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2005 GENEVA AUTO SHOW: Audi prepares to build supercar


By Diana T. Kurylko
Automotive News / March 07, 2005


GENEVA -- Audi is likely to put a supercar into production as its halo, says Audi AG Chairman Martin Winterkorn.

The automaker is "nearer and nearer" to giving the Le Mans quattro the green light, Winterkorn says. Audi showed the car at the 2003 Frankfurt auto show. It featured a 5.0-liter twin-turbo engine with 610 hp.

Audi based the show car on the architecture of the Lamborghini Gallardo. Volkswagen Group owns the Italian brand as well as Audi.

The Le Mans would be among several niche vehicles Audi plans to introduce to round out its product range, Winterkorn says. Audi targets global sales of 1 million vehicles by the end of the decade.

To become a true competitor with German luxury brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz, "we will go into niches," he adds.


Audi is rolling out the redesigned A4 in the United States. It will have at least two more derivatives than the previous generation. PHOTO: PHILIP MEECH


Audi's product range consists of the A3, A4, A6 and A8. It lacks SUVs and sport coupes.

Audi is rolling out the redesigned A4 in the United States. It will have at least two more derivatives than the previous generation, Winterkorn says. The last generation had three body styles: sedan, station wagon and convertible.

One of the new A4 variants will be a small SUV, the Q5, Winterkorn says. Audi is developing the vehicle primarily for sale in Europe. It is expected on the market in about three years.

Audi aims a larger SUV, the Q7, at the United States. The Q7 is due next year.

You may e-mail Diana T. Kurylko at [email protected]


http://www.autonews.com/article.cms?articleId=52053
 

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Bastards... I could see that coming a mile away. Just exploiting Lamborghini to boost their own brand. I'm going to tell you guys I told you so every time this comes up. The REAL Lamborghini is dead and buried, to be resurrected in a generic form. They need to stick to their ugly SUV's.
 

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At least REAL lambo owners can revel in the fact that they own a REAL italian supercar, not some german cookie cutter version.
 

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Awhile ago I saw a video posted on the internet of the Audi LeMans. It was being carefully driven on some Paris streets at what looked like about 5 am. If that is the car they are producing, it certainly looks more like a sports sedan than an out and out exotic car. Sure underneath it is Gallardo based, but it looks like a completely different class of vehicle. Also, I haven't seen anyone from Audi say that the LeMans (when it is produced) was going to be anywhere near the Gallardo's horsepower. Yes, the concept had over 600 hp -- but that does not mean that's the final production figure for the actual car.
 

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The concept has a drivetrain based on the Gallardo. The production version will be a V8 with a double clutch transmission. It will not make as much power as the Gallardo does today.
 

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zchbcklr said:
Does anyone know if Lamborghini designs its automobile's or is it Volkswagon that designs Lamborghini's cars?
Lamborghini designs its own cars through its new Central Styling facility!
They may get good designs from outside however, like for the Gallardo.

When VW bought Lamborghini they shortly thereafter installed their own man,
namely Luc Donckerwolke as head of design.

Luc's first job was to design the mods for the Diablo that became the
Diablo 6.0, a very beautiful design and one that seems very popular on
this list.

That design shows that Luc's heart is in the right place !!

The Murcielago followed that, and the rest is history. With the
innovation we've seen lately in the Murcielago Roadster and the Concept S,
I think he's just starting to get his legs!

Lamborghini last July opened it's own Central Styling Group headed by
Luc Donckerwolke, at the Lamborghini Factory. This act shows the
desire on the part of VW for autonomy for Lamborghini design.

Luc is slowly building the talent in the group and hopes to have 5 designers
on the team shortly. All this is documented in this month's "Auto & Design"
magazine as I posted earlier this week on this forum. If you dig that up,
there is also a short article that you can find online. Most of the team if
I recall correctly is either Italian or will be mostly Italians.

The article also reports that Luc's group is currently working on 6 different
projects. I am assuming those are all Lamborghini projects, but I don't
know.

They may not represent complete new Lamborghini designs but may be
modifications of existing Lamborghinis that they are looking at maybe for the
future. Or they are just designs they are doing to work on their
callaboration, as a design team has to achieve a certain synergy to be
running on all 12 cylinders so to speak, and Luc needs to build that in his
team.
 

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Everyone needs to calm down! Audi had always planned to platform share from the outset with the Gallardo design. The only way they could justify the r and d cost to design a completely new car was to share the Gallardo platform with an Audi car to recover the costs and make the entire project viable. The car will be an audi and will not have more horsepower than a Gallardo - really, they're not stupid. It will be based, visually on the Le Mans concept and mechanically in the Gallardo platform/suspension/engine. Although there is still talk of the Audi 4.2 V8 going into the car, not a V10. Remember the Gallardo V10 is based on the 4.2 Audi V8. The Lambo version was developed and engineered by Cosworth Engineering UK, which VW Group owns as well. Also, there were plans from the beginning to share the V10 with other model line Lamborghinis, whether that be an SUV or a 2+2 or whatever, that is the bread and butter engine of their line up.

For those who don't know about the current situation at Maserati: Fiat Auto has moved Maserati away from Ferrari and into the hands of Alfa Romeo. Why? Because the current Maserati line is far too expensive to produce under Ferrari stewardship and therefore the cars in the real market are becoming too expensive to purchase, meaning poor sales. Know matter how cool it may be to have Ferrari building Maseratis and how much cache' this carries, business is business and Fiat knows if Maserati is to survive in the future, something drastic must be done now. So, the future of the Maserati line will share both platforms and engines with Alfa Romeo and therefore will allow Maserati to market a sub $100K line of coupes and spyders in the U.S. Only platform sharing will allow this to happen. Ford is also doing the same thing with the latest Aston Martin line - the DB9, the upcoming Vantage and the new Vanquish will all platform share. Again, this is the only way Aston Martin can survive and produce cars. Porsche too with their current and future lineup - all platform and engine sharing across the board.

I am looking forward to the new Audi car and will most likely purchase it. My daily driver is a 2005 A8 and my wife's is a 2004 A4. We can all support our favorite marque if we support Audi and purchase their products! No matter what some people think of the newly designed Lamborghinis, Audi has done and is doing an amazing job with their new stewardship of Lamborghini. Think of what went on when Chrysler owned it? Our memories can't surely be that short? Do be foolish and bash Audi for what they're doing - it's completely immature and makes no sense for anyone.
 

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Platform sharing, as in Ford to Jaguar, and Chrysler to Mercedes is the ugly side. The prestige of these two marks is completely destroyed because of Wall street. You can't make great cars when profit is as important has it is today. Mercedes and Jaguars are now almost commodities. Audi will please shareholders first. I agree there is probably no other way to exist, but this activity is going to kill the heritage of the car anyway so why not let it die. Maybe they can fool the next generation, but I'll always be resentful.

At least Chrysler let Lamborghini be Lamborghini.

One more thing, the mergers of Mercedes/Chrysler, and Ford/Jaguar are complete financial disasters, so not only did they destroy the cars they hurt the shareholders too!! What makes Audi different??
 

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raymondo said:
Platform sharing, as in Ford to Jaguar, and Chrysler to Mercedes is the ugly side. The prestige of these two marks is completely destroyed because of Wall street. You can't make great cars when profit is as important has it is today. Mercedes and Jaguars are now almost commodities. Audi will please shareholders first. I agree there is probably no other way to exist, but this activity is going to kill the heritage of the car anyway so why not let it die. Maybe they can fool the next generation, but I'll always be resentful.

At least Chrysler let Lamborghini be Lamborghini.

One more thing, the mergers of Mercedes/Chrysler, and Ford/Jaguar are complete financial disasters, so not only did they destroy the cars they hurt the shareholders too!! What makes Audi different??
I totally agree with you raymond
:cheers:
 
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