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Volkswagen AG’s premium brand Audi has reported record first-half sales, helping the brand gain substantial ground on luxury-car market leader BMW and surpassing Mercedes-Benz. Demand for the A6 and Q3 sport-utility vehicle has propelled Audis growth in June.
Deliveries in the first six months of 2012 rose 12 per cent from a year earlier to 733,250 cars and SUVs as sales last month jumped 13 per cent to 133,050, Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi said in a statement. That compared with an 8.3 per cent first-half delivery increase at Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and 6.5 per cent at Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz.
Audi Arizona drivers may find it interesting that Audi is currently ranked second amongst the world’s luxury-vehicle makers but has a target of eventually beating out BMW.
“Audi offers strong products, a strong position in the important Chinese market and a high frequency of product launches,” said Juergen Pieper, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt.
Audi has made claims that they will be the world’s largest premium car maker by 2020. In an interview with German newspapers Audi CEO Rupert Stadler admitted he now believes it will take around five years longer than previously thought to surpass BMW.
“By 2020 at the latest,” Stadler said. “It is not about overtaking BMW tomorrow or the day after, but to seize and secure the top position.”
Stadler previously set the goal of becoming the world’s top-selling premium car maker by 2015, but now concedes that target is out of reach. Complicating Audi’s pursuits is Mercedes, which has its sights set on overtaking Audi by 2015 on the way to challenging BMW for top spot in the future.
Though he didn’t mention how many sales he expects Audi to have by that date, Stadler has since revealed some very positive results for this year. He said Audi’s sales are up 12.3 percent for the first six months of this year and that the automaker is on track for an annual sales amount of 1.4 million vehicles, a new record.
For more information on Audi and their cars that are making their mark on the luxury industry, head to your local Audi dealer.
Most crossovers ultimately force drivers to settle for compromising performance for practicality, but the 2012 Audi Q5 is not your average crossover. This Audi is built to stimulate the driving experience with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, yet still provides an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in combined driving. The body size and proportions of the car allow enough space for comfort and utility use, and the interior is one of the best in class.
There are two models available: the 2.0T and the 3.2. The 2.0T comes standard with an impressively responsive all-wheel drive, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0T produces 211 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, accelerating the car at performance speeds, from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
The other model available is the 3.2, which comes with a quality V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission that generates 270 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. The 3.2 version hits 60 mph in 7.0 seconds. This makes it just a little bit slower than the turbocharged 2.0 model, but it has an above average towing capacity of 4,400 pounds.
Audi Q5 Arizona drivers have four trim options available overall, but only two options per engine choice. The 2.0T has the options of the Premium or Premium Plus packages and the 3.2 model has the options of Premium Plus and Prestige.
The 2.0T Premium package includes features such as: 18-inch wheels, a 10-speaker sound system, roof rails, eight way power front seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone climate control, Multi Media Interface (MMI), and satellite radio. The 2.0T Premium Plus package includes all of those options as well as the addition of xenon headlights, LED running lights, panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, Bluetooth, an iPod interface, and more.
The 3.2 Premium Plus package adds 19-inch wheels, keyless ignition/entry and S-line exterior trim. The most inclusive package is the 3.2 Prestige, which has adaptive headlights, a blind-spot warning system, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a heated/cooled cupholder, rear door sunshades, and the Audi MMI Navigation Plus package. This package can also be equipped with Audi Drive Select, adaptive cruise control, and a Luxury Package. The Luxury Package includes ventilated front seats and upgraded leather. Both 3.2 model packages have the option of upgrading to 20-inch wheels and the S Line package, which includes performance tires, a spot steering wheel, shift paddles, and brushed aluminum trim.
From the package options alone you can expect a luxury interior design, but with above average construction the interior doesn’t just look nice, it’s practical too. The Q5 is considered a compact crossover but provides an exceptionally comfortable amount of room to both front and back seat occupants. The rear seats fold down easily and create 57 cubic-ft of cargo space, which is useful for any Audi Arizona driver.