Audi’s A3 Droptop: A Posh Open Air Experience

2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet gaycarboys (2)

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2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet gaycarboys


Yes yes yes oh YES: smooth engines and DSG, quality feel of fittings, subtle styling, smooth roof

Oh dear me no: Needs special USB adaptor cable, cheap-feeling steering wheel, devilishly difficult satnav input, too many expensive options

All convertibles are fabulous, period. So what about this little Audi A3?

Audi is subtle and elegant. Driving an Audi is like being in the tasteful lounge room of an IT mogul. You are surrounded by leather and metal that looks to have been properly designed not merely picked from a parts bin.

It is built on VW’s new “scalable” MQB platform. Think of is as the base on which many different VW group models can be built. It can be upsized and can take many different engines which are all fixed at the same point so the engine, pedals and front axle are the same. VW uses MQB in Seat, Skoda, Audi, and of course Volkswagen and it has proved very capable. Claims that an Audi is A VeeDub in a pretty frock are just silly. Many car companies use the same engines and platforms throughout their ranges. It is simply an ingenious way to cut costs while keeping quality up.

We drove the diesel ($52,200) but you can get petrol (1.4 @ $47,600, 1.8 @ $52,200, 1.8 quattro @ $55,200) if you like something a bit quieter, not that the diesel is that noisy. Prices don’t include on-road costs.


You’ll notice the roof is a soft top and the A3 is the better for it. A soft tops bring back the halcyon days of motoring. Memories of boaters and blazers, parasols and plimsolls, and picnics served by powder-wigged flunkies are alive and well. Hard tops might be more secure but they take up vast amounts of space, ruin the shape of the rear end, and can’t be operated while the car is moving. The Audi’s roof can be opened or closed at up to 50kph. Its roof gives the car an elegant shape when deployed, and when stowed gives a sleek and smooth silhouette. It means that should you decide to lower the roof at lights, you can move off at any time without holding the traffic up. There is nothing worse than having to stop, apply the parking brake, wait for the roof to go up or down, then releasing the brake to drive off again. It puts the plebs into a frightful temper and they honk their horns and shout the most unpleasant obscenities.

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The head and tail lights feature LEDs which are thoroughly 21st century. They were done by a couple of blokes in white coats working on nothing else for eons, being sustained only by sips of Glühwein and bites of big German sausage. I’ve long thought Audi do the best lights in the business.

There isn’t a world of difference between the various trim levels because most of the difference is in options and engines. There is a front wheel drive diesel option, 2 petrol front wheel drive options, and a petrol all-wheel drive. All engines have turbo with little or no lag.


2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet gaycarboys (10)2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet gaycarboys (9)

Trés chic! What you see is leather, metal, and quality manmade materials. Only the steering wheel doesn’t quite feel up to par.

Rather thoughtfully, the front seat backs have neat (optional) hot air vents at neck level and seat heating for those frosty evenings. Unless the weather comes over all moody, no convertible should ever be driven with the roof down, in fact it ought to be law. Even with the roof down you always feel warm and cosy. The cabin’s cosy ambience is further enhanced with stylish flourishes which imbue a mood of mid-century-modern inner city loft. Apart from the slightly nasty feel of the steering wheel, the switches and levers feel like they’ll outlast humanity.

2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet gaycarboys (11)I particularly like the face level vents which have an art deco look about them. The LCD screen doesn’t have touch input, it uses a console mounted rotary knob with a touchpad on top. There is also a weirdly placed volume knob/toggle placed on the console nearby. That is also where the electric park brake and roof control switches are located. The LCD screen can be lowered if the mood takes you. A button will magically make it vanish into a dash-top compartment. I can’t think why you would ever need to do it as the screen displays all the important stuff including the satnav.

You won’t find much room in the back but you can still squeeze a couple of chaps in for short trips. The airport runs will be limited though as the bijou luggage space is fit for more for a duo of overnight bags than luggage for 4.

The tech stuff and the drive:

The 3 engines (110kw 1.4L petrol, 132kw 1.8L petrol and 110kw 2.0L diesel) come with VW’s double clutch DSG auto. The 1.4/1.8 front wheel drives get a 7 speed and the Diesel front wheel drive and Quattro All-wheel drive get a 6 speed, which seems odd. There are also the silly nomenclatures of “Attraction” and “Ambition” for the trim levels. It made me gringe a little. Can you imagine telling someone you have an Audi attraction or Audi ambition? No I think not.

I’m happy to report a sublime drive experience. The DSG can be put in sports mode by selecting drive, then giving the lever a second tug which then makes the gears hold longer. You can amp the engine up a bit by selecting the various drive modes with an aptly named Drive Mode selector switch. With sport mode selected in both, the chassis is firm, gears changes snappy, and throttle responses sharp. The pesky stop/start function is disabled too which when enabled, is annoying beyond belief. When you stop at lights the engine is extinguished and only starts again when the car thinks you might want to move off. Sadly it seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

In sports mode the open top touring is a joy but you might be surprised to learn city driving is as much fun. There is something engaging about being part of the busy traffic. With the windows and roof down you can still enjoy a degree of comfort on warm days. The air conditioning remembers your setting with the roof in either position. You might like the air on 17c with the roof down but 23c with the cabin enclosed. You won’t need to touch the climate controls, simply raise or lower the roof.

Comfort mode is nice around town with soft compliant ride. The acoustic hood lining is rather annoyingly part of the comfort package which also includes seat and neck heating, smart key and folding/dipping mirrors ($1990). The lane departure, high beam assistant, radar cruise control, side assist and Audi Pre Sense are part of the driver assist package ($1800). The really cool stuff like upgraded sound, SatNav (including rotary control with touch input), Auto Parking with rear view camera, and the Driver Information System make up the Technik package ($2650). You can get fancier lighting in the style package with LED and daytime running lights for a further 2 grand. If you add the S Line package with the sports suspension, fancier leather and fancier steering wheel, you’ll add $4,200 with 18” wheels or $5200 with 19” wheels. If you upgraded you A3 with these options, you’d add a further $13640. If you pay a further $1750, you’ll also get the smashing Bang and Olufsen sound system. A lot of dosh for sure but you can take as much or as little as you like. It is such a shame that the really good stuff isn’t standard especially at this price point. The Quattro is the top model and on the road is $60,986 in NSW. If you fully loaded your A3 the price jumps to, wait for it, $76,286.

You get auto parking and rearview camera standard in a 35 grand commodore ute, surely you can expect it in a 60K Audi? We drove the diesel at $57,691 (on road NSW) which was fitted with several options.

Creeping into driveways caused creaking noises in the roof which suggests a bit of body flexing but you don’t notice it on the road, and it is on the road where any misgivings evaporate. The A3 is fabulous. Most of the time was spent in the city and on freeways but it would be remiss of me not to have taken it through the Royal National Park.

Sunburn aside, tight turns, steep climbs, long sweeping bends and fast straights were simply glorious. Nothing is too much trouble for it and each request was obeyed without question. You never feel you’re beyond the A3’s capabilities. A road trip for two would mean having a large-ish case in the boot and the rest in the back seat. I’ve done this many times and while it looks untidy, being topless on a highway is the most fun you can have standing up.

There is surprisingly little wind with the windows down, but you are not at all ruffled with the windows up. Unless pressed, the engine is almost silent and the only thing you can hear is bell birds and cicadas. Open top cars are generally far quitter than you might think, and with the roof up have no more cabin noise than a sedan, but far more class.

We took the A3 out of a coolish night. We tested both the seat heating and neck warmers but it was rather like lighting a fireplace in the middle of summer just for the moody atmosphere. They worked well but brought on a midlife sweat.

You could easily drive a thousand K roadtrip and get out as fresh as a daisy. For me, flexibility is the true test of a car. Sunday drives, naughty breaks away, Bunnings, and sporty things on the weekend, and grocery shopping and drives to work during the week. If you can have a daily driver that is truly desirable, then so much the better.

Although diesels are not my preferred engine choice, I would not feel put out if it was my only option. We couldn’t get near the claimed fuel consumption of 4.6L/100. However, a trip from Sydney to Melbourne could still be done on a single tank of juice so does it really matter?



There were a few niggles but I enjoyed every moment in the Audi. It was quiet, comfortable and refined. I love A3’s less-posh sister, the Golf convertible. It is similarly fun to drive but is built on the old platform. I could live with either and the Golf is 15 grand cheaper. The real question is would I pay extra for the Audi? Well, if I was hard up for cash I would buy the Golf but I’d happily spend the extra on the A3. I’d need a few additional creature comforts as well so one or two packages would be essential.

Would I buy one? I’ve just said so haven’t I?




1.8Ltfsi Quattro

2.0L diesel

Price on road NSW






4cyl turbo on demand

4cyl turbo

4cyl turbo

4cyl turbo diesel







7sp S tronic

7sp S tronic

6sp S tronic

6sp S tronic

Fuel cons L/100k










Range Rover Evoque Convertible revealed testing at Europe’s largest construction project

Range Rover Evoque Convertible Crossrail gaycarboys (7)

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  • Land Rover officially confirms New Range Rover Evoque Convertible at 2015 Geneva Motor Show
  • Premium compact SUV convertible is the first vehicle to have driven Crossrail tunnels below London
  • First prototype demonstrates Land Rover capability in underground surroundings

Whitley, UK, 02 March 2015 – Land Rover has confirmed the world’s first premium compact SUV convertible will go on sale in 2016 by releasing a unique underground testing film.

Forty metres below the streets of London, UK, the first prototype of Land Rover’s new Range Rover Evoque Convertible was granted exclusive access to the 26-mile (42km) network of Crossrail tunnels for a development test with a difference. Engineers were allowed the opportunity to drive the disguised Evoque Convertible with its roof lowered in complete privacy.

The short film begins with the highly-capable convertible being lowered into the tunnel network by crane, before negotiating a range of obstacles through the 6.2 metre diameter tunnel.

Murray Dietsch, Director of Land Rover Programmes said: “The tunnels are still under construction, so we had a unique opportunity to explore the vehicle’s all-terrain ability in unchartered territory.”

The Range Rover Evoque is no stranger to subterranean adventure. At its launch in 2011 the five-door variant was driven through Edge Hill Tunnel in Liverpool, the first tunnel in the world to be bored beneath a major city.

Land Rover will announce further details about its exclusive new premium compact SUV Convertible later this year. It will be built alongside the five door and coupe Evoque at Land Rover’s Halewood plant in the UK and will be on sale in 2016.

Kia to launch SPORTSPACE concept and production models at 2015 Geneva Motor Show

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  • World premiere for Kia SPORTSPACE concept
  • First appearance of sporty new European Kia cee’d GT Line
  • First production application of Kia’s all-new downsized 1.0-litre T-GDI engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • Upgraded Kia Picanto on-sale globally in first half of 2015

(SEOUL) February 27, 2015 – Kia Motors Europe will unveil the all-new Kia SPORTSPACE concept, a pair of upgraded production models and its latest powertrain technologies at the 85th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on Tuesday.

The Kia SPORTSPACE concept will make its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, alongside the new Kia cee’d GT Line for Europe and the enhanced Kia Picanto, Kia’s A-segment bestseller.

The cee’d GT Line also marks the first application of Kia’s all-new downsized powertrain technology – an all-new 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) engine and the brand’s newly-developed seven-speed DCT (dual clutch transmission).

World premiere for striking new Kia SPORTSPACE concept
Created for long distance driving, the new Kia SPORTSPACE concept has been designed for fast and efficient travel, with maximum comfort and minimal stress.

Designed at Kia’s European design centre in Frankfurt, Germany, under the direction of Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer Europe, the SPORTSPACE features a striking, sporty wagon silhouette. The car is born out of a commitment to provide stylish and exciting transportation for four, without sacrificing the performance, sustainability and economy for which Kia is known.

The spacious and functional cabin is designed to be as light and airy as possible, with a full-length panoramic sunroof providing natural light throughout the interior. The cabin itself combines functionality with modern styling. Luxurious leather is with combined with contemporary technical materials – such as carbon fibre and milled, anodized aluminium – while the driver benefits from a configurable digital display.

Occupants sit on hand-woven single-piece gloss black leather seats, with generous space for all passengers, while the cargo area features steel rollers to more easily load the boot – these then retract into the boot floor when the engine starts, holding everything in place during the drive.

Recognisably a Kia due to its signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille, finely judged proportions and simple, clean surfaces, the Kia SPORTSPACE has a bold, dynamic shape with real road presence. At the same time, it offers a high level of interior comfort and substantial practical load space.

Sporty new Kia cee’d ‘GT Line’ for Europe
The new Europe-only Kia cee’d ‘GT Line’ specification combines the sporty nature of the high-performance cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT with the everyday versatility of the conventional cee’d range. The GT Line specification is available on all three cee’d body types sold in Europe – five-door cee’d, three-door pro_cee’d and cee’d Sportswagon.

The GT Line evolves the design language of the cee’d GT, inside and out, with ice-cube LED daytime running lights and deeper bumpers surrounding Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger-nose’ grille. Wider GT rear bumpers and twin exhausts, eye-catching side sills, LED lights and a new 17-inch alloy wheel design complete the car’s sporty looks. The GT-inspired cabin features a higher quality, sportier ambience, with its own unique black, white and grey upholstery, GT Line logos throughout the cabin, and the same piano black and leather steering wheel and aluminium alloy pedals fitted to Kia’s high-performance GT models.

The cee’d GT Line is available with a choice of two engines. The brand’s all-new 1.0-litre ‘T-GDI’ engine, producing 88kW and 172 Nm torque; and an upgraded version of the cee’d’s existing 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine, with power increased from 94kW to 98kW and torque from 265Nm to 285Nm. Both engines have been engineered to deliver lower CO2 emissions than existing engines in the current cee’d range, pending final homologation closer to the GT Line’s launch.

The gasoline engine is available with a six-speed manual transmission, while diesel buyers can choose from a six-speed manual or Kia’s all-new seven-speed DCT, which offers faster gear changes, lower fuel consumption and a smooth drive.

The Kia cee’d GT Line will go on sale across Europe in Q4 2015.

First application of Kia’s all-new downsized 1.0-litre T-GDI engine
Kia’s all-new 1.0-litre ‘T-GDI’ engine is a downsized, three-cylinder power unit engineered to improve fuel consumption and emissions while offering strong, willing performance and immediate responses to driver input. This is the first of Kia’s upcoming range of downsized engines, making its production debut in the new cee’d GT Line.

Kia’s new turbocharged engine, developed in-house at the company’s Namyang R&D centre in Korea, features a high-pressure direct injection system, advanced engine cooling and an integrated exhaust manifold for cleaner emissions and efficient packaging.

Immediate engine response and highly-efficient combustion were cornerstones of the engine’s development, fulfilling Kia’s sustainable engine downsizing strategy. The all-new 1.0-litre T-GDI engine will be fitted to other vehicles in Kia’s global model line-up in future.

All-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
The new cee’d GT Line features a second new technology debut for Kia, with the arrival of the brand’s all-new seven-speed DCT, available on GT Line models equipped with the upgraded 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine. With the engine’s torque increased from 265 to 285 Nm, the new DCT is engineered to effectively manage outputs of up to 300 Nm, achieving a better balance between the engine’s improved, more effortless performance and potential for greater fuel economy.

Like the new 1.0-litre T-GDI power unit, Kia’s new DCT has also been developed in-house and has been engineered with low fuel consumption and a sporty driving feel when in manual mode, and with comfort and smoothness when left in automatic mode.

Drivers specifying the new DCT for their cee’d GT Line will benefit from faster gear changes than a traditional torque-converter automatic transmission, as well as lower running costs. It is anticipated that the new DCT will offer lower emissions and higher fuel economy compared to the outgoing six-speed automatic gearbox.

Kia’s R&D teams have targeted a three to five per cent improvement in acceleration (0 to 100 kph) and five to seven per cent improvement to fuel efficiency. After the cee’d GT Line, the new seven-speed DCT will be available on a number of Kia’s models around the world in future, with similar gains expected in fuel efficiency and performance depending on its application in different models.

The best-looking car in its segment – the enhanced Kia Picanto
Kia Motors will show the newly-enhanced Kia Picanto in Geneva, which boasts a range of dynamic and visual improvements to maintain its competitiveness as a stylish A-segment city hatchback.

The enhanced Kia Picanto boasts redesigned front and rear bumpers to enhance the car’s bold looks, as well as updates to Kia’s hallmark ‘tiger-nose’ grille. The exterior design is boosted by a new 14-inch alloy wheel design and an optional sport pack for both three- and five-door variants. Inside, the Picanto is now fitted with new chrome accents surrounding the driver’s instrument binnacle and dashboard air vents, a new cloth upholstery pattern, and more modern fascia.

A range of optional premium features are being introduced to the Kia Picanto for the first time, including the latest generation of Kia’s AVN (audio-video navigation) system with a large 7.0-inch display screen. Customers can also specify a cruise control and speed limiter system to improve long distance comfort for the driver.

In addition, the enhanced model now offers a series of three interior colour packs – Red, Yellow and Brown – which allow owners to customize their Picanto and stand out from the crowd. Footwell illumination is fitted to the Picanto when buyers specify one of the three color packs.

Safety is further improved with the addition of optional larger (252 mm) front brakes, which reduce the car’s stopping distance to just 37 metres from 100 km/h – an improvement of 2 metres. The upgraded Picanto has received a series of small modifications to its 1.0-litre MPI (Multi-Point Injection) engine, ensuring the car meets strict Euro 6 emissions standards.

The enhanced model will go on sale globally through the first half of 2015.

All-out attack : the new Mercedes-AMG GT3


Rennwagen Mercedes-AMG GT3 Genf 2015; Racecar Mercedes-AMG GT3 Geneva 2015


Affalterbach. Mercedes-AMG will ring in the 2015 motorsport season at the beginning of March with the sonorous sound of the V8 engine: the new Mercedes-AMG GT3, with which the Mercedes-Benz sports car and high-performance brand is systematically expanding its motorsports presence, will be making its debut appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. Developed to comply with the FIA’s GT3 race rules, the racing car will compete in the world’s most hotly contested customer race series. Cutting-edge racing technology and spectacular design predestine the new challenger for victories. The new GT3 is based on the Mercedes-AMG GT, which is being launched in just a few days’ time. Following an intensive test phase, the new AMG racing car will be shipped to the first customer teams at the end of 2015.

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 will blaze new trails in customer sports with its intelligent vehicle concept. The excellent racetrack performance of the standard GT already provides the best possible basis for this. “We are entering a hard-fought and hotly contested competitive environment with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. The high technological standard and fair race rules are spurring us on to push to take pole position with our new customer racing car. You can only give credible proof of your ambition to lead if you’re beating the very best in the game,” commented Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Rennwagen Mercedes-AMG GT3 Genf 2015; Racecar Mercedes-AMG GT3 Geneva 2015Rennwagen Mercedes-AMG GT3 Genf 2015; Racecar Mercedes-AMG GT3 Geneva 2015

The standard Mercedes-AMG GT already provides the ideal prerequisites for the GT3 racing model, with its low centre of gravity, perfect distribution of weight and wide track width. For this layout guarantees precise cornering properties, high lateral acceleration, first-class agility, a high level of traction and low inertia when having to change direction fast. On the different race circuits, all of these attributes give the driver the advantages necessary to achieve top placements.

Even at a standstill, the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 is the embodiment of undiluted power. Its matt paintwork in designo selenite grey magno covers the muscular contours like a second skin. The widened vehicle body, the large air intakes, the diffuser and the huge rear aerofoil all signalise a desire to attack. Every modification to the bodywork has been made for the purpose of maximising power output and aerodynamic performance.

As in the roadgoing version, the vehicle structure of the GT3 consists of a very lightweight yet extremely rigid aluminium spaceframe, offering outstanding protection for the driver. The driver is further protected by the resilient carbon-fibre seat pan and an integral roll-over cage made from high-tensile steel. In order to reduce the vehicle weight further still, the engine cover, doors, front wing, front and rear aprons, sidewalls, side skirts, diffuser, boot lid and rear aerofoil are all made from particularly lightweight yet high-strength carbon-fibre.

Rennwagen Mercedes-AMG GT3 Genf 2015; Racecar Mercedes-AMG GT3 Geneva 2015

Cutting-edge motorsports technology for maximum performance
Powerful acceleration is ensured by the seasoned and now further enhanced AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine taken from the SLS AMG GT3. User-friendly technology, excellent reliability, long maintenance intervals and the high-revving naturally aspirated engine with low running costs made it the engine of choice for the new AMG customer sports model. The six-speed sequential racing gearbox for the GT3 is – as is the case in the standard GT – mounted in a transaxle configuration on the rear axle, thereby facilitating optimum weight distribution. They also have double-wishbone suspension – made almost entirely from aluminium – in common. These solutions once again demonstrate how closely linked regular production technology and racing technology are at AMG.

Holden launches capped price servicing on every Holden ever built … since 1948!

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  • Holden’s Lifetime Capped Price Service (CPS) program covers all Holden vehicles ever built from the ground-breaking 48-215 of 1948 to today’s world-class VF Commodore and beyond
  • Biggest CPS program in Australia, covering more than 2.5 million cars
  • Provides service price transparency for all vehicles, ensuring customers always know how much their service will cost
  • Lifetime CPS program launches 1 March 2015

Holden has announced the introduction of a new, ground-breaking Lifetime Capped Price Service (CPS) program – the largest of its kind in in Australia*.

Holden Craig Lowndes Special Edition 2014 gaycarboys

The Lifetime CPS program applies to every Holden ever built since the first Holden 48-215 in 1948, ensuring that all Holden owners clearly understand the maximum price that they can expect to pay at every scheduled service.

Holden’s Executive Director of Aftersales, Michael Filazzola said the unique Lifetime CPS program represents Holden’s commitment to providing customers a positive experience throughout their ownership experience, no matter when they bought their new, or used, Holden.

“Our all-encompassing Lifetime Capped Price Servicing program is an incredible program and demonstrates yet again our commitment to our customers. Holden owners from as far back as 1948 can enjoy total peace of mind and service price transparency,” said Mr. Filazzola.

“This is the biggest CPS program in Australia and underlines Holden’s ongoing commitment to world-class customer service and outstanding value.  Our lifetime CPS means that once customers buy a Holden, of any age, new or used, we have them covered.”

The easy-to-use Lifetime CPS calculator found on the Holden website, clearly displays the maximum service price of any Holden vehicle, ensuring that customers will not pay more than expected when visiting their Holden Dealer for a scheduled service.

In addition to the all-inclusive, Lifetime CPS program and to further demonstrate the importance Holden places on providing clear service pricing and customer value, the first seven services for all eligible new vehicles will be subsidised.

Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley said the introduction of the biggest CPS program in Australia was yet another sign of Holden’s long-term commitment to its customers and Australia.

“We are proud to be able to introduce the Lifetime CPS program and extend our outstanding servicing value to all Holden owners, regardless of whether they have bought a new or used car,” said Mr. Keley.

“The support and clarity that this program offers customers, combined with our fantastic product range and great-value offers means there has never been a better time to buy a Holden.

“Holden has more cars in more segments than ever before and we’re committed to Australia and our customers now and long into the future.”

Holden Lifetime CPS will be introduced on 1 March 2015.  For more details including vehicle eligibility and, terms and conditions please visit the Holden website.

Lifetime CPS is the latest step in Holden’s long-term plan to ensure a bright and successful future in Australia for the iconic Lion brand. In the past 12 months, Holden has also announced: 

  • Holden will have 24 major vehicle launches with 36 new powertrain combinations in the next five years
  • Launched the Holden Home Ground Advantage program – providing $5 million in grants over 10 years to local sporting clubs
  • Cascada convertible, Astra hatch and Insignia sedan will launch in Q2 2015;
  • Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria;
  • Holden’s Global Design Centre continues to contribute to local and global product programs;
  • More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe;
  • The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on with Holden’s next-generation large car; and
  • Holden will have a true sports car in its future product portfolio.

Audi presents the new R8 at Geneva: the sporty spearhead just got even sharper


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The second generation of Audi‘s high-performance supercar makes its debut in Geneva

  • 5.2 FSI engine with up to 449 kW, 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds
  • New multimaterial Audi Space Frame with a high proportion of aluminium and CFRP

Ingolstadt, February 26, 2015 – No model with the four rings is closer to motorsport, none is more striking and more dynamic. At the Geneva Motor Show, Audi is presenting the second generation of its high-performance R8 sports car. The mid-mounted V10 and a newly developed quattro drive ensure breathtaking driving performance, especially in the top-of-the-range version with 449 kW. The new R8 V10 plus reaches 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds, its top speed is 330 km/h.

A high-revving mid-engine with superior performance, a consistently lightweight construction concept and an extremely dynamic chassis with quattro drive system and fully variable torque control – this is what makes the R8 the sporty spearhead of Audi. The high-performance sports car has been newly developed from the ground up – it is more taut, more striking and more fascinating both on the race track and on the road.

“Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, it has always been a permanent feature of our brand’s character,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi.

“With the new Audi R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road. No other model of ours evokes more dynamic emotion. The new R8 V10 plus is therefore the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi of all time.”

Thanks to the close cooperation between racing engineers, racing drivers and developers, the Audi R8 has seen a clear performance increase – this benefits both the series production car and the R8 LMS developed on the basis of this.

The engines: 10 cylinders in two versions
The 5.2 FSI is available in two versions: one with 397 kW and another sporting 449 kW. The range-topping model accelerates in a mere 3.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and keeps going to its maximum speed of 330 km/h. The sound of the freely aspirated V10 engine, whose maximum torque is available at 6,500 rpm, has become even fuller and sharper. A 7-speed S tronic transmission and a newly developed quattro drive system transmit the power to the road. The distribution of the drive torque adapts to the respective driving conditions – in extreme cases, 100 percent of the torque can be transmitted to the front or rear axle. The new performance mode in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system enables adaptation of the most important ride dynamics parameters to the friction coefficient of the road.

Lightweight construction: only 1,454 kg dry weight
The top model R8 V10 plus has a dry weight of 1,454 kilograms. Despite a lot of extra equipment and greater rigidity, the new Audi R8 weighs up to 50 kilogram less than its predecessor. The multimaterial Audi Space Frame (ASF) ensures low weight and optimum axle load distribution. The combination of aluminium and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) in the Audi Space Frame opens up new dimensions with regard to weight, rigidity and crash behaviour. The aerodynamic underbody which integrates a long diffuser boosts downforce. The chassis, too, with its double wishbone suspension demonstrates how close the new Audi R8 is to motorsport.

Design: flat, wide, muscular
The design reflects the powerful sporty character of the R8. A visual distinguishing feature which also provides enhanced safety comes in the form of the standard LED headlights. For an extended field of vision and more brightness, Audi offers the laser spot for the high beam as an option – complemented by the dynamic turn signals at the front. Dynamic turn signals are standard at the rear.

In the new Audi virtual cockpit, the displays are digital. The most important controls are grouped together in button clusters on the steering wheel, also known as satellites. In the interior, the driver has the impression of sitting in a race car. The air conditioning controls emphasize the simplicity of the control panel with its floating effect. MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard.

New factory for quattro GmbH: production at the “Böllinger Höfe” site
The new Audi R8 is produced at a new quattro GmbH production site that was specially built for the sports car – the “Böllinger Höfe” site in Heilbronn. An elaborate manufacturing technique ensures that Audi-typical quality is produced.

Specialists: the Audi R8 e-tron and Audi R8 LMS
The second generation of the Audi R8 forms the basis for more models. The latest evolutionary version of the electrically-powered high-performance R8 e-tron sports car achieves a performance figure of 340 kW and a torque of 920 Nm. It sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. Thanks to new battery cells, the range could be more than doubled compared to the first version of this technological wonder – it is now more than 450 kilometres.

The new Audi R8 LMS race car was developed based on the new GT3 regulations due to come into effect worldwide from 2016. This year it will already be put through its paces at the factory. Despite massive performance increases, around 50 percent of its components are the same as the series-production car.

Sporty and elegant, versatile and connected – the Audi prologue Avant show car





  • New interpretation of the Avant philosophy
  • Groundbreaking infotainment architecture and entertainment concept
  • High-performance hybrid drive with 455 hp and 750 Nm of torque

Ingolstadt, February 25, 2015 – A design with dynamic elegance and the latest high-end technologies: The Audi prologue Avant show car with its stretched roof which the brand is presenting at the Geneva Motor Show gives a look into the future – with the new and emotion-filled design language that Audi has initiated with its study in the coupé, the prologue.

A glance into the future
In November 2014 at the Los Angeles Motor Show, Audi presented the Audi prologue concept car, giving a look to the brand’s future design language. Only four months later, the premium manufacturer is showing a variant of its visionary concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The Audi prologue Avant combines dynamics, form and function in a perfect synthesis. With a length of 5.11 metres and a width of 1.97 metres, the five-door car with its pioneering body concept positions itself clearly in the luxury class. At the same time, it offers unmistakable sportiness and variability. Technology is becoming an experience, both outside and inside: The driver and up to three passengers can enjoy a luxurious interior and are digitally connected thanks to a state-of-the-art infotainment architecture and connect technology.

Architecture and operation are united
The luxurious interior is kept in dark shades. Here as well, the show car offers a new experience: The straight-lined architecture forms one whole with its display and control concept. The consistent front of the dashboard is composed of three touch displays. Moreover, the driver and up to three passengers can establish a digital communication via two OLED-displays made from organic LEDs. The extremely slim, detachable OLED displays in the rear – a spin-off of the Audi tablet from the new Audi Q7 – provide passengers with on-demand information and entertainment.

Technology close to series production
The Audi prologue Avant uses technology which is close to series production. It is equipped with the plug-in hybrid drive from the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro which achieves even higher performance in the show car. 335 kW of system power output by the 3.0 TDI engine and the electric motor in combination make the car sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds. The purely electric range is 54 kilometres. The chassis is equipped with adaptive air suspension and the dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system – thus combining comfort, sportiness, handling and stability on a new performance level.