RUMOUR HAS IT...
New Q3 in Q3
The new Audi Q3 arrives in SA early in 2019
Audi will launch a new Q3 internationally in the third quarter of 2018 before it arrives in SA early in 2019.
Currently the oldest model in the Audi range, the new Q3 will finally ditch its VW Golf 5 architecture and switch to the group’s MQB platform, meaning more space, less weight and the possibility of various levels of hybrid or electrification technology including a full battery-electric E-tron version.
The new model will share a similar footprint to the current Q3, but there will be small increases in length and width — 60mm and 50mm respectively — while the wheelbase is expected to be stretched by up to 50mm, too.
Audi is expected to follow a similar design approach to that it adopted on the second-generation Q5. This means a modest exterior revamp for the BMW X1 rival, with a new grille and sharper LED headlamps.
However, more radical changes are due inside. The current model’s cluttered dashboard and centre console design will make way for a far slicker and more ergonomic layout, inspired by the larger Q5.
Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display will replace the conventional instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, while a dashboard that is designed horizontally rather than vertically will increase the visual width of the cabin.
VW Powerful Family
A week after Volkswagen revealed its new Touareg, it has revealed yet another SUV, this time based on the seven-seater Atlas that SA does not get.
However, the new Powerful Family SUV (VW insists it is just a working name, a not-so-stupid name will come later) is under consideration for SA.
Set to be built at a number of plants around the world, it is essentially a sibling of the Skoda Kodiaq and Seat Ateca and unlike the Atlas, it will only have five seats.
Tesla in trouble
Everything is not going right at Tesla, unless you are a member of the Teslerati in which case you think that everything is just perfect.
Elon Musk’s company is struggling to address quality concerns and is nowhere near meeting its production targets. In spite of promises by Musk that it would increase production of its new Model 3 in 2018, it is now scaling back again after logistics issues emerged in Norway over transportation of its vehicles.
Tesla contracted a low-cost vehicle transportation company whose trucks fail to meet emissions quality standards in Norway and other Scandinavian countries (ironic, considering its Tesla).
The authorities in Norway have so far stopped eight trucks that do not meet the regulations.
One truck loaded with Teslas was also involved in a crash leading to concerns about the safety of the trucks.
Authorities in Norway and Scandinavia clamped down and Musk was forced to turn to his usual method of communication, Twitter, to say: "I have just asked our team to slow down deliveries. It is clear that we are exceeding the local logistics capacity due to batch build and delivery. Customer happiness and safety matter more than a few extra cars this quarter."
Lambo’s Urus sold out
Customers have already snapped up the first year of production of Lamborghini’s super SUV, the Urus. The Italian supercar brand has also confirmed its 2017 sales crossed the €1bn threshold for the first time on the back of 10% sales growth to 3,815 cars.
The Audi-owned brand has tripled its volumes since 2010, and it has built-in capacity for 7,000 cars a year when the Urus comes on stream.
"The response that we have received for our super SUV is really unbelievable considering that we just launched the car statically," Automobili Lamborghini chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali said.
He took great pains to explain that Lamborghini had been retraining dealers, service technicians and even its own regional management to cope with the expected higher volumes — and higher mileage — of the Urus.
"Training, understanding, explanation, knowledge of this new model. And of course, what has to be clear is that this car is a daily, usable car. We expect high mileage, and this is not a problem because in terms of quality, the standard we have is very, very high."
Audi R8 V6
The Audi R8’s position as the last of the big-banger supercars is about to change, with a twin-turbo V6 version on the way. It’s about to slot at least two output versions of the 2.9l, 90° V6 into the mid- mounted engine bay of its all-alloy supercar.
Due to be shown at the New York Motor Show this week, the V6 will be the first non-V10 engine stuffed into the R8 since the original, first-generation R8’s 4.2l V8. The engine, developed with Porsche, is already doing its thing inside the RS4 and the RS5 and is completely different to the standard Audi 3.0l TFSI V6, though they have similar capacities. It develops 331kW of power and 600Nm of torque in RS5 specification, giving it a sprint time of 3.9 seconds to 100km/h — or just 0.2 seconds slower than the just-launched R8 V10 RWS. That’s also a significant chunk more torque than the V10 musters (60Nm, which arrives at 1,900r/min instead of 6,500r/min) and its power peak is only 66kW shy of an engine 2.3l larger.
There has been no confirmation of what power outputs the V6 versions will have, but there may be some protection of the V10’s flagship position.