Jekylls and Hydes
24th Sep 2014 4:08 pm
One of the most fascinating things about touring India’s racetracks in high-performance Audis is how easily they can be turned from comfy cruisers to track animals.
Driving a car over a long distance really allows you to get to know it in much better detail. Having spent over 3,000km behind the wheel of Audi’s RS7, S6 and TT over the course of the Tri-Circuit Challenge, I think we can safely say we now know these cars rather well. Having said that, I must admit our initial scepticism of the Audis’ ability to tackle Indian road conditions was unfounded.
As you’ll read about our experience in the October 2014 issue of the magazine that hits stands very soon, the cars proved surprisingly able over the journey. Whether it was touring between the three circuits on the highway, or being driven flat-out on the race track itself, the trio of Audis dealt with everything in their path. While the liberating feeling of being able to drive performance cars with abandon was not lost on any of us, there were certain things in particular that left an impression on me.
Such as the sheer effortlessness of the RS7 and S6. Great cruisers as they turned out to be, they also require a very delicate right foot to operate, because the way they accelerate, it’s easy to find yourself way above the speed limit. And I’m not even talking outright pedal to the metal stuff. Even acceleration at part throttle is strong, very strong. That, combined with how quiet their cabins are (at least when you are taking it easy), equalled some stints that were unintentionally completed quicker than planned. Our solution to avoid driving at higher than intended speeds? We simply set the cars’ speed limiters to alert us with a beep when it thought we were up to no good. It worked!
Another thing I really liked about the sedans was how simple their transformation was from highway stars to track cars. All we needed to do was tweak the settings for the suspension, steering, gearbox and engine via the Drive Select menu in the MMI computer and that was it. Imagine, no need to fiddle with the suspension, no adjustments to the engine; just a few buttons here and there and the cars were ready to dance. Manual intervention was restricted to bumping air pressures alone.
The settings really changed the way the cars felt. On track, they felt far more focussed and completely different to the comfy sedans we drove up in. Amazing!