Press-car abuse is a part of the automotive journalism industry. So, too, is damage caused by normally diligent journalists who made a mistake/had some bad luck. I don’t intentionally abuse vehicles, but I’ve dented and dinged and broken a few things because sometimes shit happens.
What I have not done is use a press car to help flood victims. Nor have I been scolded for doing so, even though the car wasn’t apparently damaged.
Cue the “CEL” jokes.
The collective “wisdom” of scores of forums have decreed that Volkswagen and Audi products are invariably cursed by permanently lit Check Engine Lights. Some have joked that the CEL is by far, the most reliable component on any VAG vehicle, and that Meatloaf was 20 years early with his “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.”
So, with some hesitation considering the comments on the last Audi to grace this column, I press forward in pursuit of the four rings and eight pistons.
Audi first tossed us the keys to its S6 with the SuperBowl mega-ad “ Prom”. Premise: dateless kid gets handed Dad’s super-sedan for the evening, kisses the prom queen, gets punched by the prom king, snorts around town with a big grin on his face.
The message was clear: buy this car, put a little excitement in your life. What a load of cobblers.
Although I’m not much of a fan of Mercedes current product lineup, the AMG vehicles hold a special place in my heart – they’re not dynamically superior to BMW’s M cars, or even some of the quicker Audis, and you can’t get them with a proper manual gearbox; but they are a naked display of conspicuous consumption, and for that, I love them. So news of an all-new, all-wheel drive AMG product neither surprises nor disappoints me.
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