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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Audi

Audi introducing 48 volts electrical system for better power and efficiency

Audi is to upgrade part of its vehicle electrical system from twelve to 48 volts. The move represents another technical building block for facilitating the integration of new automotive technologies while increasing the power and efficiency of its cars.

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“We are using the full bandwidth of electrification in our drive principles strategy. Running part of the vehicle electrical system at 48 volts plays a central role in this,” commented Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at Audi. “It enables us to make more energy available. That paves the way for new technologies with which we can make our cars more sporty, more efficient and more convenient to use.”

Audi recently showcased the scope of the 48‑volt electrical system with the technology demonstrators Audi A6 TDI concept and RS 5 TDI concept. Both models are fitted with an electrically powered compressor. This operates independently of the engine load and therefore fundamentally improves the acceleration performance. 48‑volt technology is moreover ideal for realizing convenience systems for dynamic chassis control. Audi will shortly be unveiling a variety of applications in this field.

The current state of the art technology has taken 12‑volt electrical systems to their very limits. Especially at low temperatures, all the various static‑load consumers can account for the entire power generated by the alternator, which can deliver up to three kilowatts. The battery power is no longer capable of meeting the demands of new, dynamic‑load consumers such as high‑performance electric compressors.

The solution is a second subsidiary electrical system running at 48 volts, to complement the 12‑volt power supply. The higher voltage means smaller cable cross-sections are needed; this translates into lighter cable harnesses with lower power dissipation. The 48‑volt electrical system features new storage technologies and delivers much more power than the 12‑volt system with lead batteries. That makes it an important element of the Audi strategy of electrifying various stages of the drivetrain. The Group’s developers have already come up with a scalable platform concept, including a version that incorporates the electrically powered compressor.

In currently the highest development version, a compact lithium‑ion battery supplies 48 volts as the energy source during engine‑off phases; a DC/DC converter integrates the 12‑volt electrical system. The lithium‑ion battery operates in conjunction with a new, efficiency-optimized alternator that qualifies the drivetrain as a mild hybrid. Within this concept there are diverse ways of starting, controlling and deactivating the combustion engine as needed. The powerful alternator achieves an energy recovery output of ten kilowatts, far more than is possible at present. That adds up to a saving of up to ten grams of CO2 per kilometer (16.1 g/mi), equivalent to around 0.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (62.1 miles).

Formula Masters China Series drivers showcase talents in Audi R8 LMS Cup test

Three promising Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) drivers have had their first taste of the Audi R8 LMS Cup car at an exclusive test at the Sepang International Circuit.

FMCS_(left to right) Yuan Bo, Andersen Martono, James Munro

Rewarded for their strong results in the first half of the 2014 season, FMCS Drivers Classification leader James Munro (17) of New Zealand, Best Chinese Driver Trophy leader Yuan Bo and Indonesia’s Andersen Martono (17) spent Monday working with former Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong, who currently races in the Audi R8 LMS Cup, as they tested the Audi R8 LMS Cup car for the first time. The collaboration between FMCS and the Audi R8 LMS Cup highlights the numerous opportunities provided by Volkswagen Group China to FMCS drivers. 

Given the valuable chance to impress Audi representatives with their talent, speed and ability to master the unfamiliar car quickly, the trio did not disappoint. Regularly lapping in two minutes 11 seconds on the 5.543 km circuit, Martono, Munro and Yuan demonstrated the benefits of the strong motorsport foundation they are receiving via FMCS.

FMCS_Alex Yoong works with Andersen Martono

“We are delighted that Formula Masters China Series drivers James Munro, Yuan Bo and Andersen Martono had a strong day of testing in the Audi R8 LMS Cup car,” said Dominic Lyncker, Director Motorsport, Volkswagen Group China. “FMCS was created precisely for this reason – to provide the region’s top talents with a solid motorsport foundation and to provide opportunities between FMCS drivers and the Volkswagen Group China motorsport family.”

Established in 2013, FMCS has already proven its efficacy: reigning FMCS champion Aidan Wright of Australia graduated from FMCS to the Audi R8 LMS Cup, while Hong Kong’s Matthew Solomon races in both FMCS and the Audi R8 LMS Cup. FMCS driver Ronald Wu of Hong Kong also made his R8 LMS Cup debut at Fuji earlier this year.

“FMCS is an excellent platform for developing young drivers from formula cars to GT racing. Aidan Wright, Matt Solomon and Ronald Wu have already been proving their potential in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. The test at Sepang was a great opportunity to evaluate more of China and the region’s rising talents,” said Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “We were impressed by how quickly the three drivers adapted to the Audi R8 LMS Cup car and perhaps in the future we will see them return to race with us.”

Formula Masters China Series will next be in action from September 19-21 for four races at the Zhuhai International Circuit.

Audi continues its profitable growth

Despite challenging conditions and a record investment program, Audi delivered a convincing performance in the first half of 2014 with solid key figures. In the period of January through June, the Ingolstadt-based carmaker set a new record with deliveries of 869,355 Audi vehicles. The Audi Group posted first-half revenue of € 26.7 billion and operating profit of € 2.7 billion. In the first six months of this year, the company achieved an operating return on sales of 10.0 percent and was thus at the upper end of its strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent.

Audi waechst profitabel weiter

At the half-year press conference in Munich, CFO Axel Strotbek stated: “Despite major challenges, Audi is systematically continuing along its path of high-quality growth.” Audi appeals to customers with its attractive model portfolio. The company therefore expects to deliver significantly more than 1.6 million cars of the brand with the Four Rings this year, once again breaking the prior-year record.

From January through June, the Audi Group delivered to customers 869,355 automobiles with the Four Rings: an increase of 11.4 percent (H1 2013: 780,467). The company sold 50 percent more units of the new A3 family* than in the first half of last year. At the same time, the large models A6*, A7*, Q7* and A8* together recorded an increase in unit sales of 10.1 percent.

Due to the growth in vehicle deliveries, revenue increased despite negative currency effects by 5.8 percent to € 26,690 million (H1 2013: € 25,234).

As a result of the volume growth as well as higher research and development expenditure for groundbreaking technologies and new products, the Audi Group’s cost of sales in the first six months of this year increased by 8.3 percent to € 21,870 million (H1 2013: € 20,190). At the same time, distribution costs rose to € 2,419 million (H1 2013:€ 2,284). The company achieved an operating profit for the first half of 2014 of € 2,671 million (H1 2013: € 2,644).

The operating return on sales for the first six months was 10.0 percent (H1 2013: 10.5), and was thus at the upper end of the strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent. The Audi Group posted a profit before income taxes of € 3,102 million for the first half of this year (H1 2013:€ 2,974), equivalent to a return on sales of 11.6 percent (H1 2013: 11.8). Profit after income taxes amounted to € 2,323 million (H1 2013: € 2,178).

Axel Strotbek, CFO of AUDI AG, stated: “We are currently making substantial advance expenditure that will pay off in the medium and long term.” This is why Audi approved the biggest investment program in the company’s history at the end of last year. By 2018, a total of approximately € 22 billion will flow into new models, technologies and the continuously expanding worldwide production network. From January until June 2014, Audi invested € 1,552 million in its business operations (H1 2013: € 1,240), 25 percent more than in the prior-year period.

Despite increased advance expenditure, Audi completely financed all its investments out of its cash flow from operating activities, which increased in the first six months of the year to € 3,712 million (H1 2013: € 3,236).

Net liquidity of € 15,324 million at June 30, 2014 was significantly higher than a year earlier (June 30, 2013: € 13,536).

In 2014, the Audi Group intends to grow in all regions of the world and to strengthen its leading position in both Europe and in China. Depending on the economic conditions, the brand with the Four Rings expects to post revenue growth in full-year 2014.

The systematic expansion of international production structures, increasing advance expenditure for new models and technologies – in particular to fulfill increasingly strict CO2 regulations around the globe – will at first have a negative impact on earnings this year. At the same time, the positive development of unit sales and revenue and the continuous improvements in productivity and processes initiated in the past will provide positive impetus for the development of operating profit. In total, the Ingolstadt-based company anticipates an operating return on sales within the strategic target corridor of eight to ten percent.

Fuel consumption of the models mentioned above:

Audi A3: 
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.1 – 3.2;
Combined CO2-emissions in g/km: 165 – 85

Audi A3 Sportback: 
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.0 – 3.3;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 162 – 88

Audi A3 Sedan: 
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.0 – 3.3; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 162 – 88

Audi A6: 
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9.8 – 4.4; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 229 – 114

Audi A7 Sportback: 
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9.8 – 4.7; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 229 – 122

Audi Q7: 
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 10.7 – 7.2; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 249 – 189

Audi A8: 
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 11.3 – 5.9; 
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 264 – 144 

Bang & Olufsen Sound System with Symphoria in the new Audi TT

The new Audi TT also demonstrates its innovativeness in the Hi-Fi arena. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System in the coupe uses innovative Symphoria technology for a fascinating audio experience.

Bang & Olufsen Sound System with Symphoria in the Audi TT. Operated via the Audi virtual cockpit

The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with Symphoria is used in the top-of-the-line version of the new Audi TT. A processor analyzes intrusive cabin noise detected by a microphone to optimize the sound image. When combined with MMI navigation plus, sound is also output in 5.1 surround format. With 680 watts of power, the amplifier controls twelve speakers, including two center speakers and two encapsulated bass boxes in the doors. The sound system is visually accentuated by the strip of anodized aluminum bearing the logo of the Danish Hi‑Fi specialists that runs along the edge of the woofer. White LED light emanates from a narrow LED light guide.

With this system, Audi has once again substantially enhanced the premium audio experience. In collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Erlangen, the automaker developed the Symphoria software for the post-processing and rendering of audio signals. In the first step, the program separates the individual sound components within the audio signal with the help of a semantic analysis process. It then distributes the separated audio objects inside the interior of the car. The sound image becomes wider and deeper, conveying an entirely new spatial impression. Each passenger enjoys a top-quality, extremely precise audio experience.

Audi has already been setting benchmarks for automotive sound systems for years now. High‑end audio with the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System premiered in the Audi A8 in 2005. In 2012, premium sound from the Danish hi‑fi specialists found its into way to the compact class in the third-generation Audi A3. With Symphoria, the brand with the four rings is now taking a large step in the direction of 3D sound, a technology that Audi first presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early 2013. 3D sound enables the listener to also experience the spatial height as a third dimension – the next development step on the way to the audio experience of the future.

AWE Tuning Announces Quad Tip Option for Audi A7 Touring Edition Exhaust System

AWE Tuning Announces Quad Tip Option for Audi A7 Touring Edition Exhaust System. The AWE Tuning A7 Touring Edition Exhaust System is hand-crafted from T304 Stainless Steel, guarantees no Check Engine Light and alters no emissions equipment.  The system features adjustable 4” slash-cut tips available in Diamond Black and Chrome Silver finish, and Dual or Quad Tip configurations.

AWE TUNING AUDI A7 TOURING EDITION EXHAUST AND DOWNPIPE SYSTEMS

“The A7 Touring Edition Exhaust has been a very popular product, but after the release of Audi’s S7 we saw how much the A7 could benefit from a more aggressive set up,” said Jesse Kramer, Vice President of Marketing at AWE Tuning, “So we made it.”

AWE Tuning Audi A7 Touring Edition Exhaust highlights:-

  • +12hp max, 11tq max at the crank on stock software
  • Crafted from mandrel bent 2.5″ T304 Stainless Steel
  • Full system replaces factory downpipes and exhaust
  • Available in Dual and Quad Tip configurations
  • Developed, tested, and manufactured in-house at AWE Tuning
  • Frequency tuned Helmholtz resonators to eliminate unwanted low RPM frequencies  
  • Available with Chrome Silver or Diamond Black 4 inch adjustable slash cut tips
  • No CEL or modifications to emission control systems
  • Lifetime warranty

“The AWE Tuning A7 Touring Edition Exhaust System’s new Quad Tip option gives this car an aggressive look, while maintaining the signature exotic tone and part throttle civility that you expect from AWE Tuning exhaust systems.”