Photos & Words by Michael Juergens
Day 1 at the North American International Auto Show is filled extravagantly produced car unveils and swarms of fellow Journalists. However, the 2nd the mood changes dramatically along with the booths. It’s one of the only places that you can walk into a booth and see the entire collection of current model Audis along side the newly unveiled models. The stage is filled with the project planners who worked very hard to bring the cars to life and they are easy to approach and always willing to answer your questions and show off their latest project.
We learned some new information about the future of quattro GmbH. Typically, an RS model is launched as the car is ending its production life cycle. Instead, they are moving RS introductions to two-years after the base model launches. The designs for the RS models start at the planning phase for the base cars and the designs are locked down very early. I discussed with Stephan Reil, Head of Development at quattro GmbH, the possibility of introducing Audi ultra technology into the current generation of cars. He explained that it’s not feasible due to the way the base model cars are constructed. It wouldn’t be cost effective for Audi to make the change for just the RS models at the current time. The carbon body panels attach to the cars very differently than the current metal roofs. Instead, they are finding other ways to reduce the weight around the cars. Such using lightweight carbon on the interior/exterior trim, the four internally vented discs feature a weight-saving wave design, as well as 20-inch forged lightweight wheels. You can also save further weight by choosing the damping suspension over the air suspension.