Fired up for cold racing: Audi at GP Ice Race in Austria

From 1937 to 1973, ice races in Zell am See were a crowd-puller and a place for the international motorsport elite to meet. The organizational team headed by Ferdinand Porsche and Vinzenz Greger is reviving this tradition after 45 years. Audi Tradition is using the revival to demonstrate the history and future of the motor racing program – featuring, among others, an Auto Union Type C that is part of the historic exhibition. In 1938, Hans Stuck won the Großglockner hillclimb event not far from Zell am See in a Type C. The most spectacular rally car of all time, the Audi Sport quattro S1, will also do its laps at the GP Ice Race.

When René Rast starts his Audi RS 5 DTM in Zell am See, it will definitely be a loud and fast experience. The 2017 DTM Champion is eager to see how the studded tires will cope with the more than 500 horsepower of his race car. “In karting, I once drove an ice race against Nico Rosberg on studded tires and with the Audi driving experience I’ve been to Sweden before,” says the 32-year-old pro. “Obviously, ice is the absolute challenge for any race driver. Even though everything seems to be happening in slow motion, we have to be fully focused. On the one hand, it’s fun but on the other, as always, we want to feel the limit. I’m already very excited.”

Audi in November: Deliveries remain down on last year due to exceptional situation

“We are going through a very challenging phase for our company which is adversely affecting our operating business,” said Bram Schot, interim CEO and Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “We are working intensely on the homologation of our engine/transmission variants and already have a sales portfolio running into three figures. At the same time we are laying down important markers for the future with our model initiative.”

In China, the company set a new record-breaking figure. The brand’s current model range posted sales of 57,721 units in China in November, surpassing the same month of the previous year by 2.7 percent. In the middle of the month, the Ingolstadt-based automaker celebrated its 30th anniversary with local partner First Automotive Works (FAW) and set out joint plans for the future: Audi wants to increase its local portfolio to more than ten models through 2022. As early as 2019, the Audi Q2 L e-tron, the brand’s first electric car exclusively for the Chinese market, will go into production. Sales of the A4 L, another model developed specially for China, rose sharply in November (+20.3% to 13,842 cars). Audi in China has already delivered more than 148,000 units of the A4L to customers in the year to date. In total, 597,451 customers (+13.0%) in the Middle Kingdom chose a model from the Four Rings in the period January through November – a new record-breaking figure.

In Europe, the challenging sales situation associated with the switch to WLTP and the ongoing model changeovers continues. Last month, Audi’s sales on the home continent fell 33.9 percent year-on-year to around 43,850 units. In Germany, the company delivered 15,706 automobiles in November, a fall of 27.0 percent. Over the coming months this strained situation is set to continue. As such, AUDI AG expects sales figures to remain volatile. On full-year-guidance the company assumes global deliveries will be virtually on par with the prior-year level.

The sales figures for the United States total 17,082 automobiles, representing a decrease of 11.0 percent. The model changeover for the A6, A7 and A8 full-size models is currently underway. The Audi Q5 – the highly popular SUV in the U.S. market – bettered its 2017 reference figure in November by 7.7 percent to 5,889 cars. The new Audi Q8, the latest model in the Q family, is also being received extremely well by customers following its launch in the United States: The premium manufacturer has delivered around 1,000 units of the full-size SUV to date. In total, the company has delivered 200,558 automobiles (+0.5%) to customers in the U.S. market since the start of the year, on a par with the high level of last year.

In Canada, the Four Rings saw demand grow in the past month, with 3,273 automobiles representing an increase in sales of 11.8 percent. In the year to date, Audi Canada continues to perform well (+4.2%). In North America, the company closed last month with sales down 9.1 percent overall; cumulative sales in the region since January were up 1.1 percent to around 249,200 customers.

Sales
AUDI AG

In November

Cumulative 

2018

2017

Change
from 
2017

2018

2017

Change
from
2017

World

132,650

159,179

-16.7%

1,657,950

1,697,869

-2.4%

Europe

43,850

66,317

-33.9%

692,150

795,492

-13.0%

– Germany

15,706

21,529

-27.0%

243,519

275,729

-11.7%

– UK

6,833

12,173

-43.9%

137,402

164,586

-16.5%

– France

3,473

5,473

-36.5%

47,524

57,583

-17.5%

– Italy

4,515

5,806

-22.2%

54,702

63,564

-13.9%

– Spain

2,691

4,242

-36.6%

49,550

51,057

-3.0%

United States

17,082

19,195

-11.0%

200,558

199,534

+0.5%

Mexico

1,156

1,540

-24.9%

13,261

12,985

+2.1%

Brazil

886

990

-10.3%

7,962

9,034

-11.9%

Chinese mainland + Hong Kong

57,721

56,208

+2.7%

597,451

528,706

+13.0%

Audi extends mobility services in China and strengthens global hub network

After this years` start of the individual mobility service Audi on demand+, which is tailored to customers’ requirements in Beijing, more locations are now opening up there. The customer configures a car to their precise needs using the smartphone app and books it for a certain period. An exclusive concierge service delivers the ordered model to the user’s desired location in an area covering more than 300 square kilometers around the megacity’s Fourth Ring Road. Naturally customers can also collect and return the car themselves at a central location.

Audi on demand+ is now also available for passengers at Beijing Airport. They use Audi on demand+ straight after landing and continue their journey with the brand’s latest models.

The company is also extending its fleet for Audi on demand+ in the Chinese metropolis. The premium brand’s full range is now available including the latest products and technologies as well as extensive equipment: from the compact A3 through to the sporty Audi R8. As a result, Audi on demand+ is as ideal for business trips as it is for weekend trips, and also provides a viable alternative on those days where traffic bans are in place.

From the end of the year, Audi on demand+ will also be available to tourists and locals at the Sanya holiday resort on Hainan Island. Like in Peking the service is offered at the airport. Furthermore cars will be delivered to customers in the whole Sanya area.

In 2018, the Ingolstadt-based automaker focused on scaling and extending its mobility network in Asia and Europe. New locations such as Tokyo, Singapore and London were added; the existing network in Beijing and Hong Kong was extended. For the first time in Europe, dealers in the UK are also acting as the first port of call for mobility service customers. Following the acquisition by the Four Rings of the car-rental service Silvercar in the United States, 25 new mobility hubs have also been created in the country under the “Silvercar by Audi” name. Further locations will follow in 2019.

Audi starts title defense in Formula E

The season opener also marks the racing debut of two more Audi e-tron FE05 cars from Envision Virgin Racing. The race team from the UK with its drivers Sam Bird and Robin Frijns is using Audi’s race car this season, including the powertrain around the Audi Schaeffler MGU03 motor-generator unit. “It’s great that, together with Envision Virgin Racing, four Audi e-tron FE05 cars will be battling for trophies this season,“says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “That this renowned team has opted for our powertrain also confirms the outstanding work done by our engineers together with their colleagues from our development partner Schaeffler.” 

In spite of all the changes in the Formula E environment, Audi relies on continuity within the team: Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi are two of only five drivers in the field who have competed in all 45 Formula E races held to date. With 35 podiums, their track record reflects by far the largest number of successes. Lucas di Grassi with 27 trophies and 611 points is the most successful driver in Formula E’s young four-year history. 

“It’s hard to believe: now, at age 26, I’m already one of the seasoned drivers in a racing series,” says Daniel Abt with a smile. “But when looking at all of the things that are going to change in Formula E, then all 22 drivers in the new season will arguably be rookies again. We worked hard over the last few months both on and off the track. Now we want to manage the best possible start in Riyadh and have a first impressive showing.”

After four years of starting in the Far East, Saudi Arabia is hosting the season opener for the first time. The 2.494-kilometer circuit with its long straight and 90-degree turns in front of a historic backdrop promises a thrilling race day. “We want to take the momentum from last season with us: as a team, we most recently stood on the podium eight consecutive times and would like to extend this string of success,” says Lucas di Grassi. “Our e-tron FE05 is a powerful car, the team has matured once again and gelled even more closely. Obviously, the competition will be tougher because everyone is investing more in Formula E. We challenged every detail and improved once again. We’re ready.” 

On Sunday after the race (December 16), another Formula E test day has been scheduled in Ad Diriyah. For Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, test and development driver Nico Müller will then take over the cockpit of an Audi e-tron FE05.

Next KBA approvals: Audi can recall further diesel models in Germany

With its decision, the KBA is approving the solution proposed by Audi for an update of the engine software in three further cases. This affects approximately 103,500 vehicles of the A6, A7 Sportback and A8 model ranges, as well as the Q5 and SQ5 TDI SUVs. Just like the A6 and A7 Sportback models with 200 kW (272 hp), which were approved in mid-November, these models are also powered by a V6 TDI engine.

These technical solutions involve the removal of a software component from the engine management system. At the same time, the workshop visit will be used for regular quality measures in order to renew sensor components of individual model variants. The update is always free of charge for Audi customers and will have no negative impact on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, engine output, maximum torque, noise emissions or the lifetime of the exhaust aftertreatment system. This software update is a mandatory recall. Audi is therefore contacting all affected vehicle owners and requesting that they get in touch with their authorized workshop or dealership.

An overview of all Audi models with KBA approval for an update of the engine software within the scope of the recall is shown below.

Models with KBA approval for an update of the engine software within the scope of the recalls:

Model series

Audi A6

Audi A7 Sportback

Audi A6

Audi A7 Sportback

Audi A8

Audi Q5

Audi SQ5 TDI

Engine type

3.0 TDI

3.0 TDI biturbo

3.0 TDI

3.0 TDI

3.0 TDI biturbo

Engine output

155 kW / 211 hp

160 kW / 218 hp

200 kW / 272 hp

235 kW / 320 hp

240 kW / 326 hp

155 kW / 211 hp

190 kW / 258 hp

193 kW / 262 hp

184 kW / 250 hp

190 kW / 258 hp

230 kW / 313 hp

240 kW / 326 hp

250 kW / 340 hp

Emissions standard

Euro 6

Euro 6

Euro 6

Euro 6

Euro 6

Model year

2015 – 2018

2015 – 2018

2014 – 2017

2014 – 2017

2015 – 2017