As the most important electronics trade show in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) serves as a magnificent stage for innovations. Last year, Audi was the first premium automotive manufacturer to present its technologies for in-vehicle user interfaces and infotainment under the name Audi connect.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, gave the keynote speech to open the exhibition, which received much attention. With a view towards strategic partner Nvidia, Stadler set the direction: “We want to integrate the best available technologies and partners and adapt them to the automotive world. We also want to further increase our rate of innovations.”
Audi at the CES 2012
In its appearance at the CES 2012, the brand is proving how its Audi connect strategy is achieving its objectives. The interior model of the new Audi A3 showcases innovative production solutions such as the touchwheel and the Audi modular infotainment platform, whose core component is the T 20 processor from Nvidia.
The model makes it possible for visitors to experience the operating concept for the new Audi A3 with powerful 3D graphics. The new technologies in the A3 can also be experienced in another exhibit, an operating podium; the focus here is on the Audi connect online services.
Another podium, based on the Audi A7 Sportback, presents the current Audi connect portfolio as found in series production today.
Audi is depicting the further development of display and operating concepts in a third exhibit as well. It clearly illustrates the interplay of the current and future head-up displays for drivers and front seat passengers with centered projection visible to both – controlled via the innovative gesture control system.
In a simulator featuring the look of the Audi A6, visitors can get to know the current driver assistance systems. In addition, several complete vehicles will be on display: the technology study Audi urban concept, the A7 Sportback and the A8 L W12 The large models provide an insight into the current Audi connect portfolio.
Audi A7 Sportback
The five-door Audi A7 Sportback, 4.97 meters (16.31 ft) long, combines the elegance of a coupe with the comfort of a sedan and utility of an Avant. Its athletic car body consists of around 20 percent lightweight aluminum, which makes a crucial contribution towards its low base weight of 1,695 kilograms (3,736.84 lb). As an option, Audi can deliver headlights in progressive LED technology. The cargo space under the long trunk lid has a capacity of 535 liters (18.89 cu ft), and when the rear seatbacks are folded down it grows to 1,390 liters (49.09 cu ft).
The interior of the Audi A7 Sportback continues the taut sportiness of the exterior. Here, each and every detail documents the care with which Audi builds its cars. High-end materials appeal to the senses, and sophisticated ambient lighting is available upon request. The Audi exclusive program stocks many individual solutions, and the exhibited vehicle shows some of them. The front seats offer optional ventilation and massage functions – and the five-door coupe delivers impressive comfort and a smooth driving experience.
Audi offers the A7 Sportback with a choice of five V6 engines: two gasoline and three TDI units. They cover a power range from 150 kW (204 hp) to 230 kW (313 hp) and their efficiency is impressive. They transfer their power to either the front wheels or all four wheels via a variable multitronic, an S tronic with seven gears or an eight-speed tiptronic transmission.
The quattro drivetrain with torque vectoring works flexibly and dynamically; an optional sport differential actively distributes power between the rear wheels. The Audi A7 Sportback rides on wheels with 18 to 20 inch diameters, and their wheel control arms are made of aluminum. The electromechanical power steering system contributes to the vehicle’s excellent fuel economy. Dynamic steering, which adapts its steering gear ratio to vehicle speed, will follow shortly. The Audi drive select dynamics system is standard and can be supplemented by an optional adaptive air suspension with damping control.
One of the most appealing optional features of the Audi A7 Sportback is its head-up display. The MMI touch system combines a hard-drive based navigation system with the convenience of touchpad input. Audi’s entire line-up of assistance systems and Audi connect technologies are available as options in the A7 Sportback.
Audi A8 L W12
The Audi A8 L W12, the flagship of the brand, sets standards for luxury, dynamic performance and efficiency. Its 5.27 meter (17.29 feet) long body – with timelessly elegant styling and a long wheelbase – was constructed using Audi Space Frame (ASF) construction methods and consists nearly entirely of aluminum. It weighs just 241 kilograms (531.31 lb); in steel it would weigh about 40 percent more. Headlights in innovative LED technology can illuminate the road as optional equipment.
The 6.3 FSI, whose twelve-cylinder engine is configured in a W form, outputs 368 kW (500 hp) and can transfer 625 Nm (461.0 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft at 4,750 rpm. It accelerates the Audi A8 L like a supercar: the sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) is over in just 4.7 seconds, and the car’s top speed, which is electronically limited to 250 km/h, is just a technicality. Combined fuel consumption is 12.4 liters per 100 km (18.97 US mpg), significantly less than that of its comparable rivals.
The 8-speed tiptronic achieves a wide range of gearing. Its fully electronic control is operated from an elegant selector lever or by paddles on the steering wheel. Its quattro permanent all-wheel drive system operates with a sporty rear-drive emphasis; an optional sport differential dynamically distributes power between the rear wheels.
The A8 L W12 simultaneously offers both luxurious ride comfort and sporty handling. Its wheel control arms are made of aluminum. The standard adaptive air suspension with damping control is integrated in the Audi drive select dynamics system. The optional dynamic steering system rounds out the range of chassis options.
The interior of the A8 L captivates with its light linework, craftsmanship quality and extraordinary attention to the smallest of details. The car’s interior comfort is first class – from the ambient lighting to the four-zone automatic air conditioning system. The range of assistance and safety systems also leaves nothing to be desired.
In the rear seating area, Audi installs two individual seats with power adjustment and seat heating, as well as an optional continuous centre console. Seat ventilation and massage functions are also offered as options, and a folding table and cooling box make life on board even more enjoyable.
The top seat version is the relaxation seat with an electrically adjustable footrest. It comes with a complete package of all available luxury solutions, including a rear seat entertainment system with monitors and Bluetooth headset.
A highlight of the infotainment platform is the Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen, which boasts over 1,400 watts of output power and 19 loudspeakers. The optional Bluetooth online car phone connects the large sedan to the Internet, and all Audi connect services are available.
The Audi urban concept
The technology study Audi urban concept – which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011 – was designed as a vehicle for contemporary, lifestyle-oriented people who live in metropolitan areas. The electrically powered showcar with its slender body weighs just 480 kilograms (1,058.21 lb) and was built by Audi ultra-lightweight construction methods. It combines the elements of a race car, roadster, fun car and city car to come up with a single concept that focuses on the pure essence of driving.
The outer skin of the Audi urban concept consists of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). The occupant cell is a mix between a CFRP monocoque and an aluminum structure; it integrates the lower sub-assemblies of the two seats.
The roof slides open and can remain open while driving. Audi has developed a convertible Spyder in parallel to this body variant. Its identifying characteristic is its band of low wrap-around windows, and its doors open diagonally upward.
Two persons sit next to one another in the cabin with a slight offset; they sit in a low sporty position. All controls and materials follow the principle of Audi ultra-lightweight construction. The steering column of the innovative 1 + 1 seater is free-standing – it is made of a sturdy profile with elegant styling, and it is mounted nearly horizontally. The small hexagonal steering wheel has buttons and turn wheels for user control, including for the electric drive’s driving program. A display in front of the driver displays all key information.
The lithium-ion battery is mounted transversely behind the seats; it stores 7.1 kWh of energy. The two electric motors between the rear wheels produce a total of 15 kW (20 hp) of continuous power and 47 Nm (34.67 lb-ft) of torque – enough for dynamic traffic light sprints. The driving radius in the European driving cycle is about 75 km.
The chassis of the Audi urban concept is also high quality. Wishbones made of aluminum and CFRP are used to control the independently suspended 21-inch wheels; they are covered by wrap-around protective panels in which LED turn signal strips are integrated. The springs and dampers are designed in pushrod technology, and four disc brakes handle braking.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.