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FW: More new Audi news... (USA)
I tried sending this yesterday, but it doesn't appear to have made it over.
Apologies if it winds up duplicated.
I was in Germany (Wiesbaden) the first part of this week on business.
Unfortunately I didn't have any spare time to take the short trip over to
Frankfurt to catch any of the Frankfurt Motor Show which has been going
this week as well.
But the trip wasn't a total loss, Audi-wise:
1. I got to see my very first RS2. *Very* blue. (With those *Very* red
Porsche brake rotors.) Unfortunately, it was parked, so I didn't get to
see it go *Very* fast.
And now, the REAL good stuff:
As I was waiting in the airport in Frankfurt yesterday to board my return
flight to Chicago, I began to notice several carry-on bags around me
sporting "Audi" luggage tags. At first I thought that they might be AoA
folks who had been attending the Frankfurt Motor Show. But I was able to
find out the real story because I was lucky enough to be seated next to one
of the fellows. Turns out they were all Audi dealers from the States who
were in Munich for the Annual Dealer Meeting and for the US dealer "launch"
of the new A6. Part of the rollout included a trip to Heidelberg, with the
dealers getting drive time during the ~5 hour trip. He was very impressed
with the car, and thinks that it will be quite successful in the States.
(He didn't mention anything about the "softened" suspension,
Of course, I couldn't let it stop with that; I had a duty to the list to
get whatever information I could from him. (I mentioned the existence of
the quattro-list to him, but he didn't seem to be very Internet-savvy.)
* Audi is strongly committed to expanding on the sales momentum in the US
that the A4 has begun, and it sounds to like they are taking their new
mission to "target BMW" very seriously. The numbers he mentioned for
future sales targets surprised me. (rising to 70,000 per year!) Of course,
I asked about production capacity since it seems that they're struggling to
meet demand even now; he says Audi is definitely taking steps to address
that. Whether that means expanding existing production facilities,
building new ones (in new locations?), "outsourcing" (such as Porsche is
doing with some Boxster production), or some combination of those things,
he didn't say (and perhaps didn't know).
* He said the USA *will* get the S4. (I didn't think to push for a
timeframe. Damn!) When I mentioned the rumor (mentioned earlier on the
list) that we would only be receiving a "detuned" single-turbo version, he
seemed surprised and said that the folks at Ingolstadt gave no indication
that we would get anything less than the full 265-hp twin-turbo motor.
* He also said the USA will also get the S6! (Huzzah!)
* There was even discussion of the S8 -- the dealers were basically saying
"Give it to us -- we WILL be able to sell however many you send over."
(Based on the overwhelmingly positive response of A8 owners in a recent
"AutoWeek" issue, I don't think it's an idle boast.)
It's also planned that the USA will get the TT / TTS when they come into
So if all of this is accurate, our cries of "But we never get the GOOD
stuff!" have actually found their way to Ingolstadt...