- OFFICIAL: Audi A5 for DTM 2012
- Porsche meets TUV SUD ISO 50001 energy management standard
- Volkswagen Group reports record deliveries for the first half of 2011
- Volkswagen confident it can outperform Global Market
- Audi is ready for DTM debut in Munich
Posted: 15 Jul 2011 11:51 AM PDT
Model change in the DTM: From 2012 on, Audi will bank on the A5 in the most popular international touring car racing series. The coupe, which is internally named “R17,” will replace the four-door A4 DTM with which Audi has won the prestigious DTM title four times since 2004.
The technically and visually upgraded A5 that is will be arriving at dealerships shortly provides the basis for the new DTM car. “In 2012 new Technical Regulations will come into effect in the DTM,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “We’ve got exactly the right model for that in the A5. We’re convinced that we’ll be able to continue Audi’s success story with it in the DTM.”
The new technical specifications have been worked out by the German Motorsport Association (DMSB) and the DTM umbrella organization ITR in close cooperation with the automobile manufacturers and are setting new standards particularly in terms of safety. “Our engineers have been involved in bringing up safety in the DTM, which had already been high before, to the highest possible level,” explains Dr. Ullrich. “At Le Mans this year we learned again that our concept of designing safety structures is a very good and appropriate one. This is exactly what we’ve been trying to feed into the DTM’s safety concept together with our colleagues from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. This new principle is an outstanding example of what is possible when employees of three premium manufacturers try to achieve a common aim: to get the best possible, lowest-cost and safest vehicle – and a fantastic car in general – off the ground.”
Like all new DTM cars, the new Audi A5 DTM has a high-strength carbon-fiber monocoque that is combined with a steel tube cage. In addition to the A- and C-pillars the new regulations prescribe a B-pillar in front of the driver’s head to be installed in the future. The sidewalls of the vehicles feature a hybrid design with a carbon, Zylon and Rohacell construction that is structurally reinforced by pegs. In case of a side impact the walls have to be able to withstand a static load that is about four times higher than before. “The sidewall has been reinforced so that the new DTM vehicle can be exposed to a side impact (T-bone crash) without the wall failing,” explains Dr. Muhlmeier, Head of Technology at Audi Sport. “Up to now, a bearable side force of 80 kN at a specified point has been required whereas for the 2012-specification vehicles 360 kN across the whole length of the sidewall is now required. This means that the monocoque has not only been reinforced at a certain point but across the entire length.”
The requirements for the front and rear crash absorbers have been increased as well. “At higher speed lower deceleration is specified in order to protect the driver even better than before,” says Dr. Muhlmeier. “To achieve this, a crash test with the whole vehicle is now prescribed for the first time as well – according to FIA standards with 14 meters per second forward and backward against a rigid wall. In the past, ‘only’ the front and rear crash elements had to be driven against a wall with a sled.”
Although fire accidents have almost never occurred in the DTM the safety standard in this respect has been raised even further as well. In the new generation of DTM cars the fuel tank, similar to the Le Mans winning Audi R18 TDI, is integrated into the carbon fiber monocoque. This further reduces the fire hazard in case of a side impact crash.
For Audi the new DTM regulations mark a consistent continuation of the work done over the past three decades. The rally cars already had a high level of safety. For the supertouring cars Audi Sport developed a completely new side impact protection of carbon fiber and energy-absorbing foam in the middle of the nineteen-nineties. Ever since Audi has had sports prototype commitments crash tests and work with high-strength carbon composite materials have been part of its routine business. And for the R8 LMS GT3 sports car Audi introduced a pioneering safety concept for this category in 2011. “We’ve continuously improved in this area and will do so in the future as well,” stresses Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “The new DTM vehicles are the best piece of proof that you can make something that is already very safe even saver. This is another thing we mean by ‘Vorsprung durch Technik.’”
The first prototype of the R17 is currently being built up at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt. The roll-out is just around the corner. The new Audi A5 DTM will be unveiled to the public at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt.
The V8 engine with a power output of about 460 hp (340 kW) will be adopted from the successful A4 DTM nearly unchanged. The proven six-speed transmission will continue to be used as well. Characteristic features of the 2012-generation of DTM vehicles are a larger rear wing and a reduction of the permitted aerodynamics components. The concept studies of the Audi A5 DTM by the Audi Design Team merely suggest the looks of the new Audi race touring car.
Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:44 AM PDT
Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG’s main plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen is the first plant in the German automotive industry to have successfully passed an audit in accordance with the new, globally applicable energy management standard ISO 50001. Porsche’s central parts warehouse in Sachsenheim near Stuttgart also successfully passed this audit, carried out by TUV SUD.
The new 50001 norm from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) governs the requirements on an energy management system enabling companies systematically and continuously to improve energy-related performance and increase energy efficiency. The energy management system was integrated with the existing environmental management regime at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen and Sachsenheim sites, an important partial aspect of which is the “Porsche Resources and Energy Management”.
Porsche’s goal is to be able to improve even further on recording and evaluating energy consumption and highlight potential improvements, thus enhancing the sites’ energy efficiency. Wolfgang Leimgruber, Board of Management Member for Production and Logistics, said: “We are delighted about the successful audit because it shows that we are on the right track to a production which is energy-efficient and saves resources. Highest levels of environmental compatibility and sustainability are enshrined in our environmental policies. We will, therefore, continue to work on improving our energy balance.“
Porsche’s Zuffenhausen and Sachsenheim sites have managed to improve their energy efficiency in recent years. The energy management centre has been completely overhauled and equipped with the latest technical facilities, and during construction of the cogeneration plants – one at the Zuffenhausen site and one at the Sachsenheim site – system engineering and equipment with very high efficiency was used.
In addition, the central parts warehouse roof at Sachsenheim is used to generate solar power: 8,500 photovoltaic panels generate approximately two million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. And in Zuffenhausen the new paint shop is on the verge of going into production. It employs the latest plant technology – especially for protecting the environment. This is the first time that innovative technologies have been used by a car manufacturer: lower emissions allied with reduced energy and resource consumption accompanied by higher quality.
Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:05 AM PDT
The Volkswagen Group delivered more vehicles in the first six months of 2011 than ever. A total of 4.09 (January – June 2010: 3.58; +14.1 percent)* million vehicles were delivered to customers worldwide from January to June of this year. Europe’s largest automaker therefore once again performed noticeably better than the world market (+6.1 percent). June was also a very positive month, with 719,400 (June 2010: 644,300; +11.7 percent)* vehicles handed over to customers. “Delivery figures for the first half of the year are very satisfactory. Our performance demonstrates the strength of our model range,” the Group Board member for Sales Christian Klingler said in Wolfsburg on Friday, and continued: “We are also confident we can perform better than the global automobile market during the second half of the year, thanks to our very convincing range of models.” He went on to say that developments during the first half of the year did not yet allow a projection for the full year. “Success in the second six months won’t be automatic. Plenty of hard work lies ahead to keep our deliveries during the second half of the year at a high level,” Klingler commented.
Deliveries on the American continent again developed very well. The number of vehicles sold in the North America region year to date grew 21.2 percent to 319,100 (263,200) units, of which 211,100 (175,300; +20.4 percent) vehicles were delivered in the U.S. market. The Volkswagen Group handed over 455,200 (410,600; +10.9 percent) vehicles to customers in the South America region during the same period.
The Group also reported strong delivery figures for the Asia / Pacific sales region. A total of 1.26 (1.05; +19.5 percent) million vehicles were handed over to customers there in the first six months of the year, of which 1.11 (0.95; +16.4 percent) million units were delivered in China, the region’s largest single market. The company reported further strong growth in India, where 55,100 (17,400; +217.2 percent) vehicles were delivered.
Group brands delivered a total of 1.90 (1.74; +9.3 percent) million vehicles to customers in Europe during the first half of the year. In Western Europe (excluding Germany), 1.07 (1.01; +5.5 percent) million customers took delivery of a new vehicle. Group brands reported continued high growth in Central and Eastern Europe, handing over 253,700 (196,800; +28.9 percent) vehicles there. In its home market of Germany, the Volkswagen Group achieved 9.3 percent growth, delivering 580,600 (531,300) vehicles.
All volume brands grow deliveries
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand delivered over 2.5 million vehicles for the first time in the period January to June. In total, 2.53 (2.26; +11.8 percent) million units were handed over to customers. The brand developed particularly well in the Central and Eastern Europe (+42.2 percent), North America (+21.8 percent) and Asia / Pacific (+16.4 percent) regions.
Audi delivered 653,000 (554,900; +17.7 percent) vehicles worldwide in the first half of the year. The premium brand from Ingolstadt performed particularly well in the regions of North America (+17.2 percent), South America (+28.5 percent) and Asia / Pacific (+26.5 percent).
The Skoda brand delivered 454,700 (378,700; +20.1 percent) vehicles worldwide from January to June. The Czech automaker developed particularly well in Central and Eastern Europe (+20.2 percent) and the Asia / Pacific region (+36.0 percent).
SEAT delivered 186,400 (181,800) vehicles worldwide in the first six months, an increase of 2.5 percent. The Spanish brand reported growth in particular in Germany (+24.9 percent), France (+16.7 percent) and Italy (+13.7 percent).
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles grew deliveries 29.0 percent to 260,300 (201,900) units from January to June. Growth was particularly strong in the regions of Central and Eastern Europe (+52.7 percent), Asia / Pacific (+42.6 percent) and South America (+38.1 percent).
*) excluding Scania
- Volkswagen Group
Posted: 15 Jul 2011 06:07 AM PDT
Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, said it expects to continue outperforming the auto market in the second half after posting a record 4.1 million deliveries in the first six months of the year.
Sales of cars, sport-utility vehicles and vans at the company’s brands including the Audi luxury division and Czech unit Skoda rose 14 percent, VW said today in an e-mailed statement. Global industry sales increased 6.1 percent in the same period, according to the company.
Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen is counting on growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China to help surpass Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s biggest carmaker no later than 2018. VW has forecast its global sales will increase 5 percent this year after posting a record 7.2 million deliveries in 2010.
Sales in June increased 12 percent, the carmaker said.
Year-to-date sales were powered by a 29 percent gain in central and eastern Europe to 253,700 vehicles, a 20 percent increase in the U.S. to 211,100 units and a 16 percent rise in China, VW’s biggest market, to 1.1 million autos. Deliveries in VW’s German home-market rose 9.3 percent to 580,600 units, according to the statement.
The manufacturer said last month that it will expand third- quarter production of the Golf hatchback and Tiguan compact SUV at its main factory in Wolfsburg.
Posted: 14 Jul 2011 01:20 PM PDT
Show event instead of summer break. On July 16 and 17 racing fans can experience a highly special spectacle that has never existed like this before: At Munich’s Olympic stadium the DTM stars from Audi will compete against their rivals from Mercedes-Benz – in races featuring a knockout format and in their original cars from the current DTM season.
At the venue where the soccer teams of FC Bayern Munchen and 1860 Munchen held their home matches in the German “Bundesliga” until 2005 and that hosted the Olympic Summer Games in 1972 the roaring sounds of the near 470-hp V8 engines of the DTM race cars will be heard for the first time. For Martin Tomczyk, Timo Scheider & company the eagerly awaited DTM debut in Munich will not (yet) be about scoring championship points. But their ambition to win the prestigious race in front of their home audience is high.
The track that has been built at Munich’s Olympic stadium during the past few months is exactly 1.192 kilometers long. In April the grass was removed and the whole interior of the stadium covered with tarmac. At the beginning of June Audi racer Filipe Albuquerque at the wheel of the Audi A4 DTM had the opportunity to explore the circuit which at the time was still provisionally marked by traffic cones.
There was a good reason why one of the three rookies from Audi’s current DTM squad was chosen to do the reconnaissance run: Last year the Portuguese had won the “Race of Champions” in Dusseldorf that is also held at a sports arena and organized by the former Audi factory driver Michèle Mouton. In Dusseldorf Albuquerque defeated Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel, among others.
Another racer from Audi’s ranks has even won the “Race of Champions” three times: In 2006 Mattias Ekstrom triumphed at the Stade de France in Paris, in 2007 at London’s Wembley Stadium and in 2009 at the “Bird’s Nest” in Beijing where he defeated Michael Schumacher at the finale. That is why Albuquerque and Ekstrom know exactly what the fans can look forward to.
The DTM race in Munich, however, differs from the “Race of Champions” in many respects. In Munich the drivers are not racing on two separate tracks but on one and the same circuit. The start and finish are directly next to each other in the opposite direction so that the spectators can clearly see who is running in front at the end of each semi-lap.
In addition, the DTM stars will not be driving cars that have been determined by the drawing of lots but their own DTM race cars. And, last but not least, one pit stop, respectively, which must be performed by a maximum of six mechanics, is prescribed as of the quarter-final runs.
Therefore, in addition to the driving skills on the shortest and most winding race track in DTM history, the swift work of the pit crews will be crucial. This is not a disadvantage for Audi at all. At four of the five first races of the season Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline performed the quickest pit stop for which tire partner Hankook always presents the winning crew with an award.
It is clear though that aerodynamics and top speed – two fortes of the current Audi A4 DTM – will play no role at the Olympic Stadium. On the meandering track in Munich traction and good turn-in behavior will be particularly important.
At two free practice sessions on Friday the Audi drivers will have time to find the optimum setup for their cars. On Saturday the “race of marques” will be on the agenda at which the drivers of one brand will first compete against each other. Then, at the finale, the best Audi and the best Mercedes driver will determine the day’s winner at two rounds.
On Sunday the best eight drivers of each brand are eligible to run. As of the eighth-final Audi will be pitted against Mercedes-Benz in a knockout format.
The fans will get to see 16 of three to five laps each per day. In addition, there will be a prologue on Saturday and a half-hour warm-up on Sunday. An extensive supporting program will be offered as well – including commentaries by Atze Schroder and live music acts by Mando Diao, The Rattles and Kensingten Road. Tickets for the stands start selling at 29 euros.
ARD’s live broadcast on “Das Erste” on Sunday (July 17) will start with the quarter-final at 2 p.m. (local time). On Saturday ARD will also air one and a half hours of live coverage from Munich.
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