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Audi Car Leasing: Facts, Figures and a brief history of Audi.

Before you choose to lease an audi, here is bit of history about the brand, its cars and some of the technology it uses. After the information, there will be some links to the Audi car leasing deals currently available.

AUDI AG is based in German company and produces cars under the Audi brand. The name Audi is based on a latin translation of the surname of the founder August Horch, itself the German word for "listen!"

It has been a wholly-owned (99.55%) subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen AG) since 1964. Volkswagen Group relaunched the Audi brand with the 1965 introduction of the Audi 60/72/75/80/Super 90 range (sold in certain export markets simply as the "Audi") shortly after the name was acquired as part of Volkswagen's purchase of the Auto Union assets from former owner, Daimler-Benz.

Audi started with a 2,612 cc (2.6 litre) four cylinder model a 3564 cc (3.6 L) model, as well as 4680 cc (4.7 L) and 5720 cc (5.7L) models. These cars were successful even in sporting events. The first six cylinder model, 4655 cc (4.7 L) appeared in 1924.

In September 1921, Audi became the first German car manufacturer to present a production car, the Audi Type K, with left-handed drive. The successful introduction of the left-hand drive set-up spread and established dominance during the 1920s because it provided a better view of oncoming traffic, making overtaking manoeuvres safer.

The Audi image at this time was a conservative one, and so, a proposal from chassis engineer Jorg Bensinger to give the Audi brand a bit of a facelift. His idea was to develop the four-wheel drive technology for an Audi performance car and rally racing car. The performance car, introduced in 1980, was named the "Audi Quattro," a turbocharged coupe, which was also the first German large-scale production vehicle to feature permanent all-wheel drive through a centre differential. The 'Quattro' technology was also applied to the first generation of Audi's S4 and S6 sport sedans, however few of these vehicles were produced (all hand-built by a single team), but the model was a great success in rallying. Prominent wins proved the viability of all-wheel drive racecars, and the Audi name became associated with advances in automotive technology. This is where their 'vorsprung durch technik' (progress through technology) tagline no doubt stems from.

Today, Audi produces 100% galvanized cars to prevent corrosion, and was the first mass-market vehicle to do so. Along with other precautionary measures, the full-body zinc coating has proved to be very effective in preventing rust. An all-aluminium car was brought forward by Audi, and in 1994 the Audi A8 was launched, which introduced aluminum space frame technology (called Audi Space Frame).

To date, Audi has decided not to adopt the traditional rear-wheel drive layout favoured by some of the competition, instead choosing either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. To achieve this, Audi normally engineers its cars with a longitudinally front mounted engine, in an "overhung" position. While this allows for the easy adoption of four-wheel drive, it goes against the ideal 50:50 weight distribution.

Audi has recently applied the quattro badge to models such as the A3 and TT which use a new electro-mechanical clutch 4wd system instead of the traditional mechanical centre differential.

 

Audi A2
The Audi A2 was a futuristic super mini born from the Al2 concept. It featured the Aluminium space frame, which was a first in production car design. In the A2, Audi expanded their TDI technology through the use of frugal three cylinder engines.

 

Audi A3
The original A3 (or Typ 8L) was introduced in the European market in 1996, marking Audi's return to the lower market segments since the demise of the Audi 50. The car was initially available only with a three-door hatchback body, in order to present a more sporty image in both front- and four-wheel drive. All engines were an inline four-cylinder configuration, and were transversely mounted. After the A4, the Audi A3 was the second model in the Audi lineup to use five valves per cylinder. In late 2000, the A3 range was revised with new headlights and rear light clusters, other minor cosmetic changes, an improved interior, and the introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox.

To read more about the Audi A3 click here.

Audi A4
The Audi A4 is a compact executive car since late 1994. Of the main body styles, it is (and always has been) available as a saloon and an "Avant", which is Audi's name for an estate. Higher performance versions directly related to the A4 include the Audi S4, and the limited availability quattro GmbH-developed very high performance Audi RS4.

To read more about the Audi A4 click here.

Audi A6
The new A6 (C6) was released in 2005. The new model is 492 cm longer, incorporates the new Audi trademark "single-frame grille", and features more sophisticated technology. Most notable is the Multi Media Interface (MMI) which is a system controlling in-car entertainment, satellite navigation, climate control, car settings such as suspension configuration and optional electronic accessories through a central screen interface. This has the advantage of minimising the wealth of buttons normally found on a dashboard by replacing them with controls which operates multiple devices using the integrated display. The A6 is available with other body options. The Avant arrived in 2005 and is still available.

To read more about the Audi A6 click here.

Audi A8
The Audi A8 is a four-door four/five-seat large luxury car. First brought to the market in 1994, most versions of the A8 have featured Audi's 'trademark' quattro permanent four-wheel drive as standard. Two generations of the A8 have been produced, in both short and long wheelbase form.

Audi Q7
The Audi Q7 is a full-size luxury crossover SUV available since its unveiling in January 2006. In its name Q7, the "Q" denotes a new family of vehicles for Audi, and the designation "7" marks its placement between the A6 and A8 in Audi's model range.

 

Audi TT
The TT was first shown as a concept car at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show. A previously unused laser welding adaptation, which enabled seamless design features on the first-generation TT also delayed its introduction. Audi did not initially offer an automatic transmission option for the TT. A Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) became available, the first for a production car, in 2003. The production model was launched as a Coupe in September 1998, followed by a Roadster in August 1999. The styling differed little from the concept, except for slightly reprofiled bumpers, and the addition of a rear quarterlight windows behind the doors. Factory production commenced October 1998.

To read more about the Audi TT click here.

LED daytime running lights
Beginning in 2006, Audi has implemented white LED technology as daytime running lights in their products. The distinctive shape of the DRLs has become a very attractive feature on the new audi models. The style was first introduced on the R8, and has since spread throughout the entire model range.

Start-Stop Technology
There are essentially three main parts involved in an idle-stop system: the gasoline engine, an electric starter/generator and a battery. The transfer of energy works in that order, both forwards and backwards -- it just depends on what state the car is in.

When the car's engine is on and you're decelerating, stop-start systems use regenerative braking, where rotational energy from the wheels turns the electric generator and creates electricity. The generator sends electricity to the battery where it can be stored for later use. When the car comes to a stop and the driver selects neutral gear and releases the clutch pedal, the generator shuts off the gasoline engine. Depressing the clutch pedal and selecting a gear tells the engine to start once again by taking the stored energy from the battery and running it through an electric starter. With an electric starter, the restart process happens in just over two thirds of a second.

Normally, the system is inactive during the warm-up phase of the engine, so that the engine oil becomes warmer and the exhaust gas cleaning systems reach their operating temperature faster. And according to Audi, with their start-stop models, the driver can also switch off the start-stop system at any time by pressing a button.

Recuperation
The new recuperation systems reduce your car's need for fuel by recovering the energy dissipated during braking into electrical energy, which is then stored in your car's battery. The alternator (and your electrical systems) can then be powered by this stored energy. It saves fuel by reducing the alternators demand for fuel to create new energy.

Charging the battery only when you're braking, coasting or decelerating, improves fuel efficiency by up to three percent and ensures that the full power of your engine is available for acceleration.

Today's vehicles require much more electrical energy than older models, due to the much wider array of electric and electronic on-board comfort and safety systems. This energy is created by the generator (also known as the alternator) which converts the engine's power output into electricity. In conventional systems, the generator is permanently driven by a belt connected to the engine.

During recuperation the generator is activated only when you take your foot from the accelerator or apply the brake. The kinetic energy that would otherwise go to waste is now used efficiently, converted into electricity by the generator and stored in the battery.

Car Leasing

All of Audi's current range of new cars are available to lease. If you are interested in leasing an Audi, take a look at these Audi car leasing deals:

Audi Car Leasing And Contract Hire.