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Top Cars: Audi

By Lauren Jade Hill

By Angus Frazer

This story originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.

From the timeless to the technologically fantastic, we have selected the very best in automobile innovation. Highlighting the classic cars that created a legend, alongside the latest offerings on the road that will turn heads, our rundown of top cars is sure to inspire those in the market for a new ride.

Audi

GERMANY, 1909

It might be a bit of a cliché, but it’s fun all the same to speculate how the Edwardian-era gentlemen who started some of the big car companies might have reacted to their creations today, with their satellite navigation, touch-screen technology and self-parking abilities. And you really do have to wonder what August Horch, the man who created Audi in 1909, would have thought about the company’s ambition to help send two Audi lunar Quattros to the moon in 2018. Today, back on Earth, Audi offers 15 core models—from the A1 compact car to the R8 V10 Plus supercar. audi.com

Quattro
CLASSIC

On a rally stage, the top drivers have to face the fact that another driver
might beat them by a handful of seconds—but not minutes. Yet that was
the dismay the front-runners on the 1981 Monte Carlo felt when Audi
unleashed its revolutionary four-wheel-drive Quattro. Based on the road car
unveiled in 1980, the Quattro took four world rally championships.With the
cry of its five-cylinder turbocharged engine, it redefined the concept of high
performance driving. While it ceased to exist as a standalone model in 1991,
Audi offers Quattro all-wheel drive technology on all its models.

RS 5 Coupe
MODERN

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Set to arrive in mid-2017, Audi’s new RS 5 Coupe could be seen as the spiritual successor to the original Quattro. The second generation RS 5 Coupe is sharper, wider, tauter and of course more powerful and efficient than its predecessor. It’s also lighter, which helps the new V6 biturbo engine punch the car to 62mph in a mere 3.9 seconds, and contributes to a 17 percent improvement in fuel economy. Built by the company’s elite Audi Sport division, the RS 5 Coupe is available with optional RS sport suspension, Dynamic Ride Control and race-derived ceramic brakes for an ultra-intense driving experience.

THE RS 5 COUPE IN NUMBERS

Price from $80,000
Engine 2.9-liter V6 biturbo
Power 450hp
Drivetrain all-wheel drive
Transmission eight-speed automatic
Top speed 155mph (standard), 174mph (optional)

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