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

McLaren and Audi in “early talks” for F1 deal, report claims
McLaren Audi F1
McLaren

McLaren and Audi in “early talks” for F1 deal, report claims

Audi looks to use McLaren’s racing arm to allow VW Group to re-enter F1, with deal not expected until next year, according to the Financial Times
16 Nov 2021
New Audi Grandsphere concept makes Munich Motor Show debut
Audi Grandsphere - Munich front
Audi

New Audi Grandsphere concept makes Munich Motor Show debut

The Grandsphere is the second model in Audi’s trio of ‘sphere’ concepts, with the luxury four-door saloon previewing a future A8 limo with Level 4 aut…
7 Sep 2021
Audi charging service now covers 75 per cent of UK charge points
Audi charging
Audi

Audi charging service now covers 75 per cent of UK charge points

Audi’s e-tron charging service now gives drivers access to more than 17,500 charge points across the UK with just one account
13 Aug 2021
New Audi skysphere showcases future design and split-personality concept
Audi skysphere concept -
Audi

New Audi skysphere showcases future design and split-personality concept

The skysphere is the first of a trio of new concepts from Audi, previewing a future autonomous electric roadster with a split personality
10 Aug 2021

Most Popular

New Suzuki S-Cross 2021 review
Suzuki S-Cross - front
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SUV

New Suzuki S-Cross 2021 review

The all-new Suzuki S-Cross is excellent value for money and good to drive, but it’s slightly utilitarian interior won’t appeal to all buyers
25 Nov 2021
Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2021
Best hybrid cars - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2021

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
8 Nov 2021
Lexus LC Coupe and Convertible gain chassis upgrades for 2022
Lexus LC 2021 - front
Lexus LC

Lexus LC Coupe and Convertible gain chassis upgrades for 2022

Lexus says mechanical tweaks have made the LC more comfortable and improve its handling
26 Nov 2021