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Audi Unveils New Models at NAIAS 2017

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.

Audi at NAIAS 2017
2017 Audi A3 e-tron - Front - NAIAS 2017 - EuroDrift
2017 Audi A3 e-tron - Front - NAIAS 2017 - EuroDrift
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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.

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan: Calling Out The Bentley Bentayga

In late 2018, Rolls-Royce expects to introduce their first SUV model into the worldwide market, the 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV

Rolls-Royce named the Cullinan after an enormous diamond of 3106.8 karats worth an estimated $400 million U.S. dollars. With this vehicle, Rolls-Royce intends to join the recently booming market of luxury SUVs. As with most Rolls-Royce vehicles, the Cullinan will have a hefty price tag of around $420,000, similar to the Rolls-Royce Phantom. The obvious target audience for a car of this stature is the rich and wealthy. In reality, only a few percent of the world population can afford such an extravagant vehicle.

The 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan will be built on a new aluminum spaceframe architecture specifically designed for the vehicle. The Cullinan will sport 4×4 all-wheel drive as well as the typical Rolls-Royce V12 motor. Auto theorists suggest that the Cullinan may use the same engine as the Rolls-Royce Ghost, a 6.6-liter V12 twin-turbo with 563 horsepower and 605 lb.-ft. of torque. On top of this, the Cullinan will be offered in a Plug-In-Hybrid version to enter the electric auto market. In today’s world, providing the hybrid version makes sense as the V12 motor will obviously be a gas guzzler (although preferred).

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Competition

Competition in the luxury SUV market has been very competitive in the last few years. The 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan will compete with a handful of other vehicles including the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Mercedes-AMG G65, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and Range Rover Supercharged. Out of those vehicles, the biggest competition will be with the Bentley Bentayga. The other SUVs are half the price of the Bentayga and definitely will not be comparable to the Cullinan’s price. Recently, Rolls-Royce punched hard at Bentley with a comment by its CEO.

While revealing the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII in London, the Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös stated: “We are not using mass-manufactured body shells. That limits what you can do on the design side, and it undermines exclusivity massively. You don’t want a camouflaged Q7 in that segment. You want to have a true Rolls-Royce.”

Rolls-Royce called out Bentley over using the same mass-manufactured frame as the Audi Q7 on the Bentayga. For a better understanding, Volkswagen owns both Audi and Bentley. On top of that, Volkswagen owns Lamborghini and Porsche, two of the Cullinan’s market competition.

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a Masterpiece

Overall, the 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan will be a masterpiece of an SUV. Probably worth over $400k, this vehicle will be a rare sight for people around the world. If assumptions are correct, the Cullinan should hit the market in late 2018 with its eyes on the prize. Although the Rolls-Royce CEO attacked the Bentley Bentayga, there is sure to be competition between the two competitors. Hopefully, the public will be able to see this beautiful vehicle at the 2018 auto shows around the world.

Top 10 European Sports Cars Between $100,000 and $200,000 in 2016

Imagine owning a beautiful sports car, powering through turns and racing down open stretches of road. While for most people, cars over $100,000 will stay the stuff of dreams, there are some out there with the cash to make it a reality. So, for those of you who want to plan for “someday,” here is a list of the top 10 European sports cars priced between $100,000 and $200,000.

 

 

Top 10 European Sports Cars – $100,000 to $200,000

 

Here are the cars listed in alphabetical order.

 

 

#1 – Aston Martin DB9 GT

MSRP: $201,075 – $238,132

Engine: 6.0L V12

Power: 540 bhp @ 6750 RPM

Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5500 RPM

The unique appeal of the Aston Martin DB9 GT is its 6.0-liter V12 engine which generates a peak of 540 bhp at 6750 RPM. Its front mid-mounted, 48 valve, all-alloy, 5,935 cc engine is a powerful motor. The transmission is a six-speed, Touchtronic II transmission which uses a wire control system. This V12 engine can launch this luxury British sports car from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. The Aston Martin boasts a top speed of 183 mph and comes with several key features:

  • 10-Spoke, 20-Inch Wheels
  • Black Painted Diffuser and Splitter
  • Black Anodized Brake Calipers
  • Taillight Treatments
  • Redesigned Headlights

The DB9 GT model can be distinguished from other Aston Martins by the GT engraving on the aluminum fuel filler cap.

 

 

#2 – Audi R8 & Audi R8 Plus

MSRP: $164,150 – $191,150

Engine: 5.2L V10

Power: 540 bhp @ 7800 RPM

Torque: 398 @ 6500 RPM

The Audi R8 only takes 3.2 to 3.5 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.  At just 48.8 inches high, 76.4 inches wide, and 174.0 inches long, the Audi R8 is short, wide and low to the ground sports car. This makes handling a breeze on curvy roads, especially for cruising through beautiful mountain roads. The Audi R8 is equipped with 19-inch wheels featuring 245/35 sizing up front and 295/35 sizing in the rear, with optional upgrades. The overall feel of the Audi R8 is like a stealthy cat on the prowl. For this Audi, it’s all about speed and power.

 

 

#3 – Bentley Continental GT

Price: $180,195

Power: 582 hp

Torque: 531 lb-ft

The Bentley Continental GT sports a new bumper at the rear, a smaller grille, and redesigned fenders. The fenders incorporate the obligatory side gills featuring the “B” logo. A lower diffuser added to this GT Speed model enhances its overall charm. You will also find a reshaped trunk lid in this successor model of the Bentley Continental. The interior updates include a revised center console, a smaller steering wheel, and new gauge faces. The seats are adorned with a new stitching pattern and softer leather or faux suede, although the diamond quilting isn’t eliminated from this upgraded version.

 

 

#4 – Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

Price: $134,625

Power: 454 hp

Torque: 384 lb-ft

The GranTurismo includes a 4.2-liter V8 engine that can be mated either to an optional MC Race Shift 6-speed manual transmission or an Electro-Actuated MC Shift auto-manual transmission. Buyers also have the option of choosing a lighter GranTurismo MC Stradale version which comes with some exterior modifications. The 2016 Maserati GranTurismo is equipped with an automatic gearbox and fitted with an adaptive control system. It can adjust the gear-shifting mode to different conditions and individual driving styles. Like its predecessors, this new model includes all of the luxury features, such as premium CD stereo, power windows, power-adjustable leather seats, electric mirrors, multiple airbags, alloy wheels, stability control, ABS brakes, and more.

 

 

#5 – McLaren 570S

Price: $184,900

Power: 562 hp

Torque: 443 lb-ft

The McLaren 570S includes a carbon fiber tub for strength and lightweight. This upgraded model can hit speeds of up to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds. The top speed of the 570S is around 204 mph. It flaunts an adaptive suspension and ceramic brakes. The dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission, and 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine are other optional add-ons. The 570S’s seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox provides tough competition for other 2016 luxury car models.

 

 

#6 – Mercedes-AMG GT

Price: $129,900

Power: 503 hp

Torque: 479 lb-ft

The AMG GT redefines luxury. It is fitted with 4.0-liter V8 bi-turbo engine. It can hit 60 mph from static in 3.7 seconds. Its speed tops out around 193-mph. Other features include:

  • 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission with Electronically Controlled-Slip Differential
  • Dynamic Suspension
  • Dynamic Exhaust System with an Electronically Controlled Variable Vane
  • Performance Steering Wheel with Shift Paddles
  • Dynamic Select with Multiple Steering Modes
  • Driver-Selectable Suspension

The AMG GT comes with a number of trim options and safety upgrades. The adaptive braking technology and collision prevention help prevent accidents. Other safety features include the rearview camera and blind spot assist.

 

 

#7 – Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG

Price: $150,625 – $218,475

Power: 621 hp

Torque: 738 lb-ft

The SL65 AMG is more of a high-performance roadster than a luxury sports car. This vehicle is designed for people that want nothing less than “awe-inspiring.” The SL65 is more potent than its predecessors. It is fitted with 6.0-liter, V-12 twin-turbo engine. The optional active suspension of this new model allows it to move from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The rear wheels of this vehicle get power through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The other highlights of this luxury car include altered alloy wheel designs, wood trim on the steering wheel, red brake calipers, an upgraded sound system, carbon ceramic brakes, and soft-close doors.

 

 

#8 – Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Price: $131,395

Power: 500 hp

Torque: 338 lb-ft

The GT3 RS model comes with a paddle-neutral feature. The RS also has a button to limit pit-lane speed. The rear axle ratio of the RS is shorter than the standard 911 GT3, which is an add-on for hastier takeoffs. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS can hit 60 mph from static in less than 3.1 seconds. Although the body of this upgraded model is similar to the 911 Turbo, the upgraded tires and wheels give the vehicle wider rear and front tracks. Despite the familial resemblance, this updated version manages to look meaner than its predecessors. The GT3 features sporting louvered vents mounted on the front fenders and a massive rear wing. Moreover, its brake rotors are larger than the standard models.

 

 

#9 – Porsche 911 Turbo S

Price: $182,700

Power: 580 hp

Torque: 553 lb-ft

The Porsche 911 Turbo S features a 20bhp power boost. This 2016 model is fitted with 3.8-litre, twin-turbo engine that includes new injection nozzles, higher fuel pressure, and altered inlet ports. The Turbo S reaches 62 mph in 2.9 seconds with a top track speed of 198mph. This car is much more fuel-efficient than its predecessors thanks to the revised gear change mapping and engine alterations. Like other Porsche 911 models, the only transmission option is a dual-clutch PDK.

 

 

#10 – Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

Price: $163,000

Power: 572 hp

Torque: 553 lb-ft

Fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, this all-wheel-drive supercar from Porsche can hit 60 mph in 3 seconds. Porsche claims a 2.0 mpg improvement, which makes up around 30.4 mpg. Its luxurious interior and exterior styling make it a pleasure to drive at any time, on any road. The Porsche 911 Turbo includes 20-inch center lock wheels. The makers have upgraded the up-front width by 9 inches and the rear by 11.5 inches.

 

Overall, the ten sports cars mentioned above are great options at the price range of $100,000 to $200,000. From the Aston Martin to the Porsches, there are cars that fit different desires and needs. Although each car has its own perks, the decision comes down to personal preference. Hopefully, this article helped you decide which car you’d prefer at this price range.

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