Q7 and TDI
Audi's latest TDI engine offering is the 4.2 TDI engine in the Q7. Suffice it to say, unless you looked at the badges on the bootlid you would never know that about the diesel powerplant. Never know, that is, until you stepped on the throttle pedal. With a full car, our shuttle vehicle (a LWB A8 with the 4.2 TDI) displayed incredible acceleration when the driver mashed the pedal. It was amazing for such a large car to pull like that with 4 people inside. This leads us to the notion that we must have one here in the States (although we hear that the Q7 4.2 TDI is not coming).
In the USA, we're going to have to make do with the 3.0 V6 TDI for the time being. Audi is planning on importing this engine first in the Q7 sometime this year. The 3.0 is no slouch, and certainly a far cry from diesel engines of old. There is no diesel smell, and scant vibrations transmitted to the cabin from the engine.
Representatives that we spoke with confirmed that the TDI engines will eventually make their way to the other models in Audi's North American lineup (they are already very prevalant in Europe) - most likely the forthcoming A4, A5 and A6.
The Rest of the Audi Stand
There was more than just new models and TDI engines on display. Audi had the RS4 Cabriolet, which is quite a neat little car. The interior is lovely, with some rather narrow sport seats that are obviously not intended for persons with a larger than average hind quarters. The girls at the Audi press desk got quite a chuckle when we sat in the car - did we grimace upon wedging ourselves into the seat? The RS4 steering wheel is a work of art which every car should have. Really.
The new TT is very nice looking. It's a little more sterile to me than the original TT, but no less involving to the eye. Both coupe and Roadster are fantastic looking. The interior is much improved, there is a lot more room than in the outgoing model. Engine choices will remain 2.0t and 3.2, with the S-Tronic (DSG) or manual gearbox.
On the far end of the scale, the A8 L with the W12 engine was on display. This car was incredible. The brakes appeared to be directly off of the R8, while the dash board and center console were wrapped in gorgeous french seamed leather (so were the seats and door panels). The A8 L's interior really shows Audi flexing its corporate muscles since it is known as a heavyweight when it comes to interiors.
What's best, the rear seats are almost as nice as the front. Each rear seat reclines and has multiple adjustments for maximum comfort. Rear seat occupants have their own TV screen mounted to the headrest of the front seats. About the only thing missing is a full wet bar, although we're betting the discerning owner could take care of that in the aftermarket...
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