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I drove A4 1.8 Turbo Quattro 5 SPEED, "Son of S6"!!!!!
Yesterday, Dec 12, I drove one of Audi's 5 speed 1.8T press cars...
I won't reveal the dealer...but here are my impressions:
Let me preface this driving experience with a little of my
Audi ownership background. I have owned 13 Audis in the last
10 years, many of them quattros, most memorable were 2 V8
quattros, and most recently an S4 followed by an S6. The S6
was the greatest car I had ever owned. This last fall I broke
down and sprung for a 1996 A6 Quattro Wagon for my growing
family(2 little ones, and one in the oven). With this purchase
I was no longer willing to pay the price for TWO cars of this
financial magnitude. My mistake was not buying an S6 AVAMT in
the first place...oh well...history now...
Over the last 18 months I have been closely monitoring the
acceptance of the A4 to Europe and then America. Everything has
been positive...overwhelmingly positive. The most noteworthy
editorial piece was done by CAR magazine, a british publication
in the March 1995 issue. In that issue the A4 2.8 and the
A4 1.8T were tested vs. the BMW 328 vs two Range Rovers...the
results...the A41.8T beats 328! I was impressed. They raved
about this 5 valve turbo 4 and the balance of the car(I still
have this issue if anyone wants a fax of it)...
I bought the wagon and sold the S6 with a plan. I leased a 2.8
A4 and ordered the 1.8T 5 speed, which we all know won't be here
until Jan-Mar time frame.
I have been disappointed with the 2.8...of course this is all in
comparo with an S6 ownership experience...but driveline shudder,
weak power at the low end, and front seats with no upper back
support had really discouraged me. So much that, I had resigned
myself to finding another S4 or S6...
Then, yesterday, as I was leaving the dealership I spotted a
yellow A4 behind the maintenance building. Could this be the
Audi press car with the 5 speed that I read in a recent thread
here on the list?
Yes indeed!!! I scampererd into the dealership and begged for
the keys...30 minutes of hard driving later, here is what I
All you guys out there with A4 2.8's can stop reading now...
because if you are stuck in your 2.8 for the next 36 or 60 months
you are going to live a remorseful existence. At least don't drive
it and depress yourself!
The 1.8 was fantastic...first thing I did after starting the motor
was to roll down the windows and listen to the engine note. It was
extremely smooth I thought. This was my first drive ever in a 4 cylinder
car. There was a wooshh sound similar to my S6. As I drove off, I
immediately noticed the low end torque. It was amazing for 150 bhp.
The car lept off in 1st gear. 1st gear will be the best in this car.
In fact it will smoke the 2.8 in the first 50 feet. The throttle was
very responsive. I loved the sounds that the engine made. Then as I
was driving out of the parking lot and onto the street, upshifting
and moving through the gears...it hit me...the greatest strength of
this car was the handling!!! It's a lighter car, and most notable,
lighter in the front end. The car was so balanced I couldn't believe
it. There is no way any sedan can match the handling feel and prowess
of this car. It makes the 2.8 feel like a dog if you can believe that?
The car has an edge...it's difficult to describe...this car has that "all
the little parts equal harmonious synergy" feel. There is no hood insulation
on this car. When I heard this before, I moaned...don't, because with the
windows up you can hear just enough of the engine all the time to be happy
with tactile sensations...it's sort of like the difference between the S4
and the S6...the S4 has an edge about it...the S6 is more "Lexus like".
2nd, 3rd, 4th gears at high revs are fantastic. The torque is max at idle
rpm and flat and strong to the red line. This car is a bite size version
of the S6!!! The engine characteristics seem so similar...Audi has gone
out and made an inexpensive S6 for the masses!!! There is just no compar
ison to the 2.8. Two different animals all together. This car is the "son
The sport seats are a huge improvement over the standard 2.8 seats...I have
solved my aching back problem with my 2.8. The trip computer is really cool.
Just like on the A8.
Our perfomance guru at the dearlership says that 200 hp is a snap for around
$700. 260-280 hp is avail for $2-3k. I can't even imagine how this car will
perform with this much power. No question the suspension NEEDS it. Okay, on
the downside, no wood trim and fewer amenities like power seats and an arm
rest and chrome trim on the exterior...you'll forget this in about the first
5 minutes of putting your foot into the floor...the car provides less crash
protection than the A6...but that's okay it is so agile...it lacks serious
luxury features of the S6...but the cost savings are enormous...rear seat
room is terrible...but it's the closest I'll ever be to a Porche 911 turbo
Carrerra...I want this car...I want this car...I want this car...Silver and
about $5k worth of mods...now can I wait till Feburary? That will be a task.
Maybe I can find a calander and mark t..........
96 A6Q Wgn