The political ads are over, so now we can be bombarded with ads for luxury cars during the holiday season.
Car shoppers will see so-called “loyalty” and “conquest” discounts in this year’s holiday sales campaigns. These deals essentially reward consumers for shopping the competition, even if they intend to stay with the brand they already drive. For example, a customer who owns a Mercedes could get an additional $750 discount for agreeing to buy or lease another. If the same owner went to a BMW showroom, he or she would likely be offered a similar amount to switch teams.
About 20% of shoppers on Edmunds.com who looked at a Mercedes C-Class during the last week of October also looked at a BMW 3 Series, according to data from the site. Among those considering the 3-series, 10% looked at a C-Class, and 10% looked at the Audi A4.
Dealers say discounts specifically tied to retaining existing customers have an impact. “It gives us something else to discuss, to look at a customer and let them know they are special to us,” says Robert Camastro, owner of Mercedes of Danbury, Ct.
The loyalty and conquest discounts vary by model and brand. Some Audi dealers are advertising discounts of up to $2,500 if you are trading in a rival luxury brand.
Lincoln, a brand of Ford Motor Co., is offering no-money-down lease deals on its MKX sport utility. Cadillac’s deals vary, but the brand is offering no-money-down, $399-a-month leases on its just-launched ATS model, which is designed to compete with the 3 series and Mercedes C Class.
It’s interesting to see Lincoln get in on the action, as their ad looks very similar to ads for the other luxury brands, but they need to do something.
INGOLSTADT, Germany — The revised Audi S4 and new A4 Allroad Quattro will arrive in the U.S. next June, Audi of America confirmed to Inside Line, most likely as 2013 models.
The updated S4 sedan and wagon and A4 Allroad wagon were unveiled, along with the face-lifted A4 sedan and A4 Avant wagon, today in Germany.
In response to a query Wednesday from Inside Line, an Audi spokesperson said the A4 Allroad would be added to the U.S. lineup next June, joining the revised S4 and A4.
The German models get few visual changes — mostly modest revisions to bumpers, grilles and lamps — with some mild updates in trim and equipment inside the cabins. Exterior dimensions have barely changed. Audi says it is offering new wheels, new steering wheels, upgraded upholstery and a revised MMI nav system with four buttons instead of eight. Wheel sizes range from 16 to 19 inches. The newest piece of hardware is an electromechanical power steering unit.
In typical German fashion, the big news is under the hood, where Audi offers European A4 owners the choice of six TDI diesel and four FSI gasoline engines, all of them featuring supercharged direct injection with standard stop-start systems, and many with increased power and torque.
The most efficient power plant is the A4 2.0 TDI, which makes 136 horsepower and returns an average 56 mpg.
Today, Dashboard brings you a video from Evo magazine. For three minutes, you can imagine yourself free from traffic, inattentive drivers, and worries on one of the world’s best driving roads in some of the world’s best cars.
Buick’s sportiest Regal, the GS, is set to arrive this fall. Now we have word of just how much it will cost. The new GS will set you back $35,310. For that you get a turbocharged, 270hp four cylinder motor hooked up to a traditional 6 speed manual transmission. An automatic will also be available. The GS also sports a more aggressive front fascia, wheels, suspension, and interior appointments. The GS may be the most powerful Regal but it does not seem to be set up for full out track assaults, but to be a competent daily driver.
Buick sees the GS competing with Acura TSX V6′s and Audi A4′s. The only glaring fault is that the GS it is only front wheel drive. So is the TSX, but the Audi is available with all-wheel drive. The GS has more power than the A4, but it will be interesting to see if GM is able to handle the torque steer enough to deliver a luxurious ride. Holding the wheel while it wiggles around in your hands does not give the illusion of class and sophistication. Odder still, the car on which it is based, the Vauxhall Insignia VXR, does come with all-wheel drive, and a 321hp, turbocharged V-6.
The GS is a great value when compared to the Acura TSX, but may not sway people out of their Audi’s without all-wheel drive. A final verdict will have to wait for a test drive, but the GS looks to definitely change the way people view Buick.
Reports from British car magazine Autocar state that Porsche is inspired by the 550 Spyder for their newest sports car. This will be the new entry level Porsche, and slot in under the Boxster. The 500 Spyder is one of Porsche’s most iconic models, and was incredibly important in putting Porsche on the map with gentleman racers and celebrities, including James Dean, who died in one. Its successor was non other than the 911. It is a strong claim then to affix such a lofty target for the entry level Porsche.
Porsche boss Matthias Mueller goes on further to explain the type of engine we will see when this car debuts:
The Porsche is expected to be based on a new mid-engined aluminium and steel platform being developed by Audi which will also be used for the proposed Audi R4 roadster.
The Porsche will probably from £35,000 slotting in underneath the next-generation Boxster, which will grow notably in size and cost. The car will get a new four-cylinder boxer engine that will also power the Boxster, the Cayman and potentially even the 911. Sources say the flat four motor is sized at 2.5-litres and has been producing around 360bhp in turbocharged form.
Let’s hope this project is a larger sales success than the last Audi engineered Porsche, the 944. However, if they are shooting for the 500 Spyder as a spiritual target, my bets are on Porsche getting this car right, even with a turbo-4.
Audi has created the very special, limited-edition R8 GT for the 2012 MY. The R8 GT builds on the award-winning R8 Coupe and Spyder and represents the pinnacle of performance in the Audi model line. This is the first limited production sports car produced by Audi, and only 333 units will be built worldwide with 90 units destined for the U.S. Each R8 GT has its production number displayed on the gear shift. The R8 GT starting price is $196,800.
The exceptional performance characteristics of the Audi R8 GT are the result of a combination of advanced, lightweight materials and increased power. Audi has taken its 5.2 liter V10 and boosted output to 560 hp, generating 398 lb-ft of torque and propelling the vehicle from 0-60 in an exhilarating 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 198.84 mph, and red lining at 8700 rpm. The combination of quattro® permanent all-wheel drive and the performance tuned suspension ensure that the power of the R8 GT is translated to the road, while the R tronic® sequential gearbox with paddle shifters provides responsive gear changes.
The 2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder came to Le Mans in full regalia, and our own Drew Phillips was there to catch it in all its topless glory. We got full details on the V10-motivated convertible Audi supercar last week. With 560 horsepower and 398 lb-ft on tap, Audi’s new ragtop sprints to 60 in a scant 3.8 seconds and doesn’t stop until the needle touches 197 mph. With that out of the way, you may now commence ogling the matte-finished beauty in attached image gallery.
The combination of the brilliant red paint and black soft top on our test model 2011 Audi S5 quattro Auto S-Tronic Cabriolet gave a first impression of both class and sport. The 19-inch, double-spoke alloy wheels, high performance tires and dual exhaust with quad tailpipes set the tone for a fun drive. Although hardtop convertibles are all the rage, Audi chose to stick with a fabric roof. The ragtop has classic appeal and folds down in a segment-leading 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. The sharp lines, distinctive front end and sculpted body makes a statement of refinement and luxury. The single frame grille, large air intakes and memorable headlights make an unforgettable impression. Those Audi signature daytime running lights are just the beginning of an intelligently designed 2011 Audi S5 quattro Auto S-Tronic Cabriolet.
The interior of the 2011 Audi S5 quattro Auto S-Tronic Cabriolet is interesting enough to make this car feel special. Our test model was equipped with Audi navigation system with 3G MMI and color driver information system, rear view camera, rear park sensors, a high performance Bang & Olfsen premium sound system, carbon atlas interior inlays and 3-spoke leather wrapped multi function steering wheel. The sport seating in the S5 Convertible had silk nappa leather upholstery, split folding rear seats with full pass through to trunk, heated and cooled front seats, and power driver and passenger seat adjustment with lumbar support. The dash again was familiar from other Audi vehicles and included three-zone automatic climate control, in-dash CD player with SD card slot, Sirius satellite radio, Audi music interface (iPod integration), Bluetooth hands free phone interface and homelink remote transmitter. The convertible is remarkably quiet and wind noise was clearly addressed when engineering the 2011 Audi S5 quattro Auto S-Tronic Cabriolet. By going with the soft top, Audi was able to retain adequate trunk space that would have been lost to the trendier hard top convertibles.
Even though Audi wasn’t the first to introduce a compact luxury crossover they made sure they got it right the first time with the Audi Q5 . The trick in this segment is to provide the space needed in an SUV/crossover while also providing the handling and ride expected in a sports sedan. Here are our thoughts on whether Audi accomplished those goals.
When you first take a look at the 2011 Audi Q5 3.2 quattro Tiptronic, you realize how far crossovers have come in the last few years. The quartz gray metallic test model we drove included the S Line package that comes with 19-inch wheels standard. That height puts the Q5 into crossover range, which is great for visibility, but it’s also low enough that the vehicle looks like a sports sedan on steroids. The single frame grille and sculpted headlights give the Audi Q5 a very distinctive look and the muscular fenders suggest the power that awaits the driver. The exterior is complimented with a small rear spoiler, bold dual-exhaust ports and sleek rear LED tail lamps.
There’s one lucky customer in the UK and we’re sure enjoyed the weekend!
The first of 333 limited edition Audi R8 GTs was delivered to its rightful owner in the UK this week. Sporting 560-hp, the Audi R8 GT has already been accounted for by future owners in 23 different countries. The first one to hit the streets however will be a Phantom Black R8 GT and we’re hoping it won’t be one of those that end up on our blog wrecked and demolished.
Enhancements to the already potent R8 from Audi makes the R8 GT one of the most exclusive sports cars in the world. It features a hand-built aluminum body constructed of Audi Space Frame and weighs in at merely 463-lbs. By incorporating more carbon fiber throughout the car, Audi also reduces the overall weight of the R8 GT by 220-lbs compared to its R8 5.2 FSI quattro counterpart.
Powered by a 5.2L V10, its 560-hp compared with the 3,362-lb weight of the R8 GT makes for an impressive driving experience. For aesthetics, the R8 GT has subtle differences in its newly designed bumpers in carbon fiber while the interior receives bucket seats. The R8 GT was available with a starting price of $276,780.