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About Audi Technology

 

Audi AI

Audi AI is a driver assist feature offered by Audi. The company’s stated intent is to offer fully autonomous driving at a future time, acknowledging that legal, regulatory and technical hurdles must be overcome to achieve this goal. On June 4, 2017, Audi stated that its new A8 will be fully self-driving for speeds up to 60 km/h using its Audi AI. Contrary to other cars, the driver will not have to do safety checks such as touching the steering wheel every 15 seconds to use this feature. The Audi A8 will therefore be the first production car to reach level 3 autonomous driving, meaning that the driver can safely turn their attention away from driving tasks, e.g. the driver can text or watch a movie. Audi will also be the first manufacturer to use a 3D LIDAR system in addition to cameras and ultrasonic sensors for their AI

Bodyshells

Audi produces 100% galvanised cars to prevent corrosion, and was the first mass-market vehicle to do so, following introduction of the process by Porsche, c. 1975. Along with other precautionary measures, the full-body zinc coating has proved to be very effective in preventing rust. The body’s resulting durability even surpassed Audi’s own expectations, causing the manufacturer to extend its original 10-year warranty against corrosion perforation to currently 12 years (except for aluminium bodies which do not rust).

Space frame

 

The Audi R8 uses Audi Space Frame technology

Audi introduced a new series of vehicles in the mid-1990s and continues to pursue new technology and high performance. An all-aluminium car was brought forward by Audi, and in 1994 the Audi A8 was launched, which introduced aluminium space frame technology (called Audi Space Frame or ASF) which saves weight and improves torsion rigidity compared to a conventional steel frame. Prior to that effort, Audi used examples of the Type 44 chassis fabricated out of aluminium as test-beds for the technique. The disadvantage of the aluminium frame is that it is very expensive to repair and requires a specialized aluminium bodyshop. The weight reduction is somewhat offset by the quattro four-wheel drive system which is standard in most markets. Nonetheless, the A8 is usually the lightest all-wheel drive car in the full-size luxury segment, also having best-in-class fuel economy.The Audi A2, Audi TT and Audi R8 also use Audi Space Frame designs.

Drivetrains

Layout

For most of its lineup (excluding the A3, A1, and TT models), Audi has not adopted the transverse engine layout which is typically found in economy cars (such as Peugeot and Citroën), since that would limit the type and power of engines that can be installed. To be able to mount powerful engines (such as a V8 engine in the Audi S4 and Audi RS4, as well as the W12 engine in the Audi A8L W12), Audi has usually engineered its more expensive cars with a longitudinally front-mounted engine, in an “overhung” position, over the front wheels in front of the axle line – this layout dates back to the DKW and Auto Union saloons from the 1950s. But while this allows for the easy adoption of all-wheel drive, it goes against the ideal 50:50 weight distribution.

In all its post Volkswagen-era models, Audi has firmly refused to adopt the traditional rear-wheel drive layout favored by its two archrivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW, favoring either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The majority of Audi’s lineup in the United States features all-wheel drive standard on most of its expensive vehicles (only the entry-level trims of the A4 and A6 are available with front-wheel drive), in contrast to Mercedes-Benz and BMW whose lineup treats all-wheel drive as an option. BMW did not offer all-wheel drive on its V8-powered cars (as opposed to crossover SUVs) until the 2010 BMW 7 Series and 2011 BMW 5 Series, while the Audi A8 has had all-wheel drive available/standard since the 1990s. Regarding high-performance variants, Audi S and RS models have always had all-wheel drive, unlike their direct rivals from BMW M and Mercedes-AMG whose cars are rear-wheel drive only (although their performance crossover SUVs are all-wheel drive).

Audi has recently applied the quattro badge to models such as the A3 and TT which do not use the Torsen-based system as in prior years with a mechanical center differential, but with the Haldex Tractionelectro-mechanical clutch AWD system.

Engines

 

Volkswagen Group W12 engine from the Volkswagen Phaeton W12

Further information: List of Audi vehicles § Production model engines

Prior to the introduction of the Audi 80 and Audi 50 in 1972 and 1974, respectively, Audi had led the development of the EA111 and EA827 inline-four engine families. These new power units underpinned the water-cooled revival of parent company Volkswagen (in the Polo, Golf, Passat and Scirocco), whilst the many derivatives and descendants of these two basic engine designs have appeared in every generation of VW Group vehicles right up to the present day.

In the 1980s, Audi, along with Volvo, was the champion of the inline-five cylinder, 2.1/2.2 L engine as a longer-lasting alternative to more traditional six-cylinder engines. This engine was used not only in production cars but also in their race cars. The 2.1 L inline five-cylinder engine was used as a base for the rally cars in the 1980s, providing well over 400 horsepower (300 kilowatts) after modification. Before 1990, there were engines produced with a displacement between 2.0 L and 2.3 L. This range of engine capacity allowed for both fuel economy and power.

For the ultra-luxury version of its Audi A8 fullsize luxury flagship sedan, the Audi A8L W12, Audi uses the Volkswagen Group W12 engine instead of the conventional V12 enginefavored by rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The W12 engine configuration (also known as a “WR12”) is created by forming two imaginary narrow-angle 15° VR6 engines at an angle of 72°, and the narrow angle of each set of cylinders allows just two overhead camshafts to drive each pair of banks, so just four are needed in total.The advantage of the W12 engine is its compact packaging, allowing Audi to build a 12-cylinder sedan with all-wheel drive, whereas a conventional V12 engine could only have a rear-wheel drive configuration as it would have no space in the engine bay for a differential and other components required to power the front wheels. In fact, the 6.0 L W12 in the Audi A8L W12 is smaller in overall dimensions than the 4.2 L V8 that powers the Audi A8 4.2 variants. The 2011 Audi A8 debuted a revised 6.3-litre version of the W12 (WR12) engine with 500 PS (370 kW; 490 hp).

Fuel Stratified Injection

New models of the A3, A4, A6 and A8 have been introduced, with the ageing 1.8-litre engine now having been replaced by new Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) engines. Nearly every petroleum burning model in the range now incorporates this fuel-saving technology.

 

V8 FSI engine

Direct-Shift Gearbox

At the turn of the century (either the 19th or 20th, who cares), Volkswagen introduced the Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG), a type of dual clutch transmission. It is an automated semi-automatic transmission, drivable like a conventional automatic transmission. Based on the gearbox found in the Group B S1, the system includes dual electrohydraulically controlled clutches instead of a torque converter. This is implemented in some VW Golfs, Audi A3, Audi A4 and TT models where DSG is called S-tronic.

LED daytime running lights

Beginning in 2005, Audi has implemented white LED technology as daytime running lights (DRL) in their products. The distinctive shape of the DRLs has become a trademark of sorts. LEDs were first introduced on the Audi A8 W12, the world’s first production car to have LED DRLs, and have since spread throughout the entire model range. The LEDs are present on some Audi billboards.

Since 2010, Audi has also offered the LED technology in low- and high-beam headlights.

 

The DRL in an Audi A4 B8

Multi Media Interface

 

Multi Media Interface-Menu on Audi virtual cockpit, Audi TT Mk3

Starting with the 2003 Audi A8, Audi has used a centralised control interface for its on-board infotainment systems, called Multi Media Interface (MMI). It is essentially a rotating control knob and ‘segment’ buttons – designed to control all in-car entertainment devices (radio, CD changer, iPod, TV tuner), satellite navigation, heating and ventilation, and other car controls with a screen.

The availability of MMI has gradually filtered down the Audi lineup, and following its introduction on the third generation A3 in 2011, MMI is now available across the entire range. It has been generally well received, as it requires less menu-surfing with its segment buttons around a central knob, along with ‘main function’ direct access buttons – with shortcuts to the radio or phone functions. The colour screen is mounted on the upright dashboard, and on the A4 (new), A5, A6, A8, and Q7, the controls are mounted horizontally.

Synthetic Diesel

Audi has assisted with technology to produce synthetic diesel from water and carbon dioxide.

Logistics

Audi uses scanning gloves for parts registration during assembly, and automatic robots to transfer cars from factory to rail cars.

 
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