After registering your name, and booking your own test-drive, you are greeted by the spine-tingling sound of screeching wheels and aromatic scent of burning rubber. To your left, a large track, with two Audi A1s, are tearing up the pavement with passengers on the edge of their seats, as professional drivers Abdo and William show us what those tiny red and white monsters were capable of.
However, while you wait your turn (or your second, third and fourth turn) you can admire the complete Audi arsenal on display to your right, the different A1 models and colors huddle up next to the white inflatable tent, and of course, the top-of the line s-line A1 Turbo, displayed in the middle of the tent.
The same tent where you could drive the A1 in GT5 on a PS3, or on a special-edition Asphalt 6 game on one of the iPads also available. On the decks, was none other than Jade, spinning the perfect soundtrack for the erected speed and precision track.
A1 hats and merchandise decorated the 200 or so winners and invitees, with delicious fruity cocktails and hot Crepaway food making sure everyone was well-fed and well-hydrated in the searing 30 degree sun.
Renowned Lebanese driver Abdo Feghali didn’t just stick to his red A1, but on his “break”, he put the Audi R8 and the Audi TT RS through their paces, much to the delight of everyone present.
For all you techies and petrol-heads, CBK was kind enough to summarize it in language you can understand better: The Audi A1 is not just any hatchback mini car. Its class is the supermini, where its rivals are the Mini S and the MTO. Its a front wheel drive car, and it hosts a 4-cylinder 1.4 Twincharged engine that delivers a whopping 122 HP, and for such a light car that amounts to alot of power. At first sight the car looks humble enough, but once inside, that small car is a monster. With a top speed of over 200 Km/hr and a 7speed tiptronic gearbox, this car has it covered when it comes to raw power. However it dosen’t stop here. The Audi A1 has all the latest safety features including, and not limited to front and side airbags, the latest ABS and ESP technologies which we got a firsthand demonstration of courtesy of none other than the great Abdo Feghali. In short, this car is a well rounded supermini that can bring serious competition to the market.
All in all, it was awesome fun, and the A1 is a beautiful machine. It comes with a hefty price tag though, north of 45,000 USD, but hey, as the Lebanese saying goes, “Kil shi bi 7a22o” (meaning: you get what you pay for) and for the first time in the luxury hatchback department, I’d definitely prefer something over the Mini Cooper S.