Audi traffic light Information tech to roll out in US cities

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Innovative new vehicle-to-infrastructure tech to roll out in selected cities, only on the new A4 and Q7

Audi is aiming to make city junction frustration a thing of the past, as it begins to roll out its clever traffic light recognition system across selected cities.

Continue reading “Audi traffic light Information tech to roll out in US cities”

2017 Audi RS1 Gets the Green Light, 280hp and Quattro

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It took a couple of years but finally Audi has confirmed that an RS version of their entry model A1 is in the works and it’s coming to your local dealership faster than you’d think! Set to go on sale early next year, the new 2017 Audi RS1 is set to produce 280 bhp and feature Quattro all-wheel drive.

Now you probably think: Audi A1 and Quattro, that sounds familiar! Right, the pre-facelifted model once had an A1 Quattro in its line up, the 256 hp Audi A1 Quattro. The limited edition pocket rocket was only distributed with a left-hand drive setup and a steep price tag (€60,000). The upcoming RS1 will however become a regular production model and is expected to be priced far more competitively as well. Rumors are it will be priced around 30,000 GBP in the UK, an acceptable premium over the price of the current Audi S1 (228 bhp, 26,335 GBP).

Main target of the upcoming RS1 seems to be the Mini John Cooper Works, say sources close to Audi’s sport division. Other hot mini hatches competing in the same segment come in the form of the Ford Fiesta ST and the upcoming Polo R from Volkswagen.

Under the hood we expect to see a further bumped up version of the current EA888 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that is also found in the Audi S1. In terms of shifting gears a manual and/or automatic transmission could make the sales catalog, with the possibility of a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission being developed in order to handle the RS1 peak torque output.

With more performance and possibly better aerodynamic design the RS1 should easily be able to beat the 0-100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds currently set by the S1. Similar to the body styles of the S1, both a three-door and five-door setup are expected. With the launch set for next year, the RS1 is the long-awaited icing on the cake for the A1 series, which is due for remodeling in 2018.

Akrapovic & Audi Sport Offer Titanium Exhaust for the Audi RS6 Performance

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Akrapovic and Audi Sport agreed to offer the latest titanium exhausts from the Slovenian exhaust specialist for the Audi RS6 and RS6 Performance directly from the factory. Audi is the first manufacturer to offer the Akrapovic titanium exhausts as optional extra to their customers for selected models.

Listed as the Audi Sport RS Titanium exhaust in the RS6 option list, this lightweight performance exhausts delivers a more powerful sound, lower weight (-8kg) and improved performance (+7Kw and +15.4Nm of torque). It comes at the a price but it is the best and most desirable exhaust system on the market for the RS6 today.

Through Audi the system comes with Audi Sport branding on the carbon fibre covered tailpipes. The system is also available through Akrapovic as aftermarket part for existing RS6 models.

New 2018 Audi A7

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Shape of next Audi A7 seen in spy shots – it’s set to be lighter and more efficient than ever when it arrives in 2018

This is our first look at the new Audi A7, with our spy photographers catching the sleek saloon out testing in heavy camouflage. There’s not much to go on yet with this disguised car, but it’s clear that the new look will incorporate subtle changes rather than a complete new look.

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The most obvious change is the new grille, which will be matched to some new headlights to make the A7 look more like the latest cars in the line up such as the TT or new A5. The roofline is similar to the previous model, but a new set of taillights will help mark out the rear end. Expect the interior to be overhauled too, with Audi‘s Virtual Cockpit system making an appearance.

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While the engine range is expected to consist of large V6 and V8 engines, using both petrol and diesel, this model doesn’t appear to have any exhaust pipes – that’s either an unusual design choice for Audi, or an indication that an electric or plug-in hybrid version is on the cards.

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The new A7 will use the MLB Evo platform, which is shared with the Audi Q7 SUV. The platform is designed to save weight, so expect some improvements over the previous car in terms of efficiency, handling and performance. For comparison, the previous 215bhp 3.0-litre TDI Ultra model returned 58.9mpg and 124g/km of CO2.

VW V-6 Diesels Accused of Having More Emissions-Cheating Software


It seems U.S. authorities aren’t done investigating diesel-powered Volkswagens for emissions-cheating software: Reuters reports that another—and previously undiscovered—piece of emissions-thwarting software has been discovered in the 3.0-liter TDI V-6 engine used in the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne SUVs.

The news originates from German newsweekly Bild am Sonntag, which does not reveal its source for the information. According to the report, three unapproved pieces of software allowed the affected vehicles to shut down their emissions control systems after 22 minutes of driving. Theoretically, this would allow the vehicles to pass government emissions tests, which usually last for around 20 minutes, but emit unrestricted pollutants in real-world driving. This is in addition to previously disclosed software used on the 3.0-liter TDI engine which VW admitted was used to make affected vehicles pass government emissions tests, but shut down the emissions controls in real-world driving.

It’s a cheat tactic that is relatively common across numerous automakers, and one that may not technically be illegal in the European Union. As Bertel Schmitt has written at Forbes, EU law allows automakers to define nearly any type of emissions shutdown software as being “necessary to protect the engine.” In Europe, diesel-powered Fiat Chrysler products have been found to use a nearly identical piece of software; both Opel and Daimler have been found using similar software that shuts off emissions controls based on ambient temperatures.

Such lenient “engine protection” loopholes are not included in U.S. vehicle emissions laws. Roughly 85,000 Audi, Porsche and VW SUVs have been sold in the U.S. market with the affected 3.0-liter TDI engine. While VW Group has offered a program to fix or buy back cheating diesel vehicles powered by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI engine in the U.S., such a deal has not been reached for vehicles powered by the 3.0-liter TDI V6.

Delphi Intends To Deliver Fully Autonomous Cars By 2022

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Delphi Automotive was the first car company to complete a cross-country road trip using autonomous technology, driving from San Francisco to New York in April 2015. Next, the company will test the technology on an international stage.

Executives said Monday the company has entered into a strategic partnership with the government of Singapore to test autonomous vehicles. Over the course of the three-year pilot project, the global automotive supplier will conduct trials of low-speed, mobility-on-demand vehicles along predetermined routes, gradually introducing systems with greater capability.

Starting this week, the same Audi SQ5 that crossed America will be begin driving in Singapore’s “one-north” business park. Early next year, Delphi intends to transition into a second phase of the project, which will involve six electric vehicles outfitted with autonomous technology operating in ride-hailing operations. Then in 2018 or 2019, executives say they intend to test fully self-driving vehicles—with no drivers as fail-safes—on Singapore’s streets.

Should all go as scheduled, Delphi says it would then move onto grander plans for production of driverless vehicles capable of shuttling on-demand customers or cargo by 2022.

We believe it will come from one of the delivery methods
for a big logistics company. They’ll absolutely be looking
at how to take advantage.—Glen DeVos

With Apple’s plans in the realm of self-driving cars still a secret, Google’s ever-evolving, and other automakers offering nebulous timelines toward full autonomy, the Delphi announcement marks a milestone by offering a concrete time frame for reaching Level 4 autonomy, in which cars can complete entire journeys without human intervention, for mass-market purposes.

Singapore selected Delphi via a closed-bid process. “This is an exciting opportunity for us,” Glen DeVos, the company’s vice president for engineering, tells Car and Driver. “We think this is an important but appropriate step in developing automated mobility on demand. It will be in specific areas, so think of it as geo-fenced. That limits the complexity of the deployment. We expect we will learn a tremendous amount, and by the end of the project, we can move onto the next phase, which assuming success, is to operationalize.”

DeVos isn’t saying which brand of electric cars the company will utilize for the initial part of the project. Going forward, he sees a symbiotic link between autonomous technology and electric vehicles. The self-driving technology itself can be used in any vehicle, from cars, buses, and taxis to trucks and purpose-built mobility pods.

Singapore may be most interested in the latter. The city-state’s Land Transport Authority, in the process of expanding its rail network by 2030, wants to examine how autonomous cars could help transportation planners solve the so-called “first and last mile” dilemma—how to help commuters get from their homes or offices to and from mass-transit options. Government officials hope they can reduce overall traffic congestion and vehicle pollution by encouraging more people to use public transit. Delphi will design vehicles tailored to that purpose.

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“From a user-experience standpoint, that’s a very specific use case and a very different expected experience than using your own car,” DeVos said. “So we need to make sure we design that experience so it’s enjoyable, safe, and effective. On one hand, the technology has to be there. But it has to be a really enjoyable experience for the end customer, so they get really excited about it.”

Beyond evaluating the technology itself, the other component of the project both Delphi and Singapore are focusing on is the cost of autonomous operations. In city environments, the cost of operating a vehicle with a commercial driver can exceed $3 per mile, according to Delphi estimates. Autonomy offers the potential, the company says, to reduce those expenses to as little as 90 cents per mile. Such savings could offer tremendous potential for a ride-hailing service like Uber or Lyft, not to mention delivery services like FedEx or UPS. As the pilot project develops, one key question Delphi will attempt to answer is which will be ready for autonomous operations first: the passenger fleet or the cargo-hauling market.

“That’s part of what the market is sorting out right now,” DeVos said. “Some OEMs are making investments in one area and not the other, necessarily. There’s a real divergence of opinion. We believe it will come from one of the delivery methods for a big logistics company. They’ll absolutely be looking at how to take advantage.”

Whenever Delphi is ready to move into a stage of producing driverless pods, it says it’s open to an alliance with an OEM or another company.

The pilot project in Singapore is one of several concurrent steps toward testing autonomous technology for Delphi. The company says it plans two similar pilot projects for North America and Europe, but details on those aren’t yet firm.

Fastest Accelerating Diesel Powered Cars

Europeans and the rest of the world love diesel, Americans not so much. Here the diesel is considered a dirty fuel despite the emergence of clean diesel in the last few years.

Diesel and gasoline-powered cars are quite different in the way they drive, typically diesel cars have a lot of torque, and need lower revs, although many now have turbochargers and produce torque at low revs. Diesels typically don’t rev much past 5K and for this reason don’t offer the sportiness of many gas-powered equivalents. Diesel technology has been around for years and is very popular among European car buyers.

The German manufacturers, Audi, VW, Mercedes, and BMW have most of their models available with a diesel engine option. Here in the US Diesel power is typically available in larger pickup trucks and heavy machinery. The diesel internal combustion engine differs from the gasoline powered Otto cycle by using highly compressed hot air to ignite the fuel rather than using a spark plug (compression ignition rather than spark ignition). In the true diesel engine, only air is initially introduced into the combustion chamber.

Diesel is more efficient and currently is cheaper in most states than regular gasoline. Diesel cars return much better EPA numbers and several offer in excess of 50mpg.

So let’s take a look at 6 of the Fastest Accelerating Diesel Powered Cars, some of which are available in the US and some are not.

Audi A6 TDI


Numbers: 428 lb ft, 0 – 60 in 5.3 seconds.

Audi’s A6 is a bit of a sleeper with only 240 hp, however, a the TDI’s whopping 428 lb ft will have it surging through license losing speeds via its silky smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox.

BMW 335d xDrive


Numbers: 465 lb ft, 0 – 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

This has the excellent 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six diesel engine that producing 308 bhp and 465 lb /ft of torque. You can only get one with BMW’s all-wheel drive system, xDrive, and the wagon shown above is not available here.

Audi A8 4.2 TDI


Numbers: 627 lb/ft, 0 – 60 in 4.8 seconds.

The not available over here Audi A8 4.2 TDI is almost as fast as the S8 and has more torque, 627 ft lb to be exact. Also like the S8 it doesn’t look fast, but put your right foot down and it surges forward effortlessly.

BMW M550d xDrive


Numbers: 546 lb ft, 0 – 60 in 4.7 seconds.

Another glorious car not available her in the US. Anyway, this car has huge reserves of power from the 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six and xDrive all-wheel-drive. 546 ft lb of torque is available from 2,000 rpm. It’s not an M5 but it’s close.

Audi R8 6.0 Quattro V12 TDI


Numbers: 738 lb ft, 0 – 60 in 4.2 seconds.

Powered by a Hungarian-built twin-turbodiesel V12, this car will do 60mph in 4.2sec, 100mph in less than 10sec, and more than 190mph flat out.

And the fastest is……………………………………….

Trident Iceni


Numbers: 700 lb ft, 0 – 60 in 3.7 seconds.

Under the curvaceous bodywork lies a 395bhp 6.6-litre V8 turbodiesel engine developing 700 lb ft of torque. Coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox, it is able to propel the Iceni from 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of over 190mph.