I have been seduced. Ever the proponent of the cautious, stodgy choice, my knees buckled as the Audi R8 pulled up in front of me. I felt a tremble within me in a frequency, synchronous with the low husky rumble from under the hood. My eyes could not avert a following gaze; tracing a line from the aggressive angles of the wing mirrors and doors to the ample rear, filigreed in burnished grilles in jet black . A bio mechanical symbioses of sensual steel. At the Audi Sport Driving Experience 2016, almost all the makes and marques of Audi vehicles were at our disposal to push to its furthest engineering design specs. The event also marked the debut of the Audi R8 Coupe 5.2 FSI, V10. What better way to welcome this beauty than to lay down some rubber on the track and unleash the full force of the 610 horses held in the veritable stable of the vehicle’s chasis. 610 HP, can you imagine that? I am not sure than even Emperor Nero or Ramessess’ armies had an equine stock that large.
Registration began at the showroom along the motor belt at Leng Kee road, where participants were processed and base heart rates taken. This would later be measured against elevated heart rates while on the track. Participants were given an A3 sportsback each to make their way to the motor track at Changi. Driving the entry level A3 was pure bliss, with the kind of cockpit environment that you would only expect in a luxury vehicle. The whole-day Audi Sport Driving Experience began in earnest on the motoring playground set up at the event grounds, close to Changi Airport.
Think about how you would never drive your car, and have probably never driven your car. You are given a carte blanche to jerk the steering wheel and pound on pedals harder than you are physically capable of, against your better judgement. This thrilling play date consisted of 4 stations, that took the better part of the day,starting at 9 am and ending only at 4 pm
Take that A4, sink that pedal all the way to the metal, and jerk the steering wheel like a 3 year old. The differential gear train is in its element here. Try as you may to make the A4 break traction, the vehicle stays firmly planted to the ground. Negotiating the short slalom track, and staying within the demarcated lane is not difficult, even at speeds approaching 80km/h.
The new Q7 comes with air suspension and even if you take it to the bush, the ride doesn’t feel all too different from city driving. Drivers had to negotiate 4 obstacles, involving a see saw, 45 degree ramps, and various low humps set into the road. You wouldn’t be faulted for thinking that you were in a skate park or preschooler’s playground. The most harrowing was tilting the Q7 at a 45 degree angle, with the car balancing on two side wheels. Having only previously taken high clearance diesel guzzling 4X4 monsters through such terrain, I would say that the Q7 would be my vehicle of choice if I were making an escape through debris strewn streets of a ruined post apocalyptic city.
Audi R8 Track Experience
The quintessential racing experience. Tear up the tracks in this refined racer. It is a beauty to behold, and yet its handling is refined and uncomplicated. The short demonstration track was twisted with a few straightaways to demonstrate its handling and acceleration. Although it felt a lot faster behind the wheel, I only managed a top speed of 90 km/h for a split second, averaging only about 60 km/h throughout. The exhilaration, was constant throughout, though.
Acceleration and ABS Braking
We were given free reign of 3 vehicles at this station; the Audi S3 Sportback, RS 3 Sportback and TT Roadster. No prizes for guessing which was my favourite. The TT was a pleasure to drive on all fronts, with one huge aspect being the luxe factor. All 3 vehicles handles admirably, and made me think how my own ride would compare. The course simulated last minute obstacle avoidance at high speed and was designed to show off the superior handling afforded by the vehicle’s ABS system. “Push the accelerator as far as it will go, and then step on the brakes. I want you to use all your weight and stand on the brakes. At the same time, turn left sharply, very sharply”, the dispassionate German tinged voice instructed calmly through the walkie talkie. “My article deadline is in a week, would I be able to walk away from the tracks to complete it”, I questioned myself.
For more information, check out https://audidrivingexperience.sg