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Audi started off 2017 with a bang. At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2017 they showcased three new cars. For the very first time, they unveiled the Q8 concept car to the public. In addition to the Q8, the Audi SQ5 TFSI made its world premiere along with the A5/S5 Cabriolet. These three cars showed the world Audi’s vision for the future.
The Audi Q8 Concept Car
Imagine a car that is not quite SUV nor is it a coupe, and yet it makes you think of both. The Q8 Concept car is a hybrid with the spaciousness of a full-size sports utility vehicle, yet it has the sleek lines of a full-size luxury car.
“The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV. With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.” – Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG.
Everything about this car feels futuristic. There are no less than three driving modes. “EV” mode is primarily electric, while a computer controls a “hybrid” mode that combines electric and fuel in the most efficient manner possible. A third mode is the “battery hold” mode. When this is selected, the car saves the available electric energy for a later time.
- Engine: 3.0 V6 TFSI Plug-In Hybrid
- 0 to 62 MPH: 5.4 seconds
- Top Speed: 155mph
Control of the vehicle is handled through touch displays in the Audi virtual cockpit. A heads-up 3-D display changes depending on the number of passengers and inputs from the driver.
The Audi SQ5 TFSI
The SQ5 TFSI made its debut at the Detroit auto show and showed the world a sportier version of the regular Q5. This version has a more aggressive look, in part due to the new bumpers and 20-inch wheels.
The American version has a V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Audi claims it can hit 62 mph in 5.4 seconds. The Audi SQ5 TFSI isn’t a slow vehicle but it is slower than the outgoing SQ5 Plus. Audi plans to sell the gas-powered SQ5 TFSI in both the US and Europe.
While the original SQ5 didn’t have much competition, the new SQ5 TFSI must square off against Mercedes-AMG’s GLC43 and BMW’s X4. Only time will tell which of the three captures the European SUV market in the US.
Audi’s A5/S5 Cabriolet
The new A5 Cabriolet convertible weighs about 88 pounds less than previous versions of the Cabriolet. The reduction in weight is mostly due to the new architecture. Even though the car is lighter, the interior of the car is larger. Drivers and passengers both find that it has more shoulder and legroom.
The Cabriolet does have rear passenger seating which can be lowered to increase trunk space. However, the 13 cubic feet of regular trunk space is adequate for most excursions.
The look of the interior is similar to the Audi A4. The gauge cluster is configurable through the optional Virtual Cockpit. An interesting feature is the microphones they have integrated into the seat belts for holding Bluetooth conversations while the top is down.
A Recap of What Audi Brought to NAIAS 2017
Audi wanted to give its fans a view of their future. The Audi Q8 Concept Car showcased the up and coming features that we should expect to see on future models. The Virtual Cockpit is something Audi seems particularly excited to offer to customers. The ability to configure your gauge display and the futuristic feel of touch pads as well as projected images makes one feel like they are years into the future.
The overall theme of the North American International Auto Show is “sporty and futuristic,” and Audi did not disappoint.
In July of 2015, Audi of America showcased their newest vehicles to the Audi Club of North America, Northeast Sector. At the event, they unveiled the new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, the Audi Q3, the Audi Q7, and the Audi TT Roadster.
For each model, a presentation of the vehicle was given by each of the corresponding product managers. Further, a spotlight was shown on the new and innovative technology features Audi incorporated into each of these cars. Based on the presentations, it is obvious that Audi plans to play competitively in an ever-changing market. Technology such as the new night vision system found in the Q7 was just one of the features seen at the event.
Above, the attendee parking lot contains multiple Audi vehicles, ranging from the Audi A4/S4 to the Audi A5/S5/RS5.
The Audi A3 e-tron Boasts Zero Emissions
The primary selling point of the Audi A3 is that it’s a hybrid. The 1.4-liter gas engine cooperates with a water-cooled, three-phase AC electric generator for better gas efficiency. When the A3 Sportback e-tron is in hybrid mode, it can boast as much as 86 MPGe when you factor in EV driving.
Whether you prefer the slightly less expensive Audi A3 or the more sporty A3 Sporback, the e-tron promises to be a strong competitor in the hybrid market.
Below, the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron can be seen from multiple angles.
Mod Enthusiasts Turn to the Audi S3
At the show, the Audi S3 was displayed in the sporty color combinations of green and orange. This look suits the S3, which is a sporty car that pushes about 292 HP. The 2.0 TFSI engine and frame construction make the Audi S3 both lightweight and fast. Car tuners looking for a higher end car to modify will love the S3. Although it is in the lower level of the S-model range of cars, this particular vehicle could very likely develop a cult-like following among mod enthusiasts.
Below, the 2016 Audi S3 can be seen from multiple angles.
The Audi Q7 Undergoes a Complete Transformation
Audi completely switched up both the design and fabrication of the 2016 Audi Q7. The car is now being built on its own platform and sporting a whole new look. On the front end, the grille is one of the biggest changes. This new grille design has been combined with the re-design of the headlights which contain both LED lights for daylight and nighttime driving. This new headlight technology is way ahead of industry standards.
The car has multiple cameras and sensors on the front and back that help with everything from cruise control to night vision and parking sensors. One of the biggest technological features of the Q7 is the night vision sensor. When an object, such as a deer or pedestrian, is detected in front of the car, the brakes are automatically engaged. This technology could protect against life-threatening accidents at night when visibility is low.
New Technology Center
The rear of the Q7 has LED taillights and there is a new technology center inside the car. The technology center includes the new Audi computer software and a mouse pad style control. Lastly, the Q7 has third-row seating to allow up to seven passengers as well as an electronic tow hook that can be hidden away when not in use.
Below, the front of the 2016 Audi Q7 can be seen.
The Audi TT Roadster
The design of the new Audi TT Roadster is based on the curves of the Audi R8. Inside the vehicle, the seats have a beautiful cross-stitch pattern which adds to the overall appeal. Another big change inside the car is that the navigation screen is now behind the steering wheel with the speedometer and tachometer. This allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road while using the screen.
The new headlights and front-end replicate the R8 and take the TT to another level of sporty design. The fenders stick out on the sides providing it a sportier look. The back has the typical TT shape, but with some minor changes such as the taillights. This new TT comes with the 2.0 TFSI motor used in Audi’s newer models.
Despite the fact that this small coupe delivers on horsepower, a standard Audi TT cannot be bought with a manual transmission. The small two-seater only comes with Quattro all-wheel drive and a six-speed, automatic transmission.
Below, tthe 2016 Audi TT Roadster can be seen from multiple angles.
Audi continues to give competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz a run for their money. Without a doubt, their German engineering is both innovative and reliable. The luxuries they offer make Audi the perfect vehicle for those purchasing in the mid-range market. As exhibited at the New Product Show, Audi hopes to draw consumers with cutting-edge technology and sportier designs.
The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron will lead Audi into the world of hybrid vehicles, while the other models will certainly appeal to both families and Sportster enthusiasts.
Audi A3 e-tron Brochure
Christmas Tree Transport Safety 101
During “the most wonderful time of the year” (Christmas), trees are a tradition leading to roughly 25 to 30 million individual sales per year. Yes, over 25 million trees are sold every year for the holiday season. With this concept arrives the question, how to transport Christmas trees safely on a vehicle? Well, the reason for this article is to provide tips on exactly that! A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that debris on U.S. roadways led to over 200,000 accidents over a 3-year period. Some of these accidents were due to trees falling off vehicles. Hence, it is extremely important to ensure you follow the tips below to minimize risk in transporting the beloved tree!
Tips for Christmas Tree Transport
Now, the purpose of this section is to provide tips how to transport Christmas trees safely on a vehicle. The National Christmas Tree Association has quite a few tips for how to handle this. Here, the tips are broken down into simpler, more straight-forward terms for ease of understanding:
- Ask for Tree to be Netted prior to Loading onto the Vehicle
- Ensure Tree Trunk is Pointing forward Towards the Front Bumper
- Ensure Tree Fits within Cargo Area or on Roof Rack Properly
- Use Rope to Secure Tree in Cargo Area or on Roof Rack
- A Blanket, Sheet, or Tarp Should be Used in Cargo Area or on Roof to Protect the Tree & Vehicle
- Tug Tree to Ensure it is Properly Secured to Vehicle
- Drive Slowly & Avoid Highways While Transporting Tree
Note: Tips #1 & #2 help reduce wind damage to pine needles.
Note #2: If the vehicle is a pick-up truck, avoid “hot spots”. These areas include regions above the exhaust, where the metal may be warmer than other spots of the trunk bed. This will help protect the tree furthermore.
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
To millions of people worldwide, the holiday season is “the most wonderful time of the year”. Hence, this article brings to light the concept of transporting trees safely. Now, there’s no reason to wonder how to transport Christmas trees safely on a vehicle. Simply follow the tips above and this should help with the overall task at hand. This guide DOES NOT GUARANTEE the safety of the car or tree during transport. That is solely up to whomever is in control of the transport work. Also, plenty of tree pop-ups and stores offer delivery, and even setup. Consider this option to save oneself the hassle of struggling with the transport. This may save the Audi A5 or BMW M5 from roof damage. In conclusion, transporting Christmas trees safely is important to everyone on the road, and the tree itself.
Note: The featured image is from Good Free Photos.
Ford vs. European Manufacturers
In 2018, Ford decided to stop manufacturing sedans such as the Focus and Fusion. Some may believe this is for a grander plan. Others may think it is a publicity stunt. The truth is, Ford’s passenger vehicle sales have dropped for the most part in 2018. A major reason for this is lack of competition with the European saloon market. With competition from Europe and Asia, Ford was unable to increase sales, declining instead. For now, the U.S. manufacturer will focus on selling the F150 and Mustang.
European Manufacturer Sales in June 2018
In June alone, European auto makers have sold over 100,000 vehicles. BMW is at the top of the list while Smart barely gains any traction. Surprisingly, Audi falls drastically behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz sales. As per Alfa Romeo and Mini, their sales figures are in the expected realm. For June 2018, these are the sale figures by manufacturer:
- BMW: 29,404
- Mercedes-Benz: 28,999
- VW Division: 28,941
- Audi: 19,471
- Porsche: 4,892
- Mini: 4,146
- Alfa Romeo: 2,249
- Fiat: 1,426
- Smart USA: 126
As can be seen, the sales start to dwindle after VW and hit a rock bottom at Smart. Alfa Romeo and Fiat, both subsidiaries of Chrysler, need more sales. Sadly, Alfa Romeo is no longer producing the 4C for the U.S. market.
Will Ford Ever Compete with Europe Again?
RIP Cars: Ford Kills These Five Cars – Is This The End of Ford Cars in America? – The Fast Lane Car – YouTube
Whether a possibility, or lost forever, will Ford ever manufacturer sedans again? The truth is, nobody knows for sure, except maybe the administration of the company. With falling U.S. sales, the manufacturer made a tough decision to exit its own country’s saloon sales market. This couldn’t have been an easy step for the decision makers of the company. But, in the end, the European manufacturers are still there with their modern, top notch automobiles. Unless, President Trump decides to start a tariff war with European auto manufacturers. Then, it won’t only damage Europe’s sales, but also strike back at U.S. manufacturers.
Reference for Statistics: https://www.statista.com/statistics/243596/vehlce-sales-of-european-car-brands-in-the-united-states/