Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 6M)
Options on test vehicle
Prestige Package ($6,100 -- includes 19-inch wheels, DVD player, keyless entry/ignition, auto-dimming mirrors, 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, driver memory functions, and hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and third-generation MMI); Audi Drive Select Package ($3,950 -- includes a sport rear differential and driver-adjustable controls for suspension firmness, steering and throttle response); Silk Napa Leather Seats ($1,000); Driver Assist Package ($900 -- includes blind-spot monitoring system, back-up camera and rear parking sensors); Metallic/Pearl Effect Paint ($475).
Turning off stability/traction control also removes the launch rev limiter. However, electronics still protect the drivetrain once the clutch comes out through throttle manipulation and clutch damping. Very respectable numbers with ESC on or off. Incredibly responsive engine. Good shifter.
Solid pedal has more "mechanical" feel than some competitors. Loud ABS. Consistent, fade-free stops.
All handling tests in Dynamic mode. Somewhat erratic front grip (perhaps due to varying torque split?) makes "driving" around the skid pad more difficult and less predictable than some RWD competitors. With stability control on , however, it works awesomely on the skid pad. Requires neutral throttle or accleration with stability control off through the slalom. Otherwise, it will go backward -- probably a useful trick on the track or back roads.