Saturday 16 December 2017

Fast way to good memories

Audi has taken all the necessary steps with the A6 Bi-Turbo to dominate the premium sector, says Campbell Spray

AFTER some 30 years or so writing motoring articles it is still very exciting to get a car that thrills the senses.

It is very rare a few weeks later to still hear at the back of your mind the growl of its engine and remember the beautiful tactile delight of guiding it quickly but safely through the Wicklow hills. We are privileged in this game to have the chance to test cars and have such experiences.

In fact, the car had taken me by surprise; I knew it was to be an Audi A6 but I wasn't expecting the sheer power and sophistication of the Bi-Turbo 313bhp 3.0 litre TDi. It had an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic box, full Quattro four-wheel drive system and the capacity to do the 0-100kmh dash in little more than five seconds.

It was also packed with toys and safety devices including an array of cameras granting the ability to have a 360 degree view of the car and the surroundings.

Of course the car is ridiculously expensive. For while the A6 starts selling at around €44,000, the Bi-Turbo was nearly €42,000 more. Yet, in spite all those horses, its road tax comes into Band D or €570 a year which would be pretty average for a pre-2008 family car. The consumption is pretty good too with more than 40mpg being reported.

I'm a great fan of the Quattro system and think it is probably the best 4WD on the market for safety. The Bi-Turbo is a real world-class pace car. It is perhaps the quickest model in the Audi line-up and aims to take BMW head-on, although fans of the Beemer's rear-wheel drive will still salivate over that experience. I liked that, as you change the power and suspension settings, the distinctive growl alters too.

Audi is going all out for dominance of the premium sector with aggressive marketing and tempting offers.

It is not slow to pre-register cars to ensure its market share stays high and these models can then be bought at a substantial discount.

The opulent style of its "terminals" or massive showrooms, complete with attractive greeters on massive heels, demonstrates a company absolutely determined to get you to buy into their aura and lifestyle.

The Bi-Turbo was a real treat. If you win the lotto of life I commend it to you, if you don't, try and sneak a drive anyway. There's plenty of glamour and smart sales people in your local Audi showroom keen to entice you.

Irish Independent

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