New Model News

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant is the stuff wagon dreams are made of

2021 will mark the first time the Audi RS 6 Avant will make its way to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

It's a high-performance wagon, something rarely seen in the U.S. unless heavily modified. The 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant delivers family-friendly comfort, sleek styling, and a robust powertrain that puts most other family haulers to shame. This is the first time Audi will offer the wagon in the U.S.

The model has a 591-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that deliver 590 pound-feet of torque. It can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

All-wheel drive is standard, but it's been given the full RS treatment, completed with a sport differential that can split torque between the rear wheels and direct nearly all the torque to just one wheel.

A Sport exhaust and RS ceramic brakes with red or gray painted calipers are available. Checking those options boxes increases the top track speed from 155 mph to 190.

The car has the buyer's choice of Audi's RS adaptive air suspension with controlled damping or the RS sport suspension with dynamic ride control. The car can handle six different drive modes.

The exterior and interior have the typical Audi treatment. Add in massive amount of modern technology including 8.6-, 10.1- and 12.3-inch display screens and a bevy of safety features, and you get the picture.

The 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant has manufacturer suggested retail pricing of $109,000. That excludes a $995 destination charge.

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Bugatti is selling just 40 Divos worldwide.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Only 40 Bugatti Divos will be made. Four of them were recently delivered to U.S. customers. The latest customized version of the supercar to be delivered by the French automaker pushed the limits of what the Bugatti craftspeople are capable of. As company founder Ettore Bugatti once said: "If it is comparable, it is no longer Bugatti."

Meet the Bugatti Divo named "Lady Bug".

The Divo premiered in 2018 and shortly thereafter a prospective buyer and noted collector from the U.S. approached Bugatti with an idea in mind. They wanted a strict geometric pattern that featured diamond shapes in a unique color contrast on their Divo. The Bugatti design and development team set about figuring out how to make that happen.

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug" design process

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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Two special metallic paint colors were developed: Customer Special Red and Graphite. The diamond pattern was designed to run precisely from the front over the sides to the rear – matching the silhouette of the Divo.

Bugatti's team spend a year-and-a-half to develop and implement the technical and graphic solutions the Divo owner required. Adding the diamonds to the car was far more complex than they expected. They would have to be painted onto the body with precision and exact definition.

What made it so hard? According to Bugatti, "the digital patterns in the CAD program bear little resemblance to reality: owing to the three-dimensional, sculptural form of the Divo with its contours, curves and ribs, the 2D-printed diamonds became distorted on the surface of the exclusive hyper sports car. As a result, they had to be digitally modified."

Being off by as little as one millimeter would ruin the entire visual effect. The total would be 1,600 diamonds by the time the pattern was fully executed.

Weeks later, designers discovered a way to match the CAD data with reality. They ended up being able to pull the film over the deeply concave surfaces of the Divo without the diamonds becoming distorted or developing folds.

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug" graphics application

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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During the pattern's development, a test car was used to perfect the pattern. After the initial steps of the application process were applied to the customer's Divo, Bugatti's team need to remove each diamond. Graphite paint and a clearcoat were applied on top of the effect paint in Customer Special Red in order to invert the pattern. As part of this process, the paintwork was sanded, smoothed, checked, retouched and then re-sanded. All in, the total time spent on the paint on the customer's car alone was two weeks.

"Every Bugatti Divo is one of a kind. With the custom-made 'Lady Bug', Bugatti has demonstrated the full range of its customization expertise. What initially seemed impossible was executed to perfection by the designers and developers in collaboration with the customer," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti."We are proud to have matched the customer's personal taste and expectations with this unique Divo. The car really demonstrates what the marque is capable of in terms of creativity and craftsmanship."

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug"

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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There were no changes to the car's W16 powertrain for the project.

Each Divo is priced at $5.6 million USD but buyers pay more depending on which options they choose. All Divos are produced by the Bugatti Alelier in Molsheim. The first deliveries of the supercar happened in August 2020. All models will hav been delivered by this spring.

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The Audi E-Tron is an all-electric SUV.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Customers who purchase or lease an all-electric Audi E-Tron or E-Tron Sportback between March 2 to April 30, 2021 may be eligible for a subscription to Arcadia to power their vehicles with renewable energy. Here's how it works.

Arcadia connects renters and homeowners across the U.S. to wind and solar energy through utility data and billing technology. Users utilize renewable energy certificates to purchase their power from those renewable energy sources. Audi describes the process:

"In select markets within Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island, Arcadia's platform connects qualifying customers to community solar projects in their area. These customers are allocated a portion of the energy output from their community solar projects and earn credits on their power bills as the projects generate power and add renewable energy to their local grid."

Based on customer polling by Audi, 85% of E-Tron customers and 90% of E-Tron Sportback customers state that environmental impact is either "important" or "very important" toward purchase considerations.

Qualified customers who get one of those two vehicles can get a complementary subscription for up to five years. Participating Audi E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback customers may also be eligible to receive up to a $750 credit toward their electricity bill through the Arcadia platform with a subscription.

This isn't the first partnership between Audi and Arcadia. The company collaborated in 2018 and 2020 with similar initiatives.

Audi's E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback are assembled in Brussels, Belgium in a plant that is certified as carbon neutral. The automaker has set the goal of reducing vehicle-specific carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2025 and is set to achieve carbon dioxide neutrality globally across the lifecycle of its vehicles by 2050.

Both E-Tron models are capable of charging from zero to 80 percent battery capacity in about 30 minutes using a public DC 150-kilowatt fast charger. The 2021 E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback have EPA-estimated full-charge ranges of 222 and 218 miles, respectively.

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