There is no doubt about it, Audi are making some very fine cars these days.
So good in fact that in my opinion they offer better quality, design and specification than other well known German counterparts.
Furthermore the Audi range is pretty fresh, with an excellent line up of models from the A3 to the A8 and a host of others in between including SUV’s such as the Q3, Q5 and Q7 and of course the famous Audi TT coupe.
This month Audi invited Irish motoring Journalists, Audi dealers and invited winners of an Audi competition to Weston Aerodrome near Leixlip in Co Kildare where they had laid out a dedicated driving course which would demonstrate the real benefits of all wheel drive cars, which Audi call quattro.
They had three driving courses. One was a high speed track which utilised some of the taxiways and main runway at Weston. For this experience they had brought in the very special Audi RS6 quattro as well as the Audi S3. The Audi RS6 quattro performance assessment gave drivers the opportunity to witness former Austrian rally champion, Stefan Eichhorner put Audi’s most powerful car to the test as well as having a go behind the wheel ourselves. The RS6 is amazing with over 560bhp on tap. We reached speeds of over 200km/h on the test track and quite frankly it was effortless to the car. It felt rock solid and stable even at these speeds. The 2.0 turbocharged Audi S3 was no less impressive!
The next was a small oval circuit where two Audi A4 cars one quattro and the other a standard front wheel drive A4 were raced against each other on a slippy specially wet surface, and finally a handling circuit. Here the cars could be driven through a slalom and around tight corners to really see the benefits offered when power is permanently supplied to all four wheels.
Pioneered by Audi and evolved over 30 years, Audi has developed the right all-wheel drive technology for every Audi vehicle concept.
The test driving experience provided guests with the opportunity to understand the quattro permanent all-wheel system and the benefits it has to offer, thanks to the impressive driving dynamics, traction and increased safety that only a quattro can offer.
Display models at the event consisted of a variety of exceptional vehicles including the highly anticipated new 2014 Audi A8, the Future Now exclusive model range and the original quattro rally car owned by Irish rally driver, Pat Horan.
I must say that the whole experience admirably demonstrated the real life benefits of all wheel drive over two wheel drive. particularly when driving on greasy roads the extra safety and grip offered by quattro all wheel drive is obvious. For example when pulling away from a junction or accelerating on a wet road the grip of quattro drive is amazing. Quite simply there is no wheel spin.
It just gets up and goes off the line.
When it comes to cornering too the levels of grip are noticeably higher than with two wheel drive and this was well demonstrated on the Oval test track where the quattro Audi A4 version could corner and out run the two wheel drive version of the same car.
Sure for high performance cars the benefits of quattro are obvious, with a greater ability to put the large power of a performance car onto the tarmac.