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I attended this event yesterday. This programm was an advertising for the new B8 A4. I drove the A4 on the track for a few laps following an instructor. Then we head to another smaller course with tight turns, a slalom, followed by a straight to test the breaks. In this part I also drove the competitors, BMW 328Xi, Mercedes C300 and Lexus IS300. Finally, I had a choise to drive A3, TT, A5, A6, A8, or Q7 on the first track, which I chose the A5 obviously :).

The new A4 is very good. They only had the 3.2 Quattro, which allowed me to compare it to the A5. The cars are very similar, but the A4 had Drive Select and the A5 didn't. To those who have asked before if this option is worth buying the answer a loud YES.

On the introduction before the test drive, the Audi guy said that the Drive select was his favorite new technology, and he called it the chameleon because in different options you get diferent cars. I couldn't agree more. In confort mode you get a relax highway cruise, but when you press the dynamic button the car comes alive. You can throw it into the corners. The grip is amazing. Now in the A5 without this option, it was a lot harder to handle the car, the tires were scrimming at the same speeds I did in the A4, and the throttle response and gear shifts are significantly slower.

For those of you who are in doubt of getting an A5 because you need space in the back for 3 more passengers, the new A4 won't make you regret not having a sportier better looking A5. Myself and a few ppl who also drove the A5 thought that the A4 was bit more agile, and better balanced than the A5.

In the comparing competitors course, the A4 simply destroyed all the others. The lexus was the best of the competitors, but even it's low price doesn't make it a better choise. I think that the A4 will be a pain in the butt for mercedes and BMW. I can't wait for the S4 to debut. After reading the Audiworld article and driving the A4, I'm expecting an epic performance in the S4 and RS4.

Enought boring stuff, here are some pictures. Enjoy.

















 

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Audis at Summit Point

++1 Xplod

Thanks for getting the pictures up.
I attended the event also. I was in the 11:00 session.
It was a great launch for the new A4.

Audi is way ahead of any other manufacturer in rolling their cars in this very ambitious manner, and all for free. It is not too often you get to thrash other peoples cars on a track and not worry about the costs.

The comparison to the competition was a fantastic way to show their advantages for this model year's offering.
The B8 platform is way ahead of the competition in balance, response and adaptability, much of it owed to the Drive Select. I am very happy I have that on my order. There is no way I would even consider any of the other cars we drove (MB, Lexus, BMW)

There was a group of other local Audi Club guys there who drive the track regularly and provided additional insight on the runs. Thanks to Roger, and others.

This is a link to a longer blog from one of those guys.
http://web.mac.com/rhoyer2031/iWeb/Miata/Blog/CE2634B7-6CB6-4043-8321-BC582BA89969.html

I am going back today for the 1/2 day (for fee) event.
I'll get to drive the S5 and R8 in a more intensive track driving mode.
That should prepare me for my S5 delivery in a few weeks.

Just please deliver the darn thing !!:)
 

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I'll get to drive the S5 and R8 in a more intensive track driving mode.
Wow! Let us know how that goes. Nothing like flogging a car like yours, but isn't yours! Perfect. :D

I agree that Drive Select is absolutely great. I vary the settings depending on who's with me & where I'm going. BIG differences between the different combinations. Awesome option. :)
 

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Another Great Day at Summit Point,WV

It was a great day at Summit Point, WV.
The Audi Driving Experience, ½ day enthusiast program is the best buy for a driving school/track time you can get. For $595 you get four hours of seat time in the A4, A5, S5, and R8.
I think this is a bargain, regardless of the course it is offered at.
Where else can you flog someone else’s $120K+ car and feel good about it.

This is the rundown of what we covered:

-The basics- Quattro handling basics (vs FWD & RWD), setting a proper seating position, learning the line and apex selection

-Brake and turn exercise in the A5- Pushing ABS and steering to the limit

-Speed maneuvering and accident avoidance exercise in 2009 A4s with Drive Select- emergency turning at high speed

-Autocross layout runs in A5s, standard and S-Line- controlling oversteer & understeer, apexeing, and precision stopping- all in a timed environment on course. This was the only competitively timed event. This also clearly illustrated the effect (and sometimes penalty) of the ESP system. Crank in too much steering while under lots of power, the power is backed off. The event Ts & Cs stipulated that you were prohibited from turning off ESP, lest you become libel for the cost of a crunched car.
Note, the A5 S-Line was much superior in all respects in this event.

-Road course time on Summit Point’s Shenandoah course (about 1.6 miles)- this allowed 6 or 7 laps each in the S5 (6 speed) and R8 (6 speed or R-Tronic). Top speed at the end of the straight in the R8 was about 115 MPH before braking to 50-ish to make the upcoming turn. The laps were led by an instructor and speed was somewhat limited so that all 4 cars in the heat would keep together. So there was a bit of a lowest common denominator factor, but my heat has some pretty good runners in it. I tried to keep about 6 feet from the instructor’s car all around. No passing!!

One section of Shenandoah course has a banked section called the Karrousel and lets you whip around about 200 degrees of turn on a 30 degree banked (guess) track. This is very interesting in the R8 with its gobs of torque.

It was a fantastic experience. No other manufacturer does anything like this.
I have never driven a Quattro and have not been on a track for 20+ years.

I recommend trying to get into one of these events if you can. There are 8 venues in the US.
Others include: UK, South Africa, China and Australia.

This has really prepared me for the delivery of my S5. I not only want it now, I need it.

WOW

I may have some in-car video of me circulating in the R8. I'll have to see if it is worthy of a post.
 

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I did the half day flog-the-a5s and try not to wreck a supercar you can't afford experience today too - man that was fun.. i can say that the R8 is unequivocally too much car for me.. also, when scrubbing speed at the end of the straight in an S5, you can't brake as late as you just did in the R8 or your rear will go squirrelly..

good fun, and in the braking lesson i wound up performing what the instructor called the worst braking performance he had seen.. i even wound up trapping a cone under my locked rear tire which then left a huge orange streak on the ground, it was awesome.. i forgot to take a picture of that, i wish i had..
 
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