Category: Audi

June 10, 2019 Off

Review: The stunning 2019 Audi Q8 has a deal-breaking flaw

By Jill T Frey

The 2019 Audi Q8 is the shape of the future. It’s beautiful as it successfully merges the look of a sports sedan with the shape of an SUV. It has flowing lines, crisp angles and just the right look on and off the road. Inside, it’s comfortable though a bit smaller than the name suggests. And under the hood, Audi paired a capable V6 engine with a 48-volt battery, creating a mild-hybrid setup that supposedly helps with fuel economy.

Yet after spending a lot of time in the Q8, I found it backwards. Most crossovers provide the comfort of a sedan with the utility of an SUV. This one has the rough comfort of an SUV with the limited utility of a sedan. Worse yet, driving the Q8 around town can be a frustrating experience.

I spent a couple of weeks in the new Q8 on a road trip from … Read the rest

June 7, 2019 Off

Audi proves two little screens are better than one big screen

By Jill T Frey

I’m spending some time in the new Audi Q8, and the car company equipped the crossover with its latest infotainment system. I love it, fingerprints, dust and all.

The grimy screens are part of the story. I could have cleaned up the screens for the photos, but I thought it was essential to show the screens after a couple of weeks of use.

There are two screens placed in the center stack of the Q8. The top one features controls for the radio, mapping system and vehicle settings. The bottom screen is for climate controls and additional controls like garage door opener and the vehicle’s cameras. Both have haptic feedback, so the buttons feel nearly real.

Both screens are tilted at the right angle, and the shifter is built in a way that provides a handy spot to rest your wrist, steadying it as you hit the screens.

Car companies … Read the rest

June 4, 2019 Off

Mercedes-Benz is expanding its luxury subscription service

By Jill T Frey

Mercedes-Benz is expanding a pilot subscription service that lets users switch between different luxury models to a third U.S. city a year after launching in Nashville and Philadelphia.

The pilot is another example of how automakers are experimenting — with mixed levels of success — with different ways to make money beyond producing and selling cars, trucks and SUVs. Cadillac, Volvo, Porsche and Audi have also launched subscription plans. Cadillac shuttered its service after a year; it’s recently announced plans to re-launch the service, but this time involving dealers more.

The luxury automaker, which is owned by Daimler, plans to bring its so-called “Mercedes-Benz Collection” to Atlanta, the same city where its U.S. headquarters are located. Clutch Technologies will continue to operate the subscription platform. That’s the same city where Porsche initially launched its subscription service.

Mercedes also plans to test a new subscription tier in Atlanta that … Read the rest

May 30, 2019 Off

Audi works with Fleetonomy to monitor and manage fleet utilization for its on-demand program

By Jill T Frey

Audi just completed a trial with Israeli company Fleetonomy as part of a potential wider rollout of the Israeli company’s fleet monitoring and management services designed to improve utilization.

Using Fleetonomy’s tools that provide predictive analytics of fleet utilization, Audi was able to improve the overall efficiency and utilization of its on-demand services.

“Audi has always aspired to provide a great experience by advancing through innovation and technology. By taking an innovative multi-service approach, Fleetonomy’s platform showed great success in improving fleet efficiency while simultaneously reducing costs associated with utilization and operation according to fleet constraints,” said Nils Noack, Mobility Strategy, Audi Business Innovation GmbH. “We’re looking forward to exploring further the opportunity to leverage Fleetonomy’s AI-based fleet management platforms and to pushing Audi’s vision of innovative mobility services.”

Car companies around the world are rolling out on-demand or rental programs for their fleets as a way to replace traditional … Read the rest

May 14, 2019 Off

TC Sessions: Mobility announces its July 10 agenda

By Jill T Frey

TechCrunch Sessions is heading to San Jose on July 10 and we’re thrilled to announce our jam-packed agenda, overflowing with some of the biggest names and most exciting startups in the transportation industry. With Early-Bird ticket sales ending soon, you’ll want to be sure to grab your tickets after checking out this agenda.

Throughout the day, you can expect to hear from and partake in discussions about the future of transportation, the promise and problems of autonomous vehicles, the potential for bikes and scooters, investing in early-stage startups and more.

We’ll be joined by some of the most esteemed and prescient people in the space, including Dmitri Dolgov at Waymo, Argo AI Chief Safety Officer Summer Craze Fowler, Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson, Karl Iagnemma of Aptiv, Seleta Reynolds of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Ford Motor CTO Ken Washington.

We’ll also spend time discussing … Read the rest

April 29, 2019 Off

2019 Audi RS 5 review: A bruising high-tech cruiser

By Jill T Frey

The Audi RS 5 Sportback is an animal. Tamed, sure, but not domesticated. It’s important to remember as one day, maybe next week or next year or both, the RS 5 will revert to its natural state and become fervid, wild and unforgiving.

The RS 5 sedan shares a similar look to the everyday Audi A5 and S5. The RS 5 is a different animal altogether. At a moments notice it can go from a Home Depot hauler to a street brawler. Even in its most mild form, the RS 5 feels like a cat ready to pounce, but click few settings, and the cat turns feral.

This five-door sedan is raw and unhinged, and there’s an unnatural brutally under the numerous electronic systems. Its twin-turbo 2.9L power plant roars while the Audi all-wheel drive system keeps the rubber on the tarmac. It’s insane, and like most vacations, it’s lovely … Read the rest