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Audi Versus Infiniti et al.

Reed Hitchcock responds to Jeffrey Goggin's account of a ride in a Q45

>A friend of mine drive a '95 Q45a, the active suspension model. 
>Compared with the base Q45, there is quite a bit of difference.  It still
>doesn't drive like a 200q..  It is just not as FUN..  There is something
>to be said for the torque of a 4.5 V8 cranking out oodles of
>horsepower, but it has the styling of a Maxima.

>The Japanese build a great _sedate_ automobile..  You just don't go
>around throwing your Q45 into the esses like you would in an Audi.. 
>ANY Audi. . . 

>. . .Camry-on-Steroids: The GS400 . . .

Every so often I feel compelled to trot out an affluent brother story
because, thanks to mine, I get to drive cars like these that he buys,
leases or tests.  His '92 Q45 had the so-called Touring suspension. 
Prior to purchase we exhaustively tested all three suspension options
(the dealer let him borrow an interactive model overnight).  My
recollections are similar to Jeffrey's: smooth, powerful V-8 (but read on),
decent ride, numb handling not to be mentioned in the same breath as
Audi's.  The car always felt heavy, unresponsive and less-than-optimally
balanced.  Traction was appalling in anything but bone-dry conditions. 
Tires and brakes wore out in less than 20K miles.
The bro's current ride is a Lexus GS400.  I'd put this one in a whole
'nuther category.  The engine's just as smooth as the Q45's but way
more powerful.  This car will scoot!  Handles more precisely, too.  Ride
is firm but not unpleasant.  It's not my style and lacks the all-important
manual transmission, but do I enjoy an occasional drive?  Well sure!  I
suspect a well-priced Audi S6 V-8 would blow the Lexus into the
weeds, but does Audi offer one on the U.S. market?  Not yet.

On another subject, thanks for all the responses to my quattro badge
query. Keep 'em coming.  I'm tallying the results and will post them on
the list.  So far there's no consensus on some models, maybe
because, as one lister commented, Audi's badge parts bin varied from
day to day.  I'll probably browse through my catalog collection to see
what The Word is there.  From experience I know not to trust sales
literature in such matters (that's why I posed the question to the list),
but it may help clarify Audi's intentions . . .

Stone Mountain, GA
'85 4KSQ
'89 F250 4x4 diesel
'95 Z28