Streamline: Audi e-tron prototype with decisive aerodynamics

The scenario: endurance tests in the wind tunnel
In front of the low-noise rotor measuring around five meters (16.4 ft) in diameter, the Audi e-tron prototype stares into the eye of the hurricane. On the aeroacoustics test rig in the Wind Tunnel Center in Ingolstadt, the world’s quietest vehicle wind tunnel, the Audi engineers optimize drag and noise under extreme conditions. Both are crucial for a car’s efficiency and comfort. With an output of 2.6 megawatts, the fan produces speeds of up to 300 km/h (186.4 mph). The Audi e-tron prototype was put through over 1,000 hours of testing here. 

The result: a drag coefficient of 0.28. Customers benefit directly from this low figure as drag contributes decisively to the high range of more than 400 kilometers (248.5 mi) in the WLTP cycle. A hundredth of the drag coefficient figure represents a range of around five kilometers (3.1 mi) driving under everyday conditions.

Drag: essential on long journeys 
On long journeys where the Audi e-tron prototype is perfectly at home, the drag constitutes the key driving resistance – far more important than the rolling resistance and inertia. The energy is lost which the car needs to overcome this resistance. That is why good aerodynamics are so important. In urban traffic, however, other factors come into play. Here an electric car can recover a large part of the used energy when braking, thereby reducing the importance of its mass. 

To achieve the drag coefficient of 0.28, the Audi engineers developed a wide range of aerodynamics measures in all body areas. Some of these technical solutions are evident at first glance, while others fulfill their purpose hidden away from sight. Thanks to these solutions, the drag coefficient for the Audi e-tron prototype is almost 0.07 less than for a comparable, conventionally powered vehicle. With a typical usage profile this set-up increases the range by around 35 kilometers (21.7 mi) per battery charge in the WLTP cycle.

Smart solutions: virtual exterior mirrors and dimples on the underbody
The optional virtual exterior mirrors will be making their world premiere in the volume-production version of the Audi e-tron prototype. They are much narrower than the standard mirrors: They reduce the vehicle width by 15 centimeters (5.9 in) and, thanks to their new shape, not only reduce drag, but also noticeably cut the nonetheless low wind noise. Each of their flat supports integrates a small camera. The captured images appear on OLED displays in the transition between the instrument panel and door. The virtual exterior mirrors can be adapted for various driving situations, thus potentially improving safety. Three views are available in the MMI system – for highway driving, turning and parking.

Another important factor is the standard adaptive air suspension – a pneumatic suspension with adjustable damping. At speeds above 120 km/h (74.6 mph), it lowers the body by up to 26 millimeters (1.0 in) below the normal position, thus reducing the drag. The underbody of the all-electric SUV is fully enclosed; the front and rear area are fully paneled. Underneath the passenger cell, an aluminum plate protects the high-voltage battery against damage from below, such as stone chipping or curbs. Its bolting points come with bowl-shaped indentations, similar to the dimples on a golf ball. They make the air flow much better than a totally flat surface.

The controllable cool-air inlet – a frame behind the Singleframe with two electrically operated louvers – also helps lower drag. When shut, the air in this area flows with virtually no swirl. As soon as the drivetrain components need cooling or the air conditioning condenser requires ventilation, the top louver opens first and then both louvers. When the hydraulic wheel brakes are subject to high loads, the controllable cool-air inlet opens and releases two ducts which channel the cooling air into the front wheel arches to the brakes.

The side air inlets at the front of the Audi e-tron prototype incorporate additional ducts, which are clearly visible from outside, to the wheel arches. They channel the airstream so that it flows past the outside of the standard aerodynamically optimized 19-inch wheels. Their design is flatter than with conventional wheels. The 255/55 size tires stand out with their ultralow rolling resistance. Even the tire sidewalls add to the aerodynamic design – the lettering is negative instead of raised.

Additional information about the Audi e-tron prototype is available at

Two victories for Audi Sport in Australia

Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)

Trophy at the beginning of the season in Portugal: The Portuguese Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade Turismo TCR Championship began positively for the Veloso Motorsport Audi Sport customer team. Francisco Carvalho had started race one on the circuit at Braga from position five. The Portuguese battled his way forward and with a deficit of only 2.1 seconds to the winner achieved third position in the Audi RS 3 LMS.

Coming up next week

31/05–03/06 Buriram (THA), rounds 3 and 4, Thailand Super Series

01–02/06 Detroit (USA), round 4, IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship

01–02/06 Le Castellet (F), round 3, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup

01–03/06 Fuji (J), round 3, Super Taikyu Series

01–03/06 Zhejiang (CN), rounds 3 and 4, GT China

01–03/06 Budapest (H), rounds 5 and 6, Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup

02–03/06 Phillip Island (AUS), round 4, Australian GT Championship

02–03/06 Phillip Island (AUS), round 2, Australian Endurance Championship

02–03/06 Calabogie (CDN), rounds 3 and 4, Canadian Touring Car Championship

02–03/06 Nring (RUS), rounds 5 and 6, TCR Russia

01/06 Phillip Island (AUS), round 3, Australian GT Trophy Series

Important awards for Audi

“Auto Zeitung”: Audi A7 Sportback wins Design Trophy
More than 13,000 readers of “Auto Zeitung” cast their votes for the best new car designs in five classes in the Design Trophy competition. The new Audi A7 Sportback won in the “Sedans/ Station wagons/Minivans” category with 13.5 percent of the votes cast. The large four-door coupé also took third place in the overall “Champion of All Classes” standings. With this victory, Audi continues its Design Trophy success story. The R8 (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.4 – 12.6* [17.6 – 18.7 US mpg]; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 306 – 287* [492.5 – 461.9 g/mi] dominated the sports cars in 2016; in 2017 the A5 Sportback dominated the sedans.
(May 2018)

World Media Festival: two awards for Audi A8 films
The jury of the World Media Festival has honored two Audi films with the intermedia globe award: the full-length documentary “Making of the Audi A8”, produced for n-tv by Hamburg-based production company M4 Automotive, was presented with the GOLD award in the “Technology Documentation” category. The jury awarded Audi the silver prize in the “Web TV: product presentations” category for the Audi A8 Spiderman film, which attracted attention during the advance communication campaign for the world premiere of the Audi A8. The award ceremony took place during the 19th World Media Festival.
(May 2018)

“Automovil Panamericano Magazine”: Audi A3 selected as best compact sedan
The Audi A3 sedan has won the “Compact sedan” category of the Best Cars 2018 awards from Automovil Panamericano magazine of Mexico for the third consecutive time. For the first time this year, social media followers and fans of the magazine voted alongside readers.
(May 2018)

Car of the Year in Luxembourg: five prizes for Audi
Audi has won five prizes in the Car of the Year awards in Luxembourg. The A3 prevailed with around a quarter of the votes in the compact class. Second place went to the A8 in the luxury class, to the Q2 among compact SUVs and to the Q5 among the midsize SUVs. The Audi A5 Coupé took third place in the sports cars, convertibles & coupés segment. The automotive editorial staff of the Saint-Paul Luxembourg media company nominated the cars from the various categories and 21,000 readers voted on their rankings.
(April 2018) 

Schibsted Motor Awards in Spain: victory for the Audi A8
The Audi A8 has been selected as one of the best full-size sedans of 2018 in the Schibsted Motor Awards in Spain. This competition was organized by the popular automotive portal Users could choose from more than 50 models in eight categories.
(April 2018)

Taiwan COTY Award: Audi A5 Sportback best sedan
The Audi A5 Sportback is the best large sedan of 2018. This was the verdict of the jury of the Taiwan Car of the Year Awards. The jury especially praised the elegant exterior design, high-tech features such as the Audi virtual cockpit and the superb driving dynamics of the car. The award is presented by “CarNews” magazine, the country’s most popular automotive magazine. Among the more than 30 jurors were automotive journalists as well as car enthusiasts, scholars and lifestyle journalists.
(April 2018)

MECOTY in Abu Dhabi: Audi with three wins
Audi achieved a triple victory in the Middle East Car of the Year (MECOTY) Awards in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates): The TT RS (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.4 – 8.2* [28.0 – 28.7 US mpg]; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 192 – 187* [309 – 300.9 g/mi]) was honored as best sports coupé; the RS 3 sedan (fuel consumption combined in l/100: 8.4 – 8.3* [28.0 – 28.3 US mpg]; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 191 – 188* [307.4 – 302.6 g/mi]) was named the best compact sports sedan; and the S5 (fuel consumption combined in l/100 km: 7.7 – 7.5* [30.5 – 31.4 US mpg]; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 174 – 170* [280.0 – 273.6 g/mi]) was chosen the best premium sports coupé. As a result, the brand with the four rings won in three of the five classes in which it competed. The 16 jurors – media representatives from several Middle East countries – had subjected the nominated cars to a multistage selection process over a period of ten months. The MECOTY took place in 2018 for the fifth time – and Audi has been the dominant brand among the list of previous winners.
(April 2018)

Car of the Year Award in Dubai: Audi wins with A8 and RS 5 Coupé
Double victory for Audi in the United Arab Emirates: The Audi A8 and RS 5 Coupé (fuel consumption, combined in l/100 km: 8.7 [27.0 US mpg]; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 197 [317 g/mi]) won their respective categories in the Car of the Year 2018 competition organized by “Wheels” magazine. The jury members assessed the 60 nominated models on the basis of test drives. They praised the wealth of new technologies in the Audi luxury sedan and the emotional sportiness and safety equipment in the coupé. This was the second victory in the region this year for the A8, after having been voted the best large premium sedan by “Automobile” magazine.
(March 2018)

  • Fuel consumption and COemission figures given in ranges depending on the tires/wheels used

Champion René Rast back in Audi RS 5 DTM

The carbon fiber monocoque that is identical for all DTM cars not only prevented René Rast from sustaining injuries at the Lausitzring but remained intact itself in the rollover incident as well. Intensive ultrasonic examinations confirmed this. Consequently, Audi Sport Team Rosberg last Wednesday was able to start reassembling the Audi RS 5 DTM based on the previous monocoque and prepare it for the races at the Hungaroring (June 1 to 3). Following a subsequent brief functional check at Audi in Neuburg, the car will be transported to Hungary.

“A race car cannot be any safer than this,” says Rast who can hardly wait to be sitting behind the wheel of his Audi Sport RS 5 DTM again in Hungary: “The Hungaroring in Budapest has been one of my favorite tracks not only since my first DTM victory in 2017. I enjoyed racing in Hungary even before then because it’s a difficult and very challenging track that is always tremendous fun for me.” The title defender has fondest memories of the DTM round at the Hungaroring about a year ago. On Saturday, he clinched his first pole position in the DTM and on Sunday, his first victory, plus his first lead of the standings. This success laid the foundation for the title win in his rookie season.

For the Audi RS 5 DTM, it will be the second visit to Hungary this year. On May 1, the DTM stopped in the heart of Budapest to take part in a big motorsport festival. Champion René Rast and current leader of the DTM standings Timo Glock (BMW) thrilled tens of thousands of fans with burnouts and donuts. The DTM races will be held some 20 kilometers away from the city center at the Hungaroring.

Huge celebrations in Silverstone: first podium for Audi driver Andreas Bakkerud

The first outing for the World Rallycross Championship on the traditional race track in Silverstone was a complete success. Thousands of spectators celebrated for three long days the Speedmachine festival, at which they enjoyed incredibly exciting motorsport. As was the case in the opening three World Championship rounds, Audi, Peugeot and Volkswagen battled on a totally equal footing on the new race track.

For the third time this year, both EKS Audi Sport drivers qualified for the final featuring the best six. Starting alongside each other on the second row, Bakkerud held a better line in turn one and in doing so secured second place behind Johan Kristoffersson in the Volkswagen. The Norwegian missed out on victory by a mere 0.859 seconds.

Ekström initially lay immediately behind the leading duo. After the joker lap, the Swede was passed by Sébastien Loeb and ultimately had to settle for fourth place. “I didn’t realize that Loeb was so close behind me, which is why I stayed on the normal racing line,” said Ekström. “There was no jackpot for me today, but we took a good haul of points. And of course the podium for Andreas is fantastic. Our fight in the first corner was fair. Overall as a team we can be satisfied because we have made progress. Our starts are now more consistent.”

Bakkerud made his fourth appearance in the final on his fourth start for EKS Audi Sport. After having inherited third place at the season opener in Barcelona due to his team mate being excluded from the results, he took his first ‘real’ podium at the wheel of the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in Silverstone. “It feels great to be on the podium for the first time with my new team and Audi,” said Bakkerud. “The pressure on me has now dropped. First I had to familiarize myself with the new car, but I’ve now achieved this thanks to the fantastic support from the entire team. I look forward confidently to the rest of the season, because now my favorite race tracks are looming on the horizon and my home race in Hell. Speedmachine in Silverstone was a fabulous premiere event – congratulations to the organizers!”

Bakkerud and Ekström improved in the drivers’ standing to take third and fifth places respectively. In the teams’ classification EKS Audi Sport moved up to second place.