Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Everything about BMW

BMW Brand History

Contrary to some opinions, BMW does not stand for Best Motors in the World company. Sure, BMW-branded automobiles are regarded as being some of the few engineering forms close to perfection, but the letters stand for something less boisterous and more good-natured: Bayerische Motoren Werke or Bavarian Motor Works.

The secret to their success does not lie in precise astrological predictions or mischievous and blatant employ of corporate espionage, but rather in a dedication to quality and constant pursuit of excellence. Unlike most of the auto manufacturers out there, BMW hasn't focused on a vehicle as a whole but started from its primary source of power, the engine, which has been perfected by generations of engineers over a close-to-a-century time span. The 'cardio-approach' BMW took resulted into obscenely efficient performance-happy engines that literally rocketed the company formed by Karl Friedrich Rapp in October 1913 straight to the sky.

continue reading BMW history

BMW Models in Production 

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

1 modelsBMW 6 Series Gran Coupe


7 modelsBMW M5

BMW M5 Touring

3 modelsBMW M5 Touring

BMW M6 Coupe

4 modelsBMW M6 Coupe


2 modelsBMW X5M


2 modelsBMW X6M

BMW 1 Series

3 modelsBMW 1 Series

BMW 6 Series Coupe

5 modelsBMW 6 Series Coupe

BMW 1 Series Cabriolet

2 modelsBMW 1 Series Cabriolet

BMW 1 Series Coupe

2 modelsBMW 1 Series Coupe

BMW 1 Series M Coupe

1 modelsBMW 1 Series M Coupe

BMW 3 Series Cabriolet

6 modelsBMW 3 Series  Cabriolet

BMW 3 Series Coupe

7 modelsBMW 3 Series Coupe

BMW 5 Series Touring

5 modelsBMW 5 Series Touring

BMW 6 Series Convertible

3 modelsBMW 6 Series Convertible

BMW M3 Coupe

6 modelsBMW M3 Coupe


3 modelsBMW X3


4 modelsBMW X5


2 modelsBMW X6

BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo

1 modelsBMW 5 Series Gran Turismo

BMW 5 Series Sedan

7 modelsBMW 5 Series Sedan


1 modelsBMW X1

BMW Z4 Roadster

4 modelsBMW Z4 Roadster

BMW 3 Series Touring

5 modelsBMW 3 Series Touring

BMW 7 Series

8 modelsBMW 7 Series

BMW M3 Cabriolet

3 modelsBMW M3 Cabriolet

BMW M3 Sedan

2 modelsBMW M3 Sedan

BMW 1 Series 3 doors

1 modelsBMW 1 Series 3 doors

BMW Z4 Coupe

2 modelsBMW Z4 Coupe

China-Exclusive Elantra Unveiled in Beijing

China-Exclusive Elantra Unveiled in Beijing
After 10 years of activity in China, Hyundai has unveiled the China-exclusive Elantra ‘Langdong’ (which roughly translates to ‘dynamic car, new generation’). Along with its new Santa Fe, the manufacturer is aiming to further boost its sales on the Chinese market.

The car will be produced at Hyundai’s new plant in Beijing starting in the second half of the year. The aim was to make a compact car with the feel of a larger car, and given its proportions it is larger than any of its main rivals. Its design is based on a concept called ‘Wind Craft’ and it follows the same design language as the other products in the range.

Two petrol powerplants will be offered for the Langdong: a 1.6-liter engine with 125 hp and a 1.8-liter engine with an output of 145 hp.    

Beijing 2012: Honda Concept C Revealed

Beijing 2012: Honda Concept C Revealed
The highlight of the Honda stand at he 2012 Beijing Auto show was a concept for a market-specific sedan called the Concept C.

Muscular and with strong lines at the front, plus massive air intakes, the C sedan could be one of the most imposing mid-size sedans that ever hit the Chinese market.

Honda says the letter C was chosen for the sedan concept as it represents 'Cool', 'Challenge' and 'China'.

The design is supposedly inspired by the shape of a dragon, with muscular wheelarches, sculpted bonnet and angular headlights. It looks more futuristic than organic, but there can be no mistaking its cool proportions.

At the same auto show, Honda also showed the Concept S hatchback, which will become a global product. This offers a hybrid powertrain and a spacious cabin.

Geely Englon SC7 and SX6: Bentley SUV Cloned [Photo Gallery]

Geely Englon SC7 and SX6: Bentley SUV Cloned [Photo Gallery]
They say that imitation is the mother of all flattery, but we don’t think Bentley is feeling it right now. On the same show floor that houses their brand new EXP 9 F concept they worked so hard on (to get it wrong), Chinse automaker Geely unveiled three concepts that offer a familiar grille and headlight combo.

First, there’s the Geely Englon SC7 concepts, the RV hatchback and the RS sedan.

They are supposed to be studies for a replacement London Cab, but all we see are Bentley wheelarches, headlights and foglights.

Before acquiring Volvo, Geely purchased some shares in London Taxi manufacturers Manganese Bronze Holding PLC. We’ll let these slide for now, because the iconic black cab has round headlights. But the SX5 crossover/SUV is a definite no-no copycat in our opinion.

BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe: The End of the Two-Door Coupe?

Audi has the A7, Mercedes the CLS and now BMW comes up with an answer to both of them in the form of the the 6-Series Gran Coupe. As a BMW fan, I should be happy the Bavarians have such a cool four-door coupe, especially since a range made up entirely of turbocharged engines and the availability of all-wheel drive make this a winner on paper. But I'm not, because I'm worried the big coupe will go the way of the dinosaurs, slowly but surely.

Clearly, people have really forgotten what the whole idea of a sporty coupe is supposed to be. In order to survive, carmakers are using the name for SUVs, disguised estates and even cars that are powered by electricity alone these days. Even Lamborghini may jump on to the bandwagon, as they are going to decide if they'll make the Estoque next year, so clearly the problem here lies with people's conceptions.

Let’s look at the market first! A decade ago, about the only choice you had for an stylish and imposing vehicle in this segment was the 6-Series, the Jaguar XK, the Mercedes CL and maybe the Porsche 911 that catered to the guys that value handling above all else. Now though, things have changed - half of Porsche’s sales are attributed to the Cayenne SUV. I think that going for say an X5 instead of a 6-Series is as ridiculous as buying a 1963 Mercedes Benz 600 instead of an Aston Martin DB5 back in the day.

Things are even worse for BMW. The E24 6-Series, the first generation that followed the E9 coupes, was in my opinion one of the coolest cars of its time. But, sales have been on a steady decline over the past six years, from 23,340 6ers delivered globally in 2005 to just 5,848 in 2010. In my honest opinion, this has everything to do with with the rise of the SUV as the vehicle to be seen in. Bankers and stock traders, real-estate developers and big-shot lawyers, I’ve heard them all talking about how cool their 4x4 Qs, Xs and AMGs are, and they really don’t see the image benefit of having a lot of sheetmetal and only two doors.

Until I read the market figures, I really thought they had ruined the 6-Series by making the four-door Gran Coupe, even though they needed such a car, but I’m not so sure any more. Analysts blame tough competition, fickle buyers and the recession, but the market for the two-door might have dwindled a bit. Yes, they did record a 733.5% increase in demand last month (November 2011), but it’s just not the flagship it used to be.

The rear seats will always be cramped and harder to get to, and the rear visibility is bad. I also know you’re never going to treat your 640d as the best grand tourer for long journeys and take it on some 1,000 kilometer trip from the cliffs of Dover to the sandy beaches of Southern France. You can’t put a Labrador in the back, and you can’t carry logs to your Swiss resort cabin.

These are all things I rally like about a proper coupe and the 6-Series has yet another thing for it - it’s a BMW. “So what if they added a couple of extra doors?!” you might say. But you’re wrong - this isn’t about being practical. It’s not about offering rear passengers more legroom.

So what’s a 6-Series really supposed to offer then?! How about an engine that sound really naughty, a responsive chassis and the sort o steering that makes you believe you’re stroking the asphalt as you go along. That’s really cool, and so is what you’re supposed to do with it.

The 6-Series is a five-meter car that will leave all back seat passengers with chronic back pains, and I don’t really care. But I know you do, and so do all the automakers. Four-door coupes like the Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS make a lot more sense in this perspective, and they are actually cheaper than the 6-Series.

So, should you hold on to your money until the Gran Coupe arrives next year? Is the 2+2 segment going to be put on the back-burner? I’m not so sure!

You see, having all that metal in the format of a coupe, and a big engine, and a sea of leather is best explained by describing a real life scenario. Close your eyes and imagine this: you’re making six figures a year and it’s Friday night. You put on your Hublot watch with gold inserts, your Armani shoes and jump into the 650i, drive to pick up your lady friend and her less fortunate friends that have to sit in the back because they don’t know any rich dudes and go for a night out. And yes, I know that people hate that sort of thing, but that because you love yourself too much (no pun... please!) since you’ve made it, you’re all set, you’ve arrived at your life’s destination.

Having only two doors is very arrogant, very macho and not very logical. But, sitting in a huge car with a pair of long legs on your right (or left if you’re in Britain) is what a BMW man does. It’s brash, superficial and... very addictive.

Buckets of luxury, GT characteristics and a BMW badge is also what the 6-Series Gran Coupe has. But is that brash? Certainly, your lady-friend will be envied by her friends because she’s snagged you, but they will be just as comfortable in the back as she is, and that’s not good. I’m joking of course, but fact is it looks exactly like any German saloon from a distance, albeit an expensive one. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s good looking, though not like the old Mercedes CLS, but will people think you’ve made it, or will they think it’s a company car in some cases?

It’s uber-cool that BMW finally has a four-door with a flowing roofline, but people are forgetting coupes mean sacrificing the practicality they don’t really need for style. I really can’t tell you, or the automotive world, what’s cool. If you think it’s the car for you, than you're probably guilty of the SUV mentality. But ask yourself this: would you rather live in a single-bedroom flat with an Estonian model, or a five-bedroom spread with a woman that can't fit through the door. Practicality? Come on, you don't need that to love your life!    

BMW Motorcycles Get New Colors for 2012

The 2012 BMW F800GS Trophy
"The 2012 BMW F800GS Trophy"

German motorcycle BMW is on top of its game, and when it’s not working on innovative two-wheeled concepts, be them scooters or motorcycles, is still managing refresh the existing models. While working on new models, the current line-up has been revised from the color range point of view.

This however comes mostly as a desperate move to keep us hooked on the respective models until all-new variants will be prepared.

For example, the F800GS will step into 2012 technically unaltered, despite the fact that some had dreams of Husqvarna Nuda's more powerful 900cc version of the Rotax-made parallel twin engine to be fitted in it. But BMW gives as F800GS Trophy version as a bone to chew on in the meantime, a model which comes with blue and white paint scheme, a bash-plate and hand guards.

The R1200GS on the other hand gets plenty of new colors to choose from, including Lupin Blue and Titan Silver, while the Adventure version comes in Alpine White, Triple Black or Magma Red. This is to make our wait for the much-rumoured water-cooled GS more bearable.

Also, we’ll also see the R1200RT in new colors next year, when we’ll get the chance to choose from three color options, namely Fluid Grey, Light Magnesium/Beige and Midnight Blue. The F800ST and K1300 are also getting new paint schemes, with the former coming in blue/grey/black and the latter in silver/black. However, the K1300R will only be available in Acid Green.

But BMW’s 2012 line-up, lacking some models (S 1000 RR and F650GS), points to the fact that we could still get some updates for next year and that the German brand could bring some notable surprises to this year’s EICMA in November.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Acura TL Review

2008 Acura TL Sedan

The Acura TL is a medium-sized, entry-level luxury sedan, and it is currently Acura's best selling model. Although TL typically does not provide the excitement or the prestige of competing European sports sedan, it counters with exceptional value and above average durability and reliability.

Consumers are interested in buying the Acura TL should be aware that there are three generations of the car. The current generation is the sportiest and most desirable because of his chiseled exterior styling, firm suspension tuning, powerful V6 and optional six-speed manual transmission. Almost all of TL's luxury features come standard, including a surround-sound audio system. Its interior is remarkable for its quality, design and materials.

Like most sports sedan, the TL is very usable on a daily basis and can perform well in almost any role. According to our editors, the current TL is "a well built, high performance, feature-laden entry-level luxury sports sedan, which should please most consumers shopping in this market."

These attributes also apply to the earlier years of the third generation Acura TL, which covers 2004-2006 models. Consumers are interested in a used or certified pre-owned TL would do well to look after these years. There is not much difference between them in terms of features or hardware. Please note that Acura revised V6's horsepower rating downward starting in 2006. But this review was a regulatory issue, and does not reflect a change in acceleration capability.

According to Acura owners who have posted comments to, the Acura TL is a "fantastic car" that yarns recognition of its "overall combination of performance, comfort, quality and technology." Owners will take his ride comfortable yet sporty, "and say that with an" amazing "home stereo system and a long list of standard features - including satellite radio and Bluetooth handsfree phone compatibility - the" fun factor in this car is quite unique. " Others praise the car's interior styling and its "fantastic" navigation system - "I'm in love with the navigation system. I have found my soul mate." But some owners want sedan was available in a wider range of colors, others pine for "better seating comfort."

The second generation Acura TL was built from 1999 to 2003. Although not as exciting as the current model, our editors gave their elders very positive reviews during its course. Improvements were made throughout this period, and the car had a number of SL first, including Honda's VTEC variable valve timing and a GPS navigation option. The powerful Type-S version, which debuted in 2002, should strongly consider buyers interested in increased efficiency. Regardless of specific trim level, just about any use second-generation model will work well.

The original Acura TL debuted in 1996 as a replacement for the popular Acura Vigor. Two versions were offered: a 2.5 with a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine and a 3.2 with a 3.2-liter V6. The 2.5 and 3.2 TL models were available during the first generation's run, which lasted largely unchanged, although 1998. As there is now a small price difference between the two, we suggest that consumers are interested in a first-generation TL used to go to the more powerful 3.2.

2009 Acura TL Review

 The Acura TL is a medium-sized, entry-level luxury sports cars sedan, currently Acura's best-selling car. Although TL typically does not provide the excitement or the prestige of competing European sports sedan, it counters with exceptional value and above average durability and reliability.

After three generations, the current model is the sportiest and most desirable yet, with chiseled exterior styling, firm suspension tuning, a powerful V6 and an impressive level of standard equipment. The AcuraTL underwent a midlife freshening for 2007, with minor exterior and interior styling tweaks and an upgraded optional navigation system. The TL Type-S also returned to LINEUP this year with a 286-hp V6, various performance upgrades and styling enhancements.

Like most sports sedan, the TL is very usable on a daily basis and can perform well in almost any role. According to our editors, the current TL is "a well built, high performance, feature-laden entry-level luxury sports sedan, which should please most consumers shopping in this market."

Current Acura TL

The current Acura TL receives a midlife freshening, but the big news is that the TL Type-S returns to the LINEUP after a three-year break. Equipped with a 286-hp 3.5-liter V6, Type-S also includes a sport-tuned suspension, brakes Brembo high performance and unique design elements that include quad tailpipe. A six-speed manual or five-speed automatic with auto-manual shift paddles are no-cost options. The upgraded touchscreen and voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic reporting is standard equipment on the Type-S, which is the rest of the TL's long feature list.

The regular TL receives minor styling tweaks and interior changes, including a sporty new three-spoke steering wheel. The updated navigation system is the only option, while the five-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The 258-hp 3.2-liter V6 is unchanged.

Both versions of the TL come with an attractive, well-built interior design with a more sporting intent in mind. Aluminum inlays, bright blue electroluminescent gauges and aggressively strengthened seats should appeal to enthusiasts, but may postpone the're looking for a more traditional luxury look. Ergonomics are excellent, with redundant stereo controls on the radio face plate, steering wheel, and optional touchscreen and voice commands. High-tech standard features includes Bluetooth phone connectivity options, programmable driver memory function and an excellent surround sound stereo with six-CD/DVD audio changer and satellite radio.

On the road tests we have always been impressed with the Acura TL's performance and handling abilities, but ultimately find that its front-wheel-drive setup can not compete with rear-drive models like the Infiniti G35, Lexus IS 350 or BMW 335i. Type-S ups the ante a bit, increase power without noticeable during teas. But until the Acura offers its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system on the TL or even switching to rear-wheel drive (unlikely), the TL will remain a few steps behind its top competitors. For a majority of customers, even though the TL will provide a good mix of fun and convenience at a reasonable price.

Earlier Acura TL models

The current generation TL was introduced as a 2004 model. Consumers are interested in a used or certified pre-owned TL would be well advised to look for that model year or newer. There is not much difference between them in terms of features or hardware. Please note that Acura revised V6's horsepower ratings from 270 to 258 by 2006. But this review was a regulatory issue, and the engine is not in fact change.

The second generation Acura TL was built from 1999-2003. Although it was not as exciting as the current model, our editors gave their elders very positive reviews during its course. Improvements were made throughout this period, and the car had a number of SL first, including Honda's VTEC variable valve timing and a GPS navigation option. The powerful Type-S version, which debuted in 2002, should strongly consider buyers interested in increased efficiency. Regardless of specific trim level, just about any use second-generation model will work well.

The original Acura TL debuted in 1995 as a replacement for the popular Acura Vigor. Two versions were offered: a 2.5 TL with a 2.5-liter inline-5 engine and a 3.2 TL with a 3.2-liter V6. Both models were available during the first generation's run, which lasted virtually unchanged through 1998. As there is now a small price difference between the two, we suggest that consumers are interested in a first-generation TL used to go to the more powerful 3.2.

2009 Acura TSX Review

 The Acura TSX is a relatively new vehicle in the entry-level luxury sports cars sedan segment. Consumers who want a sedan, there are traces remain silent and a little more upscale than the typical family four-door will find plenty to like. The TSX, which is Acura's least expensive model is a solid choice for daily use because of its competent driving characteristics, high-quality interior and generous level of standard features. And like most Acura products, the TSX boasts a high degree of refinement, a reputation for above-average reliability and decent value for the dollar.

One drawback to the Acura TSX is that we suspect many people do not perceive it as being as prestigious as owning more established cars from European carmakers. It is probably a function of the car's recent arrival on the market, four-cylinder engine and plebian Honda roots. (The TSX is essentially a rebadged and prettified version of the Honda Accord.) But all in all, it has earned our editors' respect, despite some misgivings about the new second-generation model. We suggest that entry-level luxury sports sedan customers give the view - even in cases of second-generation TSX, they should probably only do that if they care more about the "luxury" than "sport".

Current Acura TSX

Significantly larger than its predecessor only about everywhere except in a suitcase, the second generation ofAcura TSX debuted for the 2009 model year. That leaves room for five passengers and an impressive array of standard high-end features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlamps, a sunroof, heated power front seats with driver memory, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker CD audio system with satellite radio and iPod integration. Models equipped with the technology package adding such comforts as a navigation system, a rearview camera and a premium 10-speaker sound system with in-dash six-CD changer. All TSXs receive Anti-lock brakes, stability control, front airbags and side-impact curtain air bags for all outboard passengers.

To power the front-wheel-drive TSX employs a revised version of the previous 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices consist of an excellent six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. While commendably smooth in the Honda tradition, the 2.4-liter four simply not up to the six-cylinder engines and turbo-charged four-cylinder engines found in other entry-level luxury sports sedan.

In the test, we have been impressed with the TSX technological features list, but disappointed with how it drives. While the previous generation TSX reasonably be described as a front-wheel drive sports sedan, the TSX is more of a lavishly appointed family car. Steering feel is surprisingly calm for a Honda product - the new electric steering assist is the likely culprit - and braking at the edge of the unacceptable. The refined, but lackluster engine is unlikely to impress customers in the TSX's upscale segment.

Used Acura TSX models

The first generation Acura TSX debuted in 2004. Track Tier than the second generation model, the original TSX was widely praised for its crisp handling and entertaining (though off-color) 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generated 200 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque. Among the regular features were issues such as 17-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlamps, a sunroof, heated power front seats with driver memory, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and an eight-speaker audio system.

Anti-lock brakes, stability control, front airbags and side-impact curtain air bags for all outboard passengers were also standard. An impressive DVD-based navigation system with touchscreen and voice-activated software was the only available option for the well-equipped first-generation TSX.

Before the road test, we found that while the original TSX's torque-deficient VTEC engine was revved hard to get sufficient acceleration, it was still quite fun to wring out, especially when equipped with the slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission (a five-speed automatic was also available). Sharp handling and good steering feel made sleeping cabin TSX sports sedan. The first generation TSX also offered a high quality and aesthetically pleasing interior design.

There were a handful of changes from the original Acura TSX during its production run. Satellite radio, heated exterior mirrors and a power passenger seat was added in 2005. 2006 TSX engine features, functionality and styling updates - the four-cylinder engine was modified to produce 205 horsepower and 164 lb-ft of torque, and the navigation system achieved faster processing and additional points of interest. Bluetooth, driver seat memory and MP3 auxiliary jack was also new. Exterior enhancements include redesigned front and rear fascia, new side thresholds, foglamps and new alloy wheels.

Audi A5 Review

 Where Audi really needs to improve his game was in the driver's involvement department. With A5, it has done so. The coupe features a long road, its steering has been engineered from scratch, the Quattro 4WD is biased towards the rear and front axle has been moved forward 120mm to counteract during teas. All this work has had the desired effect.

The A5 offers meaty steering, good turn-in and impressive, a better sense of balance than the company's storage RS4. Thanks to its 4WD traction, the car is also very efficient through corners - especially slow them. The problem is, it does not provide the same feedback and sharpness as its arch-rival, BMW 3-Series. If you choose the optional Sport pack would improve things - but would also hurt the ride quality. By default, Audi is comfortable, especially on highways where it has a quiet ride forgiving. As for engines, the 3.0-liter TDI has been developed, and now delivers more power. It does not feel like a normal diesel - it is more flexible, with good and minimal diesel-like rattles. It draws interest from less than 1500rpm and chastened to an impressive 5200rpm. 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds is potent, but the gearbox is springy and sends vibrations.

The A5 is impressive in the metal. It is best viewed from a distance, where you can appreciate the subtle line that forms the car's shoulder, and the radical currents that roof down into the trunk, which ends in a very small lip spooler. If anything, we believe that the reverse is more successful than the generic nose, and the front-end is distinguished from other Audi by the standard xenon headlights with their dramatic LED lights running. Up close, the first thing you see is how little the A5 is the roof. When you open one of the relatively short doors, you seem to have to dip much lower to get within inches but it's a full four-seater - finally, it is a return to a market left Audi in 1996. Built on the Modular Longitudinal Platform that will underpin the next A4, the Audi offers a wide range of engines, including the 3.0-liter TDI we tested, plus a 2.7-liter TDI, a 3.2-liter V6 petrol and the magnificent 4.2 - liter V8 S5. There simply is the only body style. His rival is the BMW 3 Series Coupe - this car is a competitor of this model in absolutely every respect, and you know Audi has benchmarked its Munich counterpart to the nth degree. The Mercedes CLK is an alternative, such as the Peugeot 407 Coupe left field.

The interior is completely new for the A5. We expect that elements of the design to appear on the next A4, but in the meantime, the Audi's cockpit looks and feels unique. But that's not to say it's perfect. The new key is rather clumsy, the switches for the electric windows click uncomfortable and the heating controls are fiddly. Nevertheless, the cabin of a quality is of the opinion, while the wraparound dash is strengthened this effect and gives a feeling of space. You will not benefit if you sitting on the rear bench tight, but while you struggle to your feet under the front seats. But what are taken from the rear legroom is given to the load bay - the A5 of the 455-liter luggage compartment is huge. It's pretty economical too, while retained values very beautiful.

2009 Audi TT

On his debut as a concept car in 1995 and finally a production reality, the Audi TT was one of the most dramatic cars to come out in mid to late 1990s. Its ecological and symmetrical reported front and rear sections compared with slab-sided flanks to create a look unlike any Audi has ever done before. Meanwhile, the TT's beautifully executed interior left no noticeable trace of the car a little humble VW Golf roots.

Named after the Tourist Trophy motorsports event held at the Isle of Man (where a predecessor of the Audi brand competing), the Audi TT is not quite a sports car, not quite a sport coupe or roadster. In essence, the front-or all-wheel-drive TT is a two-seat GT. True, the Coupe has a few seats in the back, but they are best left to small children or used as a padded parcel shelf. TT has a low slung look and feel of a sports car, but its dynamic personality is closer to that of a luxury sports coupe.

Irrespective of the year, and trim levels, the TT is on the fast, but with some first-generation versions heavier than 3,600 pounds and suspension tuning, giving priority to touring comfort of all-out cornering prowess, it will not be the first choice for hard-core enthusiasts. These zealots are seeking a harder edge driving experience would be better served by more finely focused sports. The majority of consumers, but who want a sporty coupe or roadster with energetic performance and a heavy emphasis on style, should be more than happy with the Audi TT.

Current Audi TT

The current Audi TT was redesigned for the 2008 model year and represents the second generation. Although slightly higher, the second-generation TT not orphan too far from the timeless lines of his predecessor. The overall look is the same, although the characters lines are Crispen and nose adopt Audi's now-signature single-frame grille. Although longer and wider than the first TT, the latest version is easier (with nearly 200 pounds in the event of a roadster), thanks to the increased use of aluminum in the body structure. It also offers a more powerful four-cylinder engine.

Two trim levels - a 2.0T (200 hp turbocharged four with front-wheel drive) and 3.2 Quattro (250 hp V6 with all wheel drive) - offered in a choice of Hatchback Coupe and Roadster body styles. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and a six-speed S tronic dual-clutch sequential transmission, which offers easy automatic combined with a quick response from a manual. (Former S-tronic became known as Direct Shift gearbox, or DSG.)

On the way, the 2.0T feel more flexible through a series of curves, as it has less weight on the front tires, while the 3.2 Quattro deliver more punch on the straightaways with a more aggressive engine and exhaust sound. The 2.0T is actually more athletic of the two, as quick-revving four-cylinder engine, whooshing turbocharger and light-effort steering mobile combine to deliver a strong sporting impression.

One of the TT's most notable asset is its superbly designed interior, which entices with a look that is sleek and modern. Another is its sculpted exterior design. The TT also offers an impeccable sequential-shift manual transmission, and high Hatchback value when purchased in Coupe iteration. Its main drawback concerns the fact that its handling is less precise than that offered by some of its rear-drive competitors.

Former Audi TT models

Introduced for the 2000 model year, and initially available only as a Hatchback coupe, the first TT was powered by Audi's peppy 1.8-liter, 180 horsepower turbocharged inline-4. Buyers can choose either front-or all-wheel drive (Audi's Quattro system). A five-speed manual was standard, while a six-speed manual was optional. Together with its low-slung, avant-garde styling, the TT boasted an equally unique interior, who played polished aluminum accents, impeccable fit and finish and, unfortunately, a couple of ergonomic glitches such as a CD changer mounted behind the driver and counter intuitive climate control.

After a much-publicized recall to fix twitchy handling characteristics of early TTS, a roadster and a 225-hp Quattro version debuted the following year. In 2003, an automatic transmission (with six speeds) were available. But the biggest news for this generation came in 2004 when 250 hp 3.2-liter V6 and Audi's superb six-speed auto-manual gearbox was available. The latter, dubbed DSG, provided rapid yet jolt-free manual-style gear changes that put a Ferrari's F1 transmission to shame. Audi TT stood pat through 2006, the last year in this generation.

Potential buyers should know that although potentially fast in a straight line, this TT was never regarded as a genuine sports car because of its potentially heavy weight limit, and soft-sprung suspension. Still, the TT should satisfy those who prize comfort, style and all-weather capability in their sports coupe and roadster.

2009 Audi S8

 Audi S8 is the German auto maker's flagship performance sedan. Debuting at the beginning of the new millennium, was the third vehicle for the North American market to sustain an "S" badge. Used to produce Audi's engineering achievements, S-and RS-badged vehicles compete directly against other automakers performance models from divisions like BMW's M and Mercedes-Benz's AMG. As a high-luxury, high performance and high-technology platform, the S8 is the standard bearer of Audi's arsenal.

There are two generations of the Audi S8 and each has been based on the A8 luxury sedan from the same period. Based on the A8's lightweight aluminum-frame chassis, the S8 adds a more powerful engine, a sport-tuned suspension, more powerful brakes and a slightly more aggressive look. Despite being Audi's largest sedan, a combination of a relatively light curb weight, muscular and tenacious grip of the car's standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system makes it surprisingly quick and smooth. Audi's Quattro system is a key advantage over S8's competitors by providing more traction, especially in the weather.

Audi has ensured that luxury amenities were not sacrificed in favor of direct speed. A premium leather-trimmed interior, real wood accents and exemplary fit and finish complement both S8 models, which makes a whole gang of safety devices. If there is a mistake to Audi S8, it is certain that it does not quite match the performance potential of some competitive sports sedan. Our editors have described it as an impressive luxury sedan first and a performance sedan second. But for those who need AWD security or simply wishing a speedy, stealthy and relatively rare luxury sedan, either S8 generation will do nicely.

Current Audi S8

Returns to LINEUP for 2007 after a three-year break, the latest Audi S8 is based on second-GEN A8. Its most talked-about feature is its engine. Audi's engineers took advantage of its parent company Volkswagen's ownership of Lamborghini and snagged the Lamborghini Gallardo's 40-valve V10 engine. Audi increased displacement to 5.2 liters and added FSI petrol direct injection to optimize the delivery. The result is an operatic 450 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. All this sonorous power is pushed through a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, so you can happily keep my fingers tapping the steering wheel paddle shifters. The sound of the engine wailing through four exhaust pipes are so sweet, you can ask premium audio system to take five.

The current Audi S8 delivers performance products, while rewarding the driver with a rich experience filled with techno-gadgetry. It is easy to learn Multi Media Interface with Bluetooth navigation, a 350-watt, 12-speaker Bose audio system with a glovebox CD changer, power lifting just outside mirrors with tilt-in-reverse and everything is wrapped in sumptuous leather and wood trim. A stiffer version of the standard A8's fully independent adaptive air suspension works in the unit with 20-inch wheels, performance tires and speed-dependent steering to provide exceptional handling in both high and low speed maneuvers.

Overall, the combination of luxury, performance and technology add up to an impressive package. At the same time, Audi has kept the styling upgrades tasteful as S8 not immediately scream "performance model" as some competitors do. Only in terms of maximum performance potential is Audi's finest bit of a letdown.

Former Audi S8 models

When it debuted for the 2001 model year, the first Audi S8 came with a 4.2-liter V8 making 360 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. The aluminum frame and body are lowered, stiffer suspension performed well in its 18-inch wheels. The fit and finish besteden something else in its class. It even won a star packed role in a memorable car chase in Ronin movie directed by John Frankenheim. But S8 never seemed to be named Cachet of its impressive rivals.

Audi continued to improve the car by small increments over the next two years. It offered new features such as a tire-pressure monitoring system, front and rear parking assist and a navigation system. To increase the feeling of exclusivity, Audi released a limited edition color combinations like a silver exterior with a red interior, a Ming Blue exterior with a platinum interior and a black exterior with a caramel interior. As a used model, the original S8 still gives serious performance dynamics, which can be enjoyed from the most beautiful of environments.

Audi A4 Performance

The latest Nothelle project is the A4, which the tuning company from Ratingen (Germany) provides with a more elegant and at the same time sportier appearance. And naturally nothelle also offers various performance improvements for the A4.

- Power output increased by up to 310 bhp

- Aerodynamic packages

- Quadruple exhaust and "NOVEDRA VII SPORT" 19-inch wheels

Sophisticated nothelle aerodynamic packages with sporty looks.

Nothelle tackles the external cosmetics with the aid of a comprehensive, in-house, sophisticated aerodynamic kits, which is mounted on the standard components without any additional body modifications.

It consists of a front spoiler (from EUR 490), side skirts, a rear apron attachment and a rear spoiler (one version each for the Saloon and the Avant), as well as optional fender extensions, which can also be fitted onto the standard wings with any body modifications.

The rear of the A4 gets an even sportier upgrade when you order the nothelle diffusor. This is available either in the body colour or in sophisticated genuine carbon fibre.

The nothelle rear silencer with its quad-tailpipe looks (from EUR 620), made entirely of durable stainless steel, promises a sporty sound as well as a touch more power. Its oval, chrome-plated 4 tailpipes give the rear end of the A4 a significant boost. A pretty backside is no less enchanting, after all!

Sports suspension and matching footwear

nothelle also provides matching footwear for the A4, with the company's own NOVEDRA VII SPORT wheels in 8.5 x 19" format. The one-piece wheel is impressive for its striking and extremely exclusive design, as well as its multi-piece looks (from EUR 550). Nnothelle offers it in three versions.

The basic version is the "NOVEDRA VII SPORT", painted in Shiny Silver. The fine surface finish of the "brilliance edition" is achieved by means of an extremely elaborate ball polishing process with high-gloss intensification. Because tastes vary, nothelle also offers the "black edition" as a third version. The alloy wheel is also available complete with an ultra high-performance 235/35-19 tyre from nothelle's technology partner, KUMHO.

Naturally nothelle also takes care to ensure that all the extra power does not throw the A4 off the road. That's why the Ratingen tuning company offers sport suspension systems. Either in the form of a comfort-oriented set of sports springs, as a complete suspension system or as a high-end solution using individually height-adjustable coilovers.

Performance upgrades for diesel and petrol engines

Nothelle gives the diesels a boost by means of chip-tuning or its N TRONIC BOX. The latter represents the intelligent power box for diesel engines, and is a supplementary control unit that will deliver a significant but not excessive performance boost when installed.

Similar performance figures are delivered by the chip-tuning version, LEADERCHIP©, designed for the discerning driver with a desire for more controlled power. The vehicle releases its entire potential and yet at the same time remains supreme and respectable in its running characteristics. The engine offers significantly improved torque and increased power output with well-balanced figures. It is the diplomat among the tuning chips, with unfettered superiority.

As a third alternative nothelle offers the BULLCHIP©, the power upgrade for the driver with sporting ambitions. Full-blooded power delivery, breathtaking torque and fabulous acceleration are its characteristic features. That makes it the muscle man among the tuning chips.

All performance upgrades are of course also available for vehicles with a diesel particle filter.

2.0TFSI Nothelle Style

Of all the A4's petrol engines, the 2-litre TFSI is just asking for some muscle-toning. nothelle turns it into the highlight of its range. In the case of the turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine, the conversion delivers a leap in power output up to a magnificent 310 horsepower! That makes it possible for the A4 to reach a top speed of 280 km/h (175 mph). Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 5.5 seconds will have many a 911-owner booking his Porsche in for a performance check at the first workshop he comes across.

As a rule nothelle can offer performance upgrades for all engines. In all its development work the tuning firm naturally pays greatest attention to ensuring compliance with all applicable emissions standards. And all with TÜV approval and under warranty.

audi a4 performanceaudi a4 performance

2008 Audi A4 Performance & Efficiency Standard Features

Turbo compressor

1,984 cc 2.0 liters inline 4 front engine with 82.5 mm bore, 92.8 mm stroke, 10.5 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder

Premium unleaded fuel 91

Gasoline direct injection fuel system

18.5 gallon main premium unleaded fuel tank 15.4

Power: 149 kW , 200 HP SAE @ 5,100 rpm; 207 ft lb , 281 Nm @ 1,800 rpm
2008 Audi A4 Handling, Ride & Braking Standard Features

Fourwheel ABS

Brake assist system

Four disc brakes including two ventilated discs

Electronic brake distribution

Electronic traction control via ABS & engine management


Fullsize alloy rim internal spare wheel

Stability control

Multilink front and rear suspension independent with stabilizer bar and coil springs
2008 Audi A4 Exterior & Aerodynamics Standard Features

Body side molding

Body color front and rear bumpers

Chrome/bright trim around side windows

Day time running lights

Driver and passenger power heated partialpainted door mirrors

External dimensions: overall length (inches): 180.6, overall width (inches): 69.8, overall height (inches): 56.2, wheelbase (inches): 104.3, front track (inches): 59.9, rear track (inches): 59.9 and curb to curb turning circle (feet): 36.4

Front fog lights

Projector beam lens halogen bulb headlights

Luxury trim alloy & leather on gearknob, alloy on doors and alloy on dashboard

Black paint

Fixed rear window with defogger

Glass electric front sunroof

Tinted glass on cabin

Weights: curb weight (lbs) 3,450

Windshield wipers with automatic intermittent wipe
2008 Audi A4 Interior Standard Features

12v power outlet: cargo, front and 1

Air conditioning with climate control

Diversity antenna

Peripheral interior monitoring antilift antitheft protection

Front and rear ashtray

Manufacturer's own RDS audio system with AM/FM, Disc Autochanger and sixdisc remote changer CD player reads MP3

Automatic drive indicator on dashboard

Cargo area light

Cargo capacity: all seats in place (cu ft): 13.4

Front seats cigar lighter


Computer with range for remaining fuel

Full dashboard console with covered storage box, full floor console with open storage box, partial overhead console

Delayed/fade courtesy lights

Cruise control

Front seats cup holders fixed, rear seats cup holders pop out

Door pockets/bins for driver seat and passenger seat

External temperature

Floor mats

Driver front airbag with multistage deployment, passenger front airbag with occupant sensors and multistage deployment

Bucket electrically adjustable driver seat with height adjustment, lumbar adjustment, six adjustments and tilt adjustment, bucket electrically adjustable passenger seat with height adjustment, lumbar adjustment and two adjustments

Height adjustable 3point reel front seat belts on driver seat and passenger seat with pretensioners

Front seat center armrest

Two height adjustable active head restraints on front seats, three height adjustable head restraints on rear seats

Heated washer

Illuminated entry system

Internal dimensions: front headroom (inches): 38.4, rear headroom (inches): 37.2, front leg room (inches): 41.3, rear leg room (inches): 34.3, front shoulder room (inches): 55.1, rear shoulder room (inches): 53.4 and interior volume (cu ft): 90.1

Low tire pressure indicator

Remote power locks includes trunk/hatch, includes power windows and speed sensing

Vehicle speed proportional power steering

Front and rear power windows with two onetouch

Front and rear reading lights

Rear fog lights

3point reel rear seat belts on driver side, passenger side and center side with pretensioners

Rear seat center armrest integral box

Three asymmetrical bench front facing rear seats with zero adjustments

Rear view mirror

Steering wheel mounted remote audio controls

Remote fuel filler door release

Remote control remote trunk/hatch release

Front and rear side curtain airbag

Front seat back storage

Cloth seat upholstery with additional cloth

Seating: five seats

Service interval indicator

Front side airbag

Ten speaker(s)

Leather covered multifunction steering wheel with tilt adjustment and telescopic adjustment


Illuminated driver and passenger vanity mirror

Ventilation system with micro filter and active carbon filter.

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