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      04-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
RMB
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Audi Driving Experience

I had the opportunity to go to the Audi Driving experience this weekend and drive the following: R8 (V8), RS5, S7, S8, S4, TTS. This is a compilation of my thoughts. Also, I was given a chance to ride in a R8 V10 Plus with a race car driver for a hot lap given that I had one of the top times in the Autocross Event.

I thought the TTS was rather weak and had a lot of boost lag, however the S4 (which I previously owned) was awesome for the autocross event. I floored it through every corner and it just went and was so easy to control, and the supercharged engine never felt weak and had zero lag compared to the qualifiying autocross lap in the TTS.

The S7 and S8 were quick in a straight line, but were much more oriented to luxury cruising and high speed on a highway. They didn't fair very well on the track compared to the R8 and RS5.

I almost bought the RS5 over the M3, and I am happy to say that I am happier with the M3. The M3 suspension and lighter weight makes it feel like more of a sporting vehicle, however, the interior and fit and finish is much nicer in the RS5.

The R8 was awesome, and with the V8 it was a lot of fun on the track. However, it wasn't on another level compared to a 911 turbo, etc.

The R8 V10 (piloted by a driving instructor) was a monster! The engine was amazing, and it made the M3 and the 991 S cabriolet I had just driven feel lame. Granted, a lot had to do with his driving ability, but we hit 150 on the straights (and it was a short straight) and he was power sliding into corners as all four tires were fighting for grip. It was Awesome!

I was glad I could get one of the R8 V10 slots after my times with autocross (this was the first time I have ever done this or been to a track so I suck!) but I have to say Audi put on a great show and I love my M3, but the S4 is a great buy for the money! The R8 V10 is in a whole different league capability and price wise, but these were the two cars that stuck in my mind the most. I didn't get to drive a TTRS and I think that would have been impressive.

Sorry for being long winded, and I really enjoyed meeting a couple from Charlottesville who drive an X6M and and E93 M3. They were awesome and we had a lot of fun and they obviously have great taste in cars!
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      04-07-2013, 10:31 PM   #2
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Nice write-up. Did the same but also got to drive the R8 V10 Cab and it was fantastic. Really surprised they timed you, they normally don't want to turn it into any kind of competition between participants (hell, ever mfg event like this I've done).
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      04-07-2013, 10:41 PM   #3
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Thank you for sharing.
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      04-08-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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I almost bought an S4. The car felt strong off the line, and it had nice pull to it.
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      04-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
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I had a 2011 S4 and sold it for the M3. I really like the M3 but I feel that for the money the S4 is a great package. I loved driving it on the Autocross event and it never had any lag or lack of pull regardless of the RPM's. My wife who also did the event said "the M3 is still a better car, but if we ever purchased another S4 it is still a great car". Hey, the "wife is always right, or is it a happy wife is a happy life!" I really wish I could have driven a TTRS however. If the TTS felt tame, the TTRS probably would have been solid.
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      04-08-2013, 08:35 PM   #6
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I'm doing this event in may. Looking forward to it. Did you get good seat time in each vehicle?
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      04-09-2013, 06:55 AM   #7
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The seat time wasn't bad in each vehicle, except for the TTRS, which we didn't get to drive. I wasn't as interested in the larger vehicles (S6, S7, S8), but the S4, R8, and RS5 were a lot of fun. It was definitely a great event and the staff was wonderful. I enjoyed the presentations and it was nice that they were not bashing any other car brands. They were trying to spend their time explaining what they felt made them different compared to others.
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      04-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #8
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Too bad you did not get seat time in the TTRS. It is a very fast and capable car. The TTRS is my daily driver and my e90 M3 is my nice weather toy.

Alot of folks who own the TT are having issues with the software from major vendors. I being one of them. Although the software tune makes the car an absolute monster on the road. I mean a very fast car. My supercharged M can't hang with it at all.

The car though does have a very firm suspension and it can be uncomfortable on long road trips.
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      04-09-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input on the TTRS. The car sounds great and I bet it would have been awesome on the autocross event. The TTS was underwhelming, but I have no doubt that the RS treatment has turned the TT into an entirely different animal. It will be interesting to see what they do with the RS version of the new generation TT.
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      04-10-2013, 12:05 AM   #10
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Question, do you need to wear a helmet? Is so I plan to bring my own
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      04-10-2013, 05:46 AM   #11
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You have to wear a helmet, and if you don't have one they supplied them.
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      04-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMB View Post
I had a 2011 S4 and sold it for the M3. I really like the M3 but I feel that for the money the S4 is a great package. I loved driving it on the Autocross event and it never had any lag or lack of pull regardless of the RPM's. My wife who also did the event said "the M3 is still a better car, but if we ever purchased another S4 it is still a great car". Hey, the "wife is always right, or is it a happy wife is a happy life!" I really wish I could have driven a TTRS however. If the TTS felt tame, the TTRS probably would have been solid.
It's a great world, when we have a choice of great cars, and the freedom to pick the one we like best.

But I wish Audi's U.S. advertising agency would quit hating on all the other brands, and let their cars do the talking. But that's like wishing for a reasonable politician . . . .
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      04-15-2013, 11:35 PM   #13
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Wish they had these events out here. How do i find out? Sounds fun!

Awd is cheating lol.
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      05-07-2013, 06:09 PM   #14
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Awesome...they have one this weekend and I'm planning to go. Looking forward to get into the R8 and RS5.
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      05-12-2013, 12:19 AM   #15
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I just came back from the Fontana event and the TTS was awful. I had some ok times with the S4 but my TTS time was crap awful cause it literally two 2 secs after hitting the throttle for anything to happen.

The Audi interiors were nice but the controls/buttons felt crappy even on the S8. The idrive-ish knob in the Audis felt flimsy and cheap. The infotainment system is not as intuitive to operate. The buttons/controls doesn't have that premium feel. Maybe they should watch that BMW video on haptics engineering lol
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      05-12-2013, 07:05 AM   #16
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I did the one in PBIR. funny how our comments are all very similar

I too hated the TTS. very frustrated because you get used to the S5, which can pull decently everywhere in its range, and then suddenly your final lap is the gutless TTS that needs to be driven very differently on such a tight course.

I liked the R8 better than OP seems to have, though. also disappointed not to have driven the RS5. never drove the S4/S5 but I think the M3 is superior to both. I like DCT better than any of the Audi transmissions, including the new R8 s-tronic
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      05-12-2013, 07:45 AM   #17
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Nice write-up of what sounds like a great way to spend a day. Obviously my decision of just having bought a new M3 speaks for itself, but I would not hesitate to buy an Audi S4. I think it is a great option for someone who wants all-year driveability with a good amount of pep. While I was concerned about the engine being a supercharged V6 vs. the prior model's throaty V8, those concerns were quickly thrown out when I test-drove the new one -- it's actually faster and more engagaging. The interior of the S4 is great, too. In fact, if I needed another car that is more of a 365-day option/family car, I think the S4 might be my top pick.
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      05-12-2013, 11:54 AM   #18
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I think there may be some confusion on the Audi vs BMW models

S4/S5 = 335is (and eventually the M performance M335 I assume)

RS5 = M3 although the base RS5 is like 8k more than the M3
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      05-12-2013, 10:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamspeed View Post
I just came back from the Fontana event and the TTS was awful. I had some ok times with the S4 but my TTS time was crap awful cause it literally two 2 secs after hitting the throttle for anything to happen.

The Audi interiors were nice but the controls/buttons felt crappy even on the S8. The idrive-ish knob in the Audis felt flimsy and cheap. The infotainment system is not as intuitive to operate. The buttons/controls doesn't have that premium feel. Maybe they should watch that BMW video on haptics engineering lol
Weird pet peeve of mine, but I'm not a way their buttons feel. When you press it, you got that really hollow "click". Felt really cheap to me. Otherwise, they do make very nice interiors.
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