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Audi is a German luxury automaker with a history dating back over 100 years. Now a subsidiary of Volkswagen, the brand first gained traction in the U.S. through innovations such as its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Audi continues that tradition today by offering cutting-edge tech throughout its wide range of vehicles, which includes several all-electric models, such as the e-tron SUV. It also boasts a high-performance RS line that rivals Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M division. Among Audi’s top sellers are the Q5, a midsize SUV, and the A4, a compact sport sedan.
Ever-Evolving Engines Audi introduced the first gasoline-powered five-cylinder engine four decades ago. After its appearance, the car company enhanced and evolved the engine to include turbocharging and advanced emissions control among other features. However, by 1997, all five-cylinder engines were phased out for V-6s until 2009 when the five-cylinder made a comeback featuring turbocharging, gasoline direct injection, and 340 horsepower. Since then, the engine has evolved even more and now can muster 400 horsepower. As of 2018, this five-cylinder wonder had been voted "Engine of the Year" by a group of international car journalists nine times.
100% Galvanized Cars Many Audi cars are 100% galvanized, which helps them from corroding. Audi was the first major car company to adopt this measure, which has proven very effective against rust. The protection works so well that Audi has extended its manufacturer's warranty against corrosion from 10 to 12 years.
Advanced Transmission Technology Some used Audis come with DSG, which is a Direct-Shift Gearbox. It is a dual-clutch transmission that is essentially an automated semi-automatic transmission that offers practically instantaneous gear shifting. Although this type of transmission uses a dual-clutch system, you can drive it as if it were a conventional automatic. You can find DSG technology in models like the Audi A3, A4, and TT.
Top-Notch Basics for a Price All vehicles come with their own version of basic amenities; however, with an Audi, the basics are often the upgradeable options on other cars. That being said, Audis are generally more expensive than other vehicles in their class, which means you are essentially paying for the upgrades.
Multi-Media Interface In 2003, Audi introduced a control interface to manage its infotainment systems in its vehicles. It is known as MMI (Multi-Media Interface) and gives you control over many of your Audi's entertainment and comfort capabilities such as radio, CD changer, heating and cooling, and satellite navigation. Unfortunately, MMIs can get lazy and cause your entire system to freeze up or need rebooting; you could be locked out of some of your car's essential functions while the bugs are worked out.
Lightweight With Heavy Equipment The A8, A2, TT, and R8 all come with the Audi Space Frame design. It is a technology that uses aluminum instead of steel for the vehicle's body, which results in a car that is much lighter and often faster. However, because of the heavy quattro four-wheel-drive system, weight reduction is a bit mitigated.