Strong new partner for Audi Sport

Audi Sport has a new partner in the DTM: Teufel Audio. The logo of the Berlin-based hi-fi specialist will be featured on Miguel Molina’s Audi RS 5 DTM in the 2015 season. Intensive tests at Oschersleben, starting this Tuesday, are rounding off Audi Sport’s pre-season preparations.

At Hockenheim, where the season opens on the first weekend in May, Audio Teufel based in Berlin will start racing on the DTM tracks with its logo emblazoned on the Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM of the Spaniard Miguel Molina. Audio Teufel is a hi-fi manufacturer that exclusively sells its product range directly via www.teufelaudio.com and a flagship store in the heart of Berlin.

“It speaks for Audi and the DTM that we’ve been able to gain another renowned company as a partner for our DTM commitment,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “We were pleased to change the graphics of Miguel’s RS 5 DTM again for this partnership.”

“Teufel, Audi and the DTM, that’s simply a perfect fit!” says Sebastian Drawert, General Manager Marketing at Audio Teufel, in commenting on the cooperation. “We share the same passion for intensity, and both of us are not just interested in having customers but aim to win fans.”

The number ‘17’ Audi will be seen sporting its new red-black outfit for the first time at Hockenheim. This Tuesday, the final official pre-season track tests will start at Oschersleben. The CASTROL Edge Audi RS 5 DTM of Edoardo Mortara, the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Mattias Ekström, the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM of Timo Scheider and the Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM of Youngster Nico Müller, who most recently set the fastest time in the test at Estoril, will be participating in the tests.

As at Estoril, all eight Audi drivers will be taking turns at the wheel of the four Audi RS 5 DTM cars at Oschersleben. Following a brief rollout on Monday, the tests will he held from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 18.00 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The grandstands and the paddock will be open to spectators on all three test days.

The on-track action starts in earnest at Hockenheim from April 30 to May 3. “That’s when we’re going to see where we really stand,” says the two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström. “Nobody is going to put their cards on the table before then. That’ll make it even more exciting for the fans to watch the first qualifying session and race of the year live on location.”

Tickets for the DTM Festival at Hockenheim, at which the new Audi Sport TT Cup will celebrate its racing debut and the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX) will make a guest appearance as well, are available on www.audi-motorsport.com.

AUDI AG: March best month in the company’s history

A start of the year made to measure for AUDI AG: With around 438,250 units sold, the brand’s global sales increased in the first quarter by 6.1 percent compared with the same period 2014 – with growth in all regions. The successful start to the year was also helped by the March results. With a plus of 4.4 percent to around 177,950 cars, Audi delivered more automobiles in a single month than ever before. This means that the company with the Four Rings has registered an increase in sales for 63 months in a row.

“Our new record in the first quarter makes for a successful start into the new year, and we intend to continue this trend throughout the rest of the year,” says Luca de Meo, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “In the second half of the year our new Audi Q7* will also start contributing to these figures in Europe. The initial response by customers and dealers has been very good, and orders are already exceeding our expectations – even before the model has hit the showrooms.”

During the first three months of the year, sales primarily increased for the A3 family* (+43.8%), the Audi Q3* (+9.6%) and the Audi A6* (+8.1%). The demand for the full‑size category model grew especially in Germany, up 19.0 percent since the beginning of 2015. The new generation of the A6 has also been available in the United States since March and will provide an additional boost in third largest A6 market.

Overall, Audi deliveries have climbed in the U.S. by 13.8 percent to 40,098, despite the lingering winter. The success story of the previous months also continued in March, with a growth of 20 percent. The Audi Q5* was again the bestseller in the United States and a growth driver with 3,934 units – an increase of 17.2 percent. Sales were also clearly in the double‑digits in other major markets: For example, Audi unit sales in Brazil increased in March by 63.9 percent.

In Europe too, Audi recorded the best first quarter in its history. Despite the continually strained economic conditions in some markets, the automaker managed to slightly increase its number of deliveries compared with the first three months of 2014 and exceed the 200,000 mark in unit sales (+3.4% to around 207,250 units). Especially important drivers were Germany (+10.2% to 73,208 units) and Spain (+7.0% to 12,322 units), where the overall market, although still well below the pre‑crisis level of 2007, exhibited a constantly positive trend. SUVs in particular strengthened brand business, up by 22.8 percent to 2,830 units sold. In March, Belgium presented the highest growth rate among the ten largest European markets for Audi. Deliveries were up by 12.6 percent to 4,115 units.

Audi sales have increased in the Asia‑Pacific region by 7.6 percent to around 162,150 since the beginning of the year. Among the major Asian markets, South Korea has led the growth momentum of the Four Rings. Here sales figures rose by 58.5 percent to 3,894 units in March, a plus of 34.9 percent to 9,194 units sold since the beginning of the year. Australia has also brought Audi a double‑digit rise in sales. Between January and March, the company delivered 15.3 percent more vehicles to customers than during the same period in 2014. In China, Audi also significantly exceeded its result from the previous quarter (+7.1%) with 133,316 deliveries. In March sales of the brand in China increased by 1.5 percent compared with the same month in 2014.

Sales AUDI AG In March Cumulative
  2015 2014 Change from 2014 2015 2014 Change from 2014
World 177,950 170,452 +4.4% 438,250 412,848 +6.1%
Europe 90,650 88,750 +2.2% 207,250 200,353 +3.4%
  – Germany 27,902 27,226 +2.5% 73,208 66,458 +10.2%
  – UK 29,140 28,068 +3.8% 45,783 43,671 +4.8%
  – France 5,703 5,425 +5.1% 14,609 14,581 +0.2%
  – Italy 4,518 4,516 0% 12,596 12,537 +0.5%
  – Spain 4,491 4,088 +9.9% 12,322 11,519 +7.0%
  – Russia 2,630 3,758 -30.0% 6,132 8,286 -26.0%
USA 17,102 14,246 +20.0% 40,098 35,228 +13.8%
Mexico 1,077 1,040 +3.6% 3,195 3,075 +3.9%
Brazil 1,460 891 +63.9% 4,014 3,115 +28.9%
China
(incl. Hong Kong)
48,356 47,636 +1.5% 133,316 124,520 +7.1%

Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi A3:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.3 – 1.5;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 194 – 35

Audi Q3:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.4 – 4.4;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 198 – 114

Audi Q5:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.5 – 4.9;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 199 – 129

Audi A6:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9.6 – 4.2;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 224 – 109

Audi Q7:
Fuel consumption combined, l/100 km 8.3 – 5.7;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 193 – 149

Audi wins WEC opener at Silverstone

Audi Sport managed a dream start of the 2015 motorsport year. In the season opener of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer took victory after a thrilling six-hour race in which the lead kept changing and was fiercely contested.

If the 6-hour race in the United Kingdom provided a foretaste of the season, motorsport fans can look forward to an exciting WEC year. Audi, Toyota and Porsche fought a three-way battle with numerous overtaking maneuvers and door-to-door fighting for positions from almost start to finish. When the checkered flag fell, the number ‘7’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car was running in front and decided the race in its favor with a 4.610-second advantage. The sister car of Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis took fifth place following two unscheduled pit stops.“Congratulations to Marcel, André and Ben, who delivered fantastic motorsport for six hours today,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “This victory is a dream start of the season and a great reward for the whole squad for the hard work last winter. At the same time, this success motivates us even more for the great challenges awaiting us the next few weeks. The weekend at Silverstone has also shown that we could be facing what may be the most thrilling and fiercely contested WEC season ever.”

At the beginning, events in the race did not seem to augur well for car number ‘7.’  As the correct gear could not immediately be engaged, Benoît Tréluyer, who had started from position five, lost a lot of ground and had to battle his way forwards again through half of the field on the first laps. After two and a half hours, André Lotterer took over driving duties from Marcel Fässler and 30 minutes later the lead in the race. “A perfect day for Audi and for our team,” said Lotterer. “We were under pressure from the first to the last lap and could not afford to slip. We managed to do this and the team did everything right at the pit stops and with the perfect strategy. Now, we’re going to take this momentum with us to Spa and to Le Mans.” The gripping duel between Marcel Fässler and Porsche driver Neel Jani across many laps in which the two Swiss overtook each other several times per lap, was particularly impressive.

For the number ‘8’ sister car, a top result seemed to be within reach as well. But two repair stops in which the rear bodywork had to be replaced following contact with a rival and the fixings of the front hood subsequently had to be fastened, cost Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis about seven minutes and, as a result, all chances of clinching a podium place. After starting from the second row, the Brazilian-French-British trio had to settle for fifth place. “A fantastic day for Audi, but obviously the three of us are somewhat disappointed,” said Oliver Jarvis. “Still, we have positive impressions: a thrilling race and the first victory for our new R18 e-tron quattro – this whets our appetite for the WEC season.”

Fans will not have to wait long for the next appearance of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. In just three weeks from now (May 2) round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be held at Spa-Francorchamps (B). For Audi, the race on the famous circuit in the Ardennes marks a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the season’s pinnacle event, the Le Mans 24 Hours. To prepare for Le Mans, Audi Sport Team Joest  will be fielding the third hybrid sports car, designated as number ‘9,’ that will be driven by Filipe Albuquerque (P), Marco Bonanomi (I) and René Rast (D).

Race results

1 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 201 laps
2 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) +4.160s
3 Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima (Toyota) +14.816s
4 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) -1 lap
5 di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) -4 laps
6 Rusinov/Canal/Bird (Ligier-Nissan) -16 laps
7 Yacaman/Derani/Gonzalez (Ligier-Nissan) -17 laps
8 Dalziel/Sharp/Heinemeier Hansson (HPD-Honda) -18 laps
9 Leventis/Watts/Kane (Dome-Nissan) -23 laps
10 Bruni/Vilander (Ferrari) -29 laps

Audi starts WEC season from second row

 

Motorsport fans can look forward to a thrilling FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season opener. In the qualifying session at Silverstone (Great Britain) the gaps between the top cars amounted to only a few tenths of a second. Loïc Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis, who will be starting the 6-hour race on Sunday from position three in their Audi R18 e-tron quattro, were the best Audi team.

Following heavy intermittent rain in the morning, the drivers started qualifying on a dry track at noon. The fastest man under the banner of the four rings was Lucas di Grassi, who in the number ‘8’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro set the first best time of 1m 40.180s. His team-mate Oliver Jarvis, who posted 1m 40.525s, managed a strong lap as well. In the WEC, the average of the two fastest laps determines the grid position.“I’m happy with our grid position even though in the end only twelve hundredths of a second were lacking for the first row,” says Lucas di Grassi. “We know that our competitors are in a better position in qualifying, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to attack across the race distance and are going to deliver a thrilling race to the fans.”

The sister car, number ‘7’ qualified in fifth position on the grid. André Lotterer, who was the second-fastest Audi driver, and Marcel Fässler set the times for the car. “A fair to middling qualifying session in which we didn’t achieve an optimal lap,” says Lotterer. “But anything is possible in the race.”

Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich’s assessment of the first qualifying session in the 2015 season was positive. “We saw a close qualifying session today in which the gaps between the top cars amounted to only a few tenths of a second.” The first two rows on the 5.891-kilometer track at Silverstone are separated by only six tenths of a second. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “We didn’t achieve the pole position today. But we knew that our strength is not manifested by a fast lap but by consistency in the race. Therefore, the grid positions are a good base for Sunday.”

The 6-hour race at Silverstone starts on Sunday at 12.00, local time (13.00 CEST). Benoît Tréluyer (F) in car number ‘7’ and Lucas di Grassi (BR) in car number ‘8’ will be the starting drivers. Eurosport will broadcast the final stage of the race live from 18.00 to 19.30.

Qualifying results

1 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 1m 39.721s
2 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) 1m 40.340s
3 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 40.352s
4 Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima (Toyota) 1m 40.382s
5 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 41.153s
6 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) 1m 41.694s
7 Yacaman/Derani/Gonzalez (Ligier-Nissan) 1m 48.021s
8 Rusinov/Canal/Bird (Ligier-Nissan) 1m 48.083s
9 Howson/Bradley/Tandy (Oreca-Nissan) 1m 49.389s
10 Panciatici/Chatin/Capillaire (Alpine-Nissan) 1m 49.498s

Federal Minister of Transport Dobrindt tests piloted Audi

Alexander Dobrindt satisfied himself of the technical capabilities of the Audi A7 piloted driving concept on Friday. The Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure accepted an invitation from AUDI AG to experience the technology of piloted driving first-hand.

Minister of Transport Dobrindt after his ride in the test vehicle, “Jack.” “Automated driving is not something out of science fiction. In a few years there will be piloted vehicles driving on the roads. Digital technology can assume tasks from the driver and provide enhanced safety and convenience. The long term goal is completely networked roads. Traffic jams and environmental pollution will be reduced, traffic safety increased and the infrastructure used to optimum capacity. I see big opportunities for Germany as a location for innovation and industry. Our automotive industry has the most attractive products in the world. Our goal must be to remain a world leader, including for automated driving,” explained Dobrindt, who has officially declared a section of Autobahn A9 to be a high-tech superhighway. It will serve as a test bed for the networked automobile of the future.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Technical Development, considers the test drive with Minister Dobrindt to be “a further demonstration of the technical maturity and potential of piloted driving,” which Audi will offer in the Audi A8* in an initial expansion stage beginning in 2017. He welcomed the political support. “This will enable a key technology from Germany to also find its leading market at home.”

Hackenberg sees three primary areas of application for this use of artificial intelligence in automobiles. “On the one hand for the prevention of accidents: When the driver is overwhelmed and there is the risk of losing control or when he or she is bored because the trip is too monotonous. On the other hand also when the driver can and wants to make more effective use of his or her time, such as when sitting in a traffic jam. Less stress, greater safety and more convenience are the results.” It is now important that legislators work together with legal, regulatory and industry experts to pave the way for the authorization of such systems.

Audi continues to document its progress with this technology with spectacular demonstrations. In the United States, a driverless Audi TTS* etched the brand’s trademark four rings into the surface of a salt flat and also conquered Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains. In fall 2014, an RS 7 Sportback* circled the Hockenheim racetrack without a driver at the physical limits of driving. Since the start of this year, Audi has been demonstrating the next steps in piloted driving on public roads, for example under realistic traffic conditions on an American highway from the West Coast to Las Vegas.

The function for piloted driving in traffic jams, which Audi is currently moving to production, is based on existing assistance systems such as Audi adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist. At speeds between 0 and 65 km/h (40.4 mph), the system will take over acceleration, braking and steering from the driver, if desired, providing some relief from stress in congested highway traffic. When the traffic jam dissolves or the road ends, the computer prompts the driver to take over the driving again.

The super brain of piloted driving is the central driver assistance control unit (zFAS). It uses state-of-the-art, high-performance processors to evaluate the signals from all sensors in real time and compute maneuvers. A radar system scans the area in front of the car while a video camera detects lane markings, guardrails, pedestrians and other vehicles. A laser scanner delivers high-precision data about objects up to 80 meters (262.5 ft) away. Furthermore, as many as twelve ultrasonic sensors and four cameras monitor the entire area surrounding the car. The zFAS then uses all these sensor data to compute a model of the surroundings that describes the prevailing traffic situation in great detail. This enables very early detection by the system of vehicles moving into the lane in front of the vehicle, for example.

This means that Audi already has the series technology for the first piloted driving systems available. The new functions made possible because of them can significantly expand the role of the car as an emotional, convenient and modern living space. Audi is fully devoted to this issue because in addition to the increase in safety, the gain in convenience brings along a substantial customer benefit with it.

Further information and press material about piloted driving at Audi has been compiled in adigital press kit.

You can find footage that is rights‑free and free of charge on the trip taken by Federal Minister for Transport Alexander Dobrindt and other video content about piloted driving onAudi MediaTV.

Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi A7 Sportback:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9.5 – 4.7** (24.8 – 50.0 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 221 – 122** (355.7 – 196.3 g/mi)

Audi A8:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 11.3 – 5.9** (20.8 – 39.9 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 264 – 144** (424.9 – 231.7 g/mi)

Audi TTS:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.5 – 6.8** (31.4 – 34.6 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 174 – 157** (280.0 – 252.7 g/mi)

Audi RS 7 Sportback:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9.5** (24.8 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 221** (355.7 g/mi)

**The fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions of a vehicle vary due to the choice of wheels and tires. They not only depend on the efficient utilization of the fuel by the vehicle, but are also influenced by driving behavior and other non-technical factors