> Conclusion - the A4 looks good; drives great; handles well; has wonderful
> brakes; but in the final analysis, it's a great car that desperately needs a
> great engine. Hopefully, the impending 30V and some aftermarket help will solve
> this regrettable problem. Arguably, Audi should have waited to release a V6-A4
> after the 30v was ready. I just cannot imagine spending $32K (the "as tested"
> sticker price) for a car that will not make me grin from ear to ear when I stuff
> my foot on the go pedal.
To sell a car, a company either needs a great reputation of some sort, or
have one hellva deal on the model. In the U.S., Audi has neither -- and
combined with "just above average" model will not really cut it. Nissan
(Infiniti) has the cutomer satisfaction on dealerships on the Maxima-
turned-Infiniti; BMW has the speed, handling, and yuppi image; MB has the
bank-bolt reliability (however it may not be that great); or the Mazda
with Budwiser-cycle engine.
So what does the new A4 got? FOr a market with people obsessed with HP
figures and cupholders, the above average looks or the cool vitural
access steering is somewhat moot. Face it, most people will not even
reach 6/10ths of the potential of the cars they buy -- I don't think most
people know what torque steer actually feels like.
To build reputation, Audi needs a good car or good customer satisfaction
(however that is reached). The A8 may give Audi the reputation of being
at technological edge -- or it may not (since when do people here give
any hoot about green earth or recycle program?). As for the current A4 and
A6, they need to get more power to be competitive in this meatball
market. If Audi succeeds in that, the introduction of A8 will become
icing on the cake -- and prove that Audi is the more inventive of the
"Big 3" -- and hopefully image will make Audi more successful in U.S.