Audi is first German company in Formula E

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Audi Formula E Race Car
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The electric Mini contributes to BMW sales.
Updated 05 August 2017
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Audi is first German company in Formula E

• Audi will be the first German automobile manufacturer to race in Formula E. Audi is taking over ABT Sportsline’s place on the grid. The Allgäu-based team has been successfully present in Formula E since the electric racing series’ inception and in the future will be taking care of the Audi race cars as the fielding team. Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will start in the fourth Formula E season in Hong Kong at the beginning of December. Audi has been giving its name to the team since Formula E’s inaugural season in 2014 and in the Brazilian Lucas di Grassi providing one of its factory drivers to date. In addition, the Allgäu-based squad has been able to use the infrastructure of the Competence Center Motorsport in Neuburg. For the 2016/2017 season, Audi intensified the partnership in the form of financial and technical support. Now, on taking over ABT Sportsline’s entry slot, the final step has been made toward a full-fledged factory commitment which will then be under the team name of Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler.

• BMW Group sales achieved their best ever June, with sales in the month totaling 232,620 cars, a 2.1% increase year-on-year. It was also a record first half-year with sales of the BMW Group’s three premium brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, increasing by 5.0%; a total of 1,220,819 vehicles have been delivered to customers around the world so far this year. “June rounds off our best ever first half-year and the BMW Group remains the world’s leading premium car company,” commented Dr. Ian Robertson, Member of the BMW AG Board of Management for Sales and Brand BMW. “We’ve already sold more than a million BMW vehicles this year, which is a new first-half-year record. June also saw our successful electrification strategy expand still further to include the MINI brand, meaning customers can now choose from nine electrified BMW Group vehicles.

• Following the success of the relaunched Patrol Super Safari five-door earlier this year, Nissan have responded to the demands of the Gulf’s 4WD-loving motorists. This time it’s the three-door version of the Patrol Super Safari — also known as the Hard Top version — that is being re-launched, to the delight of the region’s off-road enthusiasts. “When we relaunched the Patrol Super Safari station wagon in March it was as a response to the demands of our customers who had both a deep sense of nostalgia for the vehicle and a genuine appetite to see its return,” explained Fadi Ghosn, Chief Marketing Officer of Nissan Middle East. “We quickly realized after the relaunch, however, that there was equally an appetite to see the return of the three-door variant.”


Audi launches electric SUV in Tesla’s backyard, with assist from Amazon

Updated 18 September 2018
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Audi launches electric SUV in Tesla’s backyard, with assist from Amazon

SAN FRANCISCO: German luxury car brand Audi on Monday staged the global launch of a new electric sport utility vehicle on the home turf of rival Tesla Inc, and highlighted a deal with Amazon.com Inc. to make recharging its forthcoming e-tron models easier.
The Audi e-tron midsize SUV will be offered in the United States next year at a starting price of $75,795 before a $7,500 tax credit. It is one of a volley of electric vehicles coming from Volkswagen AG brands, as well as other European premium brands including Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo Cars and Jaguar Land Rover.
All aim to expand the market for premium electric vehicles and also to grab share of that market from Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which has had the niche largely to itself.
“I want Audi to be the number-one electric vehicle seller in America over the long term,” Audi of America President Scott Keogh told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is also head of rocket company SpaceX, planned to mark the e-tron launch occasion by staging a SpaceX event in Los Angeles at roughly the same time on Monday evening as Audi’s unveiling.
Audi and parent Volkswagen are using the US launch of the e-tron SUV in mid-2019 to take aim at one obstacle to expanding electric vehicle sales — the lack of convenient ways to recharge their batteries.
Audi will partner with online retailer Amazon to sell and install home electric vehicle charging systems to buyers of the e-tron, the companies said on Monday. Amazon will deliver the hardware and hire electricians to install them through its Amazon Home Services operation.
Amazon’s partnership with Audi to provide home charging systems is the first time the online retailer has struck such a deal with an automaker, and signals a new front in Amazon’s drive to expand its reach into consumers’ homes beyond the presence of its Alexa smart speakers in living rooms and kitchens.
“We see charging installation as a very important business,” Pat Bigatel, director of Amazon Home Services, told Reuters at Audi’s launch event in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center.
Audi executives said home charging stations would cost about $1,000, depending on the home’s electrical system.
Tesla offers wall connectors for home charging at a $500 list price, and will arrange for installation, according to the company.
At the same time, Electrify America, a company funded by Volkswagen as part of its settlement of US diesel emission cheating litigation, plans to launch next year the next round of installations of public charging stations, Electrify America executives told Reuters.
Tesla has developed its own network of Supercharger charging stations with more than 11,000 chargers in North America. Electrify America plans to have 2,000 chargers installed by mid-June next year. Those will be open to any vehicle, and customers can swipe a credit card to recharge.
“We want to work with all” automotive brands, said Giovanni Palazzo, Electrify America’s chief executive.

Lifting the Curtain

Audi has been heralding the launch of the e-tron SUV for some time, but until Monday it had not shared many details of the vehicle.
The e-tron is electric, and has two electric motors — one in the front and one in the rear — driving all four wheels. The Hungarian factory building motors for the e-tron will start with a production pace equivalent to 200 vehicles a day, Audi officials said.
In Europe, the vehicle will use cameras instead of conventional mirrors to give drivers a view to the rear. That feature is still not approved by US regulators.
However, in many other respects the e-tron is a conventional, mainstream luxury SUV. It offers seating for five, and its length and wheelbase position it in the center of the market for midsize, five-passenger luxury SUVs such as the BMW X5. The e-tron is 5 inches (13 cm) shorter than the Tesla Model X, and it has conventional doors. The Model X uses vertically opening “falcon wing” doors.
The e-tron will have an advanced cruise-control system that can keep the car within a lane and maintain a set distance behind another vehicle, but the system will be designed so that drivers must keep hands on the wheel.
Audi officials said they do not have official range estimates for the e-tron SUV under US testing procedures. The e-tron’s 95 kWh battery has less capacity than the 100 kWh battery used in the Tesla Model X 100D model, but more than the base Model X 75D.
The Model X 100D is rated at 295 miles (475 km) of range by the US government.