Quattro in Italian is four, strangely enough this is also the name given to the Audi (a German automobile manufacturer) all time All Wheel Drive (AWD) system that is employed in some of their road cars. Audi have been running a tour every year to showcase the capabilities of the Quattro system. The Land of Quattro Tour in the Middle East made their last stop in Oman at the Oman Automobile Association (OAA). They had a pretty neat looking setup with a shaded two tier seating area, an off-road course and an on-road track set up with cones on the OAA drift pad.
The event will last over three days, 30th April, 1st & 2nd May. Each slot is 30 minutes and they have about four participants per slot. Each driver is greeted at the registration desk where you sign the ‘if you break it you bought it‘ forms. If you’re early enough, you get time to check out some of the Audi Quattro models on display which included the all new Audi TT. There’s a nifty touch screen display with a lot of information and history on the Audi Quattro system.
When they’re ready for you, the first thing on the agenda is the briefing. After a short Audi Quattro presentation video the instructor gives us a brief overview on the Audi Quattro system. You are also told to behave yourself on the driving course because after all, boys will be boys. Once that is done, you’re straight into the off-road course. The off-road course (which I have no pictures of) is a series of tests designed to show you exactly how the Audi Quattro system behaves. The ride in the Q5 was interesting on the short off-road course but it was all just unnecessary foreplay before the fun part.
The on-road test was next and all of us in group one were twiddling thumbs waiting to get into these cars and throw them around. The first laps were in a front-wheel drive A3, starting with a sighting lap and then one at full pelt. After this, you switch over to the S3 Quattro to feel the difference the Audi AWD system makes. It did feel quite a bit different, less understeer and sharper in the corners.
After checking out how effective the Quattro system is on road cars, we then had the choice of testing any one of the other Quattro models on offer. It wasn’t a surprise when everyone just picked the all new bright sport yellow Audi TT Quattro. The added power and the lower center of gravity on the TT ensured the presence of the AWD system was even more pronounced. The bite into corners was a bit crazy, so much so I didn’t expect it to turn in quite so quickly and sent a cone on the first turn flying.
Although pretty short it made for a good fun Friday afternoon. The presentation of the whole thing was excellent and well organized. It could have been a lot more informative, but I guess they’re trying to run through as many potential customers as they can.
I’d love to take the new TT Quattro out again for a proper test, so if anyone from Audi is reading (way too optimistic), drop me a message.