Top 5 Winter Driving Experience: Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Bentley and Aston Martin

It is been very much popular of times cruising across the long roads to Las Vegas in USA for droning out the winter chills. But the loads of said automotive crank haven’t filled the automakers (nor even the petrol heads) desires of extreme driving. The Winter Driving Programme offered by various car making organizations has garnered enough of the attraction to entice all of eyebrows during winters. Listed below are the famous driving courses conducted by renowned carmaker of world. And needed to mention, one is not needed to get his/her own car to the circuit. Being specific, most of the courses are conducted near to Arctic Circle, so aspirers ‘from any corner of the world’ are needed to fly there as per the schedule, and would also have to bear temperatures mostly below to ‘zero’.

Audi Ice Experience:

  • Location: Muonio, Finland
  • Price: €3,990

Audi conducts its ice driving course in Muonio, Finland, dedicated to beginners as well as professionals. Drivers who signs up for these courses get a chance to drive a S5 Sportback on a seven kilometer circuit, which includes a frozen lake on-route. The Audi Ice Experience curriculum boasts techniques to steer, stabilize, and drift on snow. Drifting here means technique of losing traction while remaining in control of the car, and not exactly the one which we perform on tarmacs. Audi too has dedicated a course for professionals called as ‘The Pro Exclusive’. Under this portfolio, experienced drivers are taught to improving their driving styles using sorts of video analysis and evaluation system. Ingolstadt based carmaker covers accommodation, instruction and flights under the course fees, which starts at €3,990. Flights for the Audi Ice Experience are arranged only from certain airports of Germany.

Audi Ice Experience

AMG Winter Sporting:

  • Location: Arjeplog, Sweden
  • Price: €1,590

AMG Winter Sporting is being held by Mercedes-Benz at two locations: Arjeplog in Sweden and Lungauring in Austria. The course is divided into three parts, basic, pro and advanced. Mercedes-Benz AMG Winter Sporting features some of the most treacherous driving condition, and drivers are given AMG vehicles to sweep past those stretches. Pro course is designed for those who can show up their drifting skills up to the level of Race of Champions. Three-pointed star pampers its generous guests for one day-course with AMG Lodge, meals and instruction, charges a mere €1,590 only. And added as a pinnacle, Lungauring in Austria is also one of the testing grounds for many of the carmakers around the world, so a lucky one can also spot a test mule of the upcoming models.

AMG Winter Sporting

Porsche Driving Experience Winter:

  • Location: Lapland, Finland
  • Price: €3,990

Porsche runs its winter driving experience in Lapland, Finland. The course for beginners includes change of direction and braking during winter in a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, with winter-rigged tires. A course called ‘Ice-ForceS’ fledged three full days of fun driving any of the models from Porsche 911 Carrera S, 4S and 911 Turbo and GT3 models with tires rugged by 4mm spikes, that too given without the traction control. Porsche calls its aspirers for winter driving experience just at €3,990 inclusive of accommodation, meals, and instruction by Porsche Driving Experience instructors.

Porsche Driving Experience Winter

Bentley Power on Ice:

  • Location: Kuusamo, Finland
  • Price: €10,840

Bentley held its winter experience at Kuusamo, Finland, spanned over three days. The driving course is instructed by World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen, who also feeds the drivers to complete lap in the fastest pace possible. Drivers get a chance to drive the Bentleys on the ice lake and stay in the most luxury hotels of the venue. Price starts from €10,840 (ranging up to €13,390), with private jets ferrying all the drivers to and fro from Helsinki Vantaa Airport. Bentley’s experience is one of the most costly as well as coziest in the list.

Bentley Power on Ice

Aston Martin on Ice:

  • Location: St. Moritz (Switzerland) & Lapland (Sweden)
  • Price: €3,200 (Switzerland) & €5,900 (Sweden)

Aston Martin’s winter session is held at two locations: St. Moritz in Switzerland and Lapland in Sweden. The one at Swiss is for beginners held for two days. Basic driving tips on snow tires are taught to the drivers in the snow clad country; while in Sweden the pilots are given a more of free hand to learn braking, traction control, all with the spiked tires on Aston Martin for three days. The British supercar maker charges €3,200 for Swiss package and €5,900 for the Swede experience.

Aston Martin on Ice

Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche and Bentley Susceptible to Theft: Security System Megamos Crypto Cracked

Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini or Porsche doesn’t come that thrash cheap, and so the reportedly said unshakable security system are lugged around to prevent them from theft.  What if we tell you the bespoken security system has been cracked and anyone can access your costly possession easily? Well, all will definitely hate it; but it’s true too. Words said above are also meant to be correct as per some of the reports in the industry. There are some scientists who had developed a way to enter such cars without their keys.

Made us available with limited details, it is learnt a team of researchers had found the algorithm (a Megamos Crypto) that the aforementioned models uses to recognize it as an owner’s key and lend the access. Flavio Garcia, along with two Dutch colleagues, planned to publish the results of their finding at the Usenix Security Symposium next month, but Volkswagen is said to have successfully secured an injunction against them. Their discovery could “allow someone, especially a sophisticated criminal gang with the right tools, to break the security and steal a car.”

VW was willing to let the researchers publish a redacted version of their report, but the group declined the offer and stated the audience has the right to know about security problem; and for the criminals they already know how weak the system is!

Bentley

The Volkswagen Group is curious about the findings, but the recent bout of publicity has shown an uncomfortable spotlight in their direction.

Top Automobile Brands that Ruled the World

Automobiles are meant to be the inseparable part of everybody’s life, as we need to commute every now and then. It will not be wrong to say that now they had become a necessity rather than a luxury, unlikely to that in olden days. Concept of automobiles was all started with the invention of wheels, which was first discovered from logic behind a log of tree rolling down the hillock. Though, at that time no one would have imagined that this discovery would grow to such an extent, engulfing a number of sports as well.

In the present era, there are numerous companies which are standing with their huge product line and some whopping number of brands to earn a good profit from this lucrative industry. We had listed down best ten of them which had left deep engraving impressions that tends to last at least for a century.

1. Ferrari

Ferrari was all started in 1929 at Maranello in Italy for making sports car which now had expended to street legal as well. It had retained an image of a prominent performer in F1 races. But as of now, the logo of horse defines wealth, luxury and speed as its 458 Italia fits perfect for the example.

Ferrari 458 italia

2. BMW – Bavarian Motor Works

As based in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, BMW entered automobiles in 1928-29 bringing in the experience of an aircraft maker that was in practice since 1917. Even today, its logo and front grilles lands us on that glorifying past. This car brand dominates the world of luxury vehicles, which can be experienced to the core in its 7-series range.

BMW 7 Series

3. Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz is the oldest car brand which is still found in existence. Its roots can be traced back to 1886, where Karl Benz’s patented Motorwagen was premiered as the first automobile in world. Along with the luxury vehicles, it does also manufacture trucks, buses and coaches with the same ‘three-pointed’ star promise.

Mercedes Benz 2013

4. Audi

Audi’s logo of four rings is very much famous just like its automobiles, which are the signature of some sports being offered in all of them. Audi is the subtle blend of power and performance.

Audi R8

5. Ford

Henry Ford had changed the game of automobile industry at the time when he rolled down a model of ‘production-line’ in its car factory. Today itself, Ford still follows the same mechanism and ideology dating back to the Henry’s one. SVT Raptor-150 is one such example which is truly adored by everyone.

Ford SVT Raptor-150

6. Lamborghini

Calling itself a true Italian, Lamborghini is got to know for its speed, power, looks, and luxury. It binds all of them in an enviable ratio which most probably gets sold-out just after the launch, like Aventador Roadster.

2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700

7. Rolls-Royce

Rolls Royce is popular for its special treatment that only its proud owner can derive. Spirits of Ecstasy being engraved on the bonnet also does the same. It is a first pick for Royals of any country, as their predecessors had also preferred it largely. It needs no introduction wherever it goes, and also marks the dominating status.

Rolls Royce

8. Bugatti

Bugatti is the father of world’s fastest car Veyron which needs no introduction at all. Being founded by an Italian named Ettori Bugatti, its artistic finings can be clearly seen on the cars.

Bugatti Veyron

9. Porsche

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Porsche does combine glamour and metal with a thirst for more power. It is commonly said, you’ll won’t know this German unless you drive a Porsche, and it seems to be very true. Cayenne, 911, Panamera and Boxster are its prominent name plates of all time, as getting advanced day by day.

2013 porsche 911

10. Aston Martin

Aston Martin is the ultimate example of British luxury combined with unending number of power strokes. One can even do a Nürburgring in this fueled luxury. Dated back to 1913, it is the first choice of our spy Bond, James Bond.

2013 Aston Martin

Audi buys Ducati for $ 1.1 billion

After weeks of failed attempts by several auto giants, Audi has finally acquired the Italian motorcycle marque for a sum of $ 1.1 billion. Indian two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp had shown interest in Ducati. Later it was Daimler and recently, Fiat heir Lapo Elkann wanted to own the Italian motorcycle company.

The deal closed at 860 million Euros, and is insignificant for the Audi or Volkswagen in terms of technology. With brands like Lamborghini, Audi, Bentley and Bugatti under its portfolio, the addition of the Ducati gives boost to the brand value of the German automaker.

Moreover, Volkswagen head Ferdinand Piech has shown his passion for motorcycle and regrets losing the opportunity to buy the Ducati when it was put up for auction a few years back. And this time, the German made no mistakes in grabbing the stakes when the Ducati appeared on sales. However, greater part of the shares is with Invest Industrial, which holds a stake of 70 percent in the Italian two-wheeler firm.

Audi buys Ducati for $ 1.1 billion

This price also includes the 200 million Euros debt Ducati was facing, due to which it was put up on sale in the first place. We expect an official word after the final deal closes at Hamburg.

The German automaker, Volkswagen is known to be good with auto business and could turn the tables for Ducati, and bring its production and sales back on track. Moreover, Audi’s archrivals, BMW manufacturers two-wheelers, and this is a chance for Audi to boast its lineup of two-wheelers with the Italian motorcycle marque.

For Ducati, the deal means greater investment in R&D and for us, it means more exciting motorcycles rolling out from the firm.

China Overtakes USA As BMW Group’s Biggest Market

China is the goldmine for nearly all luxury marques out there from Ferrari to Louis Vuitton. As per the figures revealed by Munich-based firm, now the largest automotive market of the world has overtaken United States as the largest market of BMW Group. In the first quarter of 2012, BMW Group that designs and develops BMW, Rolls Royce and MINI vehicles marketed 80.014 units in China, a rise of 37 percent from the same period in 2011. By contrast, BMW Group marketed 75.729 models during the same period in United States, that’s 17 percent up from the last year. Likely to see more upward movement, the company has recently introduced its F30 3 Series’ long wheelbase version for China. It features a 110mm longer wheelbase for catering to Chinese premium shoppers, who usually favor large cockpits.

China Overtakes USA As BMW Group's Biggest Market
This news comes as no surprise, that China is already the biggest market for the premium segment of BMW competitor Audi. Mercedes Benz is another German heavyweight that counts the Middle Kingdom as its 3rd biggest market after Germany and USA. Japanese automobile manufacturing companies such as Infiniti, Acura and Lexus are way behind Germans in China, as they lack brand cachet and do not create locally.

Audi surpasses Mercedes Benz in India in Q4 FY11-12

The new sound system of Audi for improving audible pleasures for their e-tron vehicles may be a radical idea; however they say it is in best interest of pedestrian safety. The company currently shared with inhabitat an enhancement, which is been keeping under wraps, a new solution called “e-sound”, which helps pedestrians hear electric cars impending. The future e-tron electric vehicles of Audi are great for the environment and incredibly quiet, however their lack of sound is not great for pedestrians in town settings. For combating this issue, the automobile manufacturer has been working on a noise for recreating a non-electric vehicle’s generator.

Standard diesel and gasoline powered vehicles emit a sound from their powerplants, which is clearly heard, nevertheless hybrids and electric vehicles don’t have the same sound or even a sound at all, which can be heard by pedestrians that raises a problem for visually impaired pedestrians which rely solely on their hearing. To get rid of this problem, the company is designing and engineering a new synthetic sound signature for its new e-tron, electric powered vehicles. Mr. Rudolf Halbmeir and his team are using software and computers to mix and listen to tones. As per De. Lars Hinrichsen, data relating to electric generator’s rotational speed, loads, vehicle speed and other parameters is continuously supplied by the vehicle to the control unit.

Audi surpasses Mercedes Benz in India in Q4 FY11-12
The synthetic e-sound is played through a loudspeaker attached to the undercarriage of electric vehicle. Mr. Axel Brombach said that they developed and designed it for handling as much as 40W, but during normal operation it ranges between 5 and 8 watts, which is loud enough for nearby cyclists and pedestrians to hear the e-tron. The Audi R8 e-tron model shown in the image might not have the same exact sounds like the V10 and V8 powered R8 models, but at least the electric powered model will have a sound all its own. Audi, the Germany based leading luxury automobile manufacturing company snatched the 2nd biggest luxury automobile manufacturer’s spot from its arch competitor Mercedes Benz in India. MB India, which lost the top spot in Indian market to BMW in 2009, and now yet another German luxury automaker Audi, has outshined Mercedes Benz in the country. According to the current sales report published in Times of India, the company managed to market 2269 vehicles in India during the 2012’s 1st quarter, unlike 2130 models marketed by the luxury carmaker Mercedes Benz in the same period. Nevertheless, BMW India attained its top position by registering sales of 2369 vehicles in the first quarter of 2012.

Fascinatingly, Mercedes Benz was the original luxury automobile manufacturing company in India amongst these German automakers. While Audi and BMW brands were introduced in 2007 in India, Mercedes Benz has been operating in India for over a decade. Considering these sales numbers, Audi India seems right on track with its aim of becoming the biggest luxury vehicle manufacturing company by 2014 in India.

The Reason Behind the Dip in Mercedes Benz Sales

Certainty, when you look at the entry level Audi A4’s pricing, it is well more than the 40 lakhs mark, while the entry level Mercedes Benz C-Class comes at an on-road price of Rs. 36 to 37 lakhs in most of the metro regions in India, including Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. But, the corporate editions of entry level BMW X1 and 3 series cost just around Rs. 32 to 33 lakhs, and that is most of the corporate shoppers tend to pick the BMW over Audi and Mercedes Benz vehicles.

Alternatively, Audi is extremely happy with their performance in 2011, unlike the significant dip of more than 17 percent during March 2009.

Daimler denies interest in Ducati, Audi still possible contender

Mercedes-Benz’s performance house AMG has been in talks with Ducati since November 2011. However, reports suggested that Daimler was going to eventually take over the Italian motorcycle manufacturer.

Daimler quickly denied any such deal with Ducati after reports in Italy’s Corriere della Sera suggested that the German auto-giant was looking for acquiring the Italian motorcycle brand. We had previously brought you the news of Audi taking interest in Ducati. Last month, the brand with four wings had reported deal with Ducati at 870 million to 875 million Euros.

Daimler denies interest in Ducati, Audi still possible contender

The report also claimed that Investindustrial, the Italian motorcycles’ parent company was in talks with Audi, Daimler and several other brands. AMG currently supports the Ducati Corse MotoGP team. Ducati is also considering an initial public offering in Hong Kong, however, the two-wheel wizard would prefer a single buyer considering the price was right.

Last month, Andrea Bonomi, chairman of Investindustrial, told the Financial Times that “the further growth [Ducati] requires needs the support of a world-class industrial partner”.

There is no mention in this report of the Indian auto marque, Mahindra taking interest in buying the Italian motorcycle brand.

If the negotiation with Audi turns out successfully, this would be the first motorcycle brand added to the Volkswagen nine-brand lineup, which already dazzles with Audi, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Scania, SEAT and Lamborghini.

Audi Looking to Enter Small Car Market in India

Audi is considering many options as they plan to foray into the Indian small car market, which includes producing their newly launched A1 compact hatchback. Audi’s main competitors in the luxury car market in India, Mercedes-Benz and BMW previously announced about their plans to introduce small cars in the Indian auto market.

Audi India’s head of sales, Anil Reddi, said that India definitely has a large market for compact cars. They are contemplating many options to foray into this market. The key questions they are concerned with are which model, the price and which should be their target market. Their Indian customers are quite demanding, and want only the latest.


Reddi however did not give a time line as to when they propose to roll-out compact cars. Reddi had said that they would be introducing a new variant of the A6 model by 2011s fourth quarter, during the launch of the Rs.65 lakh A7 Sportback in Hyderabad. He said that the existing Audi A6 in India is priced at Rs.38 lakhs, and it was early to give a price the new model, which they will introduce. The new model will be based on the A6 platform.

He said that they are working on introducing the coupe five door crossover that is likely to be introduced by 2011-end or early 2012 in India, when asked regarding the launch of their premium SUV Q3.

The Indian luxury car segment in India is estimated to be around 22,000 models, around 0.7% of the overall car market. They have revised their sales projections to around 5,000 models this year, compared to the earlier 3,000 models last year. Reddi said that they have sold around 2,394 models within 2011’s first five months itself. They are focusing on first and second tier cities as well.

To back their increased sales, Audi India plans to increase their network of dealers in India from 13 to 18. The MD of the company’s Hyderabad dealership, Rajiv Sanghvi, said that Andhra Pradesh was responsible for around 5% of the company’s sales in India. They have already received two reservations for the new A7 Sportback, and anticipate selling about 15 units within the next couple of months.

3D Campaign for A8 L from Audi India Wins Global Accolades

Audi India’s 3D campaign for their flagship A8 L model was recently conferred a Certificate of Merit from One Show Interactive, which helps promote any innovative work in this industry. This award is the fourth win by the company following three successive wins awarded by 2011 Campaign India Digital Media Awards, where they one the top gold in auto category, a silver for online advertising as well as a silver for ‘best integrated campaign’.

The head of Audi India, Michael Perschke, said that as they as the fasting growing brand in the Indian luxury car segment, they have a strong recall value among their customers pan India. Their award winning and progressive 3D promotion is in accordance with the capabilities of their flagship model in setting new standards through its high-end characteristics.

The 3D campaign for the A8 L was a reflection of the brand values of their company, which included sophistication and progressive technology, as a result of which it is appreciated in the world. The car manufacturer’s 3D website was also conferred a certificate for ‘Site of the Day’ from Favorite Website Awards, as acknowledgement of the cutting edge idea behind the creation of this 3D campaign.

The A8 L which is an ideal blend of technology and aesthetics was introduced to viewers in an amazing 3D concept. The experience campaign was the first 3D integrated advertising campaign the world over. As part of this campaign, a 3D preview and a website in3D for the A8 L was released to create an experience to people which went beyond standard communication.

The campaign allowed viewers to be able to discover the A8 L as well as interact with the features. A car brochure in 3D and anaglyphic 3D glasses were also added to it. This campaign aided in proving the opulence of the luxury car manufacturer. The car has already garnered a great response. It is currently being offered in a 3.0 litre TDI engine and a 4.2 FSI engine. The new A8 W12 is also expected to be out by this September.

Audi India posted an impressive growth of 105% from the period of Jan to April, selling 1986 cars in comparison to the 967 cars sold in the corresponding period a year ago. In April alone, the company managed to sell around 375 cars, an increase of 98% in comparison to the corresponding period in 2010.

Audi Plans to Increase Shifts to Cope with Increased SUV Demand

As the SUV market faces increasing demand from its Indian customer base, premium car manufacturer, Audi, whose parent company is Europe’s auto giant Volkswagen, is planning to add more shifts, in order to lessen the waiting time for its customers. This includes models like their Q7 SUV.

According to recent reports, Audi is also planning on additional work this weekend throughout the month at their two key German plants in a bid to increase their production capacity, as demand for SUVs go up.

Axel Strotbek, the Chief Financial Officer for the company, was quoted as saying that they need to add extra shifts in order to fulfill the demand. Several models have higher rates of delivery which doesn’t bode well for us. Volkswagen witnessed a surge in their first quarter innings fueled by the increased demand for their Audi models, which tripled to €2.91bn, a record high before taxes and interest could cut into it.

Audi also managed to sell 18% more SUVs and cars in this year’s first quarter, selling 3,12,600 units. According to Strotbek, they are also on track towards accomplishing their year target of delivering above 1.2mn vehicles. He also added the demand for SUVs has risen greatly with their Q7 model having the longest waiting period, while the Q5 enjoys the highest popularity.

This year, three of the biggest premium car manufacturers, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have set their highest ever sales target. This target has been set following the growing wealth of emerging markets like China, as well as the spending rebound in US. Volkswagen is also planning to increase its models and factories so as to guarantee profitable growth for their company over the coming years.

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was quoted as saying that they are now setting the foundation for experiencing commercial growth in all of their business fields and segments. VW first proved its might in 2010, and they plan on keeping their company on this same high track in the coming years.