A quick glance will not note anything special about this white 2010 A4L. The extra 2.36 inches leg room for the back passengers doesn’t impact the dynamic roof line and the original well proportioned sporty silhouette. Unless there is a standard A4 next to it, most people will not even notice the difference. However, once we sit in the back, the extra leg room is greatly appreciated. Since 2000, Audi has been very successful in selling A6L in China. A4L is definitely following its brother’s footstep. For 22 years, Audi has been the number one premium brand in China. In 2007, China became the largest Audi export market surpassing UK and US. In 2009, there are about a total of 600,000 Audi cars. Based on the increasing number of yearly sales, China is poised to become the largest Audi export market in the world…


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It doesn’t take market research or a special inquiry to the Audi country office to learn which model is the best selling. Just look around the highways and city streets—we cannot go for a mile without running into at least one black A6L. It is very common to see a wedding procession that consists of over a dozen black A6Ls and some black A8Ls on weekends. In recent years, people in China started to desire other models such as Q5, A4L, and TT. Foreign or international driving licenses are not recognized in China. A foreigner must apply for a local permit to drive. So, for this trip, I am being chauffeured around instead. Being a passenger in an Audi, which I rarely do, gives me a different perspective…


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One of Audi passions is to ensure that the Audi experience around the world is the same and consistent. From the passenger perspective, I notice such consistency in the level of comfort and luxury. The high quality and craftsmanship of the interior and the instruments, including the tactile feel, are the same as the A4 model in US and Europe. This A4 features the MMI instrument vertically between the climate control instrument and the main air condition vents on the central console instead of horizontally behind the gear shifter. The MMI button is proportionally smaller in size and doesn’t have the mini joystick in the center since this car doesn’t have the 3G satellite navigational system…


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Following the morning exploration of the city center, we head out of town in the northeast direction. After about one hour drive (60km), through some elevated city highways and ring roads, Jingcheng Express way, and local access roads towards Huairou city, we follow the sign for Mutianyu through a winding mountain road. There are several villages with narrow and uneven gravel roads to pass. The longer wheelbase and the customized chassis and suspension for the Chinese roads make this ride very comfortable. And despite the fact the suspension is tuned for comfort, when driven through the switchbacks, this A4L feels very confident. The 2.0 TFSI produces ample power to give us some exhilarating ride on the highways and mountain roads…


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For Audi enthusiasts, a visit to Beijing will not be complete without visiting Audi Forum in Beijing. From the Tiananmen gate, the Forum is three (large) city blocks to the east. Located in one of the most prestigious shopping malls in Beijing, Oriental Plaza, this Forum attracts the most visitors among Audi Forums in the world. Over 1000 people stop by the Forum daily. In the evening, the Forum also hosts many events covering a variety of topics; health, wine, jewelry, charity, music, and others. A white menacing Audi R8 V10 greets visitors at the main entrance. Other cars that are displayed here are A8 W12, S8, RS6, Q5, Q7 and the upcoming A1. One main attraction that is unique to this Audi Forum is the large sinuous multimedia wall. The dynamic and engaging multimedia program displays short video clips on racing history, design and manufacturing processes, and lifestyles…
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Traffic during commute hours in Beijing can be very tiring. Long waits and bumper to bumper cars moving at a snail’s pace are daily occurrences. The weather in Beijing can be draining to its inhabitants. Bone-chilling temperatures with arctic wind chill factor in the early spring can be made worse by a sand storm coming from the desert. Thankfully, in this apocalyptic weather, our A4L isolates us from the nature’s wrath. The front and back silky-smooth leather seats, the extra leg room in the back, the noise reduction material used in the car interior, and the concert-hall quality audio system create a tranquil oasis for us. The rear passengers can adjust the rear temperature separately from the front by adjusting the controls found just behind the middle front-passenger hand rest. Being driven in an A4L, I experience what the Chinese market wants; exceptional comforts, abundant interior space, superb quality, unparallel luxury, and dynamic design…


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