New Audi Logo: Four Rings, Less Bling

New Audi Logo

The sleek, minimalist new Audi Logo design exemplifies the less is more school of design, and gives the Rings a futuristic feel.

Right now, Audi is pivoting hard toward electric cars, with its Sphere concept vehicles showcasing the sleek lines that’ll characterize future models. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that it’s also giving it’s venerated Four Rings logo a refresh. Overall, it’s very similar to the old design, and still references the quartet of Auto Union brands which would merge to form Audi. That said, there are some distinct differences.

For one, the logo is now two-dimensional, and instead of being chrome, the famous rings are black and white. In explaining the move toward minimalism, head designer Marc Lichte offered that “Good design is less design.” Another motivation for going with a flat logo is that it will appear the same whether it’s on vehicles, billboards, or magazine ads. The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron will be the first to feature the updated Rings.

If this restrained new take is still somehow too flashy, the company will also offer a black-and-gray version. But the reveal puts to rest any question — not to say many people had them — as to whether next-generation Audi vehicles would sport any light-up emblems, like German rivals Mercedes-Benz. In another change, new models will feature laser-etched script detailing the make and model on the B-pillar, in a unique font called Audi Type.

To see how the new logo looks on a vehicle, check out the video of the 2024 Q8 e-tron below — and keep your fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long to see it on the electric R8 replacement! That said, what do you think of the new logo? Does it work well with the design language we’ve seen on Audi’s latest progress? Is it too restrained, or does the new simplicity give it a futuristic feel? Hit me up and let me know!

Photos: Audi

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Audi Was Tantalizingly Close to Another Le Mans Campaign

Audi R18

The World Endurance Championship grid is shaping up to be the most exciting in decades — but Audi won’t be there.

At the moment, the big news in the world of Audi racing is that Ingolstadt will return to Formula 1 for the 2026 season. This year, dominant performances from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen mean he had this year’s crown in the bag long before the final checkered flag. But the surging popularity of the series here in the United States — thanks in no small part to Netflix’s Drive to Survive — makes it a great opportunity for the Four Rings to show its mettle.

Of course, it was only last May when endurance racing fans were waiting to get a glimpse of the successor to the R18, and the car Audi hoped would add to its impressive string of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That anticipation, it’s important to note, wasn’t based on rumors or speculation. Rather what details we knew came straight from Audi Sport director Andreas Roos, who said that both the engine concept and chassis partner had already been finalized.

Unfortunately, that project was doomed. But now, our friends at Motorsport have revealed just how close Audi was to testing its next-gen LMDh car. According to DTM driver Nico Muller, who was deeply involved with project, the race machine was just weeks away from hitting the test track when the rug got pulled out from the program.

“At the end the car was ready to go,” Muller revealed to Motorsport.com. “We worked a lot on the sim, everything was ready to go into proper on-track testing.

“It had been developed together with Porsche; it is no secret that they shared the same platform with Multimatic.

“Would I have loved to drive it? It was very close, but the call came a few weeks too early.”

For fans who followed endurance racing, the news is heartbreaking. What’s particularly disappointing is that the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship grid is shaping up to be the most diverse and exciting as it’s been in decades. So instead of having just one serious competitor, like Peugeot or Toyota, the Four Rings would have faced marques like Ferrari, Cadillac, and corporate cousins Porsche, which would have been a joy to watch.

Given the popularity of Formula 1, and the relative obscurity of the WEC, the move might make sense from a publicity standpoint. But limited budgets mean Audi fans will just have to wonder what could have been…

Photos: Audi

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Competition Packs Coming for 2023 Audi RS 4 and RS 5

2023 Audi RS5 Sportback with Competition Plus Package

With a suite of new upgrades, Audi has made the RS 4 and RS 5 even more engaging to drive.

On the heels of announcing the the final run of its R8 supercar, Audi has released info about two new packages available for the its RS 4 and RS 5. And unlike the race-inspired V10 model, these won’t be limited edition. Both the Competition and Competition Plus upgrades will be available to any buyers who can pony up for the additional kit.

While the neither package adds power to the twin-turbo V6, the upgrades are designed to make the cars more responsive and more fun to drive. Thanks to a new tune, the zero-to-60 sprint has dropped by 0.2 seconds in the RS 4 and 0.1 seconds in the RS 5, and top speed for both models has been bumped to a ballistic 180 mph.

There’s also a new performance exhaust system, which will sound even better thanks to Audi ditching 18 pounds of sound insulation from the firewall. Plus, tweaks to the quattro system mean more twist will be pumped to the rear wheels, and shift points have also been adjusted to provide more aggressive gear changes.

Unique 20-inch wheels will be standard on Performance models, and they’ll be shod with super sticky Pirelli Corsa P Zero tires. To better scrub speed, carbon-ceramic brakes will be available for both models. In addition to cutting the 60-to-zero stopping distance by six feet, they’ll also mean drivers will be able to run laps without being concerned with brake fade on the track.

Performance Plus models will get a trick suspension system which drops the standard ride height by 10 millimeters, and also allows drivers to drop it another 10 millimeters via the vehicle settings. For the mathematically challenged, that means these sporty versions will be up to 20 millimeters lower than base models.

Of course, there are some cosmetic touches as well, including the carbon fiber accents inside the cabin, dark trim on the exterior, black tips on the performance exhaust system, and an available Sebring Black finish. Unfortunately, the RS 4 Avant still won’t be an option for American buyers, so we’ll just have to make due with the coupe and Sportback versions of the RS 5.

Photos: Audi

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Audi R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD Marks the End of an Era

Audi R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD

The 2023 model year marks the end of the road for Audi’s legendary R8 V10 — but the R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD is a doozy of a swan song.

Last month, sources inside Ingolstadt revealed that the next-generation Audi R8 will be fully electric.  But before the machine goes green, the company is releasing a hot new version that’ll send the supercar out with a bang. So meet the R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD. As the name suggests, these machines won’t have Audi’s famous quattro system, just like the cars the factory campaigns in the FIA’s GT3 class. And while that means less grip, it also means more visceral thrills behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, the R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD also marks the final application of Audi’s wicked V10 engine. For this last run, output has been stoked to 611 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of twist, which makes it the most powerful rear-wheel drive car Audi has ever brought to market. For those keeping score, that’s enough poke to deliver a zero-to-60 time of 3.4 seconds, and a top speed of 199 mph.

While no manual transmission will be available, a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission promises lightening quick shift points, and quicker acceleration in every gear.

To help give drivers maximum control, the R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD will also come equipped with Audi’s Torque Rear driving mode. This is adjusted via a dial on the steering wheel, and features seven different settings to manage rear slippage. So experienced folks looking for some tail-happy fun can opt for the highest setting, which will provide the most opportunity for oversteer.

Along with the trick traction settings, this R8 will shed 44 pounds versus the previous rear-drive model, and will feature unique 20-inch wheels, ceramic brakes, and a track-oriented suspension. Those looking for the lowest lap times will want to opt for the available coil-over suspension and ultra-sticky Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires.

The R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD will be available in three colors — matte Suzuka Gray, Tangorot Metallic and Daytona Gray Metallic. Accents will come via the high-gloss Carbon Aerokit, which adds a front splitter, side skirt covers, a diffuser, and a rear wing with a gooseneck suspension. Inside, the designers wanted to invoke the original R8, and went with a black and rear theme, which incorporates the model’s famous red seat belts. Both chairs will also have the model name embroidered on the headrests, and each example will have the car’s number in the build sequence on the shifter.

Pricing & Availability

The 2023 Audi R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD will start at $221,000, and only 333 models will be available worldwide. There’s no word on how many of those will make it to the States, so if you’re interested, it’s probably a good time to call your Audi dealer.

Photos: Audi

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Updated Audi e-tron Hits the Road for the E-Cannonball Rally

2023 Audi e-tron

At this point, we don’t know exactly when the next Audi e-tron will debut. But we do the sheet metal has been tweaked.

It’s almost hard to believe, but the Audi e-tron has been on sale for almost five years — and that means it’s time for a through update. At this point, Ingolstadt isn’t quite ready to show off the latest version, but it did let a pre-production prototype out to play for Germany’s E-Cannonball. And while the e-tron in question was wearing a white, black, and orange livery, eagle-eyed folks can notice some changes from the model currently in Audi showrooms.

Most notably, we’re looking at revised fascias front and rear, and it also appears the newest models with be getting updated wheels. That said, Audi has been on a path of constant improvement with the e-tron since its release. For the 2021 model year, we saw a range increase of 18 miles, with meant that drivers could aim for a range of 222 miles on a full charge. Last year saw arrival of the performance-oriented e-tron S, which boasts three motors and 496 horsepower. For those keeping score, that’s 94 more ponies than the standard model.

Aside from the visual changes which are obvious from the teaser photos, everything else is speculation. But the smart money says that while we might not see a huge increase in available power, we’ll likely see a robust improvement to the range. Because while 222 miles is perfectly serviceable for the needs of many folks, especially those with at-home charging, automakers have long targeted internal-combustion vehicles to have a 300-mile range between fill ups. So that’s likely what we’ll see here.

One question that insiders are asking if whether this latest update will keep the e-tron moniker, or be changed to the Q8 e-tron. An all-new electric Q8 is already planned for production in 2026, so as Audi continues its transition to a fully electric lineup, it would make sense to start folding the electric vehicles into the company’s standard nomenclature.

Of course, the ongoing supply chain issues, not to mention the delays with Audi’s forthcoming flagship mean timetables have to be more flexible than the brass would like. Since 2023 is just around the corner, we should have pictures of the production version within the next month or so, along with specs on exactly what work the engineers have done under the skin. Stay tuned!

Photos: Audi

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