Audi uses the CES, the world's most important electronics trade show, as a stage for its innovations, including vehicle models. At the show this year are the A3 Sedan, the A3 Cabriolet, the new Audi S8 and the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept, which is making its world premiere in Las Vegas.
A tradition of futuristic technology –
The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept show car
An evolution of the Sport quattro concept, the plasma red coupe combines the power of the historic Sport quattro with dramatic elegance. Its body is perched tautly over the large wheels. The overhangs are short, the proportions sportily balanced. With a wheelbase of 2,784 millimeters (109.61 in), it is 4,602 millimeters (181.18 in) long. With 1,964 millimeters (77.32 in), the two-door model is very wide and at just 1,386 millimeters (54.57 in) extraordinarily low-slung.
With the double headlights, a typical quattro feature, Audi demonstrates the future of lighting technology with a combination of LED and laser light. Two flat, trapezoidal bodies can be seen inside the headlights. The outer body uses LEDs and a diaphragm to produce the low beam; the inner body produces the laser high beam. The high-performance laser diodes are significantly smaller than LED diodes, measuring just a few micrometers in diameter. With a range of nearly 500 meters (1,640.42 ft), the laser high beam shines roughly twice as far and three times brighter than an LED high beam. Audi once again underscores its leading role in automotive lighting with this pioneering technology, which will also be used on the race track in 2014 in the R18 e-tron quattro.
The flat, angular C-pillars of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept and the blisters over the fenders are further design cues reminiscent of the classic Sport quattro. The broad, boldly sculpted shoulders have been reinterpreted to make the chassis more dynamic than ever. Throughout the car, sharp contours frame tautly muscular surfaces. The interplay between convex and concave curvatures define the coupe's athletic character.
The hexagonal Singleframe grille also provides a glimpse at the future design of the sporty production models. Its lower section is nearly virtually upright; the upper section follows the line of the engine hood. The grille insert is a typical racing solution. The low grille emphasizes the width of the show car. Two large, vertical blades divide each of the massive air inlets. Their form is taken up by the creases in the engine hood. The splitter made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) is placed far to the front, as with a race car.
At the rear of car, the combination of the flat greenhouse and the broad shoulders define the proportions. Another distinctive element is the CFRP diffuser, which extends far upward. Its upper section is honeycombed, whereas the lower section houses two large, oval tailpipes. Mounted on a black CFRP facing, the tail lights are rectangular – another quattro styling cue. A solid crossbeam reinforces the luggage compartment, which has a capacity of 300 liters (10.59 cu ft).
Finely penned details round out the dynamic look of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept. The flared sills are made of CFRP; the power door handles extend automatically to meet an approaching hand. The center-locking wheels feature a five twin-spoke design.
Lightweight construction exemplified: the interior
The theme of elegant sportiness carries over into the generous interior of the show car with dark gray tones and clean lines. The design and choice of materials demonstrate Audi's lightweight construction philosophy. Viewed from above, the slim instrument panel is reminiscent of the wing of a sailplane. The support structure of the interior is a CFRP shell that also serves as a storage compartment in the doors.
A line below the windshield encircles the driver and passenger, and includes functions such as the door openers. The competition bucket seats with folding backs, high side bolsters and integrated head restraints together with the two rear seats offer space for four. The air conditioning control unit is integrated into the air vents. Intensity, temperature and air flow can be controlled using a single element. The slim display in the center air vent displays media data in addition to the air conditioning settings.
New solutions: display and control elements
The interior of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept is focused entirely on the driver. The multifunction sport steering wheel hints at future sporty production solutions. It has two buttons that enable the driver to influence the hybrid drive system, a red start-stop button, a button for the Audi drive select system and a “View” button for controlling the Audi virtual cockpit.
All key information is displayed on the large Audi TFT display in high-resolution graphics with a three-dimensional effect. A cutting-edge Tegra 30 processor from Audi's partner Nvidia renders the graphics. The driver can switch between different modes.In MMI mode, displays such as the navigation map or media lists dominate; in the classic view, the speedometer takes center stage.
Nearly every function of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept can be controlled via the updated MMI terminal on the center tunnel console. Its large rotary/push button control, which also serves as a touchpad, can be moved in four directions. Four buttons – Main Menu, Function Menus, Options and Back – are arranged around it on three sides. The new control system corresponds with a menu structure whose intuitive character is reminiscent of a smartphone. All frequently used functions can be accessed extremely quickly. Most text input can be completed in just a few steps thanks to a new free text search function. Four characters are generally all that are required for a navigation address. The driver can quickly scroll through lists or zoom in and out of the map using multitouch gestures on the touchpad. Voice control has also been thoroughly updated.
Powerful and highly efficient: the drive system
The plug-in hybrid drive makes the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept stunningly dynamic. System output is 515 kW (700 hp); system torque is 800 Nm (590.05 lb-ft). Power flows through a modified eight-speed tiptronic to the quattro powertrain, which features a sport differential on the rear axle. According to the applicable fuel consumption standard, the show car consumes on average 2.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (94.09 US mpg), a CO2 equivalent of 59 grams per kilometer (94.95 g/mile). The combustion engine is a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 developing 412 kW (560 hp) and 700 Nm (516.29 lb-ft) of torque. The cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates four cylinders under part load, and a start-stop system make the sonorous eight-cylinder unit very efficient. Located between the 4.0 TFSI and the transmission is a disc-shaped electric motor producing 110 kW and 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft). It draws its traction energy from a rear-mounted lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 14.1 kWh, enough for an electric range of up to 50 kilometers (31.07 miles). It is charged via an Audi wall box, which ensures the optimal feed of energy.
An intelligent management system adjusts the interplay between the engine and electric motor as needed. The driver can switch between three different modes. In EV mode, only the electric motor is used. With its high torque, it propels the show car strongly even outside the city. The active accelerator pedal uses a change in resistance to indicate the transition to hybrid mode so that the driver can consciously control this.
Hybrid mode is focused on the interplay of the TFSI engine and electric motor to achieve optimal fuel consumption using environmental and route data. The driver can actively influence the operating strategy via the Hold and Charge function in the MMI system, for instance to ensure that there is electrical energy available for the last few kilometers at the destination. The Audi drive select system offers further control options, with different levels of recuperation assigned to the individual driving profiles.
In Sport mode, the operating strategy sets the drive system for maximum performance. With both the V8 and electric machine engaged, the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 305 km/h (189.52 mph).
Body and chassis
The Audi lightweight construction concept also plays a large part in this dynamic performance. In the passenger cell, ultra-high-strength steel sheets and cast aluminum structural elements are combined together. The doors and fenders are made of aluminum; the roof, engine hood and rear hatch of CFRP. The result is a curb weight including the battery pack of just 1,850 kilograms (4,078.55 lb).
The front suspension comprises five control arms per wheel; the rear suspension follows the Audi track-controlled trapezoidal link principle. This guarantees dynamic handling and stability. Tautly tuned springs and dampers keep the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept firmly connected to the rode. Audi drive select makes the driving experience even more versatile. The dynamic steering varies its ratio as a function of driving speed. The brake calipers grip large, carbon fiber-ceramic discs, and the tire format is 285/30 R 21.
Dynamic four-door compact – the Audi A3 Sedan and S3 Sedan
With the launch of the sport A3 Sedan in late summer, Audi entered the world’s largest market segment, the four-door compact class. The third model of the successful A3 series impresses with a low weight thanks to lightweight construction, powerful and highly efficient engines, and numerous high-end infotainment and driver assistance solutions. The top model is the S3 Sedan with 221 kW (300 hp).
The Audi A3 Sedan, the first notchback model from Audi in the compact premium segment, boasts a fascinatingly sporty character. It owes its sportiness to the low weight. Thanks to Audi's lightweight construction technology, the four-door model equipped with the 1.4 TFSI and S tronic has a curb weight of 1,250 kilograms (2,755.78 lb). In the occupant cell, many components are made of hot-shaped, high-end steel. The engine hood is made of aluminum. The engines and chassis also set standards with their low weight.
The design of the 446 centimeter-long (15.29 ft) Audi A3 Sedan combines the classic three-box concept with the dynamics of a coupe. The flat roof ends in C-pillar that flows smoothly into the shoulder of the body. The tornado line forms a stark shadow contour, and the fenders are strongly flared.
As with every Audi, the Singleframe grille is the most distinctive element of the front end. The bumper, which tapers into a striking, horizontal contour, and the large air inlets underscore the width of the A3 Sedan. The new Audi can be optionally equipped with all-LED headlights, which are a technical and visual highlight. The tail lights are also available with light-emitting diodes.
The interior of the sporty four-door features a light and clean design. The instrument panel is slender, and the center console is angled towards the driver. The large, round air vents, the three-dimensionally styled inlays and the elegant control panel for the air conditioning system document the attention to detail with which Audi builds its cars. As with every model, the controls are simple and intuitive. The large, 425-liter (15.01 cu ft) trunk can be expanded by folding down the rear seatbacks.
Audi offers the A3 Sedan with TFSI and TDI engines. They displace 1.4, 1.8 or 2.0 liters and produce between 92 kW (125 hp) and 132 kW (180 hp). All of the engines combine power with astonishingly low fuel consumption. A special highlight is the cylinder on demand (COD) technology in the 1.4 TFSI; it shuts down two cylinders at low load.
The A3 Sedan is also at the front of its class when it comes to power transmission. Depending on the engine, it is equipped with either a manual gearbox or the S tronic. When combined with Audi drive select, the dual-clutch transmission includes a free-wheeling function that reduces fuel consumption. quattro permanent all-wheel drive will follow after the market launch.
Behind the sporty character of the Audi A3 Sedan is a finely balanced axle load distribution (59:41 front to back) and sophisticated chassis technology. Some of the components of the MacPherson front suspension are made of aluminum; the four-link rear suspension handles longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The sensitive power steering has an efficient electromechanical drive; Audi offers variable-ratio progressive steering as an option. During fast cornering, the electronic limited slip differential, an intelligent function of the electronic stabilization control (ESC), makes handling even more fluid and safe.
The A3 Sedan can be optionally equipped with the Audi drive select system (standard with the Ambition trim line). The driver can use this system to modify engine management, power steering and S tronic operation over several modes. Besides Audi magnetic ride active damper control, two sport suspensions are available. Wheels range in size from 16 to 19 inches, with the latter available only in combination with the sport suspension and Audi magnetic ride.
Audi offers A3 Sedan customers a complete system of infotainment modules, topped by the Bang & Olufsen sound system and MMI navigation plus. The latter's super-slim, seven-inch monitor extends electrically from the instrument panel. The user terminal has a rotary/push button control that is designed as a touchwheel with MMI touch – the touchwheel’s top surface is a touch-sensitive pad for inputting alpha and numeric characters.
The Audi connect system supplements MMI navigation plus perfectly. It establishes a connection to the Internet using the fast LTE transmission standard whenever possible, which enables download rates of up to 100 Mbit per second With this innovation, Audi once again underscores its leading role in mobile infotainment.
The WLAN hotspot provided by the system enables passengers in the A3 Sedan to surf and e-mail freely. The driver can use tailored Internet services integrated into the car. These range from navigation with Google Earth images and Google Street View to online traffic information to Facebook and Twitter. Another service is parking information, which displays parking lots and parking garages.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.