- Driving pleasure under open skies: The Audi A5 family was completed at the start of spring with the premiere of the new models Audi A5 Cabriolet* and Audi S5 Cabriolet*. Both models arrived at dealerships in Germany and other European countries in March 2017. Up to four people can enjoy intense driving pleasure under open skies in the open-top mid-sized models.
- Generation change times two: New generations of the successful Audi RS 5* and Audi RS 4 Avant* were presented in 2017 as sporty top models in the mid-size class. The recipe followed by Audi Sport GmbH is inspired by the previous models celebrated by customers and the media: a lightweight body and an incredibly powerful engine, quattro drive and a sport suspension, combined with elegant lines and maximum suitability for everyday use.
- Leadership mission: The brand with the four rings presented its vision in June 2017. The new Audi A8 embodies the future of the luxury class. In its fourth generation, the brand’s flagship model once again provides the benchmark for “Vorsprung durch Technik” – with a new design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept and a systematically electrified drive. The Audi A8 is also the world’s first production car to have been developed for conditional automated driving. Six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines form the basis of the engine portfolio. A prestigious twelve-cylinder and a highly efficient plug-in hybrid version complete the engine range.
- Design and innovation reloaded: After the A8 debut, another spectacular change came in November 2017: The second-generation Audi A7 embodies the new, progressive design language of the luxury class. Athletic proportions and dynamic body line define its emotive character. With the innovative lighting design and futuristic interior, the four-door Gran Turismo fuses design and technology in a unique way. The drive system of the new Audi A7 Sportback is now even more efficient thanks to a new mild-hybrid system (MHEV). For the launch, the Coupé will be available with either a 3.0 TFSI or a 3.0 TDI engine.
Motorsport at Audi
The factory motorsport program at Audi currently comprises participation in Formula E, DTM (German Touring Car Masters) and the World Rallycross Championship. Additionally, Audi Sport customer racing offers customers GT3 and GT4 variants of the Audi R8 LMS and the TCR touring car Audi RS 3 LMS.
Audi is the first German carmaker to participate in Formula E. The brand with the four rings takes over the places on the starting grid for the 2017/2018 season from ABT Sportsline. This is the last step to a full factory team, which will run under the name Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler. Daniel Abt (Germany) and reigning champion Lucas di Grassi (Brazil) will be driving for Audi.
Formula E is the foundation for a new era of motorsport: fully electric, at the heart of the world’s most fascinating cities and with a new, unique racing format. The fourth season of Formula E kicked off on December 2, 2017. A total of twelve races on five different continents are on the schedule. Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America are part of the Formula E world tour, with Rome, Santiago de Chile and Zurich as new venues. This means the innovative electric racing series will stop over in Italy, Chile and Switzerland for the first time. The Formula E season finishes in July with a double bill – two races on one weekend – in New York.
In the DTM, the Motorsport Director Dieter Grass’ team achieved the prestigious triple success in the 2017 season by winning all three trophies. René Rast beat three other Audi drivers to the driver’s championship in his first full DTM season. The Audi Sport Team Rosberg finished the year as the best team with a lead of almost 100 points ahead of the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in second place. In the manufacturer’s championship, Audi Sport ended up dominating with a lead of over 200 points ahead of the competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. To defend these titles, the six Audi RS 5 DTM 2018 will be starting in Hockenheim in May with slight modifications due to changes to the technical rules.
AUDI AG has also been active in the FIA World Rallycross Championship since 2017. The factory-backed EKS team with team boss and racing driver Mattias Ekström took second place in 2017 in the racing series that was established in 2014. The brand with the four rings continues its commitment in 2018. The EKS Audi Sport team starts into the new season with two all-wheel drive Audi S1 EKS RX quattro. The two cars are driven by the team boss himself, Mattias Ekström from Sweden, and the Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud.
In 2017, the pilots and teams brought home a total of 24 titles and numerous race wins with the racing cars from Audi Sport customer racing. The outstanding successes included the victories at the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and in Spa as well as the title defense in the Intercontinental GT Series. The Audi R8 LMS GT4 has been delivered to customer teams since December. In addition to the Audi R8 LMS GT3 and the Audi RS 3 LMS, the GT4 is the third model in the Audi customer sport family.
Committed to sports
From soccer, alpine and Nordic wintersports to the Kiel Regatta and the world’s most popular tournament series for amateur golfers, the Audi quattro Cup – with its diverse involvement, Audi is a close partner and sponsor of regional, national and international sports.
- For more than 30 years, AUDI AG has been the main sponsor of the German Skiing Association, including all German national teams, and of another 15 national alpine skiing teams from other countries. Audi is also the title sponsor of the Audi FIS Skiing World Cup and of the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup, a partner of the Nordic Combined World Cup, the Ski Jumping and Cross Country Skiing World Cups as well as of the German-Austrian Ski Jumping Week, and was the presenting partner of the Alpine Skiing World Championship in St. Moritz in 2017.
- Since 2002, Audi and Germany’s record champion soccer team FC Bayern Munich have been on the ball together.
- Internationally, Audi is involved with top teams such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Red Bull Salzburg and RSC Anderlecht.
- The Kiel Regatta – the world’s biggest sailing event – was part of the calendar last year, as was the Audi Summer Tour of FC Bayern Munich to China and the Audi quattro Cup World Final in Mexico.
- Audi’s sporting involvement in 2015 was rounded off by support for the 2014 German ice hockey champions, ERC Ingolstadt, and for the Bundesliga soccer team FC Ingolstadt 04 as well as support for regional sports events in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.