Winter tyres ‘aren’t a priority’ for UK drivers

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Audi RS 3: dancing in the snow

Just one in five motorists in the UK think it is important to swap their cars onto winter tyres, new research by Audi UK indicates.

The use of winter tyres is mandatory during the winter months in many countries and regions throughout Europe, but there is no legal requirement to fit them in the UK.

However, the study – which coincides with Road Safety Week- revealed that 61% of the UK drivers had no plans to switch to winter tyres this year.

For 44% of survey respondents, the absence of legal obligation was enough to convince them to pass up the added safety and protection winter tyres offer, while the impact on running costs of buying and maintaining an additional set of tyres was the spanner in the works for 40% of respondents.

Additionally, the potential difficulties involved in storing the wheels and/or tyres out-of-season was the main impediment for 22% of participants.

“The safety benefits of winter wheels and tyres are considerable from temperatures below 7°C – regularly seen in the UK as the winter months roll in,“ says Audi UK’s James Allitt.

“Our research highlights misconceptions among UK drivers about their merits, and also understandable concerns about the cost and inconvenience of ownership, and I hope we’ve gone some way towards addressing these misconceptions.

“Fundamentally, though, I firmly believe that any driver able to make the switch to winter tyres won’t ever regret doing so when they feel the difference they can make.”

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Audi e-tron Range Discussion Reveals Interesting Details About EVs in General

Electric

Like all EVs, the Audi e-tron presents a bit of a learning curve when it comes to range and battery capacity.

While mass-produced EVs have been around for over a decade now, the vast majority of Americans have never owned one, let alone driven one. That is slowly changing, of course, as automakers like Audi map out an all-electric future devoid of ICE. However, as any EV owner will tell you, there’s a bit of a learning curve involved with making the switch to electrification, and one of the most important points is understanding that range can and will vary based on a number of factors. That much is clear from this fascinating discussion in the AudiWorld forums, which started with a query from a new Audi e-tron owner.

“It’s been about three weeks since I got my Audi e-tron S. I was getting around 175 miles range at 80% charged,” said T-Rex06. “Lately, it’s been varying between 162 to 169 miles at 80% charged. I’m assuming it’s normal. Just curious.”

Electric

“The range estimator takes your recent driving and electric consumption into account when presenting the estimate,” said skaven81. “So if you are a spirited driver and/or often drive at high speeds that result in higher consumption, then the GoM will predict less range for a given SoC (state of charge). This fluctuates all the time. For example, if you take the car out in winter without using a departure timer with cabin preconditioning, you’ll burn a ton of energy on the initial heating of the cabin, and if it’s a relatively short trip, your average energy use may be something like 1.8 mi/kWh. This will reflect in the GoM estimated range, and at 80% it might only say you have 120 miles of range. In short, it’s entirely normal for the range estimate to fluctuate even if you always charge to 80%.”

Indeed, real-world results vary based on speed, temperature, and driving habits, which is also true of ICE-powered vehicles. But what’s particularly confusing for many is the fact that while EVs have different battery sizes, they also don’t use all of that capacity, in spite of what automakers might advertise.

Audi e-tron S

“All the Audi marketing materials tout the e-tron’s 95 kWh battery,” skaven81 added. “So if the first thing a new owner did was see that at 100% charge they’ve only got 86kWh available, you know that the dealer will be getting a call about that. Audi could stave that off by including a note on that screen that explains the battery buffers (or perhaps shows all of the values together), but it still creates a recipe for confusion and unhappy customers. A simple 0-100% scale is far more intuitive for the vast majority of owners. Sophisticated folks like us can simply multiply the SoC% by 86kWh to get the actual remaining capacity.”

Audi e-tron S

Of course, there’s also the matter of keeping one’s battery in the 20-80 percent state of charge range, which is where it charges the quickest and helps prevent battery degradation, hence why everyone is so focused on the 80 percent figure. Regardless, this sort of information is truly key for new EV owners that may not understand how these things work. So be sure and head over here to check out this interesting and informative discussion in its entirety, and ring in with your own questions so our resident experts can answer them for you!

Photos: Audi

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Craziest Aero Ever!?! Here’s Two Giant Wings with an Audi S4 Attached to Them

S4 Audi

This Audi S4 is the result of what happens when you exploit a rulebook that allows unlimited aero mods.

Racers are a unique breed. Racers who look to take advantage of the rule book are even better. Audi, as a corporation, did that with their Quattro, and dominated the World Rally Championship. On a more localized level, JXB performance is looking to dominate the King of the Mountain autocross championship.

The idea came about when the JBX crew was at UMI Motorsports Park’s TeamCross event. In that event, this S4 did good and their performance earned them a spot in the KOTM event. But they wanted to dominate. Some serious mods have already been performed on the car by this time, including an S7 engine, with RS7 turbos, too. It’s the first 4.0T swapped S4 in the US based on what the team could find, and the only one paired with the car’s factory manual transmission. JXB also made a host of suspension components to really give the S4 the tarmac bit that it deserves.

However, a 10-hour drive home from the event offered ample time to think of new ways to go fast. Jay Bullington, the owner of the car and one of the team drivers wondered a simple theory; “How fast do we need to go in order to win with a cone?” In essence, they wanted a car fast enough that even with a penalty for tipping a cone, they could still emerge victorious.

Hilary, a team member opened up the rulebook and discovered that the class wasn’t really restrictive, and had next to no rules at all when it came to limitations on aero devices. At first they thought of putting on a front wing. But when real thought was given, why not add more wings? Why not put a total of 10 elements on the car? Five in the front, and a matching number in the rear.

Craziest Aero Ever!?! Here's Two Giant Wings with an Audi S4 Attached to Them

Craziest Aero Ever!?! Here's Two Giant Wings with an Audi S4 Attached to Them

It’s a lot of wing, but Formula SAE cars do something similar. And autocross speeds are lower so stall speed and drag aren’t that big of a factor. Best part is JXB Performance didn’t buy off-the-shelf units for this. They made all of the aero. Foam was laser cut, and then carbon fiber was laid by hand for each element.

Will it work? That’s to be determined. One quote from their Facebook page sums it up; “We went from reading the rulebook to final product in less than 6 weeks, so there wasn’t much time to do anything but read a few formula SAE papers and take a stab at it.”

Craziest Aero Ever!?! Here's Two Giant Wings with an Audi S4 Attached to Them

We’ll be keeping an eye out for the results to see how they finish.

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

2024 Audi A6 e-tron Spied Testing at the Nurburgring Ahead of Reveal

2024 Audi A6 e-tron Prototype Nurburgring

Car Spy Media captured the 2024 Audi A6 e-tron at the iconic track, previewing the super-stylish, all-electric sedan.

The 2024 Audi A6 e-tron has been spied testing at various locations around the globe recently, which means that we’re getting ever-closer to an official reveal for the latest all-electric stunner in the brand’s portfolio full of them. Now, Car Spy Media has spotted a 2024 Audi A6 e-tron prototype taking some hot laps at the iconic Nurburgring, giving us an even better look at this stylish machine showing off its impressive – albeit silent – performance.

Riding on the PPE (Premium Platform Electric) platform co-developed by Porsche and Audi, the A6 e-tron will share its underpinnings with the upcoming Macan EV, though it will also compete directly with the Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan and the Tesla Model S. A traditional mid-size sedan accessible to a wider berth of buyers, the A6 e-tron looks much like the concept that preceded it, at least from what we can tell given the fact that it’s completely covered in heavy camo.

2024 Audi A6 e-tron Prototype Nurburgring

Details regarding the new A6 e-tron’s powertrain remain a bit of a mystery, though the concept was powered by a pair of electric motors churning out a combined 470 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which drive all four wheels. That’s enough to propel the sedan from a standstill to 62 miles-per-hour in less than four seconds.

2024 Audi A6 e-tron Prototype Nurburgring

The A6 e-tron concept also utilizes a 100 kilowatt-hour battery that provides up to 435 miles of range on a single charge, though that’s using Europe’s notoriously optimistic WLTP cycle, so we can expect a bit less than that when the EPA gets its hands on the stylish new model. Charging should at least be brisk, as the concept’s 270 kilowatt fast-charging system can reportedly add 186 miles of range in just 10 minutes.

Set to go on sale in 2023 as a 2024 model year vehicle, the A6 e-tron figures to be an interesting addition to the brand’s EV lineup, and one that should prove quite attractive to buyers that are looking for something a bit more traditional and perhaps even more stylish than the Model S, as well as a proper alternative to the very similar EQE.

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Audi and Team WRT Are Ending Their 13-Year Partnership After 13 Years

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

After enjoying tremendous success together, Team WRT and Audi are moving on to other ventures.

Audi and Team WRT have enjoyed a prosperous 13-year relationship, racking up victories at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, the Bathurst 12 Hour, and the GT World Cup in Macau, along with a grand total of 30 titles in the GTWCE and its predecessors. However, that long-standing relationship is now set to come to an end following the current season, as the two entities have announced that they are ending their decade-plus partnership.

“It is a very special and emotional moment for all of us at Team WRT and me personally, as we announce that a significant chapter in the history of our organization will soon come to an end and a new one will open,” said team principal Vincent Vosse. “It couldn’t be otherwise, because Audi has been the brand we have been associated with since the creation of Team WRT at the end of 2009 and our sole partner in GT3 racing. All things in life have a beginning and an end, and our paths will now separate but the longstanding friendships will last. We all can have a sense of pride looking at what was accomplished together and we’ll all treasure the many good memories of this great period.”

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

It’s a somber end to a fairly tale sort of story, which has seen Team WRT and Audi team up to achieve tremendous success. The decision comes following Audi’s cancellation of its LMDh program, which WRT was set to run in the WEC next year. WRT reportedly already had a deal in place to participate in that series before this decision was made, but it didn’t take long for it to move on. In fact, BMW has already announced that WRT will operate its factory LMDh team in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Regardless, Audi and WRT’s split is a bit bittersweet for all involved.

Team WRT Audi R8 GT3

“After 13 fantastic years, we will be going our separate ways from 2023 but we will continue to have friendly ties,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “The close relationship with Vincent Vosse as well as with Yves and Pascal Weerts is characterized by deep trust, shared sporting values, and an absolute drive for success. A big thank you to them and their entire team, combined with best wishes for the future.”

Photos: Team WRT

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!