Dr. Christiane Erika Zorn – Biography

Dr. Christiane Erika Zorn was born in Heilbronn on April 23, 1981.

She studied management as part of a double master’s degree program at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Munich and the French EM Lyon Ecole de Management, with a focus on controlling, strategic management and marketing.

Her career began in 2007 with the Boston Consulting Group, where she worked as a consultant to the automotive industry as well as a mentor and recruiter while at the same time completing her doctorate.

Zorn joined the BMW Group in Munich in 2013 and, as Product and Launch Manager, assisted in the market launch of the Chinese version of the BMW 1 Series. In 2015 she assumed responsibility for product management in China for the compact segment. A year later she took over sales for China in the controlling department at the Beijing site.

In addition to her professional career, Zorn is involved in various areas through projects and her own publications. Here, too, she focuses on strengthening German-Chinese relations and on the importance of women in management positions.

Dr. Christiane Zorn has been Head of Sales China at AUDI AG since March 1, 2020. 

Audi RS 5 DTM: new clothes for the championship winning car

On Saturday, Audi presented the RS 5 DTM of title defender René Rast (D) on social media. Now the designs of the other five Audi RS 5 DTM cars, which will be driven by Loïc Duval (F), Robin Frijns (NL), Jamie Green (GB), Nico Müller (CH) and Mike Rockenfeller (D) in 2020 are following.

René Rast will also be supported by porta Möbel in the “title defense” project this year. With its approximately 8,000 employees, porta is one of the largest furnishing companies in Germany. New on board for the DTM 2020 are also TWIN BUSCH, BMC Air Filter and Riedel Communications.

Mike Rockenfeller, DTM Champion of the year 2013, will drive an Audi RS 5 DTM in the blue and yellow outfit of TWIN BUSCH, specialist for professional automotive workshop equipment. Loïc Duval is driving a red-grey Audi RS 5 DTM in the colors of BMC Air Filter. The Italian company, which develops and sells air filters, was already present on Duval’s Audi RS 5 DTM at the joint “Dream Race” of the DTM and the SUPER GT in Fuji at the end of 2019.

The fans of Jamie Green will have to get used to a new look: This season, the longest serving DTM driver on the entire grid will be driving the black-grey Akrapovič Audi RS 5 DTM. In contrast, Nico Müller and Robin Frijns will continue to compete in the colors of Castrol EDGE (green-white) and ARAL ultimate (blue).

Audi Sport has been relying on the RS 5 Coupé in the DTM since 2013. In accordance with the new regulations, last season’s championship winning car will contest the 2020 season with a number of detailed changes aimed at making the DTM even more exciting and cost-effective.

Fundamental technical changes are not allowed by the Class 1 regulations introduced for the DTM in 2019, which are designed for a level playing field and cost-efficiency. Therefore, the basis of the 2020 model year Audi RS 5 DTM corresponds to the 2019 champion’s car. With the Class 1 regulations, which will also form the basis for the Japanese SUPER GT Championship from 2020, DTM last year technically started a new era.

The introduction of turbo technology has given DTM a stronger connection to road car development. The TFSI engine of the Audi RS 5 DTM of model year 2020 has an engine output reduced by around five percent compared to the previous year. Background: For the 2020 season, DTM has reduced the amount of fuel that may flow to the engine per hour from 95 kilograms to 90 kilograms. By means of the “Push-to-Pass” function, the engine output can be increased to around 640 hp in the short term, as in 2019. This should make the races even more exciting.

Generational change: Start of production of the new Audi A3 Sportback in Ingolstadt

** The collective fuel consumption values of all models named and available on the German market can be found in the list provided at the end of this MediaInfo.

Since the first generation, the Audi A3 has had innovations and quality characteristics of the full‑size class on board. After it was presented at the Paris Motor Show in 1996, it immediately opened up its own market segment and is thus considered to be the founder of the premium compact class. The Audi employees in Ingolstadt have built almost 3.8 million Audi A3 models at the headquarters of the four rings since the start of production. The Audi A3 was also produced at the Audi location in Brussels from 2007 to 2009. The joint production of the Audi A3 Sedan** currently still runs between Ingolstadt and Győr. The Audi A3 Cabriolet** is also built by Audi Hungaria. The Audi A3 Sportback and A3 Sedan additionally roll off the production line at the Chinese Foshan plant; the A3 Sedan is also produced in Aurangabad/India and São José dos Pinhais/Brazil.

The new Audi A3 remains an Ingolstadt exclusive. “The A3 is a success story for our location – we are proud to be able to continue this story in 2020 with the new generation,” says Achim Heinfling, Plant Manager at Audi Ingolstadt. “We are well prepared at the location. For the production of the body, we have built a completely new body shop in the northern complex especially for this model. All other production areas have been comprehensively adapted for the new Audi A3. The production technologies were increasingly digitalized in the process.”

The new model from Ingolstadt is sporty and dynamic with strong powertrains. Customers can order progressive steering and an adaptive suspension as optional extras. Electrified drives ensure high efficiency, supported by innovative assist systems. From its cockpit to its light signature and infotainment, the new Audi A3 Sportback** is digitalized. Additionally, Audi is offering seat upholstery made from recycled material for the new A3 for the first time.

With its start of production in Ingolstadt, the Audi A3 remains a companion for many Audi employees: For example, Reinhold Konegen experienced how the trade fair newcomer in Paris in 1996 became a customer favorite. He attached wheels, routed cables, mounted air filters, and was responsible for adjusting the suspension and track for 17 years. For the last eight years, he has been testing each unit at counting point 8 as the final “finisher.” He explains: “The Audi A3 is a part of my life.”

An overview of the milestones of the A3 model series:

  • 1996: Audi presents the first A3 at the Paris Motor how, exclusively as a three‑door model. With its powerful design and characteristically sporty elegance, the premium compact immediately becomes a trendsetter. At this time, no other car in this class offers the combination of a high‑quality interior, perfect ergonomics, and highly developed technology. 
  • 1998: For the first timein the compact segment, the Audi A3 with quattro permanent all‑wheel drive is presented.
  • 1999: A five‑door variant is added to the model series. The first generation of the sporty Audi S3 with a 154 kW/210 PS five‑valve turbocharged engine and permanent all‑wheel drive makes a forceful statement.
  • 2004: The Audi A3 Sportback makes its debut. The concept of the five‑door premium compact has been completely reinterpreted.
  • 2008: The first open variant of the A3 family appears: The Audi A3 Cabriolet** launches in 2008 with a classic cloth top. At the end of March 2008, the millionth unit of the second A3 generation rolls off the production line.
  • 2012: The third generation of the Audi A3 is presented also as a notchback sedan at the Geneva Motor Show.
  • 2016: Each and every variant in the A3 product line receives a technology update. The Audi RS 3 Sportback is the sporty spearhead of the product line; Audi presents the RS 3 Sedan at the motor show in Paris.

Consumption values of the models listed
(Information on the fuel/electric power consumption and CO2 emission figures given in ranges depend on the selected equipment of the vehicle and on the tire/wheel sets used.)

Audi A3 Sportback
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.1–3.5; Combined CO2 in g/km: 116–92

Audi A3 Sedan
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.5–3.8 Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 194–101

Audi A3 Cabriolet
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.8–5.2 Combined CO2 in g/km: 155–119

“Youth Research” and “Pupils Experiment”: Regional deciding round for young researchers at Audi

Young inventors wanted: Audi welcomes children and young people from the region to the 41st regional deciding round of the “Youth Research” (“Jugend forscht”) science competition and its junior segment, “Pupils Experiment” (“Schüler experimentieren”). On Wednesday, March 4, and Thursday, March 5, students up to 21 years old as well as apprentices of the four rings will present around 90 research projects in total at the Audi Akademie training center. The junior scientists can enter individually or in teams of up to three participants. They carry out research in the fields of working world, biology, chemistry,geological and spacial sciences, mathematics and informatics, physics, and technology.

Audi has hosted the regional competition as a partner company annually since 1979. “The young researchers bring fresh ideas and often approach everyday challenges completely differently,” says Board Member for Human Resources Wendelin Göbel. “I am looking forward to seeing creative solutions and I am excited to see what the young people come up with.” A team of three Audi apprentices is also entering the competition – with an invention from the area of “technology.” The apprentices of the four rings have developed a drone that prompts car drivers to form an emergency corridor after an accident. This project could help emergency services during accidents and thus contribute toward saving lives.

And this is how the two inventor days at Audi will run in detail: The junior scientists will present their inventions in front of a jury of experts consisting of teachers, professors, and industry representatives. The experts will then choose the regional winners. These winners will then qualify to compete at state level. By winning in Ingolstadt, children and young people up to 14 years old qualify for the Bavarian deciding round of “Pupils Experiment” in Regensburg; this will take place on April 2 and April 3. Young people between 15 and 21 years old start with the state “Youth Research” competition in Munich from March 31 to April 2. Anyone who stands up to the Bavarian competition can participate in the national competition.

Success model 4.0: the new Audi A3 Sportback

Distinctive: design and lighting

The new Audi A3 Sportback features compact proportions and a sporty design. The wide Singleframe and large air inlets at the front end accentuate the dynamic character of the premium compact car. The shoulder of the body extends in a smooth line from the headlights to the rear lights. The surface below is curved inward – a new element of Audi’s design that puts a stronger emphasis on the wheel arches. The digital daytime running lights of the Matrix LED headlights are a further innovation. They consist of a pixel array made up of LED segments in a three by five arrangement that create special light signatures and make the A3 immediately recognizable. The sporty and sophisticated design is continued in the interior with the new shifter, aluminum or carbon inlays, striking door openers and an instrument panel with a black-panel look. Seat upholstery made of recycled PET bottles and adorned with stylish contrasting stitching are being used for the first time.

Digitalized: controls and displays

The cockpit of the A3 Sportback is wholly focused on the driver. It uses familiar elements from the brand’s full-size models and is equipped with a 10.1-inch touch display as standard, which is integrated into the center of the instrument panel. This recognizes letters entered by hand, provides acoustic feedback and can be controlled using natural language. The instrument cluster, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, is also digital as standard. The Audi virtual cockpit offers additional functions such as a large display of the navigation map. The plus version measures 12.3 inches and offers three different views, including graphics with a sporty look. A head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield in color can be installed upon request.

Intensified: the infotainment

The MMI operating concept is powered by the new third generation modular infotainment platform. Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor, it performs all tasks relating to connectivity, including telephony and the Audi connect services with LTE Advanced speed, and also has an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot.

Individual settings can be stored in up to six user profiles – from climate control and the seat position to frequently selected navigation destinations and frequently used media. The DAB+ digital radio is included as standard and the online or hybrid radio is available as an option. Route guidance is even easier and more flexible. For example, the navigation offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation, high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth and detailed 3D models of many major European cities. Audi connect enriches points of interest with photos, opening hours and user reviews. The connect services also include the car-to-X services. They help with finding free parking spots on the roadside or allow the driver to surf the green wave by communicating with traffic lights. The A3 Sportback is connected to the smartphone via the myAudi app, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as well as via the Audi phone box. The latter connects the device to the car antenna and charges it inductively. The Audi connect key, which authorizes the customer to lock and unlock the car and start the engine via their Android smartphone, and Amazon Alexa will follow shortly after the market launch.

Sophisticated: the engines

The new Audi A3 Sportback is being launched in Europe with a choice of three engine versions – a 1.5 TFSI with 110 kW (150 PS) (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.1 – 4.8*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 116 – 111*) and a 2.0 TDI that delivers 85 kW (116 PS) (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 3.6 – 3.5*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 96 – 92*) or 110 kW (150 PS) (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 3.9 – 3.7*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 103 – 98*). All engines impress with their powerful torque and sophisticated running characteristics. The engine versions at start of production will be combined with front-wheel drive. Power will be transmitted by a six-speed manual transmission or the quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic, the selector lever of which is now designed as a compact shifter. The driver can push and pull this to control the basic functions of the automatic transmission. Shortly after market launch, Audi will be gradually expanding the offer to include further engine versions, including electrified drive systems and versions with quattro drive.

Refined: the suspension

The suspension of the new A3 Sportback – with a four-link rear axle for engines from 110 kW (150 PS) – is sporty and balanced, combining pleasant ride comfort with good dynamics. Upon request, the suspension is available with adaptive damper control, which simultaneously lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.4 in). Each damper permanently adapts to the road condition, the driving situation and the settings in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, creating a wide spread between highly comfortable roll motion and agile handling. With the sport suspension – standard in conjunction with the S line exterior, otherwise an option – the focus is clearly on the latter. Due to the tauter tuning of the suspension and dampers and the fact that the vehicle is lowered by 15 millimeters (0.6 in), the compact model conveys an even more direct contact with the road surface.

Well versed: the driver assist systems

Equipped with Audi pre sense front, swerve assist and lane departure warning, the A3 Sportback helps prevent accidents with other road users and offers a high level of safety as standard. Further assist systems, such as the lane change and exit warnings as well as the cross-traffic and park assist systems, are available as an option. The adaptive cruise assist, which customers know from many of the full-size models, assists with longitudinal and lateral guidance. It maintains the speed and distance to the vehicle in front and assists with lane guidance by means of gentle interventions in the electromechanical steering. This increases the level of driving comfort during long journeys in particular.

Optimized: the space concept

The new A3 Sportback offers more space and functionality combined with compact external dimensions. Measuring 4.34 meters (14.2 ft) in length and 1.82 meters (6.0 ft) in width without the mirrors, the premium compact car has grown by just over three centimeters (1.2 in) compared with its predecessor. The height of 1.43 meters (4.7 ft) and the wheelbase of 2.64 meters (8.7 ft) remained unchanged. Depending on the position of the rear bench seat, the luggage compartment holds between 380 (13.4 cu ft) and 1,200 liters (42.4 cu ft), and the loading floor can be inserted at different heights. An electric tailgate, which can also be controlled with a foot motion, is available upon request.

Scheduled: market launch and prices

Presales of the new Audi A3 Sportback start in many European countries in March 2020, with the first vehicles to be delivered to customers at the beginning of May. The 1.5 TFSI with 110 kW (150 PS) (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.1 – 4.8*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 116 – 111*) starts at 28,900 euros. The market launch will be accompanied by a special-edition model: the A3 Sportback edition one with exclusive features. From the outside, it can be recognized by attachments in matt platinum gray as well as darkened Matrix LED headlights and 18-inch wheels in titanium gray. The S line interior with newly developed sport seats including integrated head restraints, aluminum inlays and stainless steel pedals round out the dynamic look.

Further information regarding the Audi A3 Sportback is available at the Audi Mediacenter:
https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/presskits/audi-a3-sportback-12618.

There is also information regarding the 40th anniversary of the legendary Audi quattro all-wheel drive
https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/presskits/40-years-of-quattro-12595

* Information on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as well as efficiency classes in ranges depending on the tires and alloy wheel rims used.