Tag Archives: Audi

Audi’s Team Building Is Better Than Yours

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by Tim Smith

Think about your dream jobs. I’d go for Star Ship captain (this is my head and my rules) Ferdinand Piech’s life, and/or test driver/pilot. What are yours?

Well, you’d better add another to the list ’cause Audi Motorsport just told us that all of our aspiration is worth nothing.

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Your dreams are worth nothing. NOTHING.

Imagine that your job is something important within the Audi DTM or WEC team and we already have a winner. Now what do you ‘spose they do for training and team building? Do they go to that meeting venue where they serve those nice little sandwiches and the Woman/Man doing the presentation on presentation skills is kinda hot?

Nope.

Do they go to the Forest Of Dean where you all build a raft and that nice girl out of accounts turned out to be a Bad-Ass Mother Effer?

Nope.

Do they go down the pub and drink until someone has a cry, someone else is sick and you end up trying to snog someone inappropriate.

Nope.

They get both of those teams and they send them to Lanzarote where they canoe, swim, do some volleyball on each other and generally train and look awesome. That’s what they do.

Oh, and they also train for media interview’s which I cant help but think looks a little like this.

Audi: We both salute and spit at you.

The man at the front doesn't seem to have got whats going on. But he's still having a better time than you.

The man at the front doesn’t seem to have got what’s going on. But he’s still having a better time than you.

 

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Audi, Now With Added Lasers.

Audi has announced its 2014 LMP1 R18 e-tron quattro race-car (aren’t numbers and letters great?) will have LASERS.
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation devices are usually used by DJ’s and/or the military to look cool or bomb stuff or something, but Audi had mounted several mini Lasers onto the front of this years Le Mans competitor with the aim of giving their drivers better night vision.

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Audi claims that the Laser Diodes are twice as bright and twice as efficient as the LEDs that will continue to be used for the low-beam setting on the R18.

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You know what? All of this information is interesting, cool etc, but while researching what Audi were actually using, whether it could actually be classified as a Laser (it can. It’s very similar to the Laser that scans our shopping, or plays our DVDs) I found the coolest picture of a military scientist ever:

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Playing, ahem, sorry, experimenting with Lasers while rocking Aviators. I think that’s all of today’s awesome taken care of.

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Vorsprung durch Technik

The rise of Audi, can, in many ways, be charted back to the Quattro. It is how they continue to sell their machines, and how consumers buy into that particular dream. 

A dream, however, as Lancia, Alfa-Romeo and in the not too distant past, Land-Rover demonstrated, is not enough. The dream must be backed up with a solidity of promise.

In 1982 this solidity was realised through the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’, ‘Advancement through technology’. The success of this phrase is made all the more remarkable that it was placed into a still Germanophobic society.

It was not the Quattro drivetrain, however, that formed the chassis of Audi’s success, but all the small things that add up to an efficient, well-built, satisfying product that pays regular tribute to the motoring writers cliche ‘hewn from solid’.

This weeks SHCOTW (A better title is in the lab, I promise) is a major piece of that culture. There aren’t many left of these remaining, with howmanyleft.co.uk showing a major fall in this early model’s numbers. This car over all other Audi products was featured both in Stephen Bayley’s book Cars – Freedom, Style, Sex, Power, Motion, Colour, Everything and The Design Museum’s Fifty Cars That Changed The World‘. It is now surely safe to say this is a classic. 

I give you two examples. One, surely the best model to find but a suspected money pit, and two, a relatively safe bet with a slightly steep price tag. Of course, life isn’t always so black and white and patience is the virtue within consumer society…

Adverts reproduced below:

Description

FOR FULL DETAILS OF THIS CLASSIC 2.2 5 CYLINDER QUATTRO TURBO  COMPLETE WITH 12 MONTHS MOT, PLEASE RING-07850550519, CASH ON COLLECTION.
VIEWING IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BEFORE BIDDING,PLEASE PHONE FOR DETAILS.

Part exchange

part ex possible
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Audi 100 CC TurboDiesel (Classic Car) 
£2,700 Omagh, County Tyrone

Audi 100cc Trubodiesel (Classic car) 1-owner, Full Service, New Timingbelt kit + water pump + thermostat, new gashet, new battery, new breake pads, very clean, good drive, 2keys. No TAX, MOT 28.05.2014, no corode, very good condition.
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Audi Porn

‘20.4 Motoring advertisements must not refer to speed in a way that might condone or encourage dangerous, competitive, inconsiderate or irresponsible driving or motorcycling.’

Advertising is hard. You’ve got a product that is specifically designed to be driven in a fast and furious way. This product competes on race tracks world-wide yet you cannot make reference to its very nature.
So what do you do?
This creative interpretation of the rules is weep incitingly loud and not a little fetishistic.
The car really does become something alive and breathing.
There is nothing more captivating than watching something do an activity or task they, or it, are very good at. The internal combustion engine is very good at being loud and dramatic.
This could be the greatest commercialisation of that ability.
Enjoy.

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23/07/2013 · 12:33

Audifile

This would be the bit of the essay where we would see moving footage of the machine, perhaps where a challenger would be named, a question would be asked and an ultimatum thrown onto the flagstones. This is the beginning, and yet, this is the end…

I bought Chassis No. WAUZZZ8CZRA204719, or the GSV PanzerWagon, as it came to be known on a whim with some money I didn’t own for a trip that I hadn’t paid for. I don’t like the idea of travelling by plane; it is rather crude, and, as you can now catch a train direct to the other side of the worlds busiest shipping lane I thought on a small adventure.

It took the probably dishonest salesman several minutes to start her, and the green growth along her seals took several washes to remove. She felt nose heavy and gutless, but rain or shine I had pushed myself into this silly little angle which meant I had to buy her, that I had to drive her to Portsmouth to pick up a camera, stay the night in a student house, and then myself and someone I’d just met would have to get up a few hours later and drive onto the Channal Tunnel and then on to the dark concrete, expensive pints and bright motor show lights of Geneva.

We were searched when we arrived at check-point Chunnal. I don’t blame them. Two young men in an aging estate car with squinty tired eyes is not the best look. As we arrived in France I drove the wrong way around the first roundabout I came to and then we annoyed the locals by filming in a motorway service station. The French, we came to understand, do not like their faces to be known by a stranger.

On the way into Paris I was flashed by a speed camera and on the way out a second joined the tally. But then something happened.

Some of the gauges that had not worked when I first drove the car started to move, the lazy V6 felt happy being pressed on, and although the ride is typical of any Audi I’ve ever driven, the seats were all day comfortable.

Although I had initially thought that I would only keep the car for six months, a crises of consumer conscience led me to keep it going for as long as possible. I grew to love my machine, and it became a part of my identity.

Here, in alphabetical order, is a list of the things I like about it:

The Engine: The single cream 2.6 V6 is gutless by today’s TDI standards and working it hard just doesn’t fit with the rest of the cars character, but it is flexible and low speed fuelling is better than any performance Diesel I can say I’ve driven. By way of example you can drive it around town in 5th at less than twenty miles per hour by just dusting the throttle; there will be no shudder and no hesitation. Also, it makes a good yowl when pressed.

The Gauges: they tell me things I don’t really need to know, but tapping them makes me feel like a pilot or a captain.

The Quality: Even though this is an old car you can see the genesis of where Audi is today, that is to say, the producer of very high quality cabins that take charge of ever so slightly dull machines.

The Rear stance: All Audi’s look better in Avant form. It’s a law of product design. Also: those exhaust tips. When I was a fearful boy with a cheeky mouth and running legs, seeing a car with two weapons grade pipes poking out of any bumper gave a good clue as to the nature of that machines business. A business, of course, that’s moved on. Once upon a time, though, this car, in a certain boys mind at least, was running with the big boys.

The things I don’t like? Here is a list in order of size of proposition:

The heater, even after a service, has always been crap.

The steering, although retaining the patter of a hydraulic assembly contains very little life.

The ride quality is crashy over any bad surface and yet seesawes under hard acceleration and or braking.

It handles badly: The front tyres are bullied by all six of those cylinders sitting forward of the front axle. The nose wollows and bobs like a 911 on a night out in Thompson’s Las Vegas and the back is light enough that it did once let go without warning down a curved motorway slip road. Neither of us was harmed, but it always made me wary after that.

So why are we shooting a static object and not a living inspiring machine? Well, after four years both working and studenting, and after four years of living within the confines of my very own war economy she will have to go. The last failed MOT carried with it a 500 sterling’s price tag. Then, on the way back, tired from the last few weeks of deadlines and serving the management classes into the late hours I smashed an indicator, then clipped a tyre on a kerb. My £500 bill had suddenly become a £650 bill.  I would grind my teeth and lose sleep wondering where I would find the money, and then it occurred to me. This, was of course, the end.

Ultimately, owning an old Audi while living on a very small amount of money was folly. But this was my first car, and your first experience of anything is always the most stark.

I’ve thought for a bit on what should come next. I don’t want to make the same expensive mistake of owning something, I essentially cannot afford to run, but it needs to be fun. Also, it needs to retain a rarity and some kind of glimmer of identity.

What comes next will be something a little more focused…

 

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Brassed Off

John Ray was an English naturalist. He was the first person to define what we mean by ‘species’. He was also a collector of English sayings and was the first to catalogue the term ‘Muck and money go together’. If you’re from Yorkshire you’d probably say ‘Where there’s muck, there’s brass’.

Ten years ago, when you wanted to scrap your car, there would be paper work, strife and you’d have to pay them to take it away from your very own home (House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us…).

Things have changed, though. The world at large is busy building and where there’s my 140,000 mile, broken and SORNed Audi 80, there’s steel. Two small problems:

First: I’ve lost the key. The replacement I bought from Audi (matched to the chassis number) didn’t fit. Draw your own conclusions, but it’s a pain, either way.

Second: I’d had to break into the poor thing to draw my things (lighter, sunny’s, map’s, colouring book – for the kid, you understand) from its interior.

It was a dreary day when I asked the great Google to find me someone who scrapped cars in Cheltenham. The first two sponsored results were chosen and in that smooth smart phone way I went straight from their website to speaking to them, only it wasn’t as smooth as you’d hope. I’m terrible with names. Even company names trip me, but in this age of shopping you expect someone to answer with a pre-prepared line introducing themselves and the company. Erm, not always:

Brrrr

Brrrr

Brrrr

Unknown Man: ‘Hullo’

Me: ‘Erm, hullo?’

UM: ‘Hullo?’

Me: ‘Is that the scrap yard place?’ (This is awkward, can’t fall back on looking at the screen/page while on the phone…)

UM: ‘Hullo?’

Me: ‘Is this the place that scraps cars in Cheltenham?’

UM: ‘What you got?’ (Straight to the point, but what the Simon Cowell, there isn’t enough of that. Take this article, for example)

Me: ‘It’s an Audi 80 Avant.’

UM: ‘What year?’

Me: ‘‘94, I believe. I’d have to check, but I’m pretty sure it’s a ’94.’

UM: (Seems to be talking to someone else, maybe arguing. Bit of shouting in the background) ‘That’s one-eighty.’

Me: ‘Okay, sounds good.’

UM: ‘You ‘appy with that?’

Me: ‘I’m happy. There are a couple of problems, though. I’ve lost the key and one of the windows is broken where I’ve had to break in.’

UM: (More shouting at someone, that someone shouts back, then things go quiet. The other person says something, then there is a rustling, probably as the phone is passed over)

Me: (Pulls face)

Different UM: ‘Don’t want it, mate.’

Line goes dead.

Me: Hullo, hullo?

Success! I’ve got no money and no car and the first person I speak to gives me the ol’ eff off.

Back to Google, try the first unsponsored result, removemycar.co.uk.

I’m put on hold. I start to feel a little nervous (what if can’t get rid of the poor thing and the Cheltonian society of Upper-class Nazi Tweed wearerS –TM- mounts a campaign against me for lowering the value of their precious property?).

Man answers: ‘Hullo, Remove My Car, how can I help?’

Okay, now we’re talking. I explain the make and model, explain the problems, we agree a price. Nice guy as well, tells me all about the ‘sponsored results’. If you’re working for Watchdog or Rogue Traders, I’d suggest you go hunting these little buggers. You’d probably get enough to string a couple of episodes together.

Anyways, a couple of hours go by and I receive a phone call. It’s Remove My Car’s man with a tow-van. We arrange a time for him to pick it up. He turns up. He breaks the steering lock, steers it into place and loads my sad looking tyred armchair onto his Iveco. We talk cars for a little bit and I like him. He gives me the money and we shake. Top banana. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

So that’s all the paper work sorted, some of the Queens own papers in my hand and still time to enjoy a cup of coffee before work.

Now, who reckons I can get a 3-series (that -mostly- works) for 500 quid?ImageImageImage

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Eleven

i.

Even within the Kingdom of the Professionals there is no such abstraction as objectivity. We are all built upon our cultural presets and experiential resets.

ii.

My name is Tim Smith. I am a white, middle class, heterosexual male. I was grown in the Cotswolds. My accent is neutral middle England. I find I like to walk fast.

iii.

We cannot get very far into machine culture without mentioning Top Gear.

iv.

My favourite machine is neither real nor possible.

v.

In my note-book this proposition is crossed out.

vi.

Our ideas of what we like in a machine are as much informed by its aesthetic as of its actual substance.

vii.

I will always remember the sound generated by the fuel injection pump on my Father’s Audi Coupe.

viii.

At school, in Tetbury, our German teacher  was a Rugby man. All of his metaphors involved teams or games or pitches. I frequently use technology as a metaphor. I am comfortable with this.

ix.

All of the machines I own are on a five-year cycle. Until recycling techniques become truly worth it and our machines are truly efficient I will avoid buying anything new.

x.

This part is here because it seemed right to have ten propositions.

xi.

This part is here because sometimes we like to turn it up to eleven. Touches like this give a machine or technology its character. Go to the BBC iPlayer. Choose a programme. Adjust the volume. See what I mean?

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