Streets of San Francisco (2005 Audi S4 Avant)
Driving over the brow of Fillmore at Broadway hill, the glorious panoramic view of Marina district, Alcatraz, and Golden Gate Bridge fills my windshield. After many years conditioned in the technology way of life, I started to believe that this beauty could only be enjoyed and experienced by going to the IMAX theater, or by watching a Discovery Channel. But today, I experience this beauty from the comfort of my Recaro bucket seat while listening to the Audi Symphony Bose stereo system playing the Tony Bennett’s “I left my heart in San Francisco.”
Due to the comfort of routines, the security of familiars, and the tranquility of repetitions, I took everything around me for granted; thinking that everything would always be there and stay the same. So I decided, today, I would slow down and smell the roses. I would roam around my beautiful town and hunt for the steepest roads of San Francisco in my beloved Audi S4 Avant...
The Pacific Heights neighborhood is still waking up. The sonorous burble of the 4.2 liter V8 engine bounces of the houses on Fillmore Street as I scale down this steep hill. The Tiptronic transmission allows me to downshift to the first gear using the paddle shifter even though I have left the gear on D mode. The smart logic knows that I am performing engine braking, so it doesn’t shift up..
Having the power of 340 Spartans under the hood makes driving around San Francisco a treasure hunting; searching for steepest road to climb. This Audi ignores the 25 to 31.5 percent gradient of the San Franciscan steepest roads. I put the gear on the S mode and I gun for the hill. My internal organs are squashed by the acceleration force. The sky is approaching at a very high speed. This must be the view observed by the Space Shuttle astronauts during lift-off...
As I navigate my car towards the Financial District, I am comfortably cradled in the 12-way adjustable silk Napa leather Recaro bucket seat. The lowered sport suspension with the 235/35 18 inch wheels provides a comfortable precise ride despite the harsh and pimpled road surface. It is a wonder to me how the S4 Avant can have dual personalities...
When I take this very same car to the Laguna Seca race track, this car makes me feel like Allan McNish navigating the Le Mans Audi R10 through the hairpins, switchbacks, and corkscrews at hugely fast speed with unwavering confident. Many tried and failed to combine performance and practicality. Only the passionate one can truly gain the combined mastery of engineering, craftsmanship and sportsmanship...
The sky is clear blue, but there is a layer of fog covering the bottom part of the Golden Gate Bridge. Ten years I have been living in this town, only now I soak the city as it is meant to be. Driving my S4 on the streets of San Francisco gives me a new sense of appreciation for those white coat gear heads in Ingolstadt. This car doesn’t feel and go like an Audi because it is an Audi, which means it is always ready to thrill you in the seductive and naughty way and yet at the same time be practical and comfortable. I just realize now that I am living the dream...