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Interview with Michael Dick: & # 34; There is still potential in the Q family & # 34;

Beate Jeske
Interview with Michael Dick
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Where do you see Vorsprung durch Technik at Audi?

D ick: Our lead manifests itself in a number of points. Let's just take the subject of lightweight construction. Our cars are always characterized by the fact that they are lighter than those of the competition. We have long been the only manufacturer to offer aluminum technology in large-scale production - in a wide variety of forms: mixed aluminum construction for the TT and the new A6, Audi space frame in full aluminum construction for the A8 and R8. And: We have a lot of experience with carbon - with R8, RS3, with our subsidiary brand Lamborghini and in racing. With this know-how, we will also get the new A2 in an intelligent mixed construction easier than a comparable model with a monocoque structure.

So will the new A2 be lighter than an i3 from BMW?

Dick: Yes, it will get easier. Our new model is strongly based on the study from Frankfurt, is no longer quite as high as its predecessor, but is broader and more emotional. We will design the car with a pure electric or plug-in hybrid drive.

The BMW i3 will cost around 40,000 euros. Can you beat that with the A2?

Dick: I am convinced that we can offer the A2 more cheaply and that we do not neglect our quality standards.

Lightweight construction, connectivity and E-Tron - are these your main topics?

Dick: Yes. E-Tron describes our electrification strategy, which we are expanding step by step. We call everything that can be charged at the socket as E-Tron. A very promising fleet trial with the A1 E-Tron is currently underway in Munich. The R8 E-Tron will be available in small series at the end of next year, and in 2013 the A3 will be launched as a plug-in hybrid. In 2015 this engine will also be available for the Q7 and A4. And with the A6 and the A8, we will shortly be adding two more full hybrids to the Q5. None of our competitors have such a wide range.

Does the rotary engine still play a role as a range extender in your considerations?

Dick: He plays a role in our considerations because the experience with our test fleet has been very positive. We are developing the Wankel engine for series production and will go from 15 to 25 in the next construction phasekW power. At the same time we are expanding the fleet trial. In addition to practical experience, we are also gathering important information about customer expectations when they switch from a conventional to an electric car.

What will happen in the future in the area of ​​connectivity?

Dick: In the Audi connect technology field, we are working on completely new infotainment applications, on the ultra-fast internet in the car and on the vision of the accident-avoiding car. In the future there will be assistance systems that are hard to imagine today - like piloted driving. Similar to the autopilot in an airplane, we want to provide better support to the driver in less pleasant driving situations, such as stop-and-go. The assistant can steer automatically up to a certain speed. Or the parking assistant: it will soon be ready to drive the car into the garage without the driver having to sit in it himself.

You are planning an enormous increase in volume by 2018. With which models do you want to achieve this specifically?

Dick: First of all, we have to make optimal use of the segments that we already occupy today. We will continue to expand the A1 segment. We are now on the road with the two-door and soon the four-door, in the future there will certainly be one or two more variants. In addition to the Q7, Q5 and the new Q3, there is also potential for further models in the Q family.

Will there be an A9 as a Coupé based on the A8?

Dick: As a very sporty variant, an A9 would certainly differ significantly from an A8.

What chance does the Urban Concept study have that you at the IAA?

Dick: There were many positive voices about the Urban Concept. Young people in particular liked the model. We are currently reviewing the framework for a small series. First of all, we are assuming a 100 edition, spread over three metropolises, combined with a new mobility concept. Thanks to a clever package structure, we could offer the vehicle with two different ranges, which lowers the price.

Are such e-models sufficient to meet future CO2 requirements with the fleet fulfill? And can you still rely on S models?

Dick: We will achieve the fleet goals of the future, also with S and RS models in the program. In order to reduce fuel consumption without reducing driving fun, we have developed a new V8 with cylinder deactivation for the S6, S7 and S8 models. It does more than its predecessor, but consumes almost a quarter less. And our new 1.8-liter four-cylinder comes with a sophisticated thermal management system that saves ten grams of CO2 per kilometer. There will be further steps to variable displacements andTo enable condensation. In addition, there is our commitment to alternative fuels: We will also be offering the new A3 and the next A4 as a CNG variant. So far there has been little demand for this in the premium segment, but we are making the topic sexy with our e-gas technology. Because we generate the e-gas, which is chemically identical to natural gas and can be distributed in the natural gas network, climate-friendly, these models can also drive long distances completely CO2-neutrally.

The new V6 diesel is very strong. Do you still need a V8?

Dick: On the one hand, downsizing is still an important approach. On the other hand, there are customers in the premium segment who want such emotional engines. That's why we're sticking to the V8 as petrol and diesel.

Will there also be a four-cylinder for a luxury-class model like the A8?

Dick: The one will soon be available as a full hybrid with a four-cylinder petrol engine. We are currently checking the customer relevance of a four-cylinder diesel in the A8.

Will you also need new factories?

Dick: We will have huge growth in China and the USA in the next few years. We are thinking about our own production especially for North America.

Does Mexico play a role in these considerations?

Dick: This is one of the location variants which we are currently investigating.

Audi has a great tradition of rallying. Is that no longer an issue at all in your company?

Dick: The issue is closed for us - and very successfully. We are committed to the DTM and the Le Mans 24-hour race. Although we have already clinched numerous victories there and won both the DTM and Le Mans in 2011, both classics always offer new incentives. We also see customer sport as a sensible field of activity.

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