Friday, August 24, 2012

Audi in F1 (part 2)

F1 is a sport designed specifically by rich, posh gentlemen, for rich, posh gentlemen. It's a rich man's sport, designed to go faster and harder and push the limits of what we're capable of building under a certain set of rules.

Don't be lulled or fooled, this is not a sport that breeds a message "to the people". Quite the opposite. The two best things we've gotten out of F1 research is hybrid systems and variable timing. The hybrid system barely counts because while they used KERS to produce acceleration through the corners, we got an electric motor to keep the engine idling, not to mention it went in to production cars a decade after F1 adopted the practice. It is only now that we see electric motors being used in this way on production cars, and the ones I speak of, e-tron and 918 spyder, are far out of anyone's price range.
So what do I think of Audi stepping in to F1? Cultural suicide. This is a company bred in sport, literally pouring money in to destroyed cars and drivers simply to build a better car for the average customer, entering F1 is the opposite of this.
100 years for 100 miles of battery charge. Yay F1?

Quattro, FSI, TDI, manufacturing innovations, LED lighting, and now the e-tron and even the cameras that work as mirrors. All tech developed through Audi Sport that hit "shelves" within a couple of years of their testing on the track. Innovations that have broken records, taken trophies, and lasted decades in the form of "your families 20 year old sedan". All to be thrown away, cast in to the shadows, and for what? A running against Ferrari?

Please. Let Lamborghini take care of that, in the production race.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Video Evo Crash: Pikes Peak

Two days ago at this years Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado a pretty terrifying crash took place:

Pikes Peak crash
You have insurance, right?

#463 2003 Mitsubishi Evo IX of Jeremy Foley went sliding off of the a corner aptly named "Devils Playground" almost literally flying off of the track.

He and his copilot turned out alright, sustaining only minor injuries after going to the hospital, but now have the two of them got a hell of a story to tell people at parties.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Audi in F1 (part 1)

Note: this article is a two part column, the next portion is soon to come!

As I mentioned in my last post Audi's new head of R&D, Wolfgang Durheimer, has proclaimed it might be a good idea for Audi to make a move in to F1 sometime in the near future. Of course, he firmly believes Audi's first goal should be to pummel Porsche's 16-win-record at Le Mans -- sorry, Stutgart -- but should this be too idealistic, Volkswagen Auto Grop should keep their minds open.

I'm sorry but I whole heartedly disagree. The argument Durheimer presents is that Audi is a company that has made progress through domination and leaving, a real 'slash and burn agriculture' approach to racing. 

See it all started with the "Type C". This was the first race car of Auto Union, the company that would later be renamed "Audi". This is the project that Ferdinand Porsche really got started on making some hot racers. This car did normal comeptitions, grand prix races, nothing special. But it set a mile stone for Auto Union/Audi: Engine design. It was one of few V6 racers at the time, and it did spectacularly.

File:Auto Union.jpg
The four rings represent the four companies of Auto Union. Or the olympics, whatever you want to believe.
Now fast forward to the 1980's. The Audi Quattro has been developed and sent out in to rally racing, again, nothing but defeat and domination, of course in Audi's favor. But of course, the ever flopping brand grew bored of this sideways sport and in the 90's moved in to touring, specifically, DTM. By now Quattro drive had been confirmed as, how should I say this?: The Badass of Drivetrains. Winning championships accross Europe's different touring championships Audi grew bored, yet again. This time they set their eyes on FIA sanctioned races -- endurance races.

And here we are folks. Thirteen years of racing resulting in eleven wins at Le Mans, an unheard of ratio of wins/attempts.

Stay tuned for the next entry outlining my opinion of Audi's attempts in F1!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Audi's New Lineup

Recently there has been an exec change up within VWAG. Wolfgang Durheimer, an old executive at Porsche and current head of Bentley and Bugatti is making a leap of faith in to the R&D of Audi.

Now while no Lucious Fox, the man does have aspirations for his new found home-company:

          “Magazines are always comparing Volkswagen Group cars with each other, so why shouldn’t we compare our race cars within the same group? Competition is good for Volkswagen and it will not be a straightforward fight anyway, because there will be a technology battle going on too. Porsche will be racing using a petrol engine, Audi will be using diesel power.”

He's also hinted that he might be interested in pushing Audi towards F1 (my next post I'll talk about this further, my own opinion of course) and out of WEC. With Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich nearing retirement, Durheimer might just achieve this wanton path.

Dr. Ulrich has been very adamant and outspoken against Audi ever stepping foot in to F1 however Durheimer's argument is that Audi is a company built on dominating a sport and moving on, whether it be rally, touring, endurance, or even, yes, the dreaded Forumla 1.

Who needs SWAG when you have VWAG?
There's an up side though, Durheimer wants Audi to finish competing in WEC, and by finish, they mean break Porsche's record of 16 Le Mans titles; let's put it this way, Audi hold's 11 titles, and many, many more years of future endeavors.

Fourtitude article: