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      08-21-2006, 08:02 AM   #1
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New 2007 Audi A4



2008 Audi A4

Audi is counting down to the launch of its most important volume car, the new A4. Codenamed AU481, it rides on an all-new platform, which insiders vow transforms the car's dynamic abilities.
Revised engines serve up more power and torque, too. The A4 family is set to grow, too, with a sleek Sportback hatch added to the staple saloon and Avant.
First out of the blocks is the four-door, in autumn 2007.

Source > CarMagazine/UK
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      08-21-2006, 11:47 AM   #2
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I'm 99% certain the above is a photoshop... it looks very much like the one that Huckfeldt did recently for AutoBild...(I posted a rear shot below).
Huckfeldt has proved remarkably reliable in accuracy...especially with Audi models.
Note the short overhang on the front ala BMW. And much less awkward than the current model in integrating the new shield grille.
More muscular, better cohesion of Audi's new design dna.
If it turns out to look like this it'll be sweet, eh?


Huckfeldt's interpretation...
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      08-30-2006, 07:17 AM   #3
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AUDI's Future Models
AutoWeek | Published 08/29/06, 5:14 pm et

A3: A convertible is expected in 2008. The A3 line is scheduled to be freshened in about three years.

A4: The redesigned convertible bows in September. The A4 line is scheduled to be redesigned in 2008 but won't arrive in North America until 2009.

R S4: The high-performance model, based on the A4, went on sale in mid-May. It was given its own badge because of extensive changes engineered by Audi's quattro GmbH division. Under the hood is a 420-hp, 4.2-liter V-8. The only pieces of sheet metal shared with the A4 are the door and roof panels.

A5: The sporty four-passenger coupe, developed on the A4 platform, is expected to go on sale in Germany in 2007; U.S. sales are likely a year later. A convertible version is expected in 2008.

A6: A freshening is likely in 2008; a redesign is possible in 2009 or 2010.

A7: Audi is considering a large coupe that could debut in 2008 to compete with the BMW 6 series. A concept may appear at the Los Angeles auto show in December.

R S6: The high-performance sedan is scheduled to be redesigned in 2009 or 2010.

A8: Audi's flagship sedan is scheduled to be redesigned in 2009. The car is expected to grow in size and power - V-12 diesel and V-10 gasoline engines will debut.

TT: The redesigned TT coupe arrives in the United States in April or May; the roadster is due about six months later. The TT will be bigger, wider and pack a new 2.0-liter, direct-injection, four-cylinder turbocharged engine. A 3.2-liter V-6 will be available with Audi's quattro all-wheel drive. The TT will use a higher degree of aluminum to reduce weight.

R8: The mid-engine, two-passenger, awd sports car goes on sale in the United States late next summer. The car is based on the Audi Le Mans concept; it shares the aluminum spaceframe and much of the underpinnings with the Lamborghini Gallardo. Two engines are expected to be offered: a 420-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 and a 480-hp, 5.2-liter V-10. The R8's price will exceed $100,000.

Q5: The small BMW X3-sized crossover is expected in 2009.

Q7: Audi's big crossover, the seven-seat Q7, went on sale in June. It was designed primarily for the United States.

The range-topper, with a base sticker price of $50,620 including shipping, is equipped with awd; a 350-hp, 4.2-liter, direct-injection V-8 engine; and a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The entry model has a VW-designed 3.6-liter V-6.

Audi also is considering a 3.0-liter diesel model but has the same problem faced by most manufacturers: The diesel would not pass emissions standards in all 50 states. Audi plans to offer a diesel-powered hybrid in 2008.
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      08-30-2006, 07:50 AM   #4
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I like the direction Audi's going with their styling. If BMW doesn't come out with the 2/1-series coupe, the Audi TT is high on my list.
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      08-30-2006, 08:42 AM   #5
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New TT's roll-out debut in Berlin, Germany, 2006. AutoBild photo

I can't wait to see the TT in-person. The build quality on Audi's is incredible.
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      09-09-2006, 10:44 AM   #6
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Detailed Financial Analysis of Audi & it's Corporate Relationship to VW


Proposed Audi A5 Coupe/AutoBild

Ambitious Audi needs to crack America
New TT coupe will add excitement, but why are U.S. sales only at British levels?

Neil Winton/Autos Insider

Why don't Americans buy many Audis?
The company, a subsidiary of Germany's Volkswagen, has been fabulously successful in Europe where it threatens the hegemony of Mercedes and BMW. In important emerging markets like China, Audis are lusted after like any other important luxury brand.
But in the U.S. its sales are pitifully small.
"Last year, Audi's volume in (the U.S. and Canada) barely exceeded the volume it sold in the British market, despite the U.S. market being seven times the size of the British market," said Adam Jonas, analyst with investment banker Morgan Stanley in a recent report.
Audi lost about $260 million in North America last year, Jonas said.
According to Walt Madeira, British-based Europe Sales Forecast Manager for CSM Worldwide, Audi's ambitious global sales forecasts of 1 million vehicles by 2008 won't be achieved until 2010, while the 1.4 million global sales target by 2015, will be missed by a year.
Sluggish sales in the U.S. will be an important factor in this scenario, with CSM forecasting U.S. sales of 88,289 in 2006 (market share 0.52 per cent) gradually improving to 109,099 in 2009 (0.63 per cent) before tailing off again to 94,023 (0.53 per cent) in 2012. Meanwhile the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac and Lexus sell at least three times as much, with BMW sales expected to hit 307,378 by 2012, Mercedes 234,531, Lexus 474,984, and Cadillac 298,346. Maybe Audi's new TT coupe can help to turn around the negativity.

Eye-catching looks
The new TT was launched to the media here in Le Castelet, a village in the mountains behind the French Mediterranean port city of Toulon. The new car is an impressive amalgam of eye-catching looks, terrific performance and the latest technology. The previous TT was a much simpler design; the new one, which is longer, wider and higher, seems to be almost over-designed, all angles and cute little design features.
Performance from the 3.2 litre 250 bhp V6 engine is fabulous, with 0-62 coming up in 5.9 seconds. Four-wheel drive is standard. There is also a 4-cylinder 2.0 litre direct injection petrol 200 bhp powered front-wheel drive version which dashes to 62 mph in 6.6 seconds. Both versions can be ordered with the S tronic automatic gearbox, formerly known as the DSG gearbox and developed by VW, which uses two clutches and prodigious computer power to produce lightening quick changes.
Sales in the U.S. start early in 2007. No word yet on prices.
As you would expect from a company claiming to be at the cutting edge of technology there are some interesting new ideas in the TT. The body is built with a blend of aluminum and steel, cutting the weight by 48 per cent. Audi also introduces an optional suspension called "Magnetic Ride", using oil in the damping system filled with magnetic particles. This stiffens the suspension using an electric charge through the particles and it adapts much faster than conventional systems. This allows the suspension to sense when it needs to stiffen rapidly - in milliseconds says Audi - and protects the occupants from severe bumps or potholes. The driver can also select a stiff suspension setting to make driveability more sporty.
How many pilots are out there?
Dr Peter Wells, research fellow at the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at the Cardiff Business School in Wales, says the TT is not a typical reflection of Audi design.
"The TT always struck me as a car that somehow escaped the normal strictures of the product development system rather than arising from it. Audi remains an awkward combination of great engineering and dull styling. Yes, this has a certain appeal, but how many airline pilots are there out there," Wells said.
Wells also believes that the structure of Audi within the VW empire is a potential problem, because it has to compete for investment funds. He also worries about the quality of management. Audi has only just unveiled its huge new SUV, the Q7, while the market has been full of full-sized SUVs for years, and consumers are starting to look for smaller vehicles.
"It suggests a management seriously off the pace and out of touch with the market, unable to bring the right product to bear in sufficient time," Wells said.
The potential for the China "bubble" to burst was also a worry.

Indian summer
"I wonder whether Audi has been enjoying something of an "Indian summer", that has masked some more fundamental structural issues, notably the high cost of manufacturing in Germany, and while there is quite a good spread of sales around the A3, A4 and A6, it is hard to see where the real growth will come outside theses core segment areas," said Wells.
As part of its plan to raise sales to 1 million by 2008, and 1.4 million by 2015, Audi has announced several new products, including the A5 coupe due in 2007, which will compete with the BMW 6 Series and Mercedes CL, the Q5 small SUV in 2007, which will line-up against the BMW X3 and Land Rover Freelander, and the R8 mid-engined super car due in 2007. The big-selling BMW 3 Series rival the A4 will be renewed in 2008. The little A3 will be redesigned in 2009.
Morgan Stanley's Jonas has no doubts that Audi is in excellent shape, and will be able to raise its profits and sales to at least match management's predictions.
"Audi is in the initial stages of a strategic transformation as it enters a period of super-normal growth, higher margins and improved asset efficiency," said Jonas in the report.
Jonas reckons that Audi has been so successful, if it were valued separately from its owner VW, it would account for more than 100 per cent of VW's stock market value.

Worth more than VW
"Our fair valuation of Audi represents over 100 per cent of Volkswagen Group's current stock market value. We now assume that 6 per cent (profit) margins are sustainable at Audi versus 5 per cent previously. We also believe Audi's target of 1 million sales by 2008 is conservative," said Jonas.
The 1.4 million sales by 2015 will be met, according to Jonas. The new models will improve the profitability of the loss-making North American operation. Jonas wonders if Audi could eventually split from VW and become an independent car maker.
"Audi remains remarkably independent from VW group in terms of manufacturing, engineering and distribution. Apart from (China) the limited A3 assembly in Belgium and Q7 production in Bratislava (Slovakia), there are no other instances of VW and Audi making cars in the same factory. VW offers Audi cost advantages, but brings revenue and strategic disadvantages," said Jonas.
Jonas acknowledges the problems posed by an under-performing U.S. market, where the Audi dealer network suffers from below-average profitability. Audi is trying to recruit more exclusive dealers. The dollar's weakness has also dragged down profits in the U.S., while Lexus and Infiniti, both big players in the U.S. but bit players here, are planning to crank up sales in Europe to threaten the incumbents like BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

VW link
CSM Worldwide's Madeira agrees that China and the U.S. are the keys to Audi long-term success. In the U.S. Audi's link with down-market VW is also a sales inhibitor, and this has made it difficult for Audi to raise its brand perception.
"At the moment, BMW and Mercedes generate more enthusiasm in North America. Mercedes is the ultimate in luxury and BMW is the ultimate driving machine. Lexus is refinement. The Audi North American slogan is "Never Follow". But the fact is that new Audi product initiatives usually follow what the competition already offers," said Madeira.
"Audi must distance itself more from the VW brand in the U.S. and stop being perceived as a glorified VW and stand up to its own value creation. The luxuriously priced VW Touareg and Phaeton overshadow the Audi Q7 and A8 (luxury sedan). The distance in brand perception has been achieved in Europe and China," he said.
There is another historical issue - the unintended acceleration controversy - which may still be undermining Audi in the U.S. In the 1980s some 1,200 Audi 5000s were involved in accidents which were claimed to have been cause by the cars surging forward suddenly and inexplicably. The issue was taken up by the current affairs programme "60 Minutes" on CBS TV, and Audi sales crashed from around 75,000 in 1985, to about 14,000. Later investigations failed to find any fault with the cars.

A word in your ear
According to Madeira, the opinion of dealers in the U.S. have much more impact than those in Europe.
It wouldn't be impossible to imagine an unscrupulous dealer quietly reminding customers of rival brands of the "unintended acceleration" incident.
Madeira said the Audi TT is likely to be a success because of its cult status globally, but peak demand is only likely to be around 60,000.
"The Audi TT is unique and shouts out quality vehicle and generates enthusiasm. Audi is moving in the right direction, but it still trails Mercedes and BMW on brand value and image. Sales must rise in North America to accompany the success in Europe," Madeira said.

Neil Winton is a columnist for Autos Insider. He lives in Sussex, England.
You can e-mail him @neil.winton@btinternet.com
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      09-10-2006, 11:09 AM   #7
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I have a feeling a lot of Bimmer owners are Audi fans- I know I am.
And I wince every time I see Audi make awful decisions- dithering away
over introducing new models while corporate VW continually pulls the plug
on Audi's projects.
Their lineup looks like it'll improve very fast...new TT, A5 coupe, new A4.
the R8 uberauto....great stuff.

In the meantime my one and only local Audi dealer has been through 3 sets of owners in the last 6 years.
The showroom is 2 converted double-wide housetrailers shoved together...honest....this in a city of nearly 2 million people.
Audi of NA nixed a deal for the local BMW dealer to buy the Audi franchise a coupla years ago.
Instead Audi sold it to a mid-west super-chain who put nothing into improvements, busted the mechanics union, and recently re-sold it to a chain that until now has never sold any premium German brands.
(it was said that the land the dealership sits on is worth many times what the dealership can turn over in profits.)
This may not be typical of Audi in your area...I sure hope not, but how Audi N/A could let a festering problem in a top-30 market go on for years is enough for me to seriously admire Audi's...from afar.
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