Wednesday, 19 October 2016 13:51

Spring Motoring Special Part1: the Audi A4

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Audi's new sedan the A4 Audi's new sedan the A4 Picture: QuickPic

This year's new Audi A4 offering, which has the option of sedan or sport, was launched in South Africa in February 2016. The car reflects the new trend for "keyless go", with a stop/start function, a push button for the handbrake and a boot that opens remotely. Don't you just love pressing the remote and the boot lifts up slowly with all the grace and strength of a ballerina!

It's a powerful baby and drives as smooth as butter in all conditions. Smoother in fact. So smooth that when you go over a speedbump it sails serenely right over the impediment and in offroad conditions you can barely feel the rutted, uneven surface of a dirt road. 

This is because the suspension and steering filter out disturbances such as an uneven road surface, but also communicate to the driver any increases in lateral forces and tracking.

On the open road this model produces a glorious burst of power like a symphonic force and you have to keep an eye on the speedometer! 

The Audi A4's magnificent performance is based on the "redeveloped five-link axles and the electromechanical power steering, which are exceptionally light." Hence the aforementioned dynamic handling and first-class ride comfort.

This is the perfect car for every occasion. I took it to some very fancy parties, from Prada's latest collections to the Glamour Woman of the Year but while it did not mind sulking a bit in the carpark, away from the red carpet attention and cameras, it felt like the perfect car to go roadtripping in, when all eyes would be on it.  It got some very admiring glances in the Sandton traffic and I could have sworn that some drivers actually snuck around the block to have another look ...

As a former small car driver I did enjoy the sensation of being able to look every SUV on the road right square in the eye for a change, instead of being the terrapin at the watering hole.

Not only is the A4 big and goodlooking but it is also extraordinarily comfortable, and remarkably light on fuel. 

I did worry about how and where to park this big gleaming baby, not wanting any scratches on its gleaming surface, as the parking spaces suddenly all seemed too small - but that was about the only complaint I could make for the three days I enjoyed its company.

It was powerful, efficient and intelligent - all the things one wants in a new car.

The Audi A4 has an interesting history. The press release states that not only is it not only the Audi with the longest history – beginning in 1972 under the name Audi 80 and given the name it carries today in 1994, at which time it was also brought to South Africa - but but it is also "the brand’s top model line in terms of volume. To date, more than twelve million vehicles have been sold internationally, making the Audi A4 the most recognised and sold Audi across the globe. Since its local introduction in 1994, Audi South Africa has delivered 109 382 Audi A4s to the market".

The exterior: Things that got wolf whistles were the Audi Matrix LED lights, the aerodynamic lines, the car's size, the snazzy 16-inch alloy wheels, and the shiny red paint on my model.

The interior: Compliments for the amount of legroom, the enormous amount of boot space (lots of shopping!), the almost noiseless atmosphere thanks to the acoustic film on the windshield, and the partial leather upholstery.

High tech: Those tecchies out there who love all the latest features will enjoy the Audi smartphone interface, a phone box which connects certain smartphones to the on-board antenna and charges them inductively, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound, Audi connect services, the head-up display, and new driver assistance systems.

In conclusion, driving this car makes you feel powerful and in control. It has a sense of self-confidence which derives from its size and performance. It was the vehicular equivalent of "tall, dark and handsome".

Thank you Audi South Africa for the chance to drive it, as part of my Spring Motoring Special!



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