With ASR/ESP switched off and using 4,500 rpm at launch, we first tried to feather the clutch. The result was acceptable, but the best launch occurred with an aggressive dump of the clutch at 4,500 rpm. Front wheelspin was followed by a stern kick from the rear tires. Shift throws feel long and the slot for 3rd gear feels like where 5th might be. Clutch action is light and engagment is smooth, but action feels damped in some way.
Very strong brakes maintained throughout the 60-0 mph test. No peaks or plateaus in performance -- very consistent feel. Tried one run using the push-button emergency brake, which brought the car to a gentle halt and yet had substantial effect.
Extremely well-balanced on the skid pad with no steering corrections required. All that's needed to alter the car's attitude is a change in throttle position. Through the slalom, the steering effort feels a bit too light and disengaged from the tires. When this is combined with quick turn-in, the result is a less-than-telepathic slalom run. Yet the ability to rotate the car at will with the throttle and a heroic power-on drift through the last gate provides Evo-like entertainment. The least Audi-style Audi we've ever driven.