It was a heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping day at the Changi Exhibition Centre, where we took a number of the Audi Sport models out to play. The Audi Sport Driving Experience allowed us to get behind the wheel of nine cars under the German automaker's current fleet — including the all-new R8 and RS3 Sportback, TT Roadster sport coupe, A4 sedan and off-roaders Q3, SQ5 and Q7. Here's our verdict.
The most thrilling segment of the entire programme was taking the all-new R8 V10 Plus — which made its Southeast Asia preview at this driving event — out on the 800m track. To make it even more exciting, the sky had earlier decided to open up before we took the car for a spin, coating the ground with a sheen of water. But it made us even more amazed at how the R8 grips the tarmac wonderfully, hugging the curves tightly and responding gloriously to taps on the accelerator and brakes. Surely, it's no surprise that the R8 only takes 3.2 seconds to hit 100km/h.
Acceleration & ABS Braking
In this segment, we learnt just how advanced Audi's braking system is with the new RS3 Sportback and TT Roadster. Ramming our foot on the accelerator, both cars pick up speed to 100km/h in just a few seconds to prove its power. As we approach the obstacles ahead, we pound on the brakes and the cars respond immediately, showcasing their high level of safety that help drivers deal with sudden road obstacles. At one point, the instructor got us to brake later than stipulated and amazingly, the car's response is fast and efficient, and we still managed to avoid most of all the traffic cones, clipping just two cones at the side.
This is the slowest paced part of the entire programme, but nevertheless just as exciting. Taking on the Q3, SQ5 and Q7 on the off-road courses, we experienced just how Audi's SUVs are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that provides for grip, stability and power when on off-road conditions. In the first of three obstacles, the cars are driven over an uneven surface, where we are shown how stable the cars are on bumpy roads. The next to conquer in this playground is an elevated 45-degree wall — in which the car is frightfully at almost its tipping point — where it proves how the German car manufacturer has fitted its vehicles with a technology to balance themselves. Finally, the third obstacle makes the driver move the car up a see-saw to a point where it tips to the other side for the car to roll off slowly, showcasing the climbing prowess of these three off-road models.
The final segment puts the Audi A4 against a specially designed Slalom course, where we got to experience the car's agility and acceleration. Taking on the quick and successive turns, the A4 impressed with its easy steering, glorious grip and smooth acceleration for a great driving experience.
We'll definitely be back again for the next one.