Filed under: BMW, Toyota, Earnings/Financials An annual market study of the strongest brands across various industries has seen Toyota leapfrog BMW as the world's most valuable automotive brand. Toyota's 2013 brand value rose to $24.5 billion, up 12 percent versus 2012 numbers according to market research company Millward Brown's BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list. BMW's value fell slightly; down by 2 percent to a total of $24 billion. Mercedes-Benz finished in third place in the automotive category, up 11 percent from 2012 for a valuation of $18 billion. Honda ($12.4 billion, down 2 percent) and Nissan ($10.2 billion, up 3 percent) rounded out the top five for the category. Volkswagen was the only other auto brand that finished in the top 100 overall, in 100th place. Audi made the greatest percentage gain over 2012, up 18 percent to $5.5 billion, but finished outside of the top 100. Technology companies dominated the overall list, with Apple, Google and IBM ranking one through three. Couture brand Prada was 2013's biggest gainer, rising by 63 percent over 2012.Toyota passes BMW as most valuable car brand originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Technology One of the largest hurdles facing autonomous vehicles is cost. The technology to implement driverless cars is already here. Google, Audi and other companies have proved over and over again that the tech is viable and at least theoretically safe for public streets, but few people feel comfortable shelling out the $75,000 premium it would take to make your car chauffeur you about. Ionut Budisteanu, a 19-year-old student from Romania, may have found a way to make autonomous driving tech more affordable. Budisteanu won a $75,000 scholarship in the International Science and Engineering Fair for creating a system that uses a cheaper, lower-resolution three-dimensional radar system paired with a webcam in place of the pricey high-definition 3D radar Google uses. As a result, Budisteanu was able to cut costs from $75,000 to $4,000. His system uses artificial intelligence software to identify curbs, lane markings and other small objects on the road with the webcam while the radar system locates people, cars and houses. In his tests, the system performed as intended 47 out of 50 times. He believes he can improve accuracy with a slightly higher definition radar system while still keeping costs low.Student wins Intel science fair with super cheap autonomous car tech originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 10:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Audi, India, Luxury By the end of this decade, India is expected to be one of the top three car markets in the world, but automakers are already starting to duke it out for sales. In terms of premium brands, Automotive News says that Audi has jumped out to an early lead for sales in the country due in large part to the recent introduction of the Audi Q3 (shown above). In 2012, Audi's sales increased 43 percent, rising to 9,350 units and outselling BMW (8,686) and Mercedes-Benz (7,015), both of which experienced a drop in sales last year of 9.5 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. While none of these sales figures are particularly significant on a global scale, the article says that the market for premium cars in India is expected to quadruple by 2020 up to around 120,000 units. AN attributes Audi's lead to its offering of new SUVs while its rivals have been focusing on small hatchbacks.Audi passes BMW as top luxury brand in India originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Audi, Luxury Bavarian tuners ABT have done another job on the Audi R8 V10, pumping up the 5.2-liter FSI V10 from 525 horsepower to 600 hp, and torque from 391 pound-feet to 406 lb-ft. With 50 more horsepower than the R8 V10 Plus - but not the extreme weight-loss scheme - ABT claims a 0-62 mile per hour run of 3.5 seconds, the same as the R8 V10 Plus, and a top speed for the mid-engined coupe of 198 miles per hour "is no problem at all." Managing all that speed are the aero tweaks provided by a comprehensive body kit including a rear wing, a lowered and beefed-up suspension, a stainless steel exhaust and 19-inch wheels in two different designs. The press release below has a few more bits of info on the matter. And while ABT hasn't put a price on the Audi upgrades, but it's safe to say that nearly 200 mph in an R8 won't come cheap.Continue reading Audi R8 V10 gets tuned up by ABTAudi R8 V10 gets tuned up by ABT originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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