Audi at the 98th Brussels Car show…

The Brussels Car Show is unique in the world, as it is an event where cars are actually SOLD in large numbers to the visiting public. This has been a “bourgeois” tradition since its early beginnings, now almost a century ago. Understandably, as the Belgian car market is a rather small, but “open” market, with no national brands to distort the picture when you want to assess your possible European market share. So all car makers are keenly looking at our market, and testing it… in a salon or show where they actually sell cars.

Audi is present in “palace” or hall 11 at the show. It shows the Audi e-tron Sportback in European premiere, and a world premiere of the updated

Audi A5 Sportback 40 g-tron. The 2.0 TFSI gasoline engine is specially adapted to run on CNG (compressed natural gas) and develops a power of 125 kW (170 hp). The maximum torque of 270 Nm is available between 1,650 and 4,400 rom. The Audi A5 Sportback g-tron has a combined CNG consumption between 3.8 and 4.1 kg / 100 km and combined CO2 emission between 103 and 111 g / km.

Important is also the new range of plug-in hybrid models: Audi A6 Saloon 50 TFSI e quattro, Q5 55 TFSI e quattro, A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro and A8 LWB 60 TFSI e Quattro.

“25 years of RS” with new Audi RS range: Audi RS 6 Avant, RS 7 Sportback, RS 4 Avant RS Q8 and RSQ 3 Sportback.

We show you here the RS 6 Avant, its 4.0 V8 TFSI twin-turbo engine now boasts 600 hp and 800 Nm of torque, and advanced mild-hybrid technology for superior – and efficient – performance. Its renewed RS design that is even broader and more muscular. Performance has its sprice, starting from 119,950 euros.

The impressive RS Q8 has the same engine and power. This makes the large SUV coupe from Audi Sport sprint from 0 to 100 km / h in just 3.8 seconds and then hurtle to 200 km / h in 13.7 seconds. The base price of the Audi RS Q8 is 130,970 euros.

Last but not least there is the Audi R8 LMS GT2 at Dream Cars Salon. This track car is based on an Audi R8 Spyder, and develops 470 kW (640 hp). This makes it the most powerful customer racing car in the eleven-year history of Audi Sport customer racing.

Your servant has recently tested the stylish Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI, a true gem when it comes to smooth power and driving pleasure, and a report will follow soon. Of course we are keen to test the new hybrids, and end of March we will drive the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro 367 hp S tronic. We are certainly looking forward to that one, and assess how Audi understands hybrid driving…which comes in plug-in hybrid form. All plug-in hybrid models use the TFSI, or a direct-injection petrol engines, which interacts with an electric motor integrated into the drive. A lithium-ion battery under the trunk floor provides the electrical energy.

More Audi news soon in these columns, as we discuss the new e-tron Sportback and technical facelifts which extend the e-driving range, and look closer at the formidable Q8 RS.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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