Rare Opportunity: 2009 Audi R15 TDI for Sale

2009 Audi R15 TDI

This 2009 Audi R15 TDI didn’t achieve victory at Le Mans, but it’s still a fantastic piece of motorsports history.

In the automotive hobby, there are rare cars, and there are the kind of ultra-rare unicorn cars that are the stuff of legend. This 2009 Audi R15 TDI for sale on Canepa definitely falls into the later category, as it’s the only example of the Le Mans racer in private hands, and it’s also the last of Audi’s open-top race cars. Along with those  distinctions, this example — chassis number T 101 — was actually the very first version of the R15 produced, and saw action at the 12 Hours of Sebring in addition to the grueling French 24-hour race.

Unfortunately, that was an off year for Audi at the Circuit de la Sarthe, and the car took third place in class, behind a pair of Peugeot 908 HDi FAPsThat said, while it wasn’t the most successful of Audi’s modern race cars, it played a critical role in the development of the company’s successes at Le Mans. In fact, an updated version of the the R15, dubbed the R15 Plus, returned to France in 2010, and took delivered a spectacular one-two-three finish, reasserting Audi’s dominance at the event.

Of course, it goes without saying that this machine’s performance potential is so far beyond the capabilities of mere mortals, it’s not even funny. Power comes from a 5.7-liter diesel V10, which is good for 590 horsepower and a whopping 774 lb-ft of torque.

Due to the rules of Le Mans, all that poke is transferred exclusively to the rear wheels via a dual-clutch transmission. There’s nothing mentioned about it in the listing, but given the fighter-jet complexity of Prototype cars, something tells me firing it up is a little more complex than it would be with, say, an new RS7 Sportback. So I’m wondering how feasible it would be to bring this to a track day. If you have any details on that subject, please hit me up.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, there’s no listed price, but I think this baby fetch a million dollars if I fetches a dime. Curiously, while the race history seems pretty comprehensive, there’s no mention of how it long it’s been in private hands, or even how it got there in the first place. Given how special this machine is, and the bleeding-edge tech Prototype cars feature, the owner likely pulled some strings to get it, so I’d bet that story makes for fascinating reading.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an Audi Prototype up for sale, as back in March, I posted about an R18 TDI Ultra which came up for sale. While that machine didn’t actually compete at Le Mans, a version just like it took the checkered flag at the 2011 running of the race. That listing is long gone, so it’s unclear how much it went for, but again, it can’t have been cheap. Personally, I’m beyond stoked that 2023 will see Audi return to Le Mans, and we’ll have more details on that machine early next year, so stay tuned.

Photos: Canepa

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Volkswagen Tiguan R review

Volkswagen Tiguan R review

When you’re driving an ever-increasing amount of hybrid and electric vehicles, it’s refreshing to review a car with no eco pretensions – just a good, old-school car aimed at petrolheads.

To be exact, the Tiguan R is the performance version of Volkswagen’s mid-sized SUV that’s attractive, practical, well-equipped, fully connected and apparently a hit on the school run.

Presumably, VW wants to repeat the success of the Golf R, which is still a benchmark for hot hatches. If so, it very nearly succeeds because the Tiguan has never been so engaging to drive.

https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/

Under the bonnet is a potent version of Volkswagen’s venerable 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine, here making 316bhp and 310lb ft, combined with four-wheel drive.

It’s suitably swift with a 0-62mph time of just 4.9 seconds, while top speed is an electronically limited 155mph.

As you’d expect, the Tiguan’s eco credentials aren’t quite so hot. Fuel consumption is 28.5 mpg, while CO2 emissions are up to 225g/km.

Volkswagen Tiguan R Review

If you behave yourself behind the wheel, then 30mpg is possible, but it’s hard to resist having fun in the R, while ‘Sport’ as the default drive mode doesn’t help!

So, what do you get for your £46,220? For starters, it’s available in trademark Lapiz Blue paint (unique to R models).

Plus, it comes as standard with 21-inch alloy wheels, sportier front and rear bumpers, matte chrome door mirror covers, four epic exhaust tips, LED headlights and keyless entry.

Volkswagen Tiguan R Review

Inside, there are supportive heated sports seats, a new steering wheel with gear-shift paddles, multi-coloured mood lighting, R badging and an ‘R’ mode button which lets you quickly engage the sportiest driving mode without having to access the infotainment screen (which sadly incorporates the new touch sensitive climate control panel first seen on the latest Golf).

Other than that, it’s much the same as a regular Tiguan, which means it’s generously equipped, spacious front and back, plus a healthy 615 litres of storage capacity (1,655 with the rear seats folded).

Volkswagen Tiguan R Review

Set off and the first thing you notice is the engine note, which is augmented via the audio system. It certainly sounds the part in the faster drive modes, but if you’re not a fan of fake noise, then there is a setting to switch it to ‘Pure’.

Slightly lower and stiffer than a regular Tiguan, it feels planted on the road, hides its size well and body lean is kept to a minimum in faster corners.

Volkswagen Tiguan R Review

The engine is equally impressive. Responsive and smooth with plenty of torque, it’s possible to squeeze out some entertaining pops and crackles when down-changing in the faster drive modes (as well as the road-going Comfort, Sport, Race and Individual modes, there are also Off-Road and Off-Road Individual modes).

The DSG box is as efficient as ever, pumping through the gears, while the new torque vectoring differential (nicked from the Golf R) helps the four-wheel drive system send power to the wheels that have the most grip, enabling you to make tighter turns at speed.

Volkswagen Tiguan R Review

In fact, grip and traction on more challenging roads is superb, while the steering is light and accurate.

Ultimately, it’s not as nimble and engaging as a Golf R, but Volkswagen has made a great attempt to add some dynamism to the Tiguan SUV – its biggest global seller.

Verdict: The Volkswagen Tiguan R is a mid-sized family crossover with serious attitude, boasting badge appeal, performance and practicality. If you can live with the ticket price and relatively high running costs, it should definitely be on your hot SUV shortlist.

Volkswagen UK

Volkswagen Tiguan R Review

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

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BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX

The fabled British automaker’s first sport-ute – BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX – will definitely leave you shaken and stirred, blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.

BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX

 There’ll come a time when Bond, James Bond, will need to hand back the Walther PPK, the MI6-issued Omega Seamaster and the License to Kill. He’ll get hitched, settle down, and no doubt have a couple of rug-rats with Moneypenny. The current 007, Daniel Craig, is 53 for goodness’ sake. Arthritis and AARP are surely just around the corner!

Of course, with matrimonial bliss will come spatial needs. It’s no good rushing around in a classic 1960s two-seater – even one with machine guns and ejector seats – when there are baby seats to fit and IKEA flat-packs to bring home. Taking it as a given that Bond will always drive an Aston Martin, the company has thankfully recognized 007’s dilemma and come up with the perfect new Bondmobile: the ‘21 DBX. An SUV no less.

But this is not your typical sport-ute. Here is arguably the sportiest, most agile, most dynamic load-hauling 4×4 out there. One that will definitely leave even 007 shaken and stirred. It’s also arguably the most gorgeous-looking SUV money, or even Moneypenny, can buy. And with that trademark front grille – a carbon copy of the one on Bond’s much-loved ‘64 DB5 – it’s unmistakably an Aston.

I love the swept-back windshield and swoopy roofline. I love that curvy, bulging hood which, I reckon, used Daniel Craig’s six-pack abs showcased in Casino Royale, for design inspiration.

While the company hasn’t enjoyed the greatest reputation for quality and reliability in the past, it’s comforting to know that much of the DBX’s key technology comes courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Heck, even Aston’s new CEO, Tobias Moers, was formerly boss of Mercedes-AMG. Pop that curvy hood to see the fruits of the Aston-Mercedes partnership. Powering this new DBX is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that does duty in a bevy of Benzes, along with the Aston DB11 and Vantage.It’s been massaged by Aston to better suit SUV duty, cranking out an impressive 542-horsepower and muscley 516 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a Mercedes-sourced nine-speed automatic and rear-wheel-biased all-wheel drive, the DBX can sprint from standstill to 60 in just 4.3 seconds.

But instead of borrowing a 4×4 platform from Mercedes, the company developed an all-new one for the DBX; an I-beam-stiff concoction of glued and riveted aluminum. And it drives like a dream. Naturally it’s quick; dial-up Sport in the drive mode system and it will rocket away from a stoplight like a rock out of a catapult. But it’s not the hard-edged, blunt instrument it could have been. The snap, crackle and pop exhaust is there, it’s but subdued, less vocal.

BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBXIn place of hard-riding sports suspension, the DBX features three-chamber air springs for a smoother, silkier ride. They even do double-duty raising the body to wade through waist-deep water. But what will stagger you is the sheer nimbleness and agility when you start powering the DBX through curves. With an electronic anti-roll system quelling just about any body roll, and the kind of precise, well-weighted steering that feels hard-wired to your brain, it’s an SUV that really thinks it’s a sportscar.

Inside, the Aston’s cabin is a joyous place to experience all this action. Most surfaces are slathered in buttery-soft Bridge of Weir leather with gorgeous double-stitching. Here there’s proper space for five adults, plus their luggage, with rear-seat legroom being especially stretch-out comfy. And the full-length panoramic sunroof floods the cabin with light.

I wouldn’t pick the somber, all-black Kentucky coal mine interior of our test car when there are so many more interesting combos to choose from. And the gimmicky, high-mounted push-button shifter on the dash of the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX will drive you crazy!

Pricewise, you’ll pay $176,900 for a base DBX – around the same as a V8-powered Bentley Bentayga – though our extras-laden test car stickered at a lofty $205,086. Its only other real rival is the similarly-priced 670-horsepower Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo S.

As for 007, a DBX would definitely help ease him smoothly, and speedily, into parenthood. Perhaps “Q” could even design him a couple of custom kiddy seats. Minus the ejectors, of course!

For more information, please check out the BONDED GOODS: ASTON MARTIN DBX @ https://www.astonmartin.com/en-us/

Top 30 pet names Brits give to their cars

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto Blog

David Baddiel - The Adventures of Pre-Loved Cars

Betsy, George and Beast have topped a list of the most popular ‘pet’ names for cherished cars.

A study of 2,000 drivers found four in 10 have named a car, with Bessie, Betty, Bertha, and Bertie also common monikers.

Boris, Lucy, and Dolly completed the top 10, with other popular names including Bella, Priscilla, and Rusty.

It also emerged 60% feel they grow emotionally attached to their car, with 37% going as far as to say they feel like it is a friend or family member.

The stats emerged in a study by Your Red Car, a new online auto marketplace powered by Santander.

They’ve partnered with writer and comedian, David Baddiel, to bring seven real life memoirs of cherished cars to life in a series of short stories, entitled The Adventures of Pre-Loved Cars.

“Cars aren’t just transport – every car you own can bring back a memory of your life as it was then,” said David.

The study also found 31% of drivers refer to their cars as ‘she/her’, while 19% say ‘he/him’.

Others express their love for their cars by buying accessories (36%) and talking to them (32%).

Top 30 most popular car names

  1. Betsy
  2. George
  3. Beast
  4. Bessie
  5. Betty
  6. Bertha
  7. Bertie
  8. Boris
  9. Lucy
  10. Dolly
  11. Molly
  12. Baby
  13. Bella
  14. Blue
  15. Priscilla
  16. Bluebird
  17. Rusty
  18. Jack
  19. Milly
  20. Roxy
  21. Dave
  22. Suzie
  23. Peggy
  24. Percy
  25. Cherry
  26. Daisy
  27. Phoebe
  28. Bert
  29. Billy
  30. Fiona

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