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Drivers savor Audi A1 and Q3 driving experience

For three days, PGA Cars, Inc. handed out keys and opened doors for people seeking first-hand answers and experience from two stalwarts in the Audi stable – the compact sedan A1 and compact SUV Q3.

Aside from being afforded a closer look at the vehicles at the Audi Alabang showroom, prospective buyers were, more importantly, given a chance to get behind the wheel of the two Audis for a comprehensive test drive. On Saturday, customers drove to a closed-off “exercise area” behind the Filinvest City where instructors showed them how to put the A1 and Q3 through their paces in a slalom section, plus some gymkhana maneuvers. After the demonstration, the eager participants had their turn at the exercise – where the vehicles adeptly proved their mettle worth of the Audi brand. Indeed, one doesn’t have to be an expert driver to drive expertly in an Audi.

“We want our customers to be able to experience Audis being a daily driver,” said Audi sales director Lito Jose. “Furthermore, nothing communicates our brand values better than for prospective Audi owners to be at the steering wheel and feel what our vehicles are all about – easily maneuverable and surprisingly agile.”

In real-world applications, this means it’s easy to switch lanes, negotiate through obstacles or traffic, and even parallel park at the mall. Aside from sharing a legendary Ingolstadt lineage, the A1 and Q3 are both logical entry points to Audi’s sedan and SUV portfolios, respectively.

The Audi A1, available in three and five doors, was launched locally early this year, and has successfully captured the imagination of discriminating motorists. From its aggressively styled headlamps, the distinctive trapezoidal grille with the four interlaced rings, and low stance, the compact sedan serves notice that it is a full-fledged stallion of the Audi stable. On its side is the “coupé-like” C-pillar that softens the rear visual. The A1’s back is elegantly styled as well to hint at its sporty heritage and premium values. Two equally capable variants are capable, both featuring a four-cylinder, 1.4-liter TFSI engine good for 122 hp and 200 Nm. Mated to Audi’s seven-speed S-Tronic transmission, the A1 achieves 100 kph in 8.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 203 kph.

Meanwhile the Q3 is a crossover with features and capabilities of a full SUV. Armed with a 2.0, in-line, common-rail TDI quattro diesel, it is equipped with both turbocharging and intercooling. Its S-Tronic, seven-speed transmission features electro hydraulic activation (or dual clutch) performance. The Q3 is rated at 177 hp and 380 Nm, and reaches a top speed of 212 kph.

Aside from an impressive complement of interior features such as a driver information system with color display and the Audi Multi Media Interface with Audi system and Symphony radio, the A1 and Q3 boast a number of standard safety features for worry-free driving.

“We don’t have stripped-down units,” maintained Jose. “Every Audi that rolls out of our showroom is equipped to meet most needs and wants for the safety and convenience of our customers. Besides, everything is in keeping with the famous Audi ethos of ‘vorsprung durch technik,’ or ‘advancement through technology.’ What you get in each Audi is a definitive transportation solution for people who want to travel in style and comfort beyond the usual A-to-B vehicle.”

Truly, as testers figured out over the weekend, driving an Audi is a singularly rewarding experience. Making it a daily ride only means you get to feel that every day. For information on the available Audi models in the Philippines, visit any of the Audi showrooms in Greenhills, Alabang, and  Global City or contact 7270381 to 85.

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