Audi is aiming to make its performance cars more involving for drivers, says the company’s technical boss.
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The German brand’s sporty models have struggled to match the dynamics and driver engagement offered by many of its competitors such as BMW and Mercedes, including areas such as steering feel.

Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi’s board of management member for technical development used the company’s R8 supercar as an example of how it was looking to improve the dynamic performance of its cars.

“The next R8 will be less A8 and more R,” said Durheimer, indicating the R8 would be even more closely targeted towards driving enthusiasts.

“I think in terms of feel for the road, direct response, being even more into the driver’s position, the R8 has room for improvement.

“So it will become sharper, more responsive, steering feel different from today, and more race application on the brakes side.

Durheimer, however, said the level of driver involvement would depend on the segment and that there would be less focus on this area for its luxury models.

“In depends on the accordance of the segment we are talking about. The A3 (below) is a car that has a [one] million population [of buyers] and needs to meet the requirements of a lot of people.

“It will have a brake system that, when you just touch it, it will analyse that the driver wants to slow down, and even if you don’t pressurise [push the brake pedal] much more, the brake force installed if you remain on brake will be increased.

“This is counterproductive to a good lap time in a sporty car where you like to control the deceleration with more application on the [brake] pedal.

“Same for the steering. I think the A3 customer is not very interested in size of gravel he is going over – and this telephone line into the steering wheel whereas an R8 customer really wants to know this.”