The 2010 A8 is being pushed back from a September debut at the Frankfurt auto
show, where the launch was originally intended to take place. The car instead
will be unveiled some time after December’s Los Angeles auto show; we’ve heard
it may happen at an exclusive event in Florida. The Detroit auto show will be
the first to host the new A8.
Launching the new A8 away from an auto
show will make sure the new car isn't buried among a flurry of international
unveilings. Audi wants to play up the design theme, and the aluminum-structured
A8 will be another large step forward for the brand, particularly inside the
cabin. It will boast, for example, the next-generation MMI system, which will
then trickle down to other models.
Audi also doesn't want to kill sales
of the current model. The A8 is still selling well in several markets, and a
Frankfurt launch might bring orders to a halt before the new A8 arrives in
dealerships in the spring of 2010. The A8 is one of the most significant cars
for the brand; in Europe and China, the current model is a legitimate
alternative to the S-class and the 7-series. Positioned as the sportiest luxury
sedan, it was quickly seen as a welcome alternative to former BMW customers
alienated by that brand’s polarizing styling and iDrive system.
next model, Audi wants to catch up in the U.S. and the rest of the world, too.
Expect an engine lineup similar to the current one, including a naturally
aspirated W-12. According to one Audi insider, the main reason for delaying the
A8 is the economy; it’s not a good time to be launching ultraluxury cars that
you expect to sell in high volumes.
A5 Sportback and R8 Spyder Coming to
The A5 Sportback, details on which are due soon, won't have
that last problem. A hatchback sedan based on the A5 coupe, it will be a niche
vehicle and play up Audi's emphasis on design. Unlike its somewhat plump
competitor, the upcoming BMW 5-series Gran Turismo, the A5 Sportback looks
sleek, with low, sporty lines.
The A5 Sportback will be exhibited at the
Frankfurt show, as will the R8 Spyder. With its fabric roof, the R8 Spyder takes
a classic approach. The conversion looks so good that you might think the R8 was
styled with a topless version in mind from the beginning, which wasn’t the case,
according to chief exterior designer Stefan Sielaff.
hatchback sedan, the A7 Sportback, will be unveiled well into 2010. The Audi
Sportback concept unveiled in Detroit this past January provides a clear idea of
what the finished product will look like. Significantly longer than the A5
Sportback and more independent in style, it will be positioned between the A6
and the A8.
A1 and A2, and Away We Go . . .
Far bigger news for
2010 is the A1, a compact, three-door hatchback that shares many components with
the new Volkswagen Polo. It is positioned well below the A3, which itself is due
to be replaced in 2011. That year will also see the launch of a five-door A1,
and the Q3—which recently was confirmed for production—a crossover based on the
Golf/A3 platform and built by VW's subsidiary SEAT in Spain. The A6 is due to be
replaced at that time, as well.
So Audi has a lot on its plate until
2011. What's next? Audi is considering its own variation of the tiny Volkswagen
Up, and one possibility on that platform is an all-electric version. Another
possibility is a version powered by a conventional combustion engine that could
achieve well over 110 mpg in the European cycle.
currently being explored is a second-generation A2. The fully aluminum A2—sold
in Europe from 1999 to 2005—was a commercial failure despite sales of around
175,000 units, but it is nevertheless highly regarded as a technological
breakthrough for small cars. It flopped because it was expensive and because it
wasn’t particularly sporty; for most of its life, the top two engines made a
measly 75 hp. Audi added more powerful engines late in the A2’s life, but they
weren’t enough to spur success and the car was axed.
Now the A2 may come
back. There are currently three styling proposals, but whichever is chosen, the
car would again be a technological showcase when (and if) it launches in 2013 or
2014. It would, however, be developed with production costs in mind, and
therefore a full aluminum body is unlikely. Audi could instead opt to use an
aluminum/steel hybrid body, as it does with the current TT.
In our talks
with Audi engineers and designers, their mood is noticeably upbeat despite the
current economic crisis. Styling and R&D are working in harmony, and our
feeling is that if Audi can continue to produce the types of vehicles we’ve seen
recently, BMW and Mercedes will have a lot to worry about—and soon.
Also check out the Audiphone that will act as a phone , mp3 player, GPS navigation system,remote -car-starter, a car-finder a & a storage device. It seems that the the phone will be unveiled during the Tokyo Motor show along with the A1.
Source : Caranddriver.com, AutoBlog via Rev85.com