2009 Audi A4 Avant: What Would Bernd Rosemeyer Think?
May 22, 2009
Often when I drive a car my thoughts turn to its maker's history. They all have one you know. Each is unique and every single one of them from Honda to Hummer have had their ups and downs.
Some companies are literally crushed by the weight of their good old days. Their heritage is so rich and their good times so long ago that living up to that legacy is simply impossible. Everything done today seems to pale in comparison to the company's yesterday.
Others car companies, however, have an incredible ability to use the bright spots in their history to their advantage. As if by magic the public turns a blind eye to their dark days and seems to concentrate only on their successes, both past and present. Right now Audi is one of those car companies.
The German automaker is rich in heritage. Some spectacular. Some embarrassing. All worth remembering. This year Audi is 100 years old, and you can make the argument that it's building its best vehicles ever right now, both for the street and the racetrack.
Or is it?
And so I ask you: What would Bernd Rosemeyer think or our long-term Audi A4 Avant. Would he marvel at its technology, efficiency, luxury and speed. Or would the pilot (along with Hans Stuck) of the above 1936 Auto Union C-Type V-16 (shown here in hill climb trim with its dual rear tires) be disappointed by the machine's lack of mechanical reach?
I mean, after driving the above beast around tracks like the Nurburgring, even the R8 would seem a bit tame. Don't you think?
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief