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Monday, October 13, 2008
The part on the BMW M3 convertible driver is spot on. A typical poseur alpha-male BMW driver, bullying Prius drivers, playboy with dumb blonde girlfriends. The Merc - clueless in operating the electronic functions of the vehicle and inconsiderate. Lexus - geeky, controlling wife and dysfunctional kids. While Audi are the cars that nice people drive - mature, smart, family guy material. Of course these are merely stereotypes, celebrated in the spirit of humour. I am sure there are some nice BMW drivers and Lexus owners with normal family out there.
No further information can be found on the origin of this viral video but you can be sure that its the work of Audi's marketing boys. A brilliant one too.
The gentlemen's car. Image from Fourtitude
Personally, I am very fond of the cars from Ingolstadt. I like it that they are more classy and subtle, less "in your face" designs. Many have criticiced Audis for having a less "direct steering feel" and are nose-heavy, and that they are front-wheel drivers and thus cannot offer the sort of driving pleasure BMWs can. In response to that, I don't understand what is really the big deal about this FWD vs RWD talk. 90% of the time these cars will be driven on road conditions and speeds that do not bring out much differences in the handling traits of these two drivetrain configurations. Plus, given that the typical BMW poseur is helpless in changing the car's headlamp bulbs and is unable to differentiate a prop-shaft and a drive-shaft, I am very doubtful that it really does make any difference in having them to drive a FWD or a RWD vehicle. It's the mantra of marketing - tell people something often enough and they will believe it to be true.
As for me, 99% of my experience with any particular car is spent inside it. Which is why Audi's win me over with their excellent interior designs and ergonomics. Among all the big German names, Audis are said to have the best interior. And I don't drive flat out 10/10 all the time, a well sorted out chassis with good ride comfort will do just fine thank you.
Nice people are a rare commodity these days, and cars for nice people are even rarer. Looking at the automotive design trends, it is clear that we are heading towards a direction with more designs that shout for your attention - LOOK AT ME I AM THE NEW RICH! The other car for nice people - Volvo is already in dire financial situation. People just don't appreciate good subtle designs nowadays. I wonder how long can Audi continue to build cars for "nice people."
On a side note, early models Audis are famous for being over-engineered (probably that's they never really made much money until VW came in). I can't find any pictures to better elaborate this, but if you look at the previous generation B7 A4s, the tailgate is lifted by struts - which frees up more space in the boot, not to mention looks more sophisticated. But the newer B8 A4s only come with cheap looking plastic covered "goose-neck" hinges.
B7 A4 trunk with gas struts. Compare this to a current generation B8 A4 and you will get what I mean. I guess it is only inevitable that the free reign of cost-oblivious engineers in Audi will come to an end, sooner or later.
Posted by AutoIndustrie at 6:45 AM