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Auto blogFri, 25 Jan 2013 17:45:00 EST
As the Audi A3 sedan gets closer to its debut, Audi has camouflaged prototypes to take it on the streets for final testing. Last time we saw the A3, it was testing almost in the buff, but it was on a closed track so our spy shooters were kept at quite a distance.
Now that the newest Audi sedan is testing on public roads, our latest batch of spy shots gives us a more detailed look at the entry-level luxury player despite the swirly camo. Except for the oversized wheels and the fancy exhaust outlets and door mirrors, the production version of the car should look almost identical to the A3 sedan concept we saw in Geneva a couple years ago. Some of the details we can see include a good-sized panoramic roof that stretches almost halfway into the rear passenger space and signature Audi LED-accented headlights and taillights.
You can't debate Audi's record in endurance racing. With 12 victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it comes second only to Porsche in the history books of the famous endurance race - only in Audi's case, all of those victories have come in the last 14 years, losing only twice: once to its partner team Bentley in 2003 and once to rival Peugeot in 2009. It's won the FIA World Endurance Championship in both of the seasons it's run so far, and has won championships in the European and American Le Mans Series, too.
That's quite a record to defend, and defend it Audi will with an evolved LMP1 racer next year. Only a week after tying up its second consecutive world championship, the German outfit is already back at Sebring this weekend testing the successor to the all-conquering R18 e-tron Quattro. Unfortunately as the new United SportsCar Championship doesn't include LMP1s, the only chance we may have to see it competing here in the United States will be at the 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas in September.
Audi is keeping mum on the details for the time being, releasing only this one photo and promising to reveal further details before the end of the month, but we can already discern a more streamlined shape, revised aero and reprofiled headlamps among the changes from the outgoing R18. One way or another, with Toyota upping its game and Porsche returning to top-level competition next season, Audi may be in for its toughest challenge yet - but you can bet it won't take it lying down. Scope out the press release below and watch this space for more.
Rumors have been swirling that Audi will unveil the next-generation TT at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, but now it seems as if European hot hatch fans will be getting a car of their own from the German automaker. Images of the S1 Sportback Quattro have leaked out today, giving us our first taste of the real thing after seeing the camouflaged version a few months ago.
Audi may be planning to release official details about the S1 and refreshed A1 tomorrow and debut them publicly in Geneva. The S1 is expected to use the Volkswagen 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with about 230hp, all-wheel drive and a choice of six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmission. It is basically supposed to be Golf GTI in a tiny package with all-wheel drive.
While it is highly unlikely we are getting any version of the A1 on these shores, it's always fun to see the cars lucky European enthusiasts enjoy.