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Re: A4 Test Drive

>> Conclusion - the A4 looks good; drives great; handles well; has
>> wonderful brakes; but in the final analysis, it's a great car that
>> desperately needs a great engine. [...] Arguably, Audi should have
>> waited to release a V6-A4 after the 30v was ready. I just cannot
>> imagine spending $32K (the "as tested" sticker price) for a car that
>> will not make me grin from ear to ear when I stuff my foot on the go
>> pedal.

Of course, the base is more like $26K, almost identical to the 90 -- which
was definitely a lesser automobile.

> So what does the new A4 got? FOr a market with people obsessed with HP 
> figures and cupholders, the above average looks or the cool vitural 
> access steering is somewhat moot. Face it, most people will not even 
> reach 6/10ths of the potential of the cars they buy -- I don't think most 
> people know what torque steer actually feels like.

By the same token, the current V6 is just fine for most buyers.  You and I
would always like some extra horsepower, but Joe Buyer will probably be
very much pleased with what he's getting now.

Heck, in Europe, the bread-and-butter engine on the A4 is the 2.0L four ...

> To build reputation, Audi needs a good car or good customer satisfaction 
> (however that is reached). 

The customer satisfaction *is* up -- the recent JD Power surveys have
ranked Audi very close to the top in both customer satisfaction and in
long-term (5 year) reliability.

> As for the current A4 and A6, they need to get more power to be
> competitive in this meatball market.

It's quite amazing how people's appetites have grown in the past 10-15
years.  When the 4000 was introduced, the 110 horsepower was seen as
sporting, but now people scoff at anything less than 200 hp for a car
of the same size.  Incroyable!

[ /tom haapanen -- tomh@metrics.com -- software metrics inc -- waterloo, ont ]
[ "if you do anything for money you just don't succeed"       -- barry hearn ]