Audi teams ready for WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup premiere

Both racing teams are young, ambitious and hail from Belgium. Team Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil is backed by Vincent Vosse’s WRT team that was formed in 2009. With the Audi R8 LMS it has won ten drivers’ titles, numerous other classifications and six 24-hour races, plus two international TCR titles with Volkswagen. Jean-Michel Baert’s Comtoyou Racing team has only been active in motorsport since 2016, clinched third position in the TCR International Series with the best Audi privateer driver last year and in winter won the Trophée Andros ice racing series with an Audi A1 quattro. “In terms of drivers and teams we’ve fulfilled all our wishes this way,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “We’re facing a thrilling racing season on four continents where we’ll be battling for World Cup titles in drivers’ and teams’ classifications. We’re delivering gripping and original touring car racing with wheel-to-wheel duels of the kind the fans love.”

This season features ten events. The opener in Morocco will be one of four city street races. At Vila Real, Portugal, at Wuhan, China, and in the finale in Macau, the drivers will again be battling for hundredths of a second in narrow street canyons. The longest track is on the calendar in May, at the Nürburgring. Around the 24-hour race, the drivers will cover the 25-kilometer combination of the Grand Prix circuit and the Nordschleife. Challenging tracks in Hungary, the Netherlands, Argentina, China and Japan complete the demanding calendar. Per weekend, the drivers will be contesting three races. 

All six drivers rely on the Audi RS 3 LMS. The touring car with power output of up to 257 kW (350 hp) is Audi Sport customer racing’s entry-level model. Audi has delivered more than 130 of these race cars to customers around the world since the end of 2016. 55 race wins and five championship titles were scored right in its first season. In the 2018 FIA WTCR season, all six Audi RS 3 LMS cars are equipped with sequential six-speed transmissions. Competitors of the Audi RS 3 LMS include products from six renowned volume brands from Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Korea and Spain.

Audi Sport customer racing teams and drivers 

Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team

#52 Gordon Shedden (GB), born February 15, 1979 in Edinburgh (GB), residing in Auchterarder (GB), BTCC Champion 2012, 2015, 2016

#69 Jean-Karl Vernay (F), born October 31, 1987 in Villeurbanne (F), residing in Luxembourg (L), 1st in Formula Campus 2005, 1st in IndyLights 2010, 1st in ILMC LMP2 2011, 1st in Porsche Carrera Cup France 2012, 1st in TCR International Series 2017

Audi Sport Team Comtoyou

#22 Frédéric Vervisch (B), born August 10, 1986 in Roeselare (B), residing in Harelbeke (B), 1st in ATS Formula 3 Cup 2008, 1st in Belcar 2017

Comtoyou Racing

#23 Nathanaël Berthon (F), born July 1, 1989 in Beaumont (F), residing in Clermont-Ferrand (F), 1st in Formula Renault France 2009, 1st in Trophée Andros Eléctrique 2014/15, 1st in Trophée Andros 2016/17

#20 Denis Dupont (B), born January 4, 1993 in Braine-l’Alleud (B), residing in Braine-le-Château (B), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series 2014, 1st in Magny-Cours 24 Hours 2016, TCR Benelux 2016 and 2017

#21 Aurélien Panis (F), born October 29, 1994 in St.-Martin-d’Hères (F), residing in Claix (F), Formula Renault 2012–2014, Formula Renault 3.5 2015, TCR International Series 2017, 1st in Trophée Andros Eléctrique 2017/18

Photo gallery WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup 2018

– End –

Future offer for diesel drivers: Audi extends environmental trade-in bonus and gives “return promise”*

Regardless of the model and regardless of the brand: Every driver of a diesel car complying with the Euro 1 to Euro 4 emissions standard can benefit from the environmental trade-in bonus at Audi. Drivers who choose a new Audi with a Euro 6 diesel engine will receive a price advantage of up to EUR 10,000, depending on the model. From April 1, 2018, customers can claim the extended bonus through their Audi dealer. The offer ends on June 30, 2018.

Audi Leasing is also making a special offer to new-car customers interested in a diesel car: Thanks to the Audi return promise*, if a driving ban aimed at controlling air pollution is enacted during the term of the contract, and the ban would restrict the customer, the customer can terminate the leasing contract prematurely. The municipality affected by the ban must be within a 100 km radius of the vehicle owner’s place of residence or business. The Audi return promise* applies to customers who conclude their contract between April 1, 2018, and June 30, 2018.

For questions regarding the conditions of the environmental trade-in bonus, please contact Audi Customer Service (e-mail: kundenbetreuung@audi.de).

For more information about the Audi return promise* and the specific requirements, please contact your Audi partner.

*Provider is Audi Leasing, a branch of Volkswagen Leasing GmbH, Gifhorner Strasse 57, 38112 Brunswick, Germany.

Successful debut of the new Audi e-tron FE05

Audi, together with other manufacturers, visited the circuit in the south of Spain for three days and checked off the initial items on the list of an extensive test program. “It was a great feeling to see our new car rolling out of the pits at 9 am on Monday morning,” says Team Principal Allan McNish. “We did a lot of kilometers straight away without any major problems – which is the most important thing at the first rollout and good news for the whole team, trackside and at Audi in Neuburg. Lucas’ feedback was extremely positive, which makes us optimistic going forward. We know we still have a lot of work to do in terms of testing and development before traveling to the first race of the new season and competing with our rivals for the first time.”

Following the debut of the Audi e-tron FE05, Lucas di Grassi was impressed: “My first impression was overwhelming – the car is a huge step forward in every respect,” says the reigning champion of the electric racing series. “We drove a lot, were able to focus on setup work and gathered plenty of data for the engineers. I feel that the first test was a resounding success – now I’m all the more excited about finally being able to drive the car on a city circuit.”

The Audi A8 is the “World Luxury Car 2018”

In their decision, the 82 jury members from 24 countries assessed not only the emotional appeal, passenger comfort and safety, but also environment aspects as well as driving performance, market relevance and price-performance ratio. The Audi A8 prevailed against two competitors in the final elimination round. This marks the ninth overall victory for the brand with the four rings in the World Car Awards.

“This award is a special honor for us and our flagship,” explained Peter Mertens, Board Member for Development at AUDI AG. “The new Audi A8 is an innovation driver for our entire industry. It sets new standards in automotive engineering with its innovative touch control system, consistent, broad electrification and the technical conditions for conditional automated driving.”

The Audi A8 is being built at the Neckarsulm site and has been available in dealerships since November 2017. Its base price is EUR 90,600. In addition to its select materials and handcrafted-level build quality, its highlights include high-end equipment like the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light, dynamic all-wheel steering and the relaxation rear seat package with foot massage.

Audi victories in the World Car Awards

2005 Audi A6 World Car of the Year
2007 Audi RS4 World Performance Car
2007 Audi TT World Car Design of the Year
2008 Audi R8 World Performance Car
2008 Audi R8 World Car Design of the Year
2010 Audi R8 V10 World Performance Car
2014 Audi A3 World Car of the Year
2016 Audi R8* World Performance Car
2018 Audi A8 World Luxury Car

*Fuel consumption of the Audi R8:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.6 – 12.4 (17.3 – 19.0 US mpg);

Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 309 – 283 (497.3 – 455.4 g/mi)

Excellent design and optimum performance: the new Audi RS 5 Sportback

“The Audi RS 5 Sportback is more than just an international trade fair novelty – it offers something new to our customers. Our innovative interpretation of a five-door high-performance coupé has neither predecessor models, nor a direct competitor,” explains Michael-Julius Renz, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “The new Audi RS 5 Sportback will carry the RS genes out onto the road.”

The exterior design of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback combines stirring curves and taut, athletic surfaces. The longer wheelbase, short overhangs and long, wraparound engine hood with power dome all emphasize the dynamism of the model. The characteristic wavy shape of the powerful shoulder line is a visual highlight of the high-performance coupé. When viewed at an angle from behind, the modeled sides look particularly impressive. Here, quattro blisters emphasize the strong bulges over the wheel housings, which have been extended by 15 millimeters (0.6 in).

At the front, the Audi RS 5 Sportback features a wide, flat single-frame grille, solid air intakes with a honeycomb structure typical of an RS, and a front spoiler with matte aluminum quattro lettering. Aside from the headlamps, the vehicle features additional design elements in gloss black, making the RS 5 Sportback appear even wider. An RS-specific diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with oval tailpipes and fixed spoiler lip give the rear end its sportiness. The RS 5 Sportback comes with 19-inch wheels as standard; 20-inch wheels are available as an optional extra. The new Audi RS 5 Sportback can be customized with the Gloss Black, Carbon, and Matte Aluminum optic packages.

The 2.9 TFSI V6 twin turbo engine offers both power and efficiency, and can achieve 331 kW. Its maximum torque of 600 Nm is deployed throughout a wide speed range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The Audi RS 5 Sportback accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, with the possibility of reaching a top speed of 174 mph. The two turbochargers of the 2.9 TFSI V6 twin turbo generate up to 1.5 bar of charge pressure. As with all new Audi V6 and V8 engines, the turbochargers are mounted at a 90-degree angle to the cylinder banks, which means that the exhaust side of the cylinder heads is inside, and the intake side is outside. This layout enables a compact design and short fuel paths with minimal flow loss – the 2.9 TFSI engine reacts extremely spontaneously to the movements of the right pedal. The B-cycle combustion process with central direct injection contributes to the overall efficiency.

The power of the 2.9 TFSI is transferred to the quattro permanent all wheel drive with center differential via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times that is specially tuned to sporty driving. It distributes power asymmetrically 40:60 between the axles – this guarantees dynamic handling with optimal traction alongside the greatest possible safety. When slippage occurs on an axle, most of the power immediately flows to the other axle – up to 85% to the front, and up to 70% to the rear. This locking effect enables a clearly-defined torque distribution and precise cooperation with the control systems. The optional sport differential selectively shifts the torque between the rear wheels.

The five-link design on the front and rear axles allows for substantially enhanced comfort, even in the sportiest of driving modes. With the standard RS sports suspension, the RS 5 Sportback is seven millimeters (0.3 in) lower than the Audi S5 Sportback. Alternatively, Audi Sport offers RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), ceramic brakes and RS-specific dynamic steering. Drivers can create their own personal driving experience – to make it more customized, more dynamic or more comfortable – using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, which is fitted as standard.

The high-quality, sporty interior of the new Audi RS 5 Sportback is finished in black, and provides space for five people. Its square-shaped profile and loading width measuring exactly one meter (3.3 ft) enables optimum use of the 480 liter (17 cu ft) trunk capacity. Folding down the rear seats increases the capacity to 1,300 liters (46 cu ft). The rear seat backrest is divided in a 40:20:40 ratio as standard. The RS 5 Sportback weighs 1,840 kilograms (4,056.5 lbs).

The sporty nature of the five-door high-performance coupé is emphasized by details such as the RS sport seats with optional honeycomb pattern in fine Nappa leather, and the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel. RS emblems can be found on the seats, the steering wheel, the sill panel strips and on the selector lever. Special RS information displays in the Audi virtual cockpit provide information on tire pressure, torque and G forces. In manual mode, the shift light display prompts the driver to shift up once the engine speed threshold is reached. Particular highlights of the RS design package include the contrasting red stitching on the steering wheel and selector lever, the Alcantara knee pads, and the red-trimmed seat belts and floor mats featuring the RS logo. For the Audi RS 5, Audi Sport offers Sonoma Green Metallic as an exclusive paint option.

The Audi RS 5 Sportback will initially be available in dealerships in the USA and Canada from the second half of 2018.

This information applies exclusively to the version of the Audi RS 5 Sportback offered in the USA and Canada. The model is currently not yet available for purchase in Germany or the EU.