Eco Warriors

Audi plans to cut CO2 emissions 30% by 2025 but there's a catch

Audi is curling CO2 emissions and introducing BEVs like the E-Tron are part of the plan.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi is fully committing to the Paris Climate Agreement, becoming the first automaker to adopt the ambitious goals. As part of that agreement, the company aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions across its products by 30 percent by 2025. But, there's a big catch.

The Volkswagen Group, the parent company of Audi, will be using 2015 model year vehicles as its high-water mark for emissions. Nearly every vehicle in the Audi lineup has been completely redesigned since then including the fresh Q3, which is just making its way onto dealership lots.

Audi has also introduced the 2019 Audi E-Tron electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid variants of some of its most popular models in that time.

And there's still five years remaining.

In the next five years, Audi was already slated to make a big EV push, as is the Volkswagen Group as a whole.

At the L.A. Auto Show last year, Audi unveiled the Audi E-Tron GT concept and followed that up with the Audi Q4 E-Tron compact SUV concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Later this year, the company will deubt the Audi E-Tron Sportback.

The company is predicting that by 2025, it will offer 30 electrified Audis, including 20 all-electric vehicles.

Neither Audi nor the Volkswagen Group has revealed any plans in regard to cleaning up lithium-ion battery production for electric vehicles as part of this announcemnt. Last year Bloomberg reported that battery production may actually result in up to 74 percent more carbon dioxide emissions than an efficient internal combustion engine-powered car, when those plants rely on fossil fuels for production.

There is also the matter of battery materials harvesting, which often happens in

Questions also linger regarding the disposal of batteries following their natural lifecycle in a vehicle.

In addition to vehicle changes, Audi intends to operate carbon neutral plants by 2025 including its Brussels plant, which has been carbon neutral since 2018. Next up for conversion is the Audi plant in Győr, Hungary.

The S8 is elegant and sophisticated but it's also quick and luxurious.

Photo courtesy of Audi of America, Inc.

Audi's flagship A8 sedan is getting a feisty stablemate. The 2020 Audi S8 will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. This is the first time the U.S. market will get the S8.

Like other S variants in the Audi lineup, the S8 features similar styling to the A8, save unique badging and more aggressive exterior accents. Additionally, there are available 21-inch five double-spoke wheels, Audi Laser Lights, and OLED animated taillights.

2020 Audi S8

Photo courtesy of Audi of America, Inc.

The S8 has unique exterior features that help differentiate it from the A8.

The real story is under its body. Each S8 comes standard with all-wheel drive, a sport differential, and predictive active suspension.

Below the bonnet sits a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter eight-cylinder engine that produces 563 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. It has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph and can get from zero to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. That's quick impressive quickness for a luxury large car.

Like the A8, the S8 is fitted with a host of premium features including dual-pane acoustic glass that keeps road and engine noise at bay. Its front sport seats feature Valcona leather with diamond stitching while an air quality system provides ionization and scents. Inlay on the upper dash is made of Carbon Vector that was designed to feature a 3D depth effect. It's underlined by a brushed matt aluminum lower inlay.

The 2020 Audi S8 starts at $129,500. Each model carries an additional $995 destination charge.

The Vision T is likely a look at the design language of the new Hyundai Tucson.

Image courtesy of Hyundai

Next week, Hyundai will unveil a new plug-in hybrid SUV concept car. The model is the seventh in the automaker's series of Hyundai Design Center concepts that combines "emotional value" with "sensuous sportiness" in an application of the company's new design language.

"We pursue innovative solutions in design and add emotional value to our product experience through sensuous sportiness design language," said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. The SUV concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain indicating its eco-lifestyle focus and its inherent balance with the environment in which it is driven.

Hyundai Vision T concept SUV car front PHEV The side profile of the design shows off a new vision for Hyundai's compact SUV.Image courtesy of Hyundai

The SUV has a theme of parametric fantasy and transcendent connectivity. All of the concept SUV's body structures are connected from the body to light or trim features. The overall look is a seamless take on design boundaries, perhaps signifying the future seamlessness of home, vehicle, entertainment, and transportation spaces.

Ambient light reflects off concave and convex surfaces to create a sense of tension, according to Hyundai.

The vehicle features an evolution of the Hidden Signature Lamp (as seen on the new Sonata) and features a parametric air shutter that deploys to help adjust aerodynamics and design. The shutter is closed when the vehicle is stationary then moves to effect airflow, aerodynamics, and fuel efficiency.

Why might it be the next Tucson? Hyundai has already disclosed that this concept has the dimensions of a compact SUV. That ticks the Tucson box. There's also the name of the vehicle "Vision T" and the fact that nearly every SUV in the Hyundai lineup has either debuted or undergone a significant redesign in the last 18 months except Tucson. It's logical that Tucson would be up next and that it would evolve Hyundai's powertrain offerings given the success of the Kona EV.

Earlier, Hyundai announced that 13 new products would be making their way into the company's portfolio in the coming years including the Hyundai Santa Cruz truck.

No details about the car's plug-in hybrid powertrain are yet available. The full concept car will be revealed during AutoMobility LA.