Audi proves more than

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By KATE GOULD­ING

SIX Audis to drive in one day and each one lived up to what you’d ex­pect in a lux­ury car.

The A4 allroad quattro was smooth, the S7 Sport­back sleek, the A6 3.0 TDI Biturbo suave, the RS 4 Avant sur­pris­ing, TT RS plus sporty, and the new R8 sexy.

I had the op­por­tu­nity to test drive each car in var­i­ous driv­ing con­di­tions – from Syd­ney’s hec­tic morn­ing traf­fic to the wind­ing and some­times nar­row Old Pa­cific High­way, and the smooth F3.

Audi has en­joyed its eighth con­sec­u­tive year of growth in Aus­tralia and or­ders are al­ready be­ing held for the new A3 sport­back, which is due to be launched in the last quar­ter of 2013.

Af­ter driv­ing the Audis I can see why the Ger­man car man­u­fac­turer has been do­ing well in Aus­tralia. My favourites in­cluded: TT RS Plus

You can tell this car has been made to im­press. It’s like a sports star of the roads. Af­ter a drive around the Hunter Val­ley, I drove this car back to Syd­ney along the F3. It was an ex­cit­ing drive. When you first step in to the car, the glitz of the in­te­rior makes you feel like a movie star but this com­pact sports coupe stands out for its awein­spir­ing per­for­mance. Its five-cylin­der turbo de­liv­ers 265kW, suf­fi­cient for a top speed of 280km/h.

The 2.5-litre TFSI in the Audi TT RS plus is a high­per­for­mance engine, with a his­tory of suc­cess. The seven-speed S tronic de­liv­ers light­ning-fast gearshifts. Against the back­drop of the five-cylin­der engine’s char­ac­ter­is­tic roar­ing and growl­ing, the TT RS plus sprints from a stand­still to 100km/h in 4.1 sec­onds. De­spite th­ese im­pres­sive fig­ures, fuel con­sump­tion is ex­cep­tion­ally eco­nom­i­cal at just 8.5 litres per 100km.

Priced from $139,900. NewAudi R8

This is Audi’s most re­cent car to be re­leased in Aus­tralia. It was launched in March af­ter be­ing over­hauled with a new 7-speed S tronic trans­mis­sion for all mod­els. Each car in its range (V8 and V10 coupe

and Spy­der) is sleek and sporty that em­body Audi’s full ex­per­tise in ul­tra­lightweight de­sign.

The alu­minium body with the Audi Space Frame (ASF) weighs only 210kg on the Coupe, and 216kg on the Spy­der. The R8 V10 plus, avail­able only as a coupe, weighs just 1570kg.

The eight-cylin­der engine pow­er­ing the Audi R8 V8, which I had the plea­sure to drive, de­liv­ers 316kW and 430Nm of torque, the lat­ter be­tween 4500 and 6000rpm. In com­bi­na­tion with the seven-speed S tronic, it ac­cel­er­ates the R8 Coupe´ from zero to 100 km/h in 4.3 sec­onds on its way to a top speed of 300km/h. The in­te­rior has a lux­ury-level rac­ing at­mos­phere. It is spa­cious and glossy.

The hood is lo­cated at the front and the engine is in the rear.

The R8 is the choice of car for Tony Stark in the block­buster film Iron Man 3.

It is priced from $279,500 for the V8 and from $366,900 for the V10. A4 allroad quattro

Launched in Oc­to­ber for the first time in Aus­tralia, the A4 allroad quattro is a per­ma­nent all-wheel drive per­fect for North­ern Ter­ri­tory roads, and it re­tains this A4 model line’s sporty el­e­gance. The A4 can han­dle any road or trail and it was a smooth and easy drive wind­ing it in and out of Syd­ney’s traf­fic dur­ing the morn­ing peak.

Once out of Syd­ney’s hus­tle and bus­tle, we got to ex­pe­ri­ence the allroad quattro on a few bends and bumps as we drove to­wards the Hawkes­bury River.

There were no prob­lems there. Cor­ner­ing was easy and it was even a plea­sure driv­ing on un­paved sur­faces.

Nat­u­rally, the A4 allroad quattro fea­tures all the tech­nolo­gies the A4 model line is renowned for: a pow­er­ful and highly en­ergy-ef­fi­cient engine, the dual-clutch S tronic trans­mis­sion, and of course, quattro all-wheeldrive tech­nol­ogy.

Its com­peti­tors in­clude the Range Rover Evoque.

It is priced from $69,900. S7 Sport­back

This car was pure com­fort. It felt sleek and so­phis­ti­cated and you could re­ally just sit back and re­lax and en­joy the ride.

Not only is the car com­fort­able, but it is quiet.

It starts with the ground- break­ing new tech­nol­ogy used by Audi in the all-new 4.0 TFSI biturbo V8 engine, the cylin­der-on-de­mand (CoD) sys­tem, which switches off four of the eight cylin­ders in many driv­ing sit­u­a­tions, im­prov­ing over­all ef­fi­ciency.

As a re­sult, the S7 Sport­back con­sumes just 9.6 litres per 100km. But here’s where it be­comes more in­ter­est­ing – to counter any un­wanted acous­tics that CoD may en­cour­age, ac­tive engine mounts off­set sec­ond-or­der engine vi­bra­tions which oc­cur in four-cylin­der mode by gen­er­at­ing phase-shifted counter-vi­bra­tions.

When­ever the new Ac­tive Noise Con­trol sys­tem recog­nises un­wanted noises through tiny mi­cro­phones hid­den in the ve­hi­cle’s head­lin­ing, it emits a pre­cisely mod­u­lated can­cel­la­tion sound via the sound sys­tem’s loud­speak­ers.

It coun­ter­acts the noise so ef­fec­tively that pas­sen­gers will not hear it and works even when the sound sys­tem’s vol­ume is low, muted or switched off, al­low­ing a quiet coun­try drive.

The S7 sport­back is a limited edi­tion, with only 50 avail­able for sale in Aus­tralia due to global de­mand.

It is priced from $179,900.

The Audi R8 TT RS Plus stands out for its awe-in­spir­ing per­for­mance

Audi R8 V10 Plus has its su­per-pow­er­ful, throaty engine in the rear

... the out­side gives the im­pres­sion of Hol­ly­wood glitz

The in­te­rior of the Audi TT RS is fit for a movie star ...

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