Audi has never been backward in coming forward about the capabilities of its cars – but this was ridiculous. Sitting beside me, Jochi Kleint, the former European rally champion, had selected reverse gear, floored the throttle and was sending the new Audi A4 3.0litre TDI quattro hurtling backwards across the loose surface of a former military airfield in Sardinia. Whatever next? Shouldn’t have asked. In one smooth movement that took less than two seconds, he spun the car through 180 degrees, shifted from reverse into second . . . and there we were, tyres scrabbling for grip, accelerating hard in the opposite direction.
Not the sort of thing you might expect from a diesel A4 but with the latest version, on sale next March, Audi is putting over the message that it has taken the car to a new level of dynamism.
Audi has upped the stakes in the compact premium sector and BMW and Mercedes will be increasingly anxious.
Source: The Times Online