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Auto blogWed, 19 Nov 2014 10:40:00 EST
Le Mans icon Tom Kristensen is retiring. The Danish driver, who was an integral part of Audi's absolute dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, captured a record-breaking nine wins at the legendary endurance race, along with six overall victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring in a career that spanned 26 years.
"Over the past couple of months, my thoughts of retiring have been stronger, and therefore, it feels right to inform you today that I am retiring from motor racing," Kristensen told Autosport. "I still feel I am in peak physical form and possess the necessary mental toughness both in and outside of the car: it has been important for me to stop while I am still strong and able to deliver top performances at Audi."
While the World Endurance Championship's season-ending race at Interlagos on November 30 will be Kristensen's last as a driver, it won't be the end of his long-running association with Audi. According to Autosport, TK will take on a new role as an ambassador for the German marque and will work with team's drivers in an unspecified role.
Audi has done an incredibly poor job of keeping the third-generation Audi TT a secret. The first images of the car's rear leaked out late last week, and Audi released its own teaser video for the car last week, too, showing off its aluminum body. Now, the first official photos have surfaced out ahead of the car's debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show on March 4. The official photos are practically identical to the renderings from two weeks ago.
However, it appears that Audi has been able to keep one secret up its sleeve. If you look closely at the TT's grille, the badge appears to read TTS. It also has chrome and brushed aluminum trim on the mirror caps, rear diffuser and front air dam. The interior is also quite similar to the concept interior of the new TT was first shown in January at CES. So, images of the actual TT are likely to still be fresh when the car rolls across the stage at Geneva.
Check out all of the leaked photos in the gallery, and official details about the 2015 TT are expected in the next 24 hours.
It's safe to say that, at least as far as automotive companies go, Audi's Sport Quattro Laserlight concept car is stealing the show here at CES in Las Vegas. The car's 700-horsepower hybrid powertrain and carbon-fiber bodywork mean that it would go like stink if it were ever allowed to turn a wheel, and the shapely coupe stance looks every inch the part of a modern-day super coupe, too. Better yet, the laser-powered headlamps that are the crowning glory of the concept car are actually slated for production at some point in the not-distant future.
We're talking about lasers here, folks. I don't know about you, but if you had told the 10-year-old, Real Genius-watching version of me that there'd one day be a car with lasers for headlights, well, I'd have wanted one of those things, pretty bad.
Anyway, Audi's lasers may not be able to ignite a giant pack of Jiffy Pop from space, but they are set to be the new standard for illumination on the road. The laser lights are nearly three times as bright and beam twice as far as current, top-notch LED high beams and were called "safer, sharper and more efficient" compared with existing technologies. That "safer" part works on two levels: the brighter beams offer far better visibility, naturally, but Audi also tells us that they won't dazzle oncoming drivers like traditional high beams will. That means you can drive with the maximum illumination at all times. Cool stuff, here at CES.