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Audi Weekender 2017: We go slalom in the S5 and TT

Audi Weekender 2017: We go slalom in the S5 and TT
Bilal Firfiray Bilal Firfiray Tuesday 31 October 2017, 13:11 PM

Audi India invited us to be a part of the 2017 Audi Weekender Mumbai. Held at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse in the heart of Mumbai, the weekender was an opportunity for the Four-Ring’s aficionados to explore the performance and capabilities of the Ingolstadt stallions. There was a slalom course organised for the S5 and the TT on the paved corridor, meanwhile, a full-fledged off-road track was laid out for the Q3 and the mammoth Q7. You can read about the latter over here.

After the briefing, we headed out from the air-conditioned tent into the scorching heat of Mumbai. But the weather was nowhere near as hot as the car parked on the podium in front of us. Standing in all its glory was the Audi RS6 Avant, the super station-wagon, seductively calling out for attention. Painted in a striking red hue and reposed in a super silhouette, the RS6 sat snugly on gorgeous 21-inch wheels. If you must know, the RS6 can devour supercars for breakfast and yet drop the kids off at school too. Sadly this exclusive piece of metal was there today as a visual delight only and not to rip the paver blocks of the race course.

After drooling over the RS6’s beauty, we awaited our turn in the S5 and the TT. First up for me was the plush cabin of the S5. The four-door Sportback, painted a Navarra Blue metallic colour, gleamed in the afternoon sun. The crackling radio asked me to drive across the three Audi TTs lined up ahead of me and pull up right behind the other S5 present there. I slotted the short, ergonomic gear lever into Drive. Under the hood was a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 pumping out a healthy 35bhp and 500Nm. I expected a massive surge of power to shove me into the seats as I tried to discreetly whizz past the TTs. But I was surprised at how docile the S5 was. Or was it?

When the green S5 pulled away from me and disappeared amongst the cones in the distance, I was given a GO on the radio. I saw the course on which the green S5 performed. It was a straight stretch of about 200metres after which I had to throw the car into a slalom of around eight cones and then turn around and do an acceleration run all the way back. There was also a red flag marked as the breaking point.

When I pushed my right foot down, I was able to feel all the four wheels gripping the paver blocks with all their might. I was catapulted forward and the slalom course arrived in a blink of the eye. With quick direction changes, the four-door body style made itself evident. Although it is lighter than its predecessor, and the Quattro AWD traction is brutal, the slalom course seemed too narrow for the S5. The car felt a little too planted for covering a slalom course. What’s more, a little extra feedback from the steering would have made the experience a tad more enjoyable.

After turning around, I lined up for the acceleration run. When given a go, all I did was put my foot down. As I predicted earlier, the S5 slammed me back into the well-padded seats as the car shot forward. At that point, all I could hear was the howl from the quad-exhaust which was like an assault on all my senses. Even as I felt the upshift was felt, the red flag was waved. Releasing the accelerator paddle, I put down all my might on the brake paddle. The S5 slowed down soon enough for me to safely crawl back into the line-up.

Before I could even catch a breather after getting out of the S5, I was ushered into spanking red Audi TT. Compared to the S5, the TT just wrapped itself around me. The acceleration in the TT was swifter compared to the Sportback. It felt more nimble and had a better control on the slalom as well. When I lined up for the acceleration run, I shifted the lever to manual and took control of the shifters behind the wheels. It was time for the pedal-to-the-metal. The revs climbed to 7,000rpm on the small tachometer positioned at the left corner of the digital screen. The screaming note originating from the dual-exhaust at the back was like music to my ears. I pulled the shift paddles and before the second gear could be unleashed, I was right next to the waving red flag. Once again, I shifted onto the brake paddle and eased the speed to fall back in the line-up.

Now, if the S5 and the TT had proved to be too intimidating for the customers, Audi also had the A3, A4, and the A6 on standby for them. The slaloming date with the S5 and TT and the off-road course with the Q3 and Q7 has been one of those experiences that would be cherished for a long time. It was a weekend well spent. We can’t wait for our next date with the Four-Rings.


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