Q7 ramblings

Brett Dikeman quattro at frank.mercea.net
Sat Mar 3 16:26:08 EST 2007

On Mar 2, 2007, at 3:18 PM, Dave Eaton wrote:

> of course we are talking usa.  we always talk just usa.  that's  
> where we all
> live.  yawn...

Many, many live in Massachusetts and California, according to the  
registry (which, incidentally, I don't think anyone realized was  
down.  I'll mention it to Mark, but he's got a wiggly little Mini- 
Mark to take care of these days :-).  So, yeah, discussion is often  
going to be US biased.  You might as well complain that list  
discussions often revolve around the 5 cylinder cars? :-)

  Still, I think I'm not alone in saying I enjoy hearing from our non- 
US listers about what's going on in Audi-related matters outside our  

> #1: with a couple of exceptions, no-one on this list is in the  
> target market
> for these cars.

Not exactly.  Many listers are probably looking at their older Audis  
and thinking, "gettin' time to replace the old gal!", and looking  
around and what's NOW on the market, because in a few years, it could  
be what they're looking to put in their driveway.

I've been keeping an eye on information about the A3 for precisely  
this reason, though I'm not terribly happy with what I see; the 3.2  
gulps gas almost as badly as my 200q20v, and the view out the back  
window is frustratingly tiny, among other things; it also weighs as  
much as the 200q20v, despite being significantly smaller.  I also am  
reserved about the haldex system, though I don't know enough about  
how good it is at detecting slip.  For example, I know that depending  
on conditions and tires, maximum traction comes at SOME slip, and I  
would seriously hope the haldex controller would pick up on slippage  
before that point.  I also believe that the current haldex system  
uses nearly-instantaneous-reaction magnetic-fluid lockup, not the  
first-generation pump-based system (which was still quite quick to  

> #2: the sales of these "overcomplicated machines" with a "useless  
> control
> interface" have been doing very well in their target markets.

That's because everyone's essentially a first-time user; the market  
hasn't had time to react.  They read in the press that "MMI is  
nicer!", and they believe it, or think *they* are at fault when they  
find the system a pain.

   From what I've heard at sources internal to Audi USA, the current  
A6's electronics are hideously unreliable, and that's not counting,  
as Taka pointed out, the fact that the cupholder sits above a  
thousand-plus-dollars worth of electronics.  I've repeatedly  
cautioned my mother to not put anything in the cupholder, and started  
asking around to see if the newer model's trim pieces can be  
retrofitted to her car to give her an on-dash holder.

Nevermind the system drives its owners NUTS.  My mother hates it with  
a passion, and it took 10 minutes for my father and I to figure out  
that the main MMI knob does nothing in the setup screen for the  
climate control.  It forces her to acknowledge that asinine legal  
disclaimer every time she starts the car.  She doesn't like the way  
radio presets work.  And the LCD randomly decided to stop working one  
day, and just as mysteriously, resumed working a week or so later.   
Yes, I tried the resets.  Yes, we know about the display button on  
the dash.

Prediction: Audi is going to have significant brand defection from  
MMI-equipped car owners.  They will go and buy cars that have more  
buttons, even if it means going "down" in the marketplace.


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