Audi AG is planning to launch 17 new or revamped models this and will push through with the production of an electric version of the R8 sports car as it bids to build momentum against BMW AG. “We will increase deliveries in all regions of the world, including Europe,” Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said. He expects revenue for this year to surge slightly as registrations in China is seen to top 500,000 vehicles for the first time.
Audi will invest EUR22 billion ($30.4 billion) in the next five years, around 70 percent of which will be allotted for new products and technology. Most of the rest will be invested to expand the carmaker’s global manufacturing capacity, including new sites in Brazil and Mexico.
Audi posted a 6-percent drop in operating profit in 2013 to EUR5.03 billion ($6.97 billion) and 2-percent surge in revenues to EUR49.9 billion as the luxury carmaker logged stronger sales. Operating profit as a percentage of sales was 10 percent, which is above its long-term target range of between 8 percent and 10 percent.
Audi and Mercedes-Benz are stepping up their efforts to overtake BMW by 2020 as the best-selling luxury car maker in the world, a crown that it has been holding for nine straight years. The three carmakers all posted new sales records in 2013, expect demand to climb further this year as boosted by gains in China and North America.
Audi launched a fresh version of the A3 compact in 2013 that allowed it to log an 8-percent rise in sales to 1.58 million cars. For this year, Audi is launching a sedan variant of the A3 in the United States and China year. Audi recently unveiled a revamped version of the TT sports car at the Geneva show and will introduce the sporty S1 subcompact in the second quarter.
Audi is introducing the new flagship models in its compact A1 model line – the new S1 and S1 Sportback. Both the new S1 and S1 Sportback are powered by a 2.0 TFSI engine that could deliver 170 kW (231 hp) of output and 370 Nm (272.90 lb-ft) of torque, with power transferred to the road through the quattro permanent all-wheel drive and complemented by a heavily tweaked suspension. With these specs, the new S1 and S1 Sportback set new standards in terms of dynamic performance in their class.
The Audi S1 first gained global recognition and iconic statues in the 1980s, when it became instrumental in the brand’s conquest of the World Rally Championship back then. The S1 moniker has been revived, not on a race car, on a street-legal version in two flavors – the three-door Audi S1 and the five-door S1 Sportback. With the new S1, Audi’s S model portfolio now has a new entry-level version.
Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development, remarked that the new Audi S1 offers a great performance, direct handling, and the attributes of a sports car and a permanent quattro drive. He added that the fans of the quattro drive are seen to increase further thanks to the addition of the new Audi S1.
Serving as the core of the new S1 is high-performance turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI engine that could deliver around 170 kW (231 hp) of max output and 370 Nm (272.90 lb-ft) of peak torque. This power is enough to send the Audi S1 and S1 Sportback sprinting zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.8 and 5.9 seconds, respectively, while achieving a top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
The new Audi S1 and Audi S1 Sportback consume just 7.0 liters (33.60 US mpg) and 7.1 liters (33.13 US mpg) liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, respectively. The Audi S1 and Audi S1 Sportback also emit just 162 grams and 166 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, respectively.