Audi’s gleaming new customer experience centre, and the home of Audi Sport and customer racing, is located in Neuburg, amid the low-lying farmland of the Danube Valley. It’s stylish in that considered Audi way, and so attentive to detail that the fire extinguishers here are white instead of red (a deviation that had to be sanctioned by the authorities).
Today Klaus Demel, Head of Audi Driving Experience and International Motorsport Marketing, is the gatekeeper to my happiness. ‘When the quattro was launched back in 1980, the technology was so progressive, our customers didn’t really know how to use the car to its full potential – and that was the origin of today’s Audi Driving Experience,’ he explains. ‘This is a state-of-the-art facility that’s all about customer enthusiasm. We demonstrate what Audis are capable of and teach you the skills to make the most of this. As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy your car to the max, and drive it more safely too.’
In a minute, Klaus is going to hand me the keys to Audi’s brand-new, five-cylinder, turbocharged 400PS RS 3 Saloon. ‘Would I like a cup of coffee first?’ he asks. I politely decline – I’m excited enough without caffeine.