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Audi ‘consolidates‘ car charging with E-Tron Charging Service card

Audi E-Tron Charging Service

Audi has launched a new E-Tron Charging Service for owners of plug-in models. The service will allow drivers to plug and pay at a variety of charging points, using a variety of networks, using one RFID card. This negates the need for multiple subscriptions, apps and accounts. Audi calls it “the convenience of consolidation”.

At present, Audi has 18 UK companies on board. Needless to say, Ionity is involved. It’s joined by Pod Point, Source London, Instavolt and more. A single monthly invoice is generated, based on two fixed tariffs. The Charging Service will charge the user’s account based on their usage without any input.

Audi E-Tron Charging Service

“The general perception of EV charging is that it is confusing and inconvenient, and we want to help to gradually dispel that belief,” said Andrew Doyle, director of Audi UK.

“We started by equipping the E-Tron with the potential for fast charging at up to 150kW, and are now removing another layer of complexity for our EV owners by streamlining the end-to-end process, from charging activation to invoicing, with this new service.”

Charging tariffs – for urban and commuter ownersAudi E-Tron Charging Service

Two tariffs are tailored towards two different kinds of users. The first is the City tariff. Audi says it’s best-suited to plug-in hybrid owners driving short distances. The base rate is £4.95 per month, with customers paying standard rates of 30p per kWh for AC charging, or 39p per kWh for DC fast-charging.

Rates at other points can vary. Using the E-Tron Charging Services card at free charge point, as you’d hope, incurs no charge, but you can still use the card to activate the charge point instead of needing a dedicated account like so many do.

Audi E-Tron Charging Service

Transit tariff – save 60 percent over the standard Ionity rate

The Transit tariff is for more hardcore EV drivers, specifically owners of E-Tron models. £16.95 gets you the fastest charging available across Europe, at a rate of 150kW from Ionity chargers specifically. An E-Tron can be replenished to 80 percent inside 30 minutes, at a rate of 28p per kWh. The savings are significant, with a 60 percent reduction versus what you’d pay as standard with Ionity.

E-Tron owners will also get the Transit tariff for free for the first year. Pricing for the everything else, remains the same as it is on the City tariff.

Audi E-Tron Charging Service

Audi E-Tron Charging Service – how do you do it?

This is the appeal of Audi’s new charging service. Pull up to a participating charge point, tap your card at the point of authorisation and charge away.

No accounts or detail entries required. What’s good for E-Tron owners is that the sat-nav should be able to identify eligible charging points.

Audi AI:ME concept: reborn A2 offers a ‘wellness experience’

Audi AI:ME CES

Audi is at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show showing off its AI:ME fully-automated concept car. It’s a vision for an urban vehicle with a silhouette not dissimilar to the ground-breaking A2 of 20 years ago.

Described as a ‘third living space’ to go alongside the home and workplace, the AI:ME is designed to know its driver, using eye-tracking to enable tasks like ordering food.

Occupants can put on a pair of VR goggles for a wellness experience, taking them to fantastical places, like a flight over a mountain range. The simulation reacts to how the car is moving in real time, so the experience is fully integrated.

Audi AI:ME – the empathetic carAudi AI:ME CES

Clever though it was, we don’t remember the A2 coming with anything like the ‘Audi Intelligence Experience’. This is how the car learns about its user, their destinations, their habits and their preferences. It can monitor driving style and even vital bodily functions.

Over time, the car will be able to learn your preferred seat position, cabin climate and even which air freshener scent you prefer.

Audi has also developed what it calls ‘Human-Centric Lighting’, which changes based on how you feel. Tired drivers can be soothed with blue cool white light, which stimulates and invigorates.

Augmented reality displaysAudi AI:ME CES

The AI:ME features new screen technology, with transparent displays. A 15cm by 122cm transparent section is partially embedded into the instrument panel. It’s double-layered, with an OLED display and a black panel. The parts of the screen that aren’t being used to show information remain see-through, for an unobstructed view of the road.

Audi calls the AI:ME a ‘vision vehicle’, suggesting this reborn A2 isn’t something we can expect in 2021 or even 2022. It’s nice to see the marque re-visiting the footprint of one of its cleverest models, though. 

Audi offers fixed-price car insurance for three years

Audi A1 Citycarver

Audi has launched a new three-year fixed price car insurance scheme.

Policies are available for new and used cars, and Audi claims it saves customers shopping around for renewal deals.

Cover runs in 12-month increments, and customers will be sent renewal notices at each interval, confirming the fixed price. Customers are not tied into the policy for the full term.

Polices include the guaranteed use of Audi-approved repairers and genuine Audi parts. Customers are also protected against uninsured drivers.

According to Parkers, the previous-generation A1 is likely to be the cheapest Audi to insure. When powered by the 1.2-litre engine, the A1 hatchback and A1 Sportback slot into group nine, placing them alongside the likes of the Ford Fiesta and the cheapest Dacias.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Audi R8 has a group 50 insurance rating, making it one of the most expensive cars to insure. 

How to get cheaper car insurance

Saving car insurance renewal

Car insurance is one of the biggest costs of motoring, so it pays to get a good deal. In the summer, we revealed how you can save money on your car insurance. In summary, here are some tips:

  • Buy the right car: hatchbacks and city cars with small engines are likely to be the cheapest, especially if they’re inexpensive to repair.
  • Shop around: use a price comparison site, but also contact insurers not listed on such websites. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save.
  • Never accept the renewal quote: you’ll almost certainly get a cheaper price by going elsewhere. There’s little reward for loyalty in the world of car insurance.
  • Get the right policy: if you don’t drive to work, a policy that excludes commuting will be cheaper. Equally, don’t overestimate how many miles you’re likely to cover in a year – you could be paying too much.
  • Wait until you get older: insurance gets cheaper when you turn 21 and 25. Be patient – those desirable cars are within reach.

Click here for more advice on how to get cheaper car insurance.

Audi will answer your EV questions via WhatsApp

Audi concierge service on WhatsApp

Audi is the first car manufacturer in the UK to offer customer support via WhatsApp.

Between the hours of 8am and 9pm, Audi E-tron owners can message a dedicated electric car expert. The customer can expect to receive a response within minutes, says Audi.

Customers who have placed an order for an E-tron will be invited to start a chat. Questions can be posed via photos, videos, voice recordings or standard messaging.

The WhatsApp-based Concierge Service has been in place since September, and Audi has received a variety of queries. Questions include access to charging points and winter tyre availability.

Audi says it will also use the ‘valuable feedback’ to ‘hone the premium E-tron ownership experience in the UK’.

Electric car values

The all-electric Audi E-tron SUV costs around £71,500, with a Launch Edition available for a little over £83,000. The five-seat SUV offers a total electric range of up to 237 miles based on the WLTP testing cycle. Fast charging stations are capable of giving the E-tron 80 percent battery capacity in just 30 minutes.

A new E-tron Sportback 55 was unveiled at the recent LA Auto Show. Although there’s no word on price, Audi’s second all-electric car will deliver up to 240 miles of range.

‘Always switched on’

Speaking about the Concierge Service, Andrew Doyle, director of Audi UK, said: “We fully understand that making the transition to a fully electric car can potentially give rise to new questions that may not have been considered before, and therefore an appropriately user-focused option was required.

“We also know that our E-tron customers are always switched on and appreciate the added convenience its many digital services such as Amazon Alexa, natural language voice control and the myAudi app already offer, which is why the E-tron Concierge is an ideal extension of that hassle-free approach to communication outside of the car.”

Audi A1 Citycarver: where is the urban jungle exactly?

Audi A1 Citycarver urban jungle

Audi says the A1 Citycarver is a car ‘for the urban jungle’. Not knowing where the urban jungle is, I Googled it, only to discover that it’s a garden centre and cafe near Norwich. And you thought the Honda Jazz was the choice of transport for garden centre enthusiasts.

I’m not entirely sure a jacked-up supermini dressed up to look like Baymax in armour is required for a trip along the A11, but Audi has a habit of discovering niches and filling them.

I jest. The Audi A1 Citycarver is actually a Rover Streetwise for people too young to remember the Rover Streetwise. You weren’t aware that you needed an Audi Streetwise, but the marketing commandos will be deployed to ensure you spend every waking hour wondering how you coped without one.

Citycarver? Depending on your age, you’re either thinking of a detective chief inspector from The Bill, or a media mogul from Tomorrow Never Dies. Or maybe you’re thinking it sounds like the name given to an unsavoury character on Crimewatch.

But don’t have nightmares, because the A1 Citycarver is little more than a city-friendly Audi A1 with 4cm of additional ground clearance, body cladding to make it look like an A1 Allroad, and front-wheel-drive to ensure that it’s not.

Audi A1 Citycarver

It costs from £22,040, which isn’t a lot for an Audi, but by the time you’ve added a few choice options and accessories, you’ll be knocking on the door of £30,000, which is a lot for a supermini. Even one with an Audi badge.

All of which is beginning to sound like the Audi A1 Citycarver gives me an irrational desire to throw a hot cake at the wall and mutter something about the days before Audi became as popular as a Kylie Jenner Instagram post.

But I’m feeling quite calm about the Jim Carver. I have a feeling it could steal sales from the Audi Q2, which could be the best thing to happen to our roads since the Romans brought a 12-inch ruler to these shores.

Carvery menu

Some people spend close to £40,000 on a Q2, which is a staggering amount of cash for a compact crossover. Let that sink in for a moment – £40k on a small crossover. There’s just something so unimaginative about buying a Q2. Why not spend £18,000 on the marginally less attractive Ford Ecosport and treat the kids to a good holiday?

An Elliot Carver costs £680 less than the Q2 and is only slightly smaller. You have to sacrifice 70 litres of boot space, but that seems like a small penalty when you consider the level of standard equipment.

Audi A1 Citycarver interior

LED headlights, LED rear lights , dynamic rear indicators, a 10.25 digital cockpit and 17-inch alloy wheels are must-have toys for the Audi driver, and they’re all fitted as standard.

The basic Q2 has to make do with halogen headlights, which, to your image-obsessed colleagues, will be a signal that you’ve given up on life. If you want LED lights and dynamic indicators, you’ll need to spend at least £26,370 on the Q2 S line.

If you’re after 17-inch alloys and the digital cockpit, you’ll require the Q2 Sport (£24,120), plus the optional Tech Pack (£1,495).

Audi says the A1 Citycarver is available with two engines, but its UK website is showing one. It’s a 30 TFSI, which sounds exciting, but you’ll need access to an Enigma machine to work out what it is.

What is clear is that the Citycarver will sell like pumpkins at Halloween. You may not want one, but I bet you know of at least a dozen people who would. A Honda Jazz remains a superior car for a trip to the Urban Jungle garden centre cafe, mind. Anyone for a slice of carrot cake?

RS power: 25 years of fast Audis

25 years of Audi RS

Audi’s RS-badged beasts have been roaming the autobahns and chasing down M cars since 1994. That’s 25 years of blistered arches, scowling snouts and bulbous bottoms, with a high-power wail of a soundtrack. We break down the history of the modern fast Audi.

1994 Audi RS 2

25 years of Audi RS

With the help of Porsche, Audi brought its first RS-badged performance estate to the market, and the fast car world was changed forever. While 315hp from its 2.2-litre five-cylinder engine is modest by today’s standards, in 1994 the RS 2 was an angry ripsnorter of a thing.

2000 Audi RS 4

25 years of Audi RS

The original RS 4 picked up where the RS 2 left off, and established how Audi’s RS cars would be tiered. Its 2.7-litre turbocharged V6 delivered a mighty 380hp – enough for the RS 4 to stand toe-to-toe with BMW’s M5, let alone the M3. Unlike the RS 2, the RS 4 was also available as a saloon.

2002 Audi RS 6

25 years of Audi RS

The RS 6 has been a giantkiller since it was introduced. Packing 450hp in standard form from its twin-turbo V8, and 480hp in RS 6+ form, this thing could munch M5s on the way to nibbling at the heels of supercars. It was also available as a saloon.

2005 Audi RS 4

25 years of Audi RS

But what fast Audis had yet to do, since the introduction of the RS 2, was deliver when it came to handling. Grip? They had bags of it. Balance? Not so much. Nose-heavy Audi RS cars loved to push. The RS 4 changed all that, delivering a balletic handling balance to go with that super-sweet singing 420hp 4.2-litre V8. In terms of styling, the RS 4 enhanced the steroidal RS look, and it was also the first appearance of the grille. The RS 4 was available as a saloon, Avant and a cabriolet.

2008 Audi RS 6

25 years of Audi RS

The next RS 6 reverted to old habits. Big power – 580hp courtesy of a twin-turbo 5.2-litre V10, and brutally unsatisfying dynamics. It’ll obliterate most contemporary rivals point to point, but it’ll do so without delivering any feeling of satisfaction for the driver. It’ll easily push into understeer if you get too eager, too. Audi’s reputation for inconsistency was born with the second-generation RS 6, but lordy did it jelly your knees to look at. Yours in saloon or Avant format.

2009 Audi TT RS

25 years of Audi RS

A car we’d seemingly been waiting forever for – an RS version of the TT. The TT RS came along with looks to kill and an engine that thrilled. 2.5-litres of turbocharged five-cylinder power was a delight, but the warble was a distraction from a slightly underwhelming drive. Our advice? Get the roadster, to be closer to the sound.

2010 Audi RS 5

25 years of Audi RS

The RS 5 was no M3 fighter when it came to dynamics, but you’d arguably take it on looks alone. The Cabriolet was the ultimate riviera cruiser.

2011 Audi RS 3

25 years of Audi RS

Audi’s first hyper hatch picked up where the TT left off – five-pot power and a slightly disappointing drive. The engine is one of the modern greats though, and it survives to this day in current and future hot Audis. Praise be.

2012 Audi RS 4

25 years of Audi RS

In 2012, the mighty RS 4 made a return in wagon form only. It wasn’t quite as much of a standard-setter as its predecessor, but it was properly stylish. One thing Audi’s RS division has always nailed is style, never more so than with the B8 RS 4.

2013 Audi RS Q3

25 years of Audi RS

Then Audi changed the game, with an RS-powered crossover. Q3, the unassuming family mini SUV that it was, got swollen vents, a big oval exhaust and fabulous five-pot power. It even drove better than the RS 3 hatch.

2013 Audi RS 6

25 years of Audi RS

With the 2013 RS 6, Audi got its mojo back. By far the best RS since 2005’s RS 4, this RS 6 downsized back to a twin-turbo V8, displacing four litres. It was also down on power, with 560hp, but was such a sweet drive. It was arguable the best-looking RS yet made, too. You’ll note, too, that this was the second RS car from Audi in 2013. With these two, Audi had begun its mission to deliver more RS to a power-hungry market.

2013 Audi RS 7

25 years of Audi RS

Audi’s late-in-the-game answer to the AMG-powered Mercedes CLS was, like its RS 6 counterpart, an absolute rocket, but it lacked the versatility of its esteemed sibling. It replaced the option of an RS 6 saloon.

2015 Audi RS 3

25 years of Audi RS

In 2015, the RS 3 came of age. With the 2.5-litre turbo five cylinder and 360hp, the new RS 3 had the charming powerplant, but it now had a chassis with half a hope of complimenting it. It also looked absolutely spectacular, though it hadn’t reached the height of its aesthetic powers yet.

2016 Audi TT RS

25 years of Audi RS

With near-on 400hp, the TT RS, in coupe and roadster form, is a proper little supercar slayer. First-generation R8? Not a problem. Audi RS, as always, can keep supercars honest.

2017 Audi RS 3 Saloon

25 years of Audi RS

And now, one of the best-looking modern RS Audis. In fact, as of its release, the RS 3 saloon became the only RS 3 to have, in our opinion.

2017 Audi RS 5

25 years of Audi RS

While the last RS 5 was a bit of a posey beauty, this new one seems a bit more capable. The turbocharged V6 engine isn’t the heartthrob the old V8 was, but it’s devastatingly effective. It’s still a beauty, too.

2017 Audi RS 4

25 years of Audi RS

As the new RS 4, which has the same powerplant, and has, in fact, just received a very slick facelift. It represents the definition of the ultimate daily, with its new versatile V6, by comparison to the fragile revvy old V8.

2018 Audi RS 5 Sportback

25 years of Audi RS

If the RS 4 is a bit too utilitarian for you, but the RS 5 coupe isn’t practical enough, Audi has the solution. Meet, for the first time, the RS 5 Sportback. Four doors, RS 5 styling, and a practical hatch. It’s almost a no-brainer.

2019 Audi RS 6

25 years of Audi RS

Now then, the new generation of Audi RS is here. Mild-hybrid tech, four-wheel steering, and a new generation of ultra-sharp looks. Would it be an Audi RS if it wasn’t the best looking performance car in its segment?

2019 Audi RS 7

25 years of Audi RS

Yet again, there is a less practical and more expensive flavour, in the form of the RS 7. Note that the 6 has borrowed the 7’s sharper snout.

2019 Audi RS Q3

25 years of Audi RS

Finally, the latest version of the car that brought into question what should and shouldn’t get the Audi ‘RS’ treatment. The new one is available in both normal and ‘Sportback’ form. Praise be, though, the five-cylinder has survived. We look forward to the next RS 3…

2020 RS Q8

25 years of Audi RS

Speaking of which, the RS SUV train isn’t stopping any time soon. If commonly-spotted prototypes are any indication, an RS version of the Q8 is next on the docket for 2020.

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (2019)

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic 2019 review

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (2019)When car manufacturers spend big on a mid-life facelift, you know the original model was a disappointment. The current-generation Audi A4, launched in 2016, was an able but forgettable car. Its styling predated the arrival of new design boss Marc Lichte, and proved why his new ideas were so necessary.

Four years on, hundreds of millions of pounds has been invested in rejuvenating the A4. Every body panels apart from the roof, bonnet and bootlid is new, the already-lovely interior has been further improved, and a revised engine line-up is greener yet faster.

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (2019)

You won’t miss it. The front end is more aggressive and the body sides now have distinct wheelarch creases front and rear – modelled on the original Audi Quattro, says Lichte. Inside, a massive 10.1-inch touchscreen dominates the centre, and every variant gets a new, improved Audi Virtual Cockpit digital cluster.

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (2019)

Equipment levels are standout, actually. The latest MMI Touch infotainment system (which gives a loud haptic ‘click’ as you touch it) has standard sat nav and reversing camera. Front seats are heated. There are full LED headlights and tail lights, auto-dim folding door mirrors and three-zone climate control. For fleet drivers not allowed to choose options other than metallic paint, the new Technik entry grade will be a dream.

There are seven different turbocharged engines, three petrol and four diesel (the top-spec S4 is now a TDI diesel). Most buyers now choose petrol, with the 35 TFSI being the best-seller. Nearly every A4 comes with an S tronic automatic – sensible, as it has a clever free-wheeling facility that saves fuel when cruising (thanks to standard mild hybrid tech, the engine can even shut down entirely when on the move).

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (2019)

Audi engine designation badges now refer to power ranges. There is method in the apparent madness, but that’s too involved to go into here. What you need to know is that the 35 TFSI is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo with 150 hp. And it’s basically a detuned VW Golf GTI engine, one down on horsepower, but not pulling power: 199 lb ft of torque means it’s not short on muscle. 

Keep away from the 19-inch wheels of S line variants and above, and it emits less than 130 g/km CO2, and averages over 42 mpg. It performs impeccably, too. Volkswagen Group is making some fine petrol engines right now, and this is one of them. Refined, linear, responsive and effortless, it also makes a nice cammy grown when revved without ever becoming loud or intrusive.

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (2019)

The 7-speed automatic is also smooth, which gives even this entry-level A4 a cut-above feel on the road. Only if you stare at the rev counter will you notice the engine speed dropping to idle, then the green stop-start symbol indicating it’s shut down; that’s a measure of how quietly it cruises, and how smooth the engine cuts back in again.

My test car had a nice, cushioned ride quality. It wafted across B-roads but never became unruly in corners. Checking the spec sheet later revealed why: it had optional adaptive suspension, which only buyers of the Vorsprung variant will be able to option on UK cars. I’m sure the regular car has a fine ride, but it won’t be as good as this (and even here, the tyres at times picked up a bit of surface harshness).

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (2019)

The A4 corners safely and accurately. True to form, it’s a bit forgettable. If you want driving engagement, go for a BMW 3 Series. What the A4 does really well is feel secure and stable, with precise, planted steering and a quality feel of impenetrability. Firm, supportive seats, good visibility and exceptional noise isolation reinforce this. It’s a high-mileage driver’s dream.

Verdict: Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S Tronic

Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (2019)

The new BMW 3 Series is a formidable rival. It looks distinctive and it’s superb to drive. But the latest Audi A4 is a much-improved alternative with punchier looks, some impressive engines and class-leading levels of standard equipment. It may not excite, but it will satisfy you better than ever. And certainly no longer disappoint.

Facts: Audi A4 35 TFSI Sport S Tronic

Price: £33,975 (August 2019)

Engine: 2.0-litre TFSI

Power: 150 hp

Torque: 199 lb ft

0-62 mph: 8.9 seconds

Top speed: 140 mph

Average economy: 42.2 mpg

CO2: 127 g/km

Length / width / height: 4762 / 1847 / 1431 mm

Boot capacity: 460 litres

Your next Audi could be an electric scooter

Your next Audi could be an electric scooter

Audi’s e-tron Scooter concept is part e-scooter, part skateboard and 100 percent electric, and it’s coming to a street near you in 2020.

Designed to be transported by car, bus or train, the e-tron Scooter weighs 12kg and its handling is “like surfing waves”, says Audi. Makes a change from Mini’s claims about ‘go-kart’ handling… 

Interestingly, Audi says that the electric scooter could be offered to customers who buy regular e-tron models, with charging possible via a dedicated socket in the boot. It’s a like a modern-day equivalent of the Honda City/Motocompo partnership.

‘On the move in cities’

“With the Audi e-tron Scooter, we appeal to customers who are on the move in cities, sustainably and multi-modally – and for whom style and functionality are important,” said Thorsten Schrader, project manager for micro-mobility at Audi.

“Although riders keep one hand on the handlebar, they control the scooter like a skateboard with their feet by shifting their weight. The movable axles with four wheels allow unusually tight curves. Of course the e-tron Scooter also moves straight ahead. But the feeling of flow only comes when you start carving on asphalt – and that is surprisingly easy with our new concept.”

Audi e-tron Scooter concept

The e-tron Scooter features a display showing the battery status, with riders accelerating and braking by means of a shift grip. A range of 12.5 miles is achieved through recuperation when the electric scooter brakes, which should be enough for the morning commute or the trip to the station.

With one hand free the rider is able to look around and give hand signals, which could come in handy as more of these urban mobility solutions hit the streets.

Top speed is 12.5mph – possibly more if you’re brave enough going downhill – while the headlight, daytime running light, rear light and brake light are all LED. The deck can be configured in wood or carbon.

Production and sales are scheduled for late 2020, with a price tag likely to be in the region of €2,000 (£1,845). Form an orderly queue.

Read more: 

Audi e-tron now open for orders

Captain Marvel meets the Audi e-tron

Electric car sales TRIPLE in July 2019

ABT turns Audi RS3 into a 470hp Porsche-chaser

ABT Audi RS3

German tuning house ABT has turned its wizardry to Audi’s warbling RS3. The result is a 470hp five-cylinder hot hatch that can nip at the rears of a new Porsche 911.

Contrast to the original S3, which debuted 20 years ago with a heady 210hp, the current RS3 near-on doubles the original fast Audi hatch’s muscle, with 400hp. Now ABT is taking it to near-supercar power levels with a performance upgrade to 470hp.

ABT Audi RS3

The ABT Power S performance package adds a new intercooler and ABT’s high-tech Engine Control unit. Along with the power upgrade, torque is up from an already mighty 346lb-ft, to near-on 400lb-ft.

The standard Audi RS3 gets to 62mph in close to four seconds flat, so this ABT version should be even more potent. Top speed is up from the limited 155mph to 177mph.

ABT Audi RS3

Although the sleeper factor is fun, if you want people to know that your RS3 is packing a bit more muscle, there is a selection of visual upgrades available.

New wheels, which can lop up to 32kg of unsprung mass out of the car, ABT badging, vents and a quad-tipped stainless steel exhaust system are available.

ABT Audi RS3

Carbon and leather interior bits are also available, so you never forget your RS3 is just that bit more special.

The wizards at ABT have a history of tuning and racing Audis, and tarting up many different cars from the Volkswagen Group. They’ll spruce up everything from your Skoda, to your Vokswagen, through to your Seat and, of course, your Audi.

Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid offers 26-mile electric range

Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid

If you’re not ready to take the plunge on a EV, but fancy completing your commute on electric power, the new Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid will be of interest.

The Audi Q5 55 TFSI e – to give the SUV it’s long and convoluted name – pairs a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver 26 miles of range.

Useful for zero-emissions zones, then, but the Q5 plug-in hybrid can also hit 84mph in electric mode, plus a top speed of 148mph with help from the 252hp and 273lb ft petrol engine.

113mpg and 49g/km CO2

Audi Q5 55 TFSI E

Crucially, the WLTP-certified economy is 113mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 49g/km: the figures of most interest to plug-in hybrid (PHEV) buyers.

It’s the first time that Audi’s efficiency-optimised Quattro all-wheel-drive tech has been used in combination with an electric motor, with the system functioning in front-wheel drive when possible to save fuel.

A predictive efficiency assistant (PEA) uses data from the navigation database and the distance to the vehicle ahead to select between freewheeling with the engine switched off and coasting recuperation.

There are three driving modes – Hybrid, EV and Battery Hold – with EV mode the default setting each time the vehicle is started.

Deliveries by the end of 2019

Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid socket

The Q5 plug-in hybrid is supplied with a compact charging system comprising cables for household and industrial outlets, plus a control unit. There’s also a Mode 3 cable with a Type 2 plug for use at public charging stations.

Standard kit includes LED headlights with high-beam assist, 20-inch alloy wheels, electric adjustable sports seats with massage function, three-zone climate control and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit dashboard display.

Customers can order an Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid in June, with deliveries expected by the end of the year. Prices will start from around £55,000.