Audi’s New Feeler: Audi Spyder

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Audi unveils the open-topped supercar R8 GT Spyder, which boasts some exceptional features.

The R8 GT Spyder weighs only 85kg with its side and rear panels, front/rear spoilers and rear bumper all made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP). The special bucket seats alone save about 31.5kg.

The car can accelerate to about 100 kilometers per hour in 3.8 seconds, while the top speed is 317 kilometers per hour.

Priced at 207,800 euros ($301,300), the model costs more than Ferraris California and the Mercedes-Benzs SLS roadster, underscoring Audis ambitions.

The head of Audi, Wolfgang Meinig, said that they are pursuing to reach the top luxury slot and have steadily enhanced the product portfolio, refining the top end range.

The open-top version is part of Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadlers strategy to topple BMW by the year 2015. He has a plan to capture the lead by further expanding the model lineup.

Because of the higher margins of luxury cars, Audi is critical about surpassing Toyota Motor Corp. in sales and profit by 2018.

Audi accounted for 47 percent of VWs profit last year, while selling 18 percent of the groups vehicles.

The Ingolstadt, Germany-based manufacturer, intends to increase its product range to about 60 models by 2020.

New Models

Under consideration is the A9, which is a two-door coupe based on the A8 flagship. The model would compete with Mercedess CL and plans further expansion of high-end offerings. Last year, the company introduced A7 Sportback and also updated the A8 to compete with Mercedess S-Class and BMWs 7- Series.

Audis lineup starts with the 15,800-euro A1 subcompact. Audi targets a sale of 2 million vehicles a year by 2020, up from a goal of 1.2 million this year and 1.5 million in 2015.

Middle East

Audi Middle East and the Audi dealer network in the region have been continuously improving the sales and after sales experience.

Year 2011 will see the launch of several amazing models in UAE: the Audi A1, the Audi A7, the A8 L W12 and also the new Audi A6 in the second half of the year.

Competition ahead

BMW is also widening its lead this year. The revamped X3 sport-utility vehicle and 5-Series sedan and wagon, the BMW brand sold 20,000 more cars than Audi in the first five months.

Mercedes is planning to roll out four compact models giving competition to Audis A3 for younger drivers. BMW is also developing a new line of front-wheel drive models and is rolling out the i electric-car sub-brand. BMW is also introducing i8, which combines electric motors and a combustion engine, after rolling out a battery-powered city car in 2013.

Mercedes has reinforced aluminum as its body to reduce the cars weight and help the roadster accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds, while the top speed is 197 miles per hour.

Production, sales, and delivery

Audi will limit the production of its R8 GT Spyder, which is largely assembled by hand, to 333 cars. The car will be available to order starting in August and expects the sale to be complete by years end. The deliveries will be done only in December.

Source: Bloomberg, topgear.com, audi-me.com

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