The execs at VW/Audi have grown so far out of touch with what the vast majority
of buyers *want* these days it's scary. There's no chance what-so-ever of the
new A6 making any in-roads on the territory still owned by the MB E-Class and,
most prominantly, the BMW 5-Series. Based on the reviews I've seen, both from
domestic mags here in the U.S. and imported mags from Europe (such as CAR and
EVO), the car still isn't nearly quick enough, doesn't handle well enough, and
generally lacks in the areas where it matters. Audi is fighting brands with
better reputations, which carry more prestige and which have a more respectable
lineage, but they refuse to take the segment seriously. It's the same poor
decision making that's *still* keeping the A4 a second-tier vehicle in
comparison to the C-Class and 3-Series, and why CAR and just about everyone
else agrees that the BMW 1-Series will be a better class of vehicles, at least
in terms of dynamics, then the MKV Golf and A3. I don't know about the European
market, but Audi hasn't offered a 6-speed manual on the 2.7T powered A6 for 2
years now here in the U.S, they've never offered us a stick on the 3.0 and they
won't on the new A6 3.2 either. And what about the current G35 and upcoming
535? Did Audi just forget they existed/are coming while making the decision to
use a 3.2 litre mill instead of going with a more potent motor of larger
displacement? The S6 pales in comparison to the M5, only the greatly more
expensive RS6 can better it, and that will undoubtedly be the case again next
time around. I've had a great deal of fun with my MKIV GTi, but when it comes
time for another new car, it'll probably be a BMW. Audi simply doesn't seem to
care what I want.
The day that BMW remembers Customer Service ala Audi is the day I go back.
There are some very important intangables that create an enjoyable
environment rarely known in today's industry. The pure numbers dictate that
the Ducati is a superior motorcycle, yet there are an exceedingly high
number of Harley-Davidson owners that don't agree. Passion weights heavy in
the heart of the enthusiast.
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