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Part Deux - Euro driving tips
I'm back from Europe - 4 coutries in 12 days in an A3 (no A4s were
available). Put 2k km on this puppy, and again, many thanks to all who
provided info about driving in Europe (but you left out a couple of
things, see below).
My brief impressions:
Never saw such a wide variety of Audi's: from the Avis
A3-5sp (Golf with rings) I rented, to every variety of Urq (what's a MTM
coupe)? Really HOT (fast) 2.6? TDI A6q making 200+km/hr on the
E41 to Stuttgart? Quattro's are all over the place. Listers in Europe
don't realize how good you have it. Which brings me to gripe #1
and I hope Audi-USA is lurking. It's clear the US gets a
very limited group of models designed to max out profits from the
market. The A3 I rented was a blast even with its 101HP 1.6, and
based on the owners manual is available with motors up to 150HP
and a TDI. I saw A4 and A6 TDI's, A4 1.8T Avants. . . the list goes
on and on. And what do we get in America? A4's with 2 engine
choices, A6 2.8 Tiptronics and the A8. That seems to be about 25%
of the total line. And what dealers order for stock come with virtually
every option jacking up prices to cosmic levels.
To the listers that gave the helpful advice, you forgot to mention
the "construction zone" speed traps in CH and Germany. Got caught &
fined 120 SFr for 97 in an 80 zone. The cheerful Kanton Polizei said,
"a momento of your visit to Switzerland sir . . .". The BTDT saved my
butt in Germany when they tried the same trick.
Euro listers also never mentioned the "we're trained to drive up your
ass" French drivers. They add new meaning to the word tailgate, only to
be out done by Italians. Where the French follow 2-4cm from you rear,
the Italians seem to prefer the lock bumpers and be towed method of
tailgating. The A3 did bail us out (getting away from or around) these
All in all it was a great driving experience. There's definately
something liberating about going 100+MPH legally. I gotta' do this more
Pamela, my made in the USA speed warning system and significant other,
worked perfectly the whole trip; sounding her warnings whenever the
speedo got beyond 140 km/hr. She also destroyed her knee skiing the
last run in Megeve. Alps snow is decidedly different from the "ice"
we ski in the Northeast US.
89 100 soon to be sharing space with an A?q.