Automobile manufacturing has become a playground for pushing the boundaries of technology. Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering are blended together with beautiful design to create cars that far surpass new models from just a decade ago. Relative to the electric vehicle market, no other manufacturer is investing in new technology as heavily as Audi.
The German automaker has recently released information on their plans moving into the next year and beyond. Audi is known today for producing highly reliable, affordable luxury vehicles that can keep running strong long past the 100,000 mile mark. This is a big draw for many car buyers, and has created a whole new industry for aftermarket and replacement parts.
More car owners are now shopping online for new Audi parts at eEuroparts.com, a leading OEM and genuine parts supplier, because they realize with routine maintenance Audi vehicles are designed to keep running reliably, and for many obvious reasons shopping online has become more convenient.
Nevertheless, Audi wants to build on its reliable reputation with cars that are even more cutting edge. The automaker seems poised to step out from behind the shadows of the other luxury car manufacturers and start leading the way in crossovers and electric vehicles.
The obsession with oversized SUVs appears to be giving way for more compact, yet still spacious, crossovers. Audi already has the Q3 crossover, and now they are working on bringing the Audi Q2 to market. This crossover will have the same futuristic, angular stylings of the Q3 but will be smaller and based on the 2016 Audi A3’s MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform. The Q2 will be on the smaller end of SUV crossovers – more like the Nissan Juke than a full-fledged SUV. The Q2 will also be available in a variety of four-cylinder engines with both gasoline and diesel-fueled options.
The biggest difference in Audi’s new crossover will likely be the in the automotive company’s legendary Quattro drivetrain system, which remains to be foreseen if a turbocharged performance-focused “SQ2” model will be available. It is speculated that the potential SQ2 model will borrow its engine from Volkswagen’s 2015 Golf GTI. The beauty of Audi’s Quattro system is that the mechanical four-wheel drive operates on a key part, hydraulic multiple clutch, which evenly distributes the flow of power between the front and rear axles. In turn, less stress on all four wheels means less wear and tear on parts like disc brake pads and axle bearings.
Right now the vehicle is still in the concept phase and won’t be officially unveiled until the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, although the first testing session occurred in September. But the renderings and information already released gives drivers a glimpse of where Audi plans to take their crossover vehicles in the coming years. There is also talk of a Q4 being produced to help Audi corner a larger segment of the crossover market.
Audi Goes All in on All Electric Cars
Audi is continuing its focus on crossovers with an all electric model that can go three times further on a single charge than most electric vehicles on the road today. Driver demand for greener electric vehicles is ever increasing, and Audi is paying attention.
Audi’s new electric crossover known as the eTron quattro (pictured) is said to go 300 miles without having to be recharged. This is a true testament to how far battery technology has come, and signifies that they can overcome the issue of long distance driving. The longer range is possible thanks to 95 kWh LG prismatic battery cells. Audi is also working with Samsung to create more powerful batteries at a cost effective price. The eTron quattro will actually have three electric motors: one in the front and two in the back for improved handling. It’s a lesson that was learned from engineering the R8 eTron sports car.
Many people are comparing the new all electric crossover from Audi to the much more expensive Tesla Model X. Although it’s smaller, the Audi crossover is larger than the original designs and sports a coupe-like silhouette. A U.S. product management team was brought on board, and at their suggestion Audi increased the size to appeal to more drivers within the American market. The result is a vehicle that handles like a car but offers the cabin and cargo space of a small SUV.
The cabin of the new all electric crossover will be far different than the concept model that was showcased at the Frankfurt Auto Show this year. The control panel won’t be quite as high tech, and instead will have knobs and buttons in place of some touch screen components. There will also be three seats in the back rather than just two. At 16 feet long and 6.3 feet wide it will be roomy but not as spacious as the Q7 crossover.
Unfortunately, drivers in the U.S. will have to wait until 2018 to get behind the wheel of Audi’s new electric crossover. But drivers can get a feel for Audi’s latest technology and hybrid engineering by test driving the A3 eTron, which is set to arrive at U.S. dealerships this fall.
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.