Audi makes some wonderful cars that are a driver’s delight. And then there’s their sports car range that takes the driver’s delight to the next level. Audi in India has three customer-connect initiatives, namely the Audi Weekender with a mix of the SUVs and Sedans, Audi Q Drive for their off-roading drives in the Q SUVs, and the Audi Sports Car Experience involving their sports cars on the race track.
The 2018 edition of the Audi Sportscar Experience took off a few days earlier at the Buddh Race Track and we were more than excited to be a part of this amazing experience. Audi in India started off the Sportscar Experience in 2012 and has seen more than 2000 happy customers take part in it. Along with India at the Buddh Circuit, Audi has this experience also at race tracks in Barcelona, Nurburgring, EuroSpeedway Lausitz, Salzburgring, Dubai and Spa, Belgium.
This year’s Sportscar Experience showcased Audi’s entire performance range which included the Newly Launched RS5 Coupe, S5 Sportback, RS6 Avant, RS7 Performance and the amazing R8 V10 plus.
Driving fast cars is not just killing the throttle and going fast, driving a sports car needs a lot of patience, a lot of practice and following rules, especially when on the race track… and that’s what the Audi Sportscar Experience does. The experience includes dynamic training modules under internationally acclaimed instructors where you are actually driving the sports cars in actual race conditions on the track.
The day started off with the drive and safety briefing by Aditya Patel, ace Indian Motorsport Racer, who is also the lead instructor on this drive. We were then divided into two groups where one group headed to the Slalom and Handling track, while the other went to the race track. We did the Slalom track first where we had the amazing RS6 Avant, RS7 Performance at our disposal. We had to drive these lovely cars around a very short and extremely tight, compact slalom course made with cones. Needless to say, the Audi RS6 Avant and the RS7 Performance have some astonishing power and performance loaded in them and feel extremely safe in these tight situations.
The rule here is to switch off the ESP switch and then experience the handling around the course and to make your best timing on it in your group. The track had a straight take off area, where you build up speed and then a very sharp U-turn where the car’s real nature is put to test. After this, you have the zig-zag around the cones and come to the end point and brake hard; all this is timed by the Audi guys. And yes, if you hit the cones, you get penalized, increasing your time. We did the course first in the RS6 Avant and then in the RS7 Performance and it does take one lap’s warming up for you to actually give in to the cars ability and stability. Once this is done, then you automatically push the amazingly stable cars to their limits, in fact these cars boost your confidence big time and then you gun for more and more.
After the confidence-boosting time we had at the Slalom and Handling track, we headed to the race track to get our hands on the heavenly RS5 Coupe and the R8 V10. Yes, heavenly is adjective that comes the closest to the track experience that these super fast performance cars have to offer. The magnificent Audi RS5 Coupe comes powered with a 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo TFSI motor with 450bhp of power and a mean 600Nm of torque, all this mated to some mind-boggling technology and safety all in one. The first lap was more of a warm up one, where we got to know braking and turning points and to understand the car. The 2nd Lap is where all the fun begins, you get to push the car to its limits, while keeping things in control is the lead car that monitors every car behind it. There is tons of power and stability too, thanks to the all wheel drive Quattro on this baby. You can hard push the car into sharp corners and bends, and the car won’t disappoint you a bit. It is only when you see the speedo that you notice the speeds you are hitting at.
We did the R8 V10 Plus at the end and this is one monster of a sports car. This one comes powered by a V10 engine with 610 PS of power and 560 Nm with top speeds in excess of 330 kmph. The R8 totally out performs the others in terms of power and fun involved in driving it.
The Audi Sportscar Experience is an excellent platform for customers to experience their lovely sports cars and actually understand their capability. You have the best instructors to train and guide at your side. If you always wanted to be a race car driver like me, this is the place for you. We can’t wait for our next Audi Sportscar Experience already!