|March 17, 2001
An Audi Driving Experience with the New A4
I consider myself a "rookie" amongst many of who might consider themselves Audiphiles. I have owned a 2000 A4 1.8T quattro for about 10 months and also recently purchased a non-quattro TT a couple just of weeks later. At my disposal are several Audi videos and books, loads of printed internet material and a certificate showing my attendance at my first Audi quattro driving course.
The quattro technique impresses me greatly, especially after attending that first event. So, when I received the announcement of the special winter training, organized by Audi Driving Experience GmbH, I immediately returned the subscription form that very same day. This was quite lucky for me, as every year when an announcement is sent out, all reservations for locations in Finland and Austria are fully booked within one short week. Fortunately for me, I was one of the 24 blessed Dutch people who not only got to go to Seefeld in Austria, but also to drive the new A4 even before it was officially released in The Netherlands.
So, here it is, my diary of a short, but very exiting trip to the cold icy heart of wintersport country Number One in Europe: Austria
Day One: Wednesday, January 17, 2001
09:50 Checking in at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. Maaike, our tourguide, welcomes us and will be accompanying us for the rest of the trip.
11:05 We're off to Munich Airport, Germany. It's a quick and quiet flight that takes only an hour and a half. The weather in Munich is promising: a snowy landscape and sunny weather awaits us.
13:00 After a perfect lunch buffet, we're invited to visit the Audi Forum. This information center is located within the business center of Munich Airport and opened its doors in 1998.
The Munich Airport is currently expanding and building new airstrips and offices. Within a few years from now, when the building projects are completed, the business center and the Audi Forum will be precisely located at the heart of the new facility. You cannot buy cars at the Audi Forum, but they have a nice lounge to read and rest, and a few exciting cars to view. Also, there is a shop where you can buy the Audi Lifestyle products, like watches, sunglasses and exclusive Audi clothing.
The cars on hand were there were several of the new A4 sedans. The new A8L with 4.2L quattro was also present.
While these newest Audis were quite impressive, the car that struck me the most was a 1936 Wanderer W25K Roadster. Wanderer, one of the four rings in Auto Union built this car with a 2.0L 6-cylinder in-line OHC engine. The motor was supercharged and capable of 85bhp at 4000rpm with a top speed of 145km/h. This sleek convertible was produced from 1936 to 1938 and a total of only 258 cars were built, costing 7,950.00 ReichsMarks in Germany.
15:00 The transfer by bus to Seefeld, Austria begins. This is a two and a half hour trip, driving through the snowy landscape and delivering us at a fine 5-star hotel.
20:00 We are greeted with champagne and warm welcoming words from the general manager of the hotel. Then, supper at last. Outside the restaurant, six new A4's patiently await in their specially reserved garage parking spaces. None of us is patient, though and just before going to our beds, we take a preview peek - and a snapshot as well.