Audi closes 2017 with new record-breaking sales


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Hot off the Press – AUDI AG has increased its global sales for the eighth year in a row. Despite a turbulent first half of the year, the company achieved a new record-breaking figure: Around 1,878,100 deliveries represent an increase of 0.6 percent.

The Four Rings sold more than in the previous year in all three core markets in 2017: In the United States, Audi achieved new record-breaking sales month by month and closed the year 2017 with growth of 7.8 percent. In China, Audi not only managed to offset the poor delivery figures from the first half of the year, but even achieved a cumulative increase of 1.1 percent in the year-end spurt. In Germany, sales built on the very high level in 2016 with an increase of 0.4 percent.

Since June, Audi has managed to return to growth in China, steadily reducing the cumulative year-on-year decline month by month and ultimately achieving a positive sales balance. In the period January through December, the brand increased its deliveries by 1.1 percent to 597,866 automobiles. With this new all-time high, the company continues to maintain its lead in the Chinese premium market. Following on from its similar achievement in November, China also posted the highest volume growth of any individual market in the last month of 2017. The sales figures once again increased sharply, up 34.3 percent to 69,160 automobiles year-on-year. Never before had so many Chinese customers taken delivery of an Audi in a single month.

Audi of America also achieved another successful year despite the declining overall market. Audi was the only premium manufacturer in the United States to grow steadily in 2017: up 7.8 percent to 226,511 units. In December 2017, the company also celebrated its 84th record-breaking month in a row (+16.3% to 26,977 units).

With high growth throughout the year, Audi Canada (+17.9% to 36,007 cars) also established itself as a firm fixture among the top ten largest markets.

Despite numerous political and economic uncertainties, sales in Europe rose 0.4 percent to around 860,600 cars. In addition to Germany (+0.4% to 294,544 cars), Italy (+10.5% to 68,954 cars) and France (+3.6% to 63,980) achieved new annual record-breaking figures. The market downturn in the UK had a negative impact on overall results: With 175,217 deliveries and a drop of 1.3 percent, total Audi sales in the United Kingdom, however, comfortably outperformed the declining overall market.

The global increase in demand for the Q models (+10.8% to around 689,150 cars) was a major factor in the growth of the Four Rings in 2017. More than one out of every three Audi models sold was therefore an SUV. The best-selling Q model in Europe is the Q2. Apart from Germany (23,167 units), other major buyers here included the UK (12,636 units) and Italy (11,068 units). Global sales of the Audi Q3 once again increased in December (+11.3% to around 20,950 cars). In 2017, the most successful member of the Q family was the Audi Q5 with around 281,850 automobiles delivered.

The most Audi Q5 models were delivered to the individual market China. The successor model will go on sale at Chinese dealers as a long-wheelbase version in spring 2018. The Audi Q7 also saw sales increase by 3.9 percent in 2017. Since the start of the year, sales of the full-size SUV have increased in North America alone by about a fifth to around 43,800 units.

Sale for AUDI AG In December Cumulative 
2017 2016 Change from 2016 2017 2016 Change from 2016
World 180,250 155,151 +16.2% 1,878,100 1,867,738 +0.6%
Europe 65,150 63,228 +3.0% 860,600 856,969 +0.4%
– Germany 18,815 17,654 +6.6% 294,544 293,307 +0.4%
– UK 10,631 11,219 -5.2% 175,217 177,565 -1.3%
– France 6,397 3,105 +106.0% 63,980 61,752 +3.6%
– Italy 5,390 5,074 +6.2% 68,954 62,430 +10.5%
– Spain 5,026 3,804 +32.1% 56,083 51,879 +8.1%
USA 26,977 23,195 +16.3% 226,511 210,213 +7.8%
Mexico 2,066 1,700 +21.5% 15,051 15,330 -1.8%
Brazil 1,001 554 +80.7% 10,035 12,011 -16.5%
(incl. Hong Kong)
69,160 51,514 +34.3% 597,866 591,554 +1.1%


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Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi Crowns Champions at High-octane Sharjah Sports Desert Festival


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International riders and UAE dune-bashers dominate the day at Al Badayer


  • MX1 – Docherty (South Africa)
  • MX2 – Menzies (UK)
  • ATV – Al Shamsi (UAE)
  • UTV- Al Falasi (UAE)

During the ATV category races at SSDF 2018

In an intense day of international off-road racing at Al Badayer Desert, spectators were treated to some of the tightest battles and closest finishes in the closing stages of the second Sharjah Sports Desert Festival (SSDF 2018), where the winners were presented with prizes and awards by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council.

Themed ‘Become a Desert Hero,’ the emirate’s most popular and exciting off-road competition was held under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and organised by Sharjah Sports TV, a subsidiary of Sharjah Media Corporation, who broadcast the gruelling races and results live.

An impressive crowd of motorsports fans and families cheered on more than 65 of the most experienced and successful dune-bashing riders and racers who travelled from as far as the UK, Germany, India, South Africa and around the GCC to take on one of the most challenging courses on the season’s circuit. Following the enormous success of inaugural event in 2017 and the calibre of competitors and standard of racing this year, SSDF is becoming an internationally significant and highly popular fixture on the sporting calendar in both Sharjah’s and the UAE’s sporting calendar.

Beginning the day with the MX1 and MX2 qualifying rounds, ‘Iron’ Mike Docherty from South Africa and Brits Daniel Hutchinson and Ryan Blair came in first second and third respectively in MX1, while the three MX2 qualifiers were Britain’s Ben Menzies, in first place, followed by Kuwaiti Abdullah Al Shatti and Germany’s Tycho Lieske.

Taking part in the time trial format, the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) races were both high-powered and high-speed with no room for any mistakes on the tight track designed by Emirati motocross and MX rally champion Mohammed Al Balooshi, a former Tunisia Arab Champion and the first Emirati to participate in the Dakar Rally.

Just three seconds separated the first three places in the ATV qualifiers. Flying the flag for the UAE with a clean sweep, Emiratis Mohammed Al Shamsi and Humaid Al Mashghowai came first and second with Mansour Ahmad in third. It was also a 1, 2, 3 UAE finish in the finals, with Al Shamsi followed in first followed by Mansour Ahmad and Jassim Khalifa.

In the massive UTV (Utility Vehicle) category, the knockout rounds saw plenty of thrills and even more spills, with three of the vehicles beached on their sides before the finish line. But the podium places saw more Emirati dominance, with Hussain Al Falasi and Khaled Al Jaffli in first and second with Saif Almuhairi just behind in third.

In the final races of the day, the MX1 and MX2 motocross bikes were back and with some of the closest finishes of the day. In a copycat neck-for-neck dash for the line in MX1, Docherty, Hutchinson and Blair finished in exactly the same order as their qualifiers to take the honours. Uncannily, it was the same story in MX2, with Menzies, Al Shatti and Lieske, mirroring their qualifiers, completing an outstanding day for the international competitors.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, said: “One of our core objectives at SMC is to ensure the continuity and innovation in promoting all aspects of Sharjah whether it were tourism, business or sports. Since it is home is to a series of high-profile events every year, we see events such as the Sharjah Sports Desert Festival as an opportunity for audiences to enjoy the high-adrenaline desert sports competitions, and also enjoy the opportunity to experience Sharjah’s rich cultures and nature.”


During the ATV category races at SSDF 2018

He added: “This year’s visitor profiles included youths, families and children of all ages, who have experienced and enjoyed the festival’s full features, activities and entertainment, reflecting once more on the unique platform we have created for Sharjah, making SSDF the emirate’s first of its kind desert festival. This success will surely help us pave the way in growing the festival’s stature even further, and introduce even bigger names from the global motorcross and desert sports industry.”

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, presented the prizes and trophies to the winners, made up of AED 10,000 for first place, while second and third places were awarded AED 5,000 and AED 3,000 respectively.

Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council, HE Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director General of Sharjah Media Corporation a number of heads and directors of government bodies sponsoring the festival, including Sharjah Government Media Bureau, Sharjah Environment Company (Bee’ah), Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and Arad Real Estate Investment and Development Company were also present.

Sharjah Sports TV was launched in 2007 under the auspices of Sharjah Media Corporation as a specialised and independent sports satellite television station and a platform to provide media and field coverage of an array of local, regional and international sporting events, tournaments and championships. The channel has specialised studios at sports venues to provide in-depth analysis and coverage.

Al Badayer is one of the most important desert areas in the UAE and is well known for its stunning sand dunes which attract a large number of the UAE’s residents and tourists. Al Badayer is a favourite spot for fans of camping and Safari trips for off road driving. Strategically located adjacent to the Dubai-Hatta Road, the Al Badayer area is also equipped with all necessary security measures to ensure visitors’ safety.

One-two victory for GT4 version of the Audi R8 LMS at premiere in Dubai


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Jubilation at the beginning of the year: Team Phoenix Racing with Audi Sport customer racing celebrated the first 24-hour victory of the new Audi R8 LMS in the GT4 class.

The career of Audi Sport customer racing’s most recent new product began with an endurance test par excellence. The GT4 version of the Audi R8 LMS has been available since December. Exactly four weeks ago to a day following their delivery, the first privately fielded race cars met with nine competitors from five other brands in the season opener of the 24H Series. A European driver quartet was ultimately victorious. Philip Ellis/John-Louis Jasper/Joonas Lappalainen/Gosia Rdest won ahead of their Phoenix Racing teammates Adderly Fong/Charles Kwan/Marchy Lee/Darryl O’Young/Shaun Thong from Hong Kong. Audi permanently led the GT4 classification since the sixth hour of the race. Two title winners from the Audi Sport TT Cup – Briton Philip Ellis and Finn Joonas Lappalainen – had earned a promotion to the next higher racing category with Audi. Gosia Rdest from Poland had attracted attention with top performances in this one-make cup as well.

“Congratulations to the driver squads and to the entire team on this success,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Once again, Ernst Moser achieved a pioneering feat for us with his team after having managed to clinch the first 24-hour Nürburgring victory with Audi in 2012. Our other teams fought hard for us in Dubai as well and scored further successes.”

A year ago, Audi Sport customer racing had achieved a premiere victory in Dubai as well – in the TCR class with the Audi RS 3 LMS. In this category, Team Bonk Motorsport contributed another podium place in 2018. Michael Bonk’s squad was not even discouraged by an early setback and with a combined effort demonstrated perfect team spirit. An accident on Wednesday that was not the driver’s fault meant that the 127 number Audi RS 3 LMS was unable to start at all. Consequently, the drivers, Michael Bonk und Volker Piepmeyer, switched to the number 115 sister car and, together with Hermann Bock and Max and Rainer Partl, clinched third place in the TCR category in front of the Audi RS 3 LMS from Lap57 Motorsport.

In the GT3 class, Audi was less fortunate with the R8 LMS this year. Vincent Vosse’s team that competed under the name of MS7 by WRT this time, due to contact with other race cars, sport penalties and repairs, lost too much time to be in contention for victory again as it had in 2016. As a result, Mohammed Bin Saud Al Saud, Christopher Mies, Dries Vanthoor and Michael Vergers had to settle for seventh place in the end. The honor of being Audi’s best GT3 team went to BWT Mücke Motorsport. For the first time, Peter Mücke’s outfit contested a 24-hour race. Ricardo Feller/Christer Jöns/Mike David Ortmann/Andreas Weishaupt/Markus Winkelhock celebrated position five in the overall classification. Car Collection Motorsport finished the race with both Audi R8 LMS cars as well. Wiggo Dalmo/Gustav Edelhoff/Elmar Grimm/Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff/Ingo Vogler achieved fifth place in the A6-Am classification. Their teammates, Dimitri Parhofer/Dirg Parhofer/Frank Stippler/Rémi Terrail/Isaac Tutumlu Lopez, took ninth place in this class.

In just two weeks’ time, the next iconic endurance race will be on the calendar of Audi’s customer teams. In the 24-hour race at Daytona and in the supporting program, all three of Audi Sport customer racing’s race car models will be on the grid for the first time in North America.



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Year in Bespoke_Sweptail

The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bespoke department is an extraordinary collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople, who bring the marque’s discerning and influential patrons’ most ambitious and personal visions to reality.

Today, almost every motor car that leaves the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, is Bespoke. 2017 was the year that Rolls-Royce elevated Bespoke to unprecedented new levels, resulting in one of the most significant years for Bespoke in the 114-year history of the brand. What follows is a snapshot of some of the finest examples of Bespoke design and craftsmanship to be completed by the luxury house over the past 12 months.


Rolls-Royce ‘Sweptail’, the realisation of one customer’s coachbuilt dream. Premiered in 2017, ‘Sweptail’ is a compelling representation of true luxury, taking Bespoke coachbuild personalisation to new heights. The result of a collaboration between patron and artisan, ‘Sweptail’s’ bold design embraces the marque’s heritage as the world’s leading coachbuilder whilst reaffirming its pinnacle position in Bespoke personalisation.

This automotive equivalent of Haute Couture draws on the lineage of 1920s and 1930s Rolls-Royce motor cars. The client’s vision was for a coachbuilt two seater coupé featuring a large panoramic glass roof. The result is a contemporary masterpiece.

The grille, milled from solid aluminium, presents a distinct formality. The side profile of ‘Sweptail’ defines its stately character, whilst the rear taper of the motor car pays homage to the world of racing yachts, shaping a completely new perception of a dramatic Rolls-Royce coupé. The elegant and characterising rear culminates in the registration number 08, milled from ingots of aluminium and hand polished to a mirror finish.

‘Sweptail’ is a personal, Bespoke, motor car like no other.

New Phantom and ‘The Gallery’ – An Art Gallery on Wheels

New Rolls-Royce Phantom was unveiled to global critical acclaim in 2017. At the heart of the motor car’s design aesthetic is ‘The Gallery’, a contemporary and luxury reinterpretation of a motor car’s dashboard and instrument panel.

An application of glass runs uninterrupted across the fascia providing an unprecedented opportunity to present artwork, within your motor car. ‘The Gallery’ is an innovation that furthers Rolls-Royce’s unparalleled Bespoke vision and mastery of materials and craft.

Dawn and Wraith at Porto Cervo

Two unique motor cars were created in honour of the 2017 Rolls-Royce Summer Studio, Porto Cervo, Sardinia. A Bespoke Dawn Drophead Coupé and a Wraith Black Badge were commissioned to encapsulate the essence of this beguiling island.

Dawn adopted a nautical theme, evoking emotions of a languid Mediterranean sojourn. The Porto Cervo motif, encrusted with genuine Sapphires and Mother of Pearl, is embedded into the front facia of the motor car. The navy blue and arctic white hues complement an expanse of teak, including the decking and floor.

The Porto Cervo Wraith playfully emulates Sardinia’s night time ambience. A two-tone Diamond Black exterior is contrasted with gloss and matt paint applications, while black woven leather door panniers infer Wraith Black Badge’s dark and complex character, under the night sky.

‘Spirit of Calligraphy’ Ghost

A special one-off commission unveiled in Dubai in 2017, the Bespoke ‘Spirit of Calligraphy’ Ghost draws its design inspiration from the ancient art of Arabic calligraphy. Words are harmoniously moulded into shapes, creating a unique effect where texts and images become one. Sir Henry Royce’s resonant words “Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it”, in their Arabic form are shaped into Rolls-Royce’s flying mascot, the Spirit of Ecstasy. The calligraphy motif, created by renowned artist Khaled Al Saai, features as a silver inlay on the centre panel and as embroidery on the rear centre seat, amidst an eye-catching array of Turchese, Black and Arctic White leathers.


Commissioned for an individual collector, the Ghost ‘Elegance’ raised the bar of Bespoke by becoming the first Rolls-Royce to be finished in a paint infused with diamonds. The flanks of the motor car are highlighted with Mugello Red and Black twin coachlines, reflected inside with black leather seats and accents in Mugello Red, carried through stitching on the doors and piping on the seats. The detailed fascia of smooth open-pore Tudor Oak veneer is also complemented with a Mugello Red single stitch along the top of the dashboard, and finished with a Bespoke clock.

‘Dawn in Fuxia’

In 2017, US collector Michael Fux was presented with his tenth Bespoke model from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Following a visit to Pebble Beach in 2016, where he collected a cluster of eye-catching fuchsia petals, he challenged the Bespoke team at Goodwood with a commission to bring a striking new colour to Dawn. Subsequently unveiled during The Quail automotive gathering in California, the vibrant ‘Dawn in Fuxia’ represents the addition of another unique hue to the Rolls-Royce Colour Collection, and is reserved exclusively for Mr. Fux to use. His most recent commission is his second Dawn, having collected the first – in one-off ‘Fux Blue’ – in 2016. Reminiscent of that car, the interior of ‘Dawn in Fuxia’ is trimmed in stunning Arctic White leather.


‘Dawn B50’ for Hotel Byblos

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Hotel Byblos in Saint-Tropez in 2017, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars revealed the ‘Dawn B50’, a highly Bespoke and unique motor car inspired by the warmth and vibrancy of the Côte d’Azur. Commissioned by the Hotel Byblos as the automotive ‘Jewel of Saint-Tropez’, the Dawn B50 exudes two dominant exterior colours. The lustrous combination was developed exclusively to celebrate the hotel’s anniversary, along with bespoke door treadplates and a unique hand-painted coachline on each side bearing the ‘B50’ logo. The sophisticated interior takes inspiration from the intense Mediterranean sun, with vibrant tangerine tones that accentuate the dashboard and echo the stitching across the seat upholstery and floor mats.


Homage to a special Silver Dawn

Prominently displayed at the Home of Rolls-Royce is a remarkably rare 1952 Silver Dawn Drophead Coupé, one of very few ever made. It was sold new to a customer in Canada, and in 2017 a commission for a new Dawn from the same country led to a beautiful homage to this particular car in its 65th anniversary year.


Finished in two-tone Midnight Sapphire and Jubilee Silver, the new Dawn closely emulates the original finishes of the 1952 motor car, with a Bespoke painted coachline, broken for the first time on a Rolls-Royce. Inside, Selby Grey and Navy leather are combined with Crossbanded Walnut Burr veneer, closely matched to the original. The finishing touches include a Bespoke clock with ‘1952’ lettering and a Spirit of Ecstasy veneer inlay.


Inspiration from South Korea

The ‘Bespoke Collection for Korea’ unveiled at the British Embassy in Seoul, embraced the aesthetic heritage of South Korea with a contemporary flare. The Ghost Seoul Edition reflects colours that grace the country’s Taegukgi national flag, finished in bright Andalusian White with a twin coachline in Cobalto Blue and Mugello Red – along with a hand-painted Bespoke motif that captures the silhouette of the iconic Namsan Seoul Tower. Inside, the black leather is complemented by contrasting bands in Arctic White, as well as blue and red highlights for stitching and piping.


The ‘Wraith Busan Edition’ is inspired by the hues of the coastal city of the same name, with a two-tone exterior in Royal Blue and Jubilee Silver that conjures up the shimmer of the surrounding sea. The rear pillar motif echoes the delicate latticework of traditional Korean ‘hanok’ screen doors, and is also carried inside the car across the dashboard. Emulating the dusk sky across nearby mountain ranges, a single coachline in Blushing Pink draws attention to the shoulder line. The colour is also applied to the seat stitching, instrument panel and ‘RR’ headrest monograms inside, as the final flourish to the Selby Grey and Cobalto Blue upholstery.

The Multifaceted Super SUV – Design, performance & driving dynamics of Lamborghini URUS


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By Shereen Shabnam

We recently ventured into Italy to witness Automobili Lamborghini launch its third model, the Lamborghini Urus. The Lamborghini Urus is the first Super Sport Utility Vehicle and hence creates a new niche in the luxury segment with benchmarking power, performance and driving dynamics, unparalleled design, luxury and daily usability.

The Lamborghini Urus stays true to the Lamborghini DNA in terms of design, performance, driving dynamics and emotion and is drivable every day in a range of environments. It is in other words a powerful luxury SUV with a super sports car dynamism that can be enjoyed by both driver and passengers.

Its low-line coupé styling and commanding road position gives it a super car look and feel but once we got in and, it felt comfortable with a higher ground clearance and the luxurious space inside is coupled with the latest technologies.

The Urus provides easy driving in the city, maximum comfort during long journeys, thrilling super sports car dynamics on the road and track, and versatile off-road abilities in a range of environments.

The Lamborghini Urus has a dual personality: it is multi-dimensional. It can be specified to be as sporty or as elegant as the owner wishes, and can equally be used as a daily luxury drive or provide an exhilarating super sports experience.

The driving modes to select from include the Strada, Sport, Corsa, Neve, Terra and Sabbia and there offers a more enhance drive experience on road, track, sand, snow etc.

The Urus features a 4.0 liter V8 twin-turbo engine delivering 650 hp (478 kW) at 6,000 rpm, maximum 6,800 rpm, and 850 Nm of maximum torque already at 2,250 rpm. With 162.7 hp/l the Urus claims one of the highest specific power outputs in its class and the best weight-to-power ratio at 3,38 kg/hp.

The Urus accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 12,8 seconds and with a top speed of 305 km/h. This makes it the fastest SUV available on the market.

The Lamborghini URUS is built in an entirely new factory using the latest robotic manufacturing technology to work in tandem with the human workers on the floor and where we were for the launch event.

#petrolhead #motoring #Automotive #uae #carcrazy #carsovereverything #Fijian #ShereenShabnam #Fijian #Emirates #UAE #fastcars #AllAboutWheels #DrivingPleasure #cargirl #MyDrive #performance #Islander #supercars #lovecars #luxury-cars #carlover #fastcars #horsepower #speed #engine #style #luxury #ShereenBehindTheWheel #cars #CarSpotting @Shereen_Shabnam

Audi Sport customer racing confirms drivers for 2018


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Audi Sport customer racing has announced its driver lineup for the 2018 season and initial racing objectives.

Dries Vanthoor and Frédéric Vervisch join driver lineup: In terms of its driver squad, Audi Sport in 2018 will again rely on Rahel Frey (CH), Robin Frijns (NL), Christopher Haase (D), Pierre Kaffer (D), Kelvin van der Linde (ZA), Christopher Mies (D), Frank Stippler (D) and Markus Winkelhock (D). They will be joined by two new race drivers from Belgium. Dries Vanthoor, who is only 19 years old, has been racing for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT for two years and this season clinched GT race victories in Hungary, China, at the Nürburgring, in the Le Mans 24 Hours and at other events. His 31-year-old Belgian compatriot Frédéric Vervisch gathered several years of experience in single-seaters, was 2008 champion in the ATS Formula 3 Cup and since 2015 has been active in the Audi R8 LMS in various GT series. Additionally, in the season that just ended, he contested the TCR International Series in the Audi RS 3 LMS. All campaigners are going to compete in various programs worldwide for the brand’s customers.

Initial programs for 2018 confirmed: Audi Sport customer racing in 2018 will again tackle the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Next year, the only global GT racing series will encompass one round each in Australia, Belgium, Japan and the United States. Having clinched drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in 2016 and 2017, Audi has been unbeaten in this young racing series to date. Audi Sport customer racing also supports teams in the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and at Spa.

Three one-make cups under the banner of the four rings: In the 2018 season, race drivers relying on Audi will have the opportunity to confirm their skills in three different one-make cups for the first time. The Audi R8 LMS Cup will be held for the seventh year. In 2018, the Cup will feature a new format permitting only privateer drivers. Besides the GT3 version, the GT4 version of the race car will be seen at rounds in Australia, Germany, China and Malaysia for the first time. The Audi Sport ABT TT Cup will continue the one-make cup commitment for up-and-coming drivers under private direction. New will be the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup that offers an attractive entry-level platform for GT4 racing in Germany.

Admission ticket for life: Racing organizer SRO (Stéphane Ratel Organisation) in cooperation with Audi Sport customer racing surprised Audi’s longtime head of sport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich with a lifelong ticket for the 24-hour race at Spa. On behalf of SRO, Anthony Comas, who is responsible for Marketing and Business Development, presented the retired head of sport with the ticket on the occasion of the Audi Sport customer racing Race Night. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich has not missed a single edition of the iconic endurance race for many years.

A unique farewell gift: Stephan Winkelmann received a one-of-a-kind gift on being farewelled. Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, on behalf of all motorsport members of his organization, presented the outgoing CEO of Audi Sport GmbH with a full-face racing helmet sporting a Signature design.

Customer sport annual: Anyone who would like to delve into the world of Audi Sport customer racing can look back on the season once more in an annual. On 208 large-size, 23.5 times 33 centimeter, pages, the volume is dedicated to racing series and single events in America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Fans of the Audi R8 LMS Cup and the Audi Sport TT Cup will get their money’s worth as well. The annual created in collaboration with Audi Sport customer racing is available on the internet at

A record-breaking 2017 for the Lamborghini Museum: 100,000 visitor milestone reached


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The Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese ended an extraordinary year, thanks to the record breaking number of visitors from all over the world, which reached the 100,000 milestone in 2017.

With a two-and-a-half increase in turnover in just two years, the museum space of Lamborghini has attracted aficionados of every nationality: Europe, excluding Italy (which accounts for 30% of visitors) is the main catchment area with 42%, of which Germany (9%), France and Great Britain (5% each) and Holland (4%) take the lion’s share. They are followed by visitors from America (15%) and lastly from the Asia-Pacific region (13%).

In terms of visitor profile, 2017 saw a significant number of under-18 fans and an increasing presence of women, over 35%. 50% of visitors arrived between July and October, whereas the peak weekdays were Saturday, Monday and Friday. The Lamborghini Museum’s unique offer of a visit to the production lines, shut down during public holidays, certainly contributes to visitor appeal.

This major success for the Lamborghini Museum is due not only to the recent restyling of the entire exhibition complex, which boasts a rich collection of historic and current models, but also to the exhibition on the great Ayrton Senna and to the increasing attraction of the Raging Bull brand among aficionados and sightseers from all over the world.

When the exhibition dedicated to Senna came to a close, the Museum was completely reorganized. It follows Lamborghini’s entire history with a classification of models according to their engine type, right up to the Urus and to the two cars at the root of its creation: the LM002 and the extremely rare Cheetah.

A programme of new exhibitions about the world of Lamborghini is currently in preparation, shortly to be announced.

The Museum, which is located inside the company premises in Sant’Agata Bolognese, is open seven days a week from 9.30 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Sleek and Elegant Lines Infiniti QX30


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By Shereen Shabnam

Remaining true to the powerful and elegant design cues that guided the original QX30 concept, the all-new Infiniti QX30 comes with a sculpted exterior, unique crossover stance and asymmetric cabin design that exemplifies Infiniti’s design-led approach to product development.

In addition to its striking appearance, the QX30 offers an elevated ride height, confidence-inspiring handling, and a versatile attitude, underpinned by an Intelligent All-wheel Drive system.

As a result, the vehicle is able to take on urban, suburban and winding rural roads in all-driving conditions. I drove it mainly around the city, which it was perfect for as it was easy to manoeuvre and was responsive at all speeds.

Created for a new generation of premium buyers who appreciate category-defying design inside and out, the all-new Infiniti QX30 crossover boasts a purposeful appearance that makes a bold visual statement – and joins the Q30 as part of Infiniti’s new premium compact model line-up.

Getting in and out of the car was comfortable and in cabin experience very pleasing. The QX30’s supreme interior quietness adds to cabin comfort, with some of the lowest noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels in the premium compact segment.

The QX30 claims to be among the safest cars in its class owing to a range of active safety and hazard avoidance technologies that enhance the driving experience and provide maximum safety to all occupants. An Around View Monitor with moving object detection and automatic parking assistance makes the QX30 the easiest car to park in its segment.

Overall, the QX30 gives the driver more control, more confidence, more power — no matter how far you go. With a range of dynamic performance technologies, such as Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, the QX30 delivers a smooth, precise driving experience.

Lightweight & Sophisticated Cadillac XT5


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By Shereen Shabnam

Luxury crossover vehicles is popular this year with almost every brand so we ventured out to test the Cadillac XT5 crossover which combines space, luxury and high-tech convenience resulting in a perfect lightweight Touring vehicle.

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that previously seen in the brand’s ATS and CTS sport sedans and is currently featured in the CT6. With SAE-certified peak output of 310 horsepower (231 kW) and 367 Nm (271 lb-ft) of torque, the V6 uses variable valve timing for strong response and smooth power delivery.

Much lighter that the SRX, the Cadillac XT5 comes with a design structure specifically created to improve fuel economy, driving dynamics and interior space. It is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that previously were introduced in the ATS and CTS sport sedans and now used in the CT6.

Key features include the rear camera mirror, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto compatibilities, auto-heated steering wheel and front- and rear-seat USB capabilities. There is space for both phones and tablets in the center console, WiFi capabilities and charging ports conveniently accessible in the front and rear seats.

Interior surfaces inside the XT5 are wider and more horizontal in orientation, emphasizing space-efficiency with the usual cut-and-sewn wrapped panels. It is simple but sophisticated with reduced visual noise and clutter. The XT5 includes five interior color and trim choices, with decorative trim options ranging from carbon fiber to two types of aluminum and four types of genuine wood.

Cadillac’s Stop/Start technology automatically stop and start the engine when the vehicle is at rest in traffic stops, saving fuel and reducing emissions, while enhancing the quietness expected of a luxury vehicle.

An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard for the XT5, which also debuts Electronic Precision Shift – the first electronically controlled transmission shifter for a Cadillac. Electronic Precision Shift reduces noise and vibration, and it allows the cabin space to be further utilized with an innovative storage space beneath the center console.

The 2018 XT5 sets a high standard for technology and safety features. Cadillac’s patented new industry-leading Rear Camera Mirror system is standard on 2018 XT5 Platinum models. The system enhances the driver’s rear vision by 300 percent, using a video display applied over the conventional inside rearview mirror. A Surround Vision feature enables a “bird’s eye” view of the perimeter around the car in parking as well.

The crossover’s lean and sleek design and structure reflect the renowned Cadillac expertise for lightweight and agile luxury cars with improved interior space and fuel efficiency. The exterior stands out with flowing uninterrupted lines separated by crisp edges and hence reflects a more elegant, clean and modern craftsmanship.


Mountain adventures with the Audi Q5 and SQ5


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By Shereen Shabnam

The sporty and dynamic SUV with the four rings recently came into our hands in the form of the new Q5 and SQ5 – both models that combine the sportiness of an Audi sedan with a multifaceted character of an SUV and a highly flexible interior.

We tested the new SUV on normal roads and the mountains of Salalah in Oman.

The new Q5 also stands at the top of its class in its aerodynamics. The four-cylinder versions attain a cd figure of 0.30 with the aerodynamically optimized roof. Wind noises are exceptionally low, and vibration comfort is high – the new SUV from Audi indulges the driver and passengers with the best interior acoustics in its class.

It comes in 12 different exterior colours (plus Audi Exclusive) and three newly configured equipment lines are available – base, sport and design. It also features a sculpturally flared Singleframe grille while a solid frame dominates its aerodynamically flat front end.

The interior offers significant space for five persons, and it surpasses the previous model and its competitors in key dimensions. Its horizontally oriented lines underscore the impression of width and comfort, and a three-dimensional trim strip runs across the entire width of the instrument panel. The new equipment lines concept offers customers a broad selection of colours and materials.

Operation of the new Audi SUV is intuitive and is marked by three great new features. The Audi virtual cockpit presents brilliant graphics on its high-resolution 12.3-inch screen. The MMI terminal in the centre console acts as the main control element and its logic is based on the flat hierarchies used in today’s smartphones.

For music lovers, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound introduces the spatial dimension of height while the Audi smartphone interface also brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into the new Q5 model range.

With its driver assistance systems, the new Audi Q5 and SQ5 also tops its segment with a range of high-tech options offered in one package – “City assist with Parking assist”

Cross traffic assist rear, the exit warning system, collision avoidance assist and turn assist are other new features that perform excellently in pursuit of safety. Park assist and hill descent assist complete the new features offered.

In summary, the drive with the Audi SQ5 on different terrains proved how versatile and sporty the new SUV is. Plus it is elegant, comes with numerous personalization options, offers generous space and with technology that it is best in its class.

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