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Exit a '97 A4TQ, enter a '98 A4TQ.

Hello, virtual club!

As you know, I was supposed to take delievery of my new '97 A4TQ upon my return from 
Britain. The car is already here, on the dealer's lot. The car is perfect, although 
lacks several things, that would have had to be adressed immediately:

1. Crappy H-rated Eagles LS. Have to be replaced by Dunlop SP8000 ($720). I have 
allready talked the dealer into taking the Eagles back and crediting me their 
wholesale ($300).
2. Mushy springs and shocks. The whole suspension has to be replaced ($2250-TAP).
3. That wonderful thick sculptured three spoke steering wheel! Couldn't manage to 
talk the dealer into swapping it with another car (perhaps a potential for litigation 
scared him off). Oh well, will have to put my MOMO in the car, losing the airbag in 
the process. Probably illegal too.

As we all know, the Sport Package on a '97 A4T was a joke: H-rated 16" low profile 
rubber, stock soft springs and shocks and the nice sports seats, but unfortunately 
with the upholstery so flat and plain, that it resembles a linen shirt. The only 
bright spot in the whole package was the steering wheel. And the pricee tag was well 
over a grand.

A couple of days ago Gross Scruggs, in one of his posts to me, suggested that I take 
a look at a Sport Package in one of the '98 2.8 30v, that have allready started to 
arrive on the dealer's lots.

So yesterday I used my lunch to go to Don Rosen Porsche-Audi, and asked for a test 
drive. The Sales Manager, with whom I've been dealing all along, handed me the keys 
from a red '98 2.8 w/ Sport Package and Tiptronic and said: *have fun*.

And so I did. I drove around Norristown and Conchohocken for half an hour, on the 
flat and trough the potholes, in  the strait line and through some speedy 90 turns.

My impression of the Sport Package? Run, not walk, to get it.

I compared the ride hight of two cars, standing side by side, one w/Sport and the 
other one - w/o, with my tape measure key chain. The front of the Sport is lower by 
almost an inch, the rear - by almost 2 inches. The suspension is a lot firmer too.
The cornering stability was great, bouncing on speed bumps  - non existent. Yet, it 
was very comfortable on the city streets. 

The '98 Sport includes  everything I want (and which was missing in a '97): springs, 
shocks, SP8000, steering wheel.
It does not include what I don't need (and which was included in a '97): sport seats.
I'd say, it's perfect for some one like myself: who needs a very good performer 
arownd town in a daily commute, with an ocasional track event once in a while.

My dealer looked at my frustration and suggested to get a '98, since he'd have no 
trouble selling my '97.

So I ordered a '98, same as before, only with a Sport Package. Under the same turms.
I just realised, that in a month from now a '97 will become a previous year's car, 
and it's kinda dumb to buy a last unit of the previous year, when you can buy the 
first unit of the new model year for almost the same price.

Actually, when I compared on paper prices for a '97 A4 and a '98 A4, after I am done 
modifying them to the trim that I want to achieve, (apples to apples sort of things), 
I wound up with $1800 less for a newer car. Wow!

Gross, thank you very much for planting the seeds of a doubt in my complacent head.
I owe you the largest martini, that could be found in your neck of the woods.

OK, gotta catch some sleep before tomorrow's morning flight to London.

The last days were rather hectic. I will answer all questions, that were posted to me 
in this past week, upon my return from the UK in 11 days from now.

So long, everyone. Have a nice weekend. 
Over and out.

Igor Kessel
'89 200TQ - 18psi (TAP)
'98 A4TQ - on order
Philadelphia, PA