Rows two and three for Audi at Shanghai

The sister car from Audi Sport Team Joest followed in position five, with a deficit to the front runner of 406 thousandths. “Basically, the balance of our car is good and my lap was quite okay,” said Benoît Tréluyer. “The gaps are very close. I’m sure the race will be thrilling.” His teammate Marcel Fässler added: “We tried to save tires for the race on Sunday. So, as far as that’s concerned, our qualifying wasn’t exactly perfect. It was simply a tactical choice that will hopefully pay off on Sunday.” 

Stefan Dreyer, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, positively summed up the final qualifying session: “The best time would have been possible today but unfortunately Loïc Duval didn’t catch a clear lap. Both Audi R18 cars were running perfectly in Saturday’s sessions. I have a good feeling following the practice and qualifying sessions we’ve had so far. We know that we’re in for a very challenging race.”

The 6-hour race will start on Sunday at 11:00 local time (04:00 CET). Eurosport will be offering free live video streaming of the entire race on its German website and airing live TV coverage of the final stage (08:30 to 10:15 Uhr CET MEZ) on Eurosport 1. Audi is keeping its fans up to speed on Facebook (AudiSport) and Twitter (@audisport).

Qualifying results

1 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 1m 44.462s

2 Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima (Toyota) 1m 44.522s

3 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18) 1m 44.610s

4 Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin (Toyota) 1m 44.810s

5 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18) 1m 44.868s

6 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) 1m 45.051s

7 Imperatori/Kraihamer/Tuscher (Rebellion) 1m 49.828s

8 Kaffer/Trummer/Webb (CLM-AER) 1m 51.285s

9 Bradley/Lynn/Rao (Oreca-Nissan) 1m 54.225s

10 Lapierre/Menezes/Richelmi (Alpine-Nissan) 1m 54.382s

– End –

The new Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet – open to intense driving pleasure

Striking shoulder line, classic soft top: the exterior
The designers went with the sleek lines of the Coupé for the styling of the new Audi A5 Cabriolet. The rear window is now flatter and emphasizes the sporty looks, as do the short overhangs and the long wraparound hood with power dome. With a length of 4,673 millimeters (15.3 ft), the new A5 Cabriolet is 47 millimeters (1.9 in) longer than the predecessor model.

The classic soft top fits perfectly and delivers outstanding aeroacoustics thanks to effective insulation. The new one-touch opening function makes operating the standard acoustic hood much easier: Just a quick pull of the switch is all it takes to open the soft top fully automatically in 15 seconds or close it in 18 seconds – even while driving up to 50 km/h (31.1 mph).

The front is dominated by a three-dimensional Singleframe grille which is much flatter and wider than before. The wave-shaped shoulder line – a hallmark styling feature of the entire A5 family – makes the A5 Cabriolet extremely elegant. The pronounced bulges over the wheel arches accentuate the quattro DNA. Horizontal lines at the rear emphasize the width of the new Audi A5 Cabriolet, which at the same time is slightly narrower than the predecessor.

The third brake light is elegantly integrated into the surrounding trim strip of the hood compartment cover. LED rear lights and optional LED or Matrix LED headlights with dynamic turn signals at the front and rear make high-end technology visible even after dark.

Strong package: the chassis
The wide track and the long wheelbase measuring 2,765 millimeters (108.9 in) are key features of the balanced, sporty suspension tuning. The track width is 1,587 millimeters (62.5 in) at the front and 1,568 millimeters (61.7 in) at the rear. An updated five-link suspension is used on the front axle. At the rear, a five-link construction replaces the trapezoidal-link suspension used on the previous model. Adaptive dampers are available as an option. They are incorporated into the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system and allow the driver to choose between a highly dynamic or comfortable driving experience. The newly developed electromechanical power steering offers good feedback from the road and greater steering precision. Optionally available is dynamic steering, which varies its gear ratio depending on the speed and steering angle.

Lighter and torsionally stiffer: the body
The body of the new Audi A5 Cabriolet is the stiffest in its class and yet is among the lightest in the segment. Thanks to a smart mix of materials and geometric lightweight design, the engineers have increased the good torsional stiffness of the predecessor model by another 40 percent. All of which makes the Cabriolet’s handling even more agile. The total weight of the new generation is reduced by up to 40 kilograms (88.2 lb). The front-wheel-drive A5 Cabriolet with the 190 hp 2.0 TDI weighs 1,690 kilograms (3725.8 lb).

Additional struts in the body compared with the Coupé and reinforced sills make up for the absence of a fixed roof. In the event of a crash and rollover, head-thorax side airbags and automatically extending aluminum profiles ensure the occupants’ safety.

Wide lineup: engines and drivetrain
There is initially a choice of three engines for the new Audi A5 Cabriolet in Germany – a 2.0 TFSI with 185 kW (252 hp), a 2.0 TDI with 140 kW (190 hp) and a 3.0 TDI with 160 kW (218 hp). Following the market introduction, a 2.0 TFSI with 140 kW (190 hp) and a 3.0 TDI with 210 kW (286 hp) will join the lineup. Compared with the previous model, the engines offer 

up to 17 percent more power while consuming as much as 22 percent less fuel. All the engines combine high efficiency with sporty power development and smooth running – especially the two 3.0 TDI six-cylinder engines.

Six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission or eight-speed tiptronic – tailor-made drivetrain technology is available for every engine version. The drive is provided as standard via the front wheels; quattro drive with ultra technology and permanent all-wheel drive are available as options. The latter comes as standard for the 3.0 TDI with 210 kW (286 hp).

The Audi S5 Cabriolet is moving into a whole new league with its newly developed 3.0 TFSI. From its 2,995 cc of displacement, the boosted six-cylinder engine produces 260 kW (354 hp) of power – 15 kW (21 hp) more than the engine in the previous model. The top model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds, and on up to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). It features quattro permanent all-wheel drive and the eight-speed tiptronic as standard.

Spacious and functional: the interior
The increased dimensions, the wheelbase extended by 14 millimeters (0.6 in) and more compact seats increase the space for the driver and passengers. The shoulder room in the front row of seats has been increased by 26 millimeters (1.0 in) and the kneeroom in the rear by 18 millimeters (0.7 in).

The horizontal architecture of the instrument panel and the continuous air vent strip create a generous sense of space. High-grade materials, different colors and excellent workmanship ensure a very special feel-good atmosphere and underscore the premium character. As an option the ambient lighting with 30 adjustable colors creates a fitting mood for the interior.

With the hood closed the luggage compartment has a capacity of 380 liters (13.4 cu ft). The soft top compartment in the luggage compartment automatically moves down when opening the soft top and up again when the soft top is closed, thus providing the largest possible luggage space at all times. The rear seat has a 50:50 split and can be easily folded forward using levers in the luggage compartment. As standard the tailgate on the A5 Cabriolet now opens automatically – using the remote control key or the button in the driver’s door. Audi also installs gesture control for the tailgate as an option: A proximity sensor in the bumper responds to a kicking movement with the foot – the tailgate opens automatically once the optional convenience key is detected.

Seat belt microphones as standard: operation made easy
Thanks to the all-new operating and display concept including natural language voice control and free-text search, the driver can control all functions effortlessly and intuitively. Standard seat belt microphones for driver and front passenger improve voice quality even with the hood open. As an alternative to the analog instrument dials, there is the Audi virtual cockpit with various display options. The large, high-resolution TFT monitor measuring 12.3 inches presents richly detailed graphics. The optional head-up display projects all relevant information onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of vision as easily comprehensible symbols and digits, thus enabling the driver to keep their eyes on the road.

Top-class connectivity: infotainment and Audi connect
MMI navigation plus with MMI touch tops the infotainment range. Its 8.3-inch monitor has a resolution of 1,024 x 480 pixels. In addition to a DVD drive and a 10 GB flash memory, the high-end system also features two card readers, an AUX-IN connection and a USB connection with charging function.

An LTE module provides access to Audi connect online services – free of charge for three years. The first five map updates for the navigation system are also free of charge. The media hub also comes with a Wi-Fi hotspot which connects passengers’ mobile devices to the World Wide Web.

The Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android cellphones in an environment specially developed for them in the MMI. The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna to provide superior reception quality. It also charges the smartphone inductively, without any wires, using the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System features innovative 3D sound and further improved bass thanks to a second woofer. It opens up the spatial dimension of height and gives the driver the sense of sitting in a concert hall. Its amplifier supplies 755 watts of power in total to 19 loudspeakers.

Abundant support: the driver assistance systems
With up to 30 driver assistance systems, the new Audi A5 Cabriolet offers a broad range of support. An intelligent combination of different technologies enhances safety, comfort and efficiency. Meanwhile Audi is also taking the next step toward piloted driving.

Playing a central role here is the adaptive cruise control (ACC) Stop&Go system including traffic jam assist. It relieves drivers in slow-moving traffic up to speeds of 65 km/h (40.4 mph) by assuming the tasks of braking and accelerating the car, and it also temporarily takes charge of steering on better roads. The predictive efficiency assistant evaluates GPS information from the car’s immediate surroundings and helps to save fuel by giving specific driving advice – a unique feature in this segment.

Collision avoidance assist intervenes if the car needs to drive around an obstacle to avoid an accident. Based on data from the front camera, ACC and radar sensors, it computes a recommended driving line within a fraction of a second. The lineup is rounded out by other assistance systems such as turn assist, park assist, rear cross traffic assist, exit warning, camera-based recognition of traffic signs, Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist.

Pampering program: the equipment
The Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet come with an especially wide range of equipment. Standard features include xenon headlights, the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and partial leather seats. Intuitive, ergonomic operation comes courtesy of the Audi MMI radio plus with 7-inch color display, seat belt microphones and the one-touch opening function for the soft top. The new lines concept with various equipment packages enhances the scope for individual design expression.

The new Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet will be in dealerships in Germany and other European countries in March 2017. The A5 Cabriolet starts at EUR 49,350. The price for the S5 Cabriolet is EUR 67,800.

Fuel consumption of the models named above

Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic 185 kW:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.6 – 6.3 (35.6 – 37.3 US mpg)**;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 151 – 144 (243.0 – 231.7 g/mi)**

Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0 TDI S tronic 140 kW:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 4.7 – 4.5 (50.0 – 52.3 US mpg)**;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 124 – 118 (199.6 – 189.9 g/mi)**

Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.0 TDI quattro S tronic 160 kW:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.2 – 4.9 (45.2 – 48.0 US mpg)**;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 137 – 128 (220.5 – 206.0 g/mi)**

Audi S5 Cabriolet:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.8 – 7.7 (30.2 – 30.5 US mpg)**;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 177 – 175 (284.9 – 281.6 g/mi)**

** Figures depend on the tire/wheel sets used

Ducati's passion on show at Audi museum mobile

Ducati is renowned for its emotive motorbikes well outside of the Italian borders. Since July 2012, the tradition-rich Bologna-based brand with its sporty motorbikes is owned by the Audi Group. Right in time for the company’s 90-year anniversary, Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt will dedicate a special exhibition to the Group’s Italian subsidiary.

The company was established in 1926 by the three brothers Adriano, Bruno and Marcello Cavalieri Ducati and in its early days didn’t produce motorcycles at all. For around twenty years, the Ducati family developed and manufactured condensers and components for radios, before they turned their focus to two-wheelers. As of March 1946, Ducati started producing the Cucciolo, a small auxiliary engine for bicycles. It helped the company to great success and led them into a new era. Around three years later, the first motorcycle rode off the production line: the Ducati 60. The special exhibition was created in cooperation with the Ducati Museum and traces the route of this extraordinary development. Besides exhibiting machines from the initial few years of the company, it also shows the beginnings of the company’s motorbike manufacturing. Among them is the Ducati Cruiser, an unusual and futuristic scooter which failed to meet with success and was thus rapidly discontinued.

“Passione Ducati” also shows the company’s successful classic bikes: among them, the first generation of the Scrambler from the 1960s, which counts as one of the big style icons even today. With its elegant shape, vivid colors and central seating position, it forms the ultimate connection between the American and European schools of motorcycle design.
Without a doubt, one of the most important milestones is the desmodromic valve control with which Ducati engineer Fabio Taglioni created a revolution in motorcycle construction. 1956 saw the arrival of the desmodromic valve control with three overhead camshafts driven by a vertical shaft in the Ducati 125 GP. The Desmo system developed into a typical unique selling point of the brand and even to the present day, it assures the unique sound of a Ducati. The 350 Mark 3D on show at the exhibition was the first Ducati to feature the Desmo system as standard. The model was a fine example of Italian design and is a hot favorite among collectors the world over. The same is true of the Ducati 750 GT: it was the first series-production model to feature a 90° V-twin engine and disc brakes.

Another important chapter in the company’s history is motorsport. At “Passione Ducati” in Audi museum mobile, this is a stand-alone part of the exhibition. The 500 GP from 1971 was the last motorbike with which Ducati took part in motorsport’s elite discipline. In 2003, the Italians made a come-back to MotoGP™ with the Desmosedici. Besides these two machines, visitors can look on in amazement at a total of twenty models from racing history. Highlights include the Ducati 750 Imola, motorbikes from the Tourist Trophy, a Ducati 916 from WorldSBK, Paolo Casoli’s Ducati 748 and four other MotoGP™ bikes, among which a prototype from 2002 and the model used in the 2016 season.

The special exhibition also shows the successes of the company’s younger history. The Monster saw Ducati land a coup in the 1990s. Designer Miguel Galluzzi took the idea of a blank canvas literally as he sketched the first “naked bike”. With over 300,000 units sold, the Monster is currently the most successful Ducati model ever. The superbikes from Bologna are also sensational: the Ducati 916 set new standards in the fields of light-weight construction, engine performance and design. It is seen as the masterpiece of Massimo Tamburini, who spent seven years working away on the design and who forwent development in a wind tunnel. The newest model in the exhibition is the 1299 Panigale S Anniversario*, a very special gift for the occasion of Ducati’s 90th anniversary. Limited to just 500 units, the Italian super sports bike pays homage to 90 years of passion and performance, with its 205 hp putting it at the very pinnacle of the company’s model history.