Dust off those 'not sure if serious' Joker images for this one
Now, we know Audi can, on occasion, take itself a little seriously at times. And, as we reported last week, attempts at humour (that little line about choosing not to participate in the global recession) don't always quite work.
What, you don't spend time caressing your car?
So, is this video a subtle attempt at poking fun at its serious image? Or just a slightly cringeworthy corporate promo? We have a serious Belgian called Jeremy with sharp cheekbones and even sharper creases on his suit drily quoting numbers, stats and technical info about the A1 Quattro. Whilst caressing it, rather too fondly for our comfort. Get a room and all that. Oh, he already did.
Meanwhile on a mountain somewhere Audi jolly factory driver Filipe Albuquerque, who may or may not be made up, giggles and slithers up a snowy mountain road in said A1 Quattro.
So is this Audi poking fun at itself and saying, hey, you think we're immaculately presented but a bit dull like Jeremy but really we're all Filipes at heart and all we love to do really is hoon about going sideways in the snow? Or is it a carefully honed corporate ying and yang message; the 'business on top, party at the back' mullet of viral marketing?
Audi's marketing strategy, expressed as a haircut
We're about as clear on that as Harris was the A1 Quattro's talents after he had a similarly slidey drive in the snow in Sweden. Maybe they're struggling to find the 333 buyers for the £40K hot hatch or something. Indeed, four out of the 19 allocated to the UK are currently in the PH classifieds.
Whatever the thinking, it does look like a fun car to drive in the snow. Which has now melted.
I guess this is just a consistent Audi marketing strategy. We'll convince you our cars are very well made and of the highest possible standard but that (if you believe us) they are also great fun and really fast and can do things that other manufacturers cars don't.
Personally I think it is great that they spend so much money on motorsport to back that image up, but I would rather believe the road tests I read which say that most recent Audis miss the driver's car target by quite a large margin.
If they'd marketted this better it'd be a very cool car for us older drivers who want to race to the station and around town in all weathers (Sort of a non-brain damaged person's Aston Martin Cygnet). However, it looks like it's aimed at the generation behind us, who presumably have more sense than money so won't pay £40k
But the Germans are really good at making stuff, even if they aren't exactly poetic in explaining or marketing it. Maybe to German people in Germany this contrasts the cool efficiency of the teutonic engineering with the notorious passion and flair of Filipe Miguel Delgadinho Albuquerque, the Portuguese racing driver (thanks Wikipedia)? (I presume the Portuguese are passionate, who knows? They are half Mediterranean, half Atlantic, so maybe they're only a bit passionate, like the Welsh, but without the singing)
If you want to see the German's having a laugh, try explaining the DISTRONIC PLUS incl. BAS Plus and PRE-SAFE® Brake / Driving Assistance Package: £1,895 on a C63. If that was a hair cut, it'd be a Pudding cut.
No doubt its going to be a very fast, well built little car.
All I feel now is that more and more, the design, and feeling that Audis give off now are just so flat. There seems to be no individuality within the brand now. Yes, they do make some good looking cars, but nothing which makes me really lust after them.
Don't get me wrong, if I had the money I would seriously consider one. Just I feel for the money you can get something that will put an even bigger smile on your face.
I think the car looks brilliant! Especially the wheels. Although I'm presuming the car isn't actually a proper quattro and is just another understeery haldex?
Check out Harris's drive video linked from the story - explains more about the drive system (yes, Haldex) but also demonstrates that it's not without its entertainment value. Though the cameraman may have begged to differ after the final run!