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Archive for September, 2012

The “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy by E.L James has become an instant sensation, and Audi has a starring role. The books are estimated to have sold over 30 million e-book and print copies in English alone, with book rights sold in several countries, making it one of the fastest-selling paperback books of all time.

Multiple Audi models are mentioned throughout all the books, including the A3, R8 Spyder, and the Q7 sport-utility, other car brands are hardly recognized at all. Luckily for Audi all this publicity came for free, Audi literally didn’t have to pay a cent to be the mainly featured brand in the series. James’ publicist said “it was a totally organic branded-placement that came about merely because Audi stayed true to its brand positioning as the high-end, luxury car of choice for users who want both design and performance.” Audi says it’s the car’s “character” that allowed the car to fit in so seamlessly with the story’s plot line.

This image is the exact standard Audi has focused on achieving over time. This year alone Audi has received Kelley Blue Book’s highest honor, the 2012 Audi A5 was selected best luxury car, and the 2012 Audi Q7 was chosen as best luxury sport utility. They were also named the Highest Premium Brand for the Autobytel and AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Awards, and swept the category for “aspirational luxury car.”

The “50 Shades of Grey” unpaid placement comes just as Audi hits its 19th consecutive month of record sales. The company however says these record sales may, or may not, have to do with the extremely popular books. They don’t have any data proving that it’s reaching more women through the book series, but they believe the halo effect has been pretty significant.

“50 Shades of Grey” does prove that Audi is a brand that is generating real cultural relevance, and is a brand to be recognized. The success of the series has not only introduced Audi to consumers who may own other brands but also may bring these customers to the showroom floors of Arizona Audi dealers.

Head to your Audi Tucson dealer for any of the models mentioned in the “50 Shades of Grey” series, as well as many others.

 

The new 2013 Audi R8 has been revealed and it is refreshed with minor changes. The updates stick with the cars original aggressive-yet-spare styling that has made the R8 an iconic sports car favorite. Audi also didn’t change too much with the mechanicals, keeping the beautiful V8 and V10 engines, but adding a new dual-clutch automatic.

Audi has yet to release U.S-specific information, but as according to Audi Europe, the 2013 Audi R8 will be the same in both Europe and the United States. The changes to the exterior of the newest version of the car include new LED headlights and taillights, as well as small changes to the front fascia and grille. The headlights are completely made up of LED lights that incorporate an accent strip where the ‘eyelashes’ were on the older versions. Audi also changed the grille out to the more recent single-frame style, which features beveled upper corners that add personality. The outer front intakes get new accents to match the tweaked grille.

The taillights now have a light that runs from the inside to the outside that flashes on startup. The lights are similar to the A2 concept cars taillights, which were featured at the Frankfurt auto show last year.

The R8’s 430-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 and 525-hp, 5.2-liter V-10 engines both carry over for 2013. The six-speed manual transmission, that were popular among Audi Tucson fans, will also still be available, although it more than likely won’t make it to any other future models. Audi is changing out the R tronic single-clutch six-speed automatic for a new S tronic seven-speed-dual clutch automatic. The transmission will be smoother than the track-oriented version found in the older models.

As for the interior of the new R8, everything seems to be basically the same. There is a new trim level called the V10 Plus that has been announced for Europe consumers, but is yet to be confirmed for US customers. The Plus package seems very similar to the current-gen, limited-production R8 GT. The Plus gets a more powerful version of the regular R8’s V-10, upping output to 550 hp; specially tuned springs and dampers; as well as aero and styling upgrades.

The newest version of the R8 is set to go on sale in Europe at the end of this year, and should be available in the U.S not too long after that. Audi hasn’t confirmed when the car will make its official U.S debut. Check with your Arizona Audi dealers for more information.