Opinion

“Is Audi about to become the ultimate driving machine?”

It’s a bit early to say new Audis are world-beaters, but big steps are being made in the right direction, says Steve Fowler

Opinion Audi

They always say that things are cyclical, but for as long as I can remember, BMW has had a distinct edge when it comes to driver appeal – even in the exalted company of premium models.

Things are changing. We’ve already crowned the Jaguar XE as our favourite compact executive car, ahead of the BMW 3 Series. And now we’ve just had a taste of a car that could well beat them both. And who’d have thought it would be an Audi?

New Audi A4 review

For many years now, you knew what you’d be getting with an Audi – a good looking car with decent efficiency, a class-leading interior and a ride that borders on the uncomfortable. And whether it’s front or four-wheel drive (sorry, quattro in Audi speak), you just wouldn’t be having as much fun as you would in a BMW.

Then along came Dr Ulrich Hackenberg – a long standing engineer who’s to-ed and fro-ed between Audi and VW (with a stint at Bentley) and led the development of the famed (and copied) MQB platform strategy that has proved so successful across so many brilliant VW Group small cars

In 2013 he was given responsibility for Audi technical development, while taking an overview of the technical direction of all VW brands.

Audi Q7 - front cornering

And trust me, it’s no coincidence that the last two new Audi models we’ve driven – the Q7 and now the new A4 – have a new-found sense of dynamic ability, on top of all of Audi’s other attributes. World beaters? A bit early to say, but they’re both big steps in the right direction.

What I’ve always liked about Dr Hackenberg (other than his willingness to chat openly to the likes of me) is his understanding of what’s important to different buyers. Which is why Audis have a new – and most welcome – feel of comfort on the road.

Do you think Audi will be able to finally beat the likes of BMW in the driving stakes with its raft of new models? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

Audi e-tron GT: specs, images and RS model confirmed
Audi

Audi e-tron GT: specs, images and RS model confirmed

Fully electric Audi e-tron GT saloon to be revealed next year, and a hot RS model is on the way
9 Oct 2020
VW emissions scandal: VW installed ‘defeat devices’ in thousands of cars, High Court finds
VW Emissions scandal update 2
Volkswagen

VW emissions scandal: VW installed ‘defeat devices’ in thousands of cars, High Court finds

The UK’s High Court has ruled that VW installed devices to cheat emissions tests in thousands of its cars
6 Apr 2020
What is Audi's Virtual Cockpit?
Audi Virtual Cockpit - header
Audi

What is Audi's Virtual Cockpit?

We give you the lowdown on Audi's hi-tech dashboard display screen, the Virtual Cockpit
24 Mar 2020
Germany losing car domination
OPINION Twin Test
Audi

Germany losing car domination

With Audi's unprecedented early exit from World Car of the Year, Mike Rutherford asks is Germany losing its motoring domination
15 Feb 2020

Most Popular

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
Audi A6

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review

The new Audi A6 50 TFSI e brings plug-in hybrid power to the A6 range for the first time
10 Nov 2020
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has made its official debut, with lashings of technology and even more imposing styling
19 Nov 2020
How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020