Audi is prioritizing the development of new products, one of which is the new A3 compact car that’s expected next year. For 2011, Audi spent a lot of time on the A4 facelift and the new A6, which will be used to compete with BMW.
Audi has also revealed its €13 billion investment to come up with new products and technologies and to expand its sites by 2016. To cut production costs, Audi aims to systemize parts in the VW Group beginning with the new A3.
Audi is also preparing to launch the A8 hybrid, the A6 allroad quattro and the all-electric R8 sportscar in 2012. Thomas Sigi, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources at AUDI AG, said that it hopes to enhance its expertise on “lightweight construction and electric mobility.” In connection with this, more people will be hired.
It also aims to appoint 1,200 experts in 2012. Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at Audi AG, said that to sustain the growth of its profits, it will raise investment spending on new products. He added that the Audi Group will be investing more than € 2 billion each year in new products and technologies.
Interestingly, a number of Audi models were derived from the second-generation Audi R8. One of these is the R8 e-tron sports car that now boasts of new battery cells. This electric-powered high-performance sports car could deliver an output of 340 kW and a torque of 920 Nm (678.6 lb-ft), which allow it to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 3.9 seconds.
Its new battery cells, meanwhile, allow the new Audi R8 e-tron to cover more than twice the distance of its predecessor to over 450 kilometers (279.6 mi). Another R8 derivative is the new Audi R8 LMS race car, which was developed according to the new GT3 regulations that will take effect globally starting 2016. This new Audi R8 LMS race car shares around 50 percent of its components as the R8 even though its performance is at a whole new level.
Now, the second generation Audi developed the new R8 from the ground up to make it more rigid, more stunning and more mesmerizing. It is powered by any of the two V10 high-performance variants, the more powerful version of which provides up to 449 kW (610 hp) of output. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi, remarked that motorsport is in Audi's DNA and is part of the brand's character.
He quipped that the new R8 is the result of years of accumulated racing expertise. He noted that no other Audi model is as dynamic and as close to a race car as the R8. In fact, Hackenberg added, the new R8 V10 plus could be considered as the most powerful and fastest series production Audi so far. The Audi R8 is based on the mid-engine principle, which is not only a classic motorsport concept but is also an important part of Audi tradition.
In this setup, engines are placed in front of the rear axle, a positioning adopted by Auto Union’s Grand Prix race cars in the 1930s. Using the LMP R8 prototype, Audi dominated the 24-hour Le Mans endurance race in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005. Thus, it was only fitting to pick R8 as the name of the road-going version of this super sports car.