps with a five second lead. This means that the international season record of Audi’s production-based GT4 racing car is 16 victories and a total of 42 podium places.

Tension in France: After the fourth of five rounds of GT4 France, Audi’s customer teams set course for several titles. While Eric Debard/Simon Gachet in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Saintéloc Racing achieved the best individual result with third place in the second race at Albi, their team increased their lead at the top of the Pro-Am team classification to 19 points. In the Pro-Am drivers’ championship, Fabien Michal/Gregory Guilvert are 47 points ahead of their pursuers, while the two champions from previous years are in third place in the overall standings. Another Audi customer team leads the Am classification: Pascal Huteau/Christophe Hamon have an 18-point lead in the amateur class. Their team Fullmotorsport is the best of twelve teams in the Am team classification. The decisive round will be the Lédenon event on November 8.

Advantage increased: At the fourth round of the GT Cup Open Europe, Baporo Motorsport increased its lead in the drivers championship in the Am class. In the first race at Spa, Manel Cerqueda and Daniel Díaz-Varela in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 took second place after a lap-long duel and several overtaking manoeuvres in the fight with eventual winner Aldo Festante. In the second race the Andorran and the Spaniard crossed the finish line again in second place. Before the finale of the pan-European race series in Barcelona, they lead the amateur class by 17 points and are second in the overall standings, 14 points behind.

Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)

Two endurance victories in China: Team MMK Racing was unbeatable at the finale of the China Endurance Championship at the Ningbo circuit. Zhang Zhendong, Mi Qi and Zheng Wancheng won the two 150-minute races in the Audi RS 3 LMS from pole position each. Third place also went to a private team from Audi. Team PMU Leo achieved the result with Huang Weifu, Wu Yifan and Liu Qi. The private pilots were supported by Qiu Wentao in the first race and Yang Xiaowei in the second. Wu Yifan is currently second in the Audi Sport Asia Trophy after the race weekend in Ningbo.

A weekend of success for Track Tec Racing: The Audi customer team Track Tec Racing ended the South Island Endurance Series season in New Zealand with the best possible result. Dennis Chapman celebrated his first class victory in the one-hour race in Timaru, ahead of Debbie Chapman in another Audi RS 3 LMS. In the subsequent endurance race, Rowan Shepherd/Lochlainn Fitzgerald-Symes were unbeatable for the second time in a row. They also drove for Track Tec Racing in another RS 3 LMS and finished six laps ahead after three hours of racing.

Championship lead maintained: Comtoyou Racing started the fourth round of the FIA WTCR under difficult conditions. In Hungary, the Belgian team’s three Audi RS 3 LMS had 80 kilograms of compensation weight on board after two previous victories due to regulations. The best individual result in the three races was the tenth place of Gilles Magnus in the second sprint at the Hungaroring. With an 84-point lead, the Belgian continues to lead the rookie classification of the racing series.

Twice on the podium: Audi customer team QSR Racingschool continues its series of podium results in the Belcar Endurance Championship. At the Zolder circuit, the Belgians Joël Uylebroeck/Olivier Bertels took second place in their class in the Audi RS 3 LMS in each of the two 105-minute races. After a victory at the season opener, they have now claimed five second places in a row.

Coming up next week

22–24/10 Spa (B), rounds 9 and 10, TCR Europe

22–25/10 Spa (B), round 3, GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge

23–24/10 Pukekohe (NZ), round 2, North Island Endurance Series

23–25/10 Shanghai (CN), rounds 5 and 6, TCR China

24–25/10 Hungaroring (H), rounds 7 and 8, TCR Eastern Europe

24–25/10 Hungaroring (H), rounds 7 and 8, Eset V4 Cup

24–25/10 Hungaroring (H),rounds 10 and 11, FIA CEZ

24–25/10 Suzuka (J), round 6, Super GT

25/10 Imola (I), rounds 7 and 8, Coppa Italia Turismo