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More fuel on lots of little fires:

Audis and safety:  My insurance company (USAA) gave me a break on my '91 200 TQW
UNASKED because it has such a low incidence of claims and in those claims the
injuries are less severe.  I do not get any such break for my wife's '93 Accord.
For the comment plastic cars aren't safe, a few qualifiers are naturally in
order: steel is stronger than plastic, but I would much rather wear a plastic
wrapped styrofoam helmet than a WWII steel army helmet.  It's not just strength,
it's design and suitability for a purpose.  Plastic deformation (an engineering
principle) takes energy.  I would rather have the car absorb the energy
(plastic, steel, fiberglass, who cares) than my fragile body.  Audis absorb this
energy very well.  In the other safety aspect; some other car company (Subaru,
maybe?) made accident avoidance through auto performance a selling point.  The
safest accidents are the ones that don't happen (good brakes, steering,
visibility, etc).  It's too bad they didn't promote a driver safety course along
with that (a la Porsche).

Autobahn performance: I have also cruised the Autobahn at high speeds.  My 200
TQW is rock solid up to 135 (never been faster, H-rated tires -- I know 130 max,
oops)  The '93 Accord EX gets downright squirrely above about 105.  I feel this
is more due to aerodynamics (no spoiler) than anything else.  It is however,
quiet and predictable up to then.  I feel the motor is smooth and dependable and
could easily maintain those speeds without damage.  My '86 Jetta GL topped out
at 110 on level roads.  It was downright unsafe at those speeds.  Any crosswind
(passing trucks, or wind gusts) darn near threw that car around.  Of course the
Jetta and the Accord were not supposed to go that fast.  US-spec, factory
aerodynamics were intended to be used at 55-65ish speeds.  It's that 90
percentile, bell curve thing.  You design and build mass market cars for the
majority because that's how you make money, not selling a few examples of auto
engineering perfection, even though those are also available for a premium.

Aerodynamics: (now we're getting interesting)  Because something creates
turbulence does automatically mean it creates drag.  Aerodynamics is the control
of lift, drag, and turbulence.  Bob may be confusing laminar flow (relative lack
of turbulence) with low drag.  These are related, but not interchangeable.  I
forget the name of the specific effect, but the most dramatic example of a
relatively high turbulence, low drag device is a golf ball.  All those little
dimples make the ball go further.  When you are talking airfoils (spoilers) you
get into complicated areas like parasitic drag, induced-drag,
it-just-fell-off-what-a-drag, etc.

Headlights: Aero headlights can be very good.  The lights on the '93 Accord just
flat out kick butt, the '91 Audi suck.  Accord: thin, high quality, very clear
lenses; sharp beam pattern.  200: Thick lenses that pit and scratch easily,
vague beam pattern.  Solution: prowl your local german junkyard (Autoverwertung
= auto re-use) and pick up a pair at 200 DM each. (Gloat, gloat).

Political correctness: There is a difference between being sensitive to others
sensitivities (???) and being deliberately offensive.  The reference to Japs
(used here for clarity) as a source of cars was, as near as I could tell, had no
hostile intent or intended slurs.  It did, apparently, offend some people.  Some
of them commented on it, that should be enough with no need to escalate into PC
with all of its negative connotations.  The deliberately offensive blonde joke
has no place here.  The use of "T***" only shows that the writer knew he was
being offensive but chose to go ahead with it.  I am not trying to stop, or even
slow down the exchange of information here, only trying to keep it on a
reasonable level.  If it was a joke, with tongue firmly in cheek, I missed it.

Driving Schools: Steamboat? We don't need no stinkin' Steamboat...Audi (UK) is
sponsoring a Winter Safety and Performance Driving Course at Seefeld racetrack
in Austria.  Dates: Feb 7 (pm),8,9 (am).  The cars will be....ta dahh ...the
A4Q.  Seefeld is a few miles outside of Innsbruck, and about two hours south of
my house (big, big happy face).  The cost for this fun is 800 pounds without
airfare (my case) or 1200 pounds with airfare from UK  (big, big unhappy face).
Christmas, vacation plans, and a couple other things put this event out of my
league, but for you readers in the UK or Europe (and you 'muricans with deep
pockets and an irrational love (obsession?) with things Audi and Quattro...

I think my soapbox just broke, I know my fingers did... Thanks for reading this

Joe Yakubik