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New Owner report: A4 2.8 30v qm "sport" (long)

FYI, a few folks have inquired about the new '98 cars -- I thought I'd
give you all my first impressions in random order:

First a little background: I ordered a 1.8tqm in Feb. Expected delivery
in May -- it now looks like said car will be delivered (to another happy
customer) late in June.
FWIW, I would have ordered a 30v initially, had more info been available
at the time.
I actually stumbled upon this car at a neighborhood dealership -- it
out it just rolled out of the dealer's prep shop. The dealer was
by a shipment of 3 '98 30v cars (none spoken for).

The car is Silver, Anthracite leather, loaded (5spd of course). We
drove by the dealer on Friday night after close, bought the car
9:00am Saturday morning. By noon, 2/3 of the 30v's were gone, with
other folks inquiring about our silver car while we finalized the

The sport package consists of: shorter (my guess is
about an inch in front, 1.5 in the rear) stiffer springs, stiffer
shocks, stiffer swaybars (yet
to be verified, but it sure feels like they're more stout), 7-spoke 16"
alloys (look better
in person than in the photos) w/ 205/55 WR Dunlop SP Sport 2000s, Sport
MSRP: $400.

I believe the base price increased $600 over the '97 2.8 12v.

We've been driving the car all weekend. It currently sits with ~700
on the clock. Did a 8-hr round trip "overnighter" in north-eastern Wa.
trip was over a mountain pass (hwy 20, for those who care) into "eastern
washington". The road is amazing. I've driven it frequently, in other
cars, so
I know it pretty well. Road conditions varied from 

The new 30v "sport" A4 is really the most capable car I've ever driven.
sport package really buttons the car down. I felt the base suspension
a bit lacking in pitch & roll control -- the "sport" is firm, without
being jarring.
Body roll is greatly reduced, without any wallowing.
Aside from the functional benefits, IMO the cars look great at this
ride height.

The engine is loosening up. Great, elastic torque throughout the rev
>From what I understand, it has a "staged" intake manifold to enhance
torque. My guess is that the switch point is about 4.5 to 5k.
It's really deceiving, a relatively quiet motor, but it builds speed at
a quick
rate. It has a nice sporting "snarl" from ~3.5k onwards, with a recently
discovered extra kick in the pants around 5k (it's just about broken in
now ... :))
As far as comparative power, the car feels right on par with the 328i,
the delivery is a bit less visceral. Both are smoked by a Volvo S70 T5,
that's another story. Plenty of power to get me in lots of trouble, with
bursts into triple digits over the mountain pass (for the officers,
that's in

Net/Net: for anyone who enjoys driving in a sporting fashion, the sport
is a runaway bargain. The A4 no longer has to make excuses in the
dep't when compared against a 328i Sport (no flames please, I've driven
both extensively). The 30v really gives the A4 a more sporting demeanor
to the 12v), feels much more muscular than the 1.8t. 
Overall a very happy customer.

Scott Stiles
'98 A4 2.8 "sport"