True to form, German premium powerhaus Audi has a vast number of new or updated models to launch in 2015 as it continues its dogged pursuit of BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the sales race.
Audi TT coupe — February
Audi will launch the third-generation of its style icon, the TT Coupe, in February, featuring evolutionary styling with a more masculine edge, and all-new underpinnings.
Audi Australia says the 2015 Audi TT will start at “very close to” $77,000 for the 2.0 TFSI front-wheel drive with manual or S tronic automatic transmission, rising to $80K for the same model with all-wheel drive but S tronic-only.
A6/A7 updates — April
The updated A6 and S6 sedan range arrives in April with a host of engine, active safety and technological improvements. Meanwhile the wagon (or Avant) body style on non-RS models will be axed due to slow sales.
At the same time, the updated A7 we review here will also arrive.
RS6/RS7 — May
An updated version of the RS6 Avant will arrive one month after its A6 siblings with similar styling and technological tweaks, but its 412kW V8 and 3.9-second 0-100km/h sprint times are unchanged. That said, an ever hotter version called the RS6 Plus could be waiting in the wings.
A similarly updated RS7, based on the regular facelifted range, is also due at the same time.
A3 e-tron — May
In the second quarter of the year Audi launches its answer to the BMW i3, the A3 e-tron.
Its driveline combines a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and an automatic six-speed dual-clutch transmission, with a 75kW electric motor sandwiched in between them that draws power from a bank of 8.8kWh lithium-ion batteries under the rear seat.
Power goes only to the front wheels, with combined peak outputs of 150kW of power and 350Nm of torque. The A3 Sportback e-tron is set to have a claimed combined cycle fuel use of 1.6 litres per 100 kilometres, while EV range is claimed at 50km.
A1 — May
The baby of Audi’s range gets an upgrade around the middle of the year with two all-new engines, electromechanical steering, an optional automatic transmission for the base model and new trim grades.
A 1.0-litre turbocharged engine replaces the 1.2-litre entry model, the 1.4 TFSI has been revamped and a sporty 1.8-litre TFSI replaces the current 1.4-litre twin-charged engine. The recently released, unchanged Audi S1 tops off the series with a 2.0 TFSI engine producing 170kW and 370Nm.
Read our first drive review from Europe here.
TT Roadster — Mid 2015
The TT Roadster picks up all the signature design elements of the coupe, and is shorter, lighter, more aerodynamic and, importantly, more rigid than the second-generation ragtop.
Get a full rundown of the car here, but highlights include the electric fabric top with parts made from magnesium, aluminium, steel and plastic. The roof weighs only 39kg, down 3kg on the outgoing car.
While opening, the top forms a Z shape (like the new A3) as it folds together into a flat package. When is stowed in the aluminium tray, it does not encroach on the 280-litre luggage compartment, apparently. It can open or stow in 10 seconds and speeds of up to 50km/h.
TT S — Q3
Arriving about six months after the regular TT coupe and and shortly after the Roadster, the flagship TT S offers a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making higher outputs than before, with 228kW/380Nm. The 0-100km/h test takes 4.6 seconds.
Read more here.
Q3/RS Q3 — Second half 2015
Precise timing of the local launch is still being determined, but the updated Q3 baby SUV arrives in updated form in the second half of 2015.
Buyers get a tweaked design and engines to choose from.
For petrol buyers there’s a 110kW 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder, as well as 132kW and 162kW variants of the 2.0-litre turbo. The latter have 7kW more than before. Those who prefer diesel can choose between 110kW and 135kW versions of a 2.0-litre turbo engine, up 7kW and 5kW apiece.
The RS variant will also receive an update in line with the rest of the range. Aside from its updated looks, there’s more power, with the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo boosted to 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque. That’s up 22kW and 30Nm.
RS3 — Q4
This is what the enthusiasts have been waiting for: the new RS3 quattro, with its muscular 2.5-litre TFSI five-cylinder turbo that shades the A45 AMG and M135i alike with outputs of 270kW and 465Nm of torque, the latter available between 1625-5550rpm.
As we’ve written, the Ingolstadt marque’s returning RS3 hero gives it a proper rival for AMG and M, and a bonafide A3 range-topper to supplant the incumbent S3. It is also quattro GmbH’s seventh RS model line.
Q7 — Q4
The new Q7 large SUV is about as new as new can be, with a complete redesign outside, inside and underneath.
Thanks to the use of ultra-high-strength steel, and the extensive use of aluminium at the front and the rear of the car, weight is down substantially. Equipped with a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, the new Q7 tips the scales at 1995 kilograms, or 325kg less than the outgoing version.
The new car is also shorter and narrower than the first-generation Q7, though Audi claims that the new car not only offers more headroom, but also features a longer cabin.