Recharge Wrap-up: Nissan "religious" about zero-emissions, Tesla crashes at dealership, Formula E on-board video

Special edition Audi A7 TDI announced

Nissan is pretty darn serious about being king of the EV industry. Just see what Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer has to say at the launch of the e-NV200: "When it comes to zero emissions, we're absolutely religious. We'll be the absolute, No. 1 leader in zero emissions. No doubt. That's our positioning." Bold words, to be sure. Toyota, on the other hand, ended its collaboration with Tesla (whom Nissan mustn't forget about in its quest to reign supreme in the EV world) to build the RAV4 EV, and will focus instead on hybrids and testing the waters with hydrogen cars. Says Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America, "I would rather invest my dollars in fuel cell development than in another 2,500 EVs." Read more at Automotive News or Autoweek.

To celebrate 25 years of TDI technology, Audi is releasing the A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI Competition special edition in Europe. The Competition uses Audi's biturbocharged, 3.0-liter diesel engine boosted to 326 horsepower, giving the car a 0-62 time of 5.1 seconds. It comes with the S line sport package and is offered in four exterior colors: Daytona Gray, Misano Red, Nardo Gray and Sepang Blue. The interior is black leather, with the option of Misano Red or Agate Gray contrast stitching. The Competition edition will go on sale in August starting at €72,000 (about $97,700). Audi's first Turbocharged Direct Injection engine debuted at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show in the Audi 100 2.5 TDI. See the press release down below for more details.

There was another Tesla Model S crash recently, this one at the Tesla Store. The driver apparently crashed the freshly purchased car into the Tesla sign before even making it off the lot. According to Reddit user s1lentway, who was at the Tesla Store in Fremont, California when it happened, "We believe this is someone who just got their car. They must have been driving it for less than a minute and lost control, crashing right into the sign missing the showroom glass windows only by a few inches." Wrecked Exotics suggests the driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. Probably the best comment in the Reddit post: " Edison strikes again." See the original post at Reddit for more corny jokes, speculation and similar stories from other users.

Take a lap in a Formula E racecar. The video below offers up the sights and sounds of a hot, wet lap in the open-cockpit, all-electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E. This run takes place at the historic Donington Park circuit, where Formula E has its headquarters. The video gives us an earful of the spaceship-like noise of the EV racer, complete with shifting. Are you excited yet? The inaugural FIA Formula E season begins September 13 in Beijing, China, and finishes June 27, 2015 at Battersea Park in London, England.
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Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI competition:
25 years of Audi TDI technology

- 3.0 TDI biturbo with 240 kW (326 hp)
- From 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds
- More power and exclusive equipment

Impressive power and sports car driving performance – Audi is celebrating the 25th anniversary of TDI technology with a dynamic special edition model. The Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI competition makes its potential clear – it delivers 240 kW (326 hp), combined with a powerful 650 Nm (479.4 lb-ft) of torque, and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. With the boost function active, it can take advantage of an additional 15 kW (20 hp), thereby briefly achieving an output of 255 kW (346 hp).

The Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI competition features the 3.0 TDI biturbo clean diesel with a capacity of 2,967 cc. Modifications in the charging and camshafts have boosted its power by an additional 5 kW (6 hp) compared with the standard model, to 240 kW (326 hp). When the driver accelerates in full, a boost function provides an additional 15 kW (20 hp) on top for a brief period. The maximum output when this function is active is 255 kW (346 hp). The maximum torque of 650 Nm (479.4 lb-ft) is available between 1,400 and 2,800 rpm. The emissions rating is Euro 6.

In keeping with its dynamic character, the Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI competition comes with the S line sport package, which also includes lowering the body by 20 millimeters (0.8 in). The wheels, with their five-spoke W design, have black painted sides. At 20 inches in diameter, they look very impressive; the tire dimension is 265/35. Red brake calipers and discs in 17-inch format on the front and rear axles underscore this special edition model's sporty character.

The S line exterior package and black gloss package lend the body a dynamic elegance; there are also V6 T emblems on the fenders, black exterior mirror housings and high-gloss black tailpipe trims. The special edition model is offered in Daytona Gray, Misano Red, Nardo Gray and Sepang Blue.

In the style of the S line sport package, the interior of the Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI competition is designed in black. The sport seats are upholstered in fine Valcona leather in black or lunar silver and decorated with S line embossing. As an option, Audi offers the S sport seat with contrasting stitching in Misano Red or Agate Gray; in this case, the armrests are also upholstered in leather with contrast stitching. The inlays consist of aluminum and Beaufort wood in black – an especially high-grade metal/wood combination. The door sill trims feature "quattro" logos. The shift paddles behind the multifunction sport steering wheel can be used to control the eight-speed tiptronic manually.

This special edition model comes packed with all the features that have already gone into the revised A7* model series. They include LED headlights as standard as well as turn signals with dynamic display. As an option, Audi can supply the Matrix LED headlights, the even more powerful MMI Navigation plus and further developed driver assistance systems such as night vision assist.

Customers can order the Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI competition starting in early August; the vehicles will begin shipping in the fall. The base price is 72,000 euros.

Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi A7 Sportback:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9.8–4.7 (24.0–50.0 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 229–122 (368.5–196.3 g/mi)

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