|November 19, 2006
Audi R8 and TT Coupe Make Their Chinese Debuts
The Audi R8 and the TT Coupe are taking centre stage in the Audi brand's line-up at the Beijing Motor Show (19/11/2006 to 27/11/2006). The dragon is the theme of the Audi stand, which also showcases the Audi A6L with two new engines, the V8 4.2 FSI and the 3.2 FSI. Another highlight of the appearances of Audi in the Chinese capital was the colourful unveiling on the eve of the motor show of the TT sculpture, weighing almost ten tonnes, in the heart of Beijing.
Audi at the Beijing Motor Show
The TT and the R8, both making their debuts in Beijing, are Audi's newest models on the market with the fastest growth rates. In the first ten months of this year, Audi recorded an increase of some 60 percent in vehicle sales, making a total of 66,634 units sold. October was also a positive month with an increase of 21 percent to 6,167 vehicles handed over to customers in China.
Worldwide, Audi sold 757,700 vehicles in the first ten months of the year, an increase of 8.7 percent compared with the same period of last year. The company likewise succeeded in posting record sales for October itself, with 73,000 vehicles handed over to customers worldwide, an increase of 11.5 percent compared with the same month of last year. Audi has consequently just achieved its best ever October figures and the best ten-month period in the company's history.
The 309 kW (420 bhp) Audi R8 sports car is a full-blooded descendant of the five-time Le Mans winner of the same name.
Another new arrival on the Chinese market is the Audi TT Coupe. While preserving the genetic make-up that brought its predecessor cult status, the second-generation TT reinterprets the tradition with an outstanding clarity of style.
For the Audi A6L, built in China and especially tailored for the home market, two new engines have been added to the line-up: the 3.2 FSI, a V6 delivering 188 kW (255 bhp) and, as the top-of-the-range unit, the V8 4.2 FSI engine (257 kW/ 350 bhp). The muscular eight-cylinder version of the Audi A6L with quattro permanent four-wheel drive can be recognised by its V8 badges on the high-gloss black single-frame radiator grille and on the front wings.
The dragon reigns supreme
The dragon is the ever-present theme of Audi's display at the Beijing Motor Show in China. The Audi stand in Hall 8 is dominated by 48 light panels, each four by two metres in size, symbolising a dragon. The panels are arranged to give the impression of a dragon elegantly winding its way around and over the vehicles on show. At the dragon's head stands an Audi A6L 4.2 FSI quattro, followed by the new Audi R8 sports car, the TT Coupe and a Horch 850 Pullman Cabrio Bauer from 1936, representing the tradition of the Audi brand.
In China the dragon represents power, dynamism and joy while also being a symbol of the Chinese people. With the help of this fabulous creature, full of positive associations in Chinese culture, the brand is presented to motor show visitors in a way that appeals specifically to Chinese tastes: "In doing this, we are responding to the increasing importance of this market. At the same time, we are using the dragon panels to illustrate the essential contents of our brand," commented Bernhard Neumann, Head of International Exhibitions at AUDI AG. On one side, the panels present 50 topics.
These include Audi design and motor sport, as well as various technical subjects such as quattro, Audi Space Frame (ASF), TDI technology, Multi Media Interface MMI, Audi R tronic, LED technology, Audi magnetic ride and many more. On the other side, the individual panels tell the history of the Ingolstadt brand.
Tailored especially for China, the motor show concept is an entirely new development that is without parallel worldwide. Preparations for it began over a year ago. To precisely recognise and observe cultural differences and subtleties, dos and don'ts were identified in collaboration with Chinese people, including artists and architects. These were used to develop the unique motor show stand concept. Expressing his enthusiasm for the dragon, Mr Neumann points out, "Never before has a motor show concept been so primarily tailored for a specific target group. It is a concept for China."
Ten-tonne TT sculpture unveiled at the heart of Beijing
On the eve of the motor show an outsize sculpture of the Audi TT was unveiled in the heart of the Chinese capital in front of the "Grand Hyatt" hotel close to Tiananmen Square, the Square of Heavenly Peace. Some 250 invited guests, including Chinese public figures, celebrities and sports personalities, enjoyed a spectacular show. The sculpture was created for the initiative "Germany – Land of Ideas". There it formed part of the "Walk of Ideas" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Following a stopover at Munich Airport, it was transported to Beijing – Berlin's twin city.