Mon, 14 Oct 2013 13:31:00 EST
There was a time not so long ago when Quattro GmbH produced essentially one model at a time. But that time is behind us. These days it's expanding into a full-fledged performance division to rival Mercedes-AMG and BMW's M department. Quattro GmbH is currently building the Audi RS4 Avant, RS5 coupe and cabrio, RS6 Avant, RS7, RS Q3 and the TT RS coupe and roadster - not to mention the R8. And while it's showing no signs of slowing down, but the latest intel from across the pond suggests we shouldn't count on an RS version of Audi's flagship sedan.
Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:01:00 EST
This according to Car and Driver, which spoke to Stephan Reil, the chief engineer at Quattro GmbH. Reil says Audi works on a teutonically rigid performance formula: an RS model has to have 20 to 25 percent more power than the existing S version. Considering that the existing S8 makes 512 horsepower and the RS7 a solid 553, we're not sure Audi really needs anything more powerful. But by Reil's calculations, the RS8 would need to pack between 630 and 655 hp, which would put it well ahead of rivals like the 550-hp Jaguar XJR, the 540-hp BMW Alpina B7, the 523-hp Maserati Quattroporte and even the new 577-hp Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG - and in league only with the even more powerful S65 AMG, which in its outgoing form produced 630 hp.
The question then comes down to whether there are enough customers lining up for the S65 that Audi would want to poach away from Mercedes. Or perhaps more pertinently, whether it might end up just taking customers from the new Bentley Flying Spur, which is already offering 616 horsepower in an even more prestigious, if less performance-focused package. Either way you look at it, Audi is apparently steering clear.
Of all the factories which the Volkswagen Group operates around the world, the Audi plant in Neckarsulm may not be the very largest, but it is among the most diversified. That's where Audi builds versions of the A4, A5, A6, A8 and Q7 lines. It's also been home to the R8, but now the German automaker has moved supercar production to a new facility just a few miles down the road.
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:44:00 EST
Back in August, Audi stopped production of the R8 at its main Neckarsulm site and moved it to the new Böllinger Höfe site in Heilbronn, restarting production just three weeks later. The new assembly line brings together various workshops that had been scattered about the Neckarsulm complex under one roof, and will surely make production of the next-generation R8 that much smoother.
The Böllinger Höfe facility is about a quarter the size of the main Neckarsulm plant, and will also house a small-scale production line - similar, we gather, to what Audi subsidiary Lamborghini recently built in Sant'Agata Bolognese - and a massive, state-of-the-art logistics center with capable of handling 4,500 containers each day.
Audi started a revolution in the world of rallying when it paired an all-wheel-drive system with a turbocharged, five-cylinder engine and a rakish, three-door body. That car, the Quattro, didn't just upset the entire balance of the World Rally Championship, it (eventually) led to a transformative effect on the consumer car market.
But we're not just interested in this car simply because history has proven the UrQuattro to be important - we love its sharply creased looks, its offbeat soundtrack and its gravel-spitting abilities. Evidently, so does the crew from Petrolicious, as they've lavished their lenses upon the car. This particular model hails from 1983, and has covered a healthy 175,000 miles, says owner Manuel Leon Minassian. His first experience with the Ur (meaning "original") came in Beirut, where the car received plenty of praise from students at his school.
That first encounter led to a long passion for the Quattro, culminating in his purchase of this car four years ago. Take a look at Minassian and his Audi in the latest video from Petrolicious.