Audi will introduce its all-electric e-tron quattro concept SUV at the International Motor Show (IAA) 2015 in Frankfurt. Designed from the ground up as an electric car, the sport SUV provides a glimpse of the brand’s first large-series electric car. Employing the Audi “Aerosthetics” concept, which combines technical measures for reducing aerodynamic drag with creative design solutions, the concept SUV has movable aerodynamic elements at the front, on the sides and at the rear to improve the air flow around the car, while the aerodynamically optimized underbody is completely closed. The result? Audi says that the sport SUV has a cd value of 0.25, which would be a new record in the segment. The big news? Audi says that its new SUV will have a range of more than 310 miles (500 kilometers). The Audi e-tron quattro concept SUV is sized between the Audi Q5 and the Q7, with seating for four. The large lithium-ion battery is positioned between the axles and below the passenger compartment providing a low center of gravity and a balanced axle load distribution. Audi uses a development of its electrically-driven Audi R8 e-tron sports car for the drive system, which includes three electric motors – one on the front axle and two on the rear axle. Series production will begin in 2018.
This is the new 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe. It's powered by a 469HP AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine in standard trim, or you can get 503HP in the C63 S with the "I'm Going Real Fast, Mama" Package. It's got every trick, tweak and cool bits Mercedes-AMG can stuff in a C-Class. The Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe will be unveiled at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) and will be available in U.S. dealers beginning in the summer of 2016.
Acura unveiled some new colors on its new NSX sports car - Berlina Black and Nouvelle Blue Pearl - at The Quail, and released some specification information, but the big news is that the sports car has been delayed again. Now, the NSX won't appear in dealerships until next spring - at the earliest. In case anyone is keeping score, Acura first hyped the sports car at the Detroit Auto Show, back in 2010.
For the Lamborghini owners/intenders who think the Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster just isn't quite special enough, Automobili Lamborghini unveiled the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce Roadster at The Quail, now the preferred luxury midway for the super rich. The machine offers more performance with a power increase of 50 hp to 750 hp and a dry weight of 1,575 kg (3,472 lb), 50 kg (110 lbs) lighter compared to the Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster. This results in a power-to-weight ratio of 2.1 kg/hp (4.6 lb/hp). The naturally aspirated, 6.5-liter V12 produces 552 kW (750 hp) at 8,400 rpm and 690 Nm (509 lb-ft) of torque. It goes 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of more than 350 km/h (> 217 mph). The Roadster will be available in a limited series of 500 units worldwide and is the first series produced, open-top Lamborghini to bear the Superveloce moniker.
A new kit from Ford for Focus ST customers wanting more performance is now available. The new MP275 Focus ST mountune upgrade kit includes: mountune induction kit; mountune high-flow intercooler; mountune mTune handset and all installation hardware. The result? A street-legal, reliable, largely stock 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 275HP and up to 296 lb.-ft. of torque using 93-octane fuel. And when the parts installation and tuning are performed by an authorized Ford Performance technician, the Focus ST retains its factory warranty and is street-legal in all 50 states.
The People's AMG.
Editor's Note: Our "Quick Take" this week has us in a 2015 VW Golf R. First, full disclosure: The last time I gave VW a thought was sometime in the early 1980s, during my "anything used, cheap and cool is better than brand new, even if it does have a warranty" phase. It was a phase that lasted several years and cost me several thousand dollars. But among my consideration set at the time was the Karmann Ghia. I loved that car - still do, as a matter of fact. Problem was every one I looked at was usually extremely rusty and in need of much mechanical repair, but every one was also exceptionally cool. (I ended up with a BMW 2002 during that particular car search - also exceptionally cool but not quite as rusty - in case you are wondering.) But I digress. Fast forward to last week and the arrival of our 2015 Golf R. Except for those glory days of my youth, VW has never exactly been on my radar, and judging by the company's 2.2 percent market share in the U.S., it has been largely absent from just about everyone's radar. And for good reason when you think of their lineup. Not a lot coming out of Wolfsburg that really gets the pulse racing. That probably explains why I was so shocked by the Golf R. I know, I know, you gearheads out there have been all over the GTI for years. I kinda gave up on all that the day I sold my '68 Camaro (to an old boyfriend, no less). So I'll keep this brief. The 2015 Golf R is a fu-king blast. 292 horsepower? Check. Full-time all wheel drive? Check. A funky-cool interior that is damn-near perfect, while also being slightly German retro-cool? Check. An overall understated design that lets you travel under the radar (there's that word again!), except to those in the know? Check. According to VW, the 2015 Golf R is "the most powerful and fastest production Golf ever." VW also says that the competitive set for this car includes the BMW M235i, Mercedes-Benz CLA45AMG and Subaru WRX STi. I say there is no contest. There is now officially a VW on my radar. -WG
2015 VW R: $37,415 ($35,595 Base Price) Tornado Red; Titan Black Interior; 2.0-liter TSI, DOHC, turbocharged four-cylinder with direct fuel-injection and variable valve timing; 292HP and 280 lbs-ft of torque; 4MOTION all-wheel drive system with fifth generation Haldex coupling; Six-speed DSG automatic transmission, Driving mode selection; Four-wheel independent sport suspension; Progressive, variable-ratio, Servotronic electro-mechanical power steering; ESC Sport stability control system with Race Mode; XDS+ with Electronic Differential Lock (EDL); Four-wheel vented disc brakes with "R" logo on the front calipers (ABS); 18" alloy wheels with summer performance tires; Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-light System; Automatic headlights and daytime running lights; Rearview camera; Leather-wrapped, multi-function, sport steering wheel with shift paddles; 5.8" touchscreen AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 playback, 8-speaker sound system; SiriusXM Satellite Radio (limited time subscription included); Bluetooth mobile telephone connectivity; Media Device Interface; Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control; 12-way power adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support; Heated top front sport seats with leather surfaces; 60/40 split-folding rear seats with center armrest, cupholders and pass-through; Heated, foldable, power-adjustable side mirrors with side turn indicators; Leather-wrapped shift knob; Golf R special features including exclusive bumpers and DRL design; Exclusive grilles, air intakes, body panels and exterior trim; Dual-muffler, quad exhaust with chrome tips; Alloy pedals and metal door sill scuff plates; Electric parking brake; VW Car-Net Equipped - limited emergency services temporarily active on delivery, full trial available, subscription required; Destination charge, $820)
Adherence to Brand Image: As I said a few weeks ago, the VW Brand Image is so incredibly scattered and unfocused that I can't even begin to discern what it is at this juncture. I know what it should be, however, and that is premium driver-oriented machines with Germanic road star overtones offered at a more affordable price point. The Golf GTI is, hands-down, one of my all-time favorite performance machines. I've often said that if I was allowed only one car for the duration - something that could handle the daily slog while delivering enough driving fun to make it tolerable - the GTI would be at the top of my list. As for the Golf R? I like it even more than the GTI. Everything about it pleases me - the responsive power, the overall driving feel and the pure driving fun. It's that good. Even at $38,000, the Golf R delivers a incredible bang for your driving buck. Paint mine black and it would officially be The Autoextremist's favorite tear-around car. -PMD