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Thread: Evolution of the car driver

  1. #1
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    Default Evolution of the car driver

    I have, like a few of the slightly elder forum members, been watching the current RS3 buyer woes in trying to order a car that ticks the right boxes.

    Among many things it brings to mind the widening gap between the peddlers of the older Audi and the aspirations of the buyers of the latest versions.

    I bought my first Audi 21 years ago and it came with ABS. At least that was switchable and the car was decently fast on the road with good handling and braking. It happens to be my sweet spot and the B5 / C5 series have been my go to for great cars that you drive, not the other way round.

    Enter lane control, radar sensors, 360 degree cameras, 3D dash display and so many sensors in the steering wheel you cannot change it and I'm wondering if we have crossed the line with raw driver skill being supplemented by mystery algorithms that convey the ideas of people half a world away.

    Nevertheless, the attraction must be there for so many to be willing to put a few Dollars down in 2021 for something that may not be seen until 2023. When you don't have a horse in that race it is an interesting pastime to watch the issues unfolding and what people are prepared to do to own an RS car that is by numbers, far from exclusive.
    C5 RS6: Sportec, Milltek & Wagner -- B5 RS4 : tastefully modified -- Audi 1.8 quattro 132 Kw -- UNIMOG 404 TLF8

  2. #2
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    Interesting thoughts.

    I'm 52.. I have the S5 V8, the S3 8P (stage 2) and a new Kodiaq RS.

    I love technology. I work in it, have been using a computer since the VIC 20 (pre the Commodore 64) and at school, was in the first computer lesson they had (was on a Pet 4040).
    I've grown up around the massive changes in computers, tv's, and all things electric, including cars.

    I still love it when new tech comes to a car, but do believe that some of it for 'drivers' can be a pain, but they are mostly there for those that don't car/like driving and for the few (?) that spend a bit of time on their phones. Lane warning, blind spot monitoring etc are all there to make the driver, and the other drivers/pedestrians safer, to assist drivers who are either no good at it, or are not paying attention, or having a minor brain fade.

    Case in point is my 85 year old father in law. He had to do a compulsory driving test at 85, and failed, due to speeding twice DURING the test. Once was in a school zone.
    Personally, I'm split between him being able to still have a drivers license (it's his independence as he lives alone and family is all 20 minutes away), and how unsafe he must be (his reaction time must be soo much worse than mine, and then again, a whole level worse than a 20/30 year old). Obviously he doesn't care/watch the speed, and from his perspective, he probably drives as fast as the traffic allows/is safe (ironically, he then got another speeding fine on Mona Vale road, after being put on a restricted license until he could go and do another test. Don't get me started, again!).

    Anyway, looping back to the original question. I'd love a new RS6, RS4, but do love my S5. It's not got all the gadgets (but has had the NAV screen upgraded to Android), no lane departure etc, but I still love to drive it (ok, sure, it's modified to suit my needs). I can't drive it every day for a week, it's just not that kind of car.

    The Kodiac is the flip side. It's great to drive, has all the gadgets, and is super comfortable. Pulls great (diesel) and can fit all the family, I just wouldn't take it to West Head for a spirited drive.

    So, what does this all mean? I supposed the RS3 is supposed (and is?) all things to all men? It can be a family (small) hauler, but press the right button(s), and it's a fantastic drivers car, able to meet (exceed?) most people driving skills in the right situation. That obviously costs money. Hence the price of the RS3.

    Rambling thoughts????

  3. #3
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    I'm heavily into technology and built all my own computers from the 80's until laptops became viable. I even have a small tech museum where some of my early purchases reside. Think a Priam HDD, Full size, double height, weighs some 4 KG and $2400 in 1991 and 160MB (that's right) capacity. The absolute top of the heap in it's day.

    Where I draw the line is tech has to serve me, not the other way round. Re my comments, when cars have been part of your life since childhood, the proliferation of computer based tech has reached a point where your car has become vulnerable to tech (chip and sensor) unavailability or failure. Both in spec'n the car before purchase to keeping it on the road afterwards.

    There is no doubt that electronics have revolutionized car performance and reliability up to a point but they have also given many drivers capabilities above their talents (safety) and contributed to the premature disposal of vehicles that cannot be fixed electrically. On the safety side, the daily outcome relies totally on all sensors and downstream outputs remaining 100% functional. You may find that is not the case only after the event if you have come to rely on it.

    No doubt that while functional with good firmware, the aids help some people who may not be able to drive otherwise, they also make the car a far more disposable piece of whitegood into the future.

    Personally I cannot imagine trying to deal with any of the current crop of top range cars in 20 years time. For someone who has a great affinity with cars, that puts to rest one of life's enjoyments. I'm sure that the RS3 is a great car to own and drive when new. When you sit on the sidelines and realize that, as just one example, an exhaust on an older car is just an assembly of tube with some science involved to manage gas flow and energy (sound) compared with flaps, electrical inputs and sensors that proliferate new cars to get much the same outcome.

    So, not anti tech, as I fully appreciate the improvements that certain tech has bought to cars. I wouldn't want to daily drive a 71 GTHO for example, I have done that and by today's standards it isn't fun. I do think that we have gone past the point where technology has contributed to essential safety and reliability and strayed into the futuristic gee-whiz spectrum. Buyers are entitled to indulge themselves, the point is more that in doing so they get a car that drives them to an extent.
    C5 RS6: Sportec, Milltek & Wagner -- B5 RS4 : tastefully modified -- Audi 1.8 quattro 132 Kw -- UNIMOG 404 TLF8

  4. #4
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    We must sound so old

    Sent from my SM-G985F using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Only to some. Then again it took me longer than most to realize that everyone gets old. The last laugh is on those who haven't yet got their head around the fact that there go they.

    It only seems like yesterday that I was the only one in the room who could send an email from the table (using my PDA). Anyway, technology has it's useful place and even getting to the moon took less capability than most mobiles have today. I'm in the school where I'd like even more in some areas and less in my cars. If a human can't stay in their lane then they need to reconsider their need to be on the road. Gotta have some control and responsibility.
    C5 RS6: Sportec, Milltek & Wagner -- B5 RS4 : tastefully modified -- Audi 1.8 quattro 132 Kw -- UNIMOG 404 TLF8

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