YouTuber Takes Grandmother Around the ‘Ring in Audi R8

Grandma in Audi R8

Even when traveling over 180 mph, this grandmother proved cool as a cucumber on a lap around Germany’s famous Nürburgring.

When I first saw the title of YouTuber Misha Charoudin’s latest video, I have to admit, I was expecting something slightly different. Remember the clip of former F1 driver Riccardo Patrese taking his wife for a spin in a Honda Civic Type R? The one where she goes ballistic and seems to invent a hundred new Italian swear words?  That’s kind of what I was thinking. But as it turns out, Charoudin’s grandmother proves cool as a cucumber — even when he’s pushing the Audi R8 to over 180 mph.

That makes the clip even more fun, honestly. The sweet lady genuinely seems to be having a good time, which is pretty impressive. Because as we all know, the Nürburgring is a challenging track with lots of elevation changes and sharp turns. So the g-forces the pair are experiencing aren’t exactly nonexistent. When I’ve run hot laps on challenging circuits, I’ve occasionally had folks less than half her age ask me to back off, so the fact that she never tapped out makes her a total winner in my book.

At one point, she says she’s only driven around 60 mph, which makes sense given the quality of the cars she experienced growing up in the Soviet Union. Even at that relatively tame speed, something like a Trabant would likely be shaking itself to pieces. Fortunately, the Audi displays no such problems when Charoudin visits the upper registers of the speedometer, and the famous quattro all-wheel drive keeps it stuck to the tarmac in the corners. Now I have to wonder if grandma has got the bug — maybe we’ll even see her behind the wheel in a future video?

My beloved grandmother passed away over a decade ago, and given what I remember about her driving, I don’t think she would have enjoyed a lap like this. My mother, on the other hand, would likely have a blast. She’s the one who taught me to drive stick, and when I was in college, her daily driver was a five-speed Nissan 240SX. She’s in her early 70s now, but she still rocks a BMW 3 Series, so I’m going to see about taking her for a spin around her local circuit when I’m back for the holidays…

Photos: YouTube

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Audi Grandsphere Debuts at IAA 2021

Audi Grandsphere Debuts at IAA 2021

Even with its impressive 720 HP electric-only powertrain, the futuristic cabin of Audi grandsphere is the star of the show.

The Ingolstadt-based automaker unveiled its grandsphere concept study at the IAA 2021 yesterday. This is the second installment of the three “sphere” concepts that Audi has been working on. The design of grandsphere concept aims to offer the comfort of luxurious private travel. As a result of this, grandsphere gets one of the most futuristic cabins we’ve ever seen. That’s not all, because Level 4 automated driving capability is also part of the package. This means grandsphere can cruise on freeways and maneuver through heavy traffic conditions with minimum human intervention.

A 120 kWh battery pack powers the grandsphere, and according to Audi, the concept can deliver 470 miles of range.  Customers can recharge the massive battery pack from 5% to 80% capacity in just 25 minutes, courtesy of its 800-volt fast-charging capability. Furthermore, the EV gets a dual-motor setup (one on each axle), and the electric-only powertrain produces 720 HP of power and 708 lb-ft of peak torque.

Sharp creases offset grandsphere’s curvaceous bodywork. The front-end is dominated by a flat hexagonal faux grille that lights up and houses the sensors for grandsphere’s autonomous driving system. The lighting units in the headlights are designed to emulate Audi’s four-ring logo. Audi’s Avus concept from the 1990s inspired the design of grandsphere’s gorgeous 23-inch rims.

Audi Grandsphere Debuts at IAA 2021

Futuristic interior space that offers a luxurious onboard experience

Audi grandsphere’s interior is its pièce de résistance. The car’s steering wheel, instrument display, and pedals retract when the car is in autonomous driving mode, to give occupants more cabin space. The car does not have any B-pillars, and the rear doors open backward, which makes it easy to get in and out of the vehicle.

The infotainment system of grandsphere makes large touchscreen units look antiquated. The concept car uses projectors to display images onto the wooden dashboard. Passengers can control the system with hand gestures and eye movements. The EV’s cabin comes equipped with a drinks cooler that slides out of the center console, which also houses a plant.

Audi has confirmed that its production cars will eventually receive the technologies that are debuting in the grandsphere concept study. The grandsphere concept will offer the foundation for Audi’s flagship sedans in the future. The German automaker’s next concept car will be the Audi urbansphere which will premiere sometime next year.

Image Source: Audi

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

‘Led Balloon’ From Audi Films is All About Summer Fun

Audi Films: Led Balloon

The latest Audi Flims offering is a water balloon battle royale with cameos from historic hardware and legendary drivers.

If there’s anything that comes to mind when people think about Germany, it’s light-hearted, goofy fun. OK, that might be a bit of a reach. But the latest installment from Audi Films is a blast to watch, and it’s all about being present and enjoying the moment, which is a message we can never hear enough. Plus, there are plenty of shots of people being hit dead in the face with water balloons, and unless you have a titanium plate where your funny bone should be, that should give you a chuckle. Rest assured, no humans were harmed during the making of this lovely little short.

There’s exactly zero exposition here, and the action starts with a suburban dad rolling home from the office. Just after he parks his e-tron Sportback, his children ambush him with a water balloon attack, and while he’s attempting to take cover, the kids next door start lobbing bombs his way too. Fortunately, his wife comes to the rescue. Not only does her orange Q8 provide formidable cover from the onslaught, she’s also packed the cargo area with a grip of water balloons so they can return fire. To me, that screams keeper.

Now, because Audi is actually in the business of selling cars — and not like, planning combat-themed suburban block parties — there’s lots of killer hardware on display here. Keep your eyes peeled, and you’ll spot an R18 E-Tron, Type A, Audi Union Type C, and a 200 Trans Am race car, so it’s clear the folks at Audi Tradition went deep into the vault here. One of my favorite shots shows Walter Rohrl’s co-driver trying in vain to tie a balloon while the legendary rally champ rips down a dirt path in an Audi Sport Quattro. I actually laughed at loud.

There are other cameos here too, including Le Mans-winning driver Tom Kristensen, American endurance legend Hurley Haywood, and YouTuber extraordinaire Doug DeMuro. The last one caught me by surprise, but given the enthusiasm DeMuro has for the brand, it probably shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Overall, this video is a lot of fun, but as Audi videos go, the 2017 Super Bowl commercial is still tops in my book. So if you missed it, make sure to check it out!

Photos: YouTube

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Audi RS6 Avant Takes on BMW M4 and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quad

Audi RS 6 Avant

While not competitors in the traditional sense, watching these three European performance machines face off is a blast.

Other than offering top-notch performance, the Audi RS6 Avant, Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and BMW M4 don’t really have a whole lot in common. That’s made clear at the very beginning of this latest video from carwow, where affable presenter Mat Watson explains that this peculiar hat trick of vehicles was assembled because they represent his favorite offering in their respective categories. And I have to say, it’s hard to argue with the man’s taste — all these machines rip.

Now, while I’m still waiting for Ingolstadt’s latest hot rod wagon to hit my local press fleet, I have driven the Alfa and the BMW. The best description I have of the Stelvio Quad is that it feels like a very practical crossover that’s been thoroughly and enthusiastically possessed by Satan. And performance aside? It has the best sounding engine of the assembled hardware, hands down. The BMW is an absolute hoot to pilot as well — and its limits are far beyond the reach of most any hobbyist. I don’t even mind the new front fascia that’s caused so much commotion.

So given that all I know about the RS6 is what I’ve heard from friends and seen on the web, it was beyond impressive to see just how well it performed when it was time for the rubber to meet the road. Because even given the near-flawless launch Watson delivered with the Alfa, the Audi still managed to best the Italian Stallion from a dig. What was really surprising was just how far behind the representative of the Motoren Werke was until it started gathering steam. Sure, it makes up a lot of space toward the end — but not enough to do any better than third.

That said, the coolest thing about this video is how it illustrates just how capable modern performance vehicles are, regardless of whether they’re coupes, wagons, or even crossovers. Cool as they might look and sound, virtually all the supercars of yesteryear would have gotten their butts handed to them if they’d lined up on the runway here, even though they’re considerably less reliable and comfortable than any one of these choices. What a time to be alive…

Photos: YouTube

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

2022 Audi RS 3 Snatches Nürburgring Class Record from Renault

2022 Audi RS 3

In the sport compact class, the red-hot 2022 Audi RS 3 is the new king of the Ring — and it wasn’t even close.

Given everything we’ve heard about the 2022 Audi RS 3, you didn’t have to be Nostradamus to predict it was going to be quick. Now, we know just how quick Ingolstadt’s new pocket rocket is. Because back in June, factory hot shoe Frank Stippler laid down a blistering time of 7:40.748 minutes, and smashed the compact car record. That beat the previous record — set by Renault using a Mégane R.S. Trophy-R — by nearly five seconds, so smashed is hardly hyperbole.

For safety reasons, the RS 3 in question was fitted with a roll cage and racing seats, which likely made it slightly heavier than bone stock versions. But aside from those concessions to the dangerous beast that’s the Green Hell, the car was stock, down to the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slicks it was shod with for the lap. For track rats, they’ll be a must-have option, and according to Stippler, ensuring the proper pressures in the super-sticky rubber was key to the victory.

In the official press release, Technical Project Leader Marvin Schwätter didn’t specify exactly how tweaked the PSI was from the standard settings. For new owners headed to the circuit, that’d be a handy piece of info, so perhaps it’ll come out in the wash. Another key to the run was the trick torque splitter at the rear, which during corners, pipes twist to the outer wheels. This is the first time such a system has been employed on an Audi, and the distribution of power ensures both understeer and oversteer are kept in check.

According to Stippler, the multi-disc clutch system is “a quantum leap in terms of agile driving,” and given its success on the circuit, something we’re sure to see on future Audi models. Of course, other go-fast bits like adaptive dampers, ceramic brakes, and aggressive RS Performance modes were part of the package too, and help demonstrate just how potent the new RS 3 is when the gloves comes off. Watch the video below, and remember that buyers in the States aren’t left out of the fun. So stay tuned for info on when this record-beating sport compact will be available on our shores!

Photos: Audi

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!