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S3 Cabriolet/Ingolstadt Factory Tour/600 Miles on a Tank/Lamborghini Factory Tour

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Staz, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 2, 2008]
    Hi guys,

    I’m just back from holiday Lake Garda and I thought I’d share a few experiences with you as well as just a few of the 1200 pictures we took!

    S3 Cabriolet

    We saw this about 10 miles from Ingolstadt. I tried to get my missus to get a picture of the front too but she failed. I think it’s a test mule......

    [​IMG]


    Ingolstadt Factory Tour

    The drive into Ingolstadt itself was pretty unreal. Literally every 3rd car is an Audi. Mostly within 3 years old. Once we got closer to the factory area those numbers went up to about 2 in every 3!

    The factory itself is huge. We were early so went for a quick look around:

    [​IMG]

    Toward the south end is more the public area though:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Inside the main reception building is a cafe, large shop and also the handover section for people collecting their new cars direct:

    [​IMG]

    We were of course not allowed to take photos on the tour itself but basically it started off with a quick slideshow presentation showing the facilities at Ingolstadt and what cars are made there, and then also the same for the other European factories.

    Next we went to the pressing section for A4 body panels. We saw the machines that cut the long rolls of sheet steel into sections and then the machines that bend them into the right shape.

    After that we saw the robots that construct at body of the A4. They are very proud of their robots that work wirelessly. Basically the computer is told what car with what features is to be produced next and then as the car moves along the line each robot knows exactly what part to fit to it, for example an S-Line model has different wings to a non S-Line. The A4 saloon, estate and the A5 are all made on the same line and in a seemingly random order.

    This line also incorporates a buffer so if a machine goes down there are still plenty of made up bodies that can carry on to the next stage.

    We then moved onto the production line for the A3, A3 SB and S3. Here the ready made and painted bodies move continuously down a line, initially suspended from the ceiling while workers add parts here and there to it. Of course starting from the soundproofing and heat resistant panels working up to fitting the final parts which are the seats. It was really amazing to see where my car was built and possibly the actual workers! I saw three RHD S3s being built, a Sprint Blue SB, White SB with Nav+ and a black 3dr. Anyone on here??

    At the end of the line a worker gets in and takes the car for a short drive where he then tests all the main electrics such as the wipers. Not every car is tested 100% as it takes about 2 hours per car.

    That was basically it. 2 hours long and very much worth €7 I think (4 for my student lady friend).

    We then took a slow walk around the Audi Museum. A tour is also available there but after a 6 hour drive starting at 0400 I wasn’t in the mood really.
    On the way to our hotel we took a drive around the back of the entire complex where the holding area is. These are cars waiting to be loaded on trains/lorries or being collected by customers at the factory:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    600 Mile Range

    I did a bit of research and managed to find the closest Shell garage to the Austrian border so I could fill up my car for the last time with tax free fuel (plus 20l in cans!):

    [​IMG]

    Then on a stretch through Austria the traffic was a constant 55-60mph and I noticed my range going up and up. I kept taking pictures each time is increased and the highest it got to was 550 miles (I slowed down a touch and put the cruise on just to see what the car was capable of), I had reset the trip counter when I filled up by the way. Not bad for a 300bhp (ish) car!

    [​IMG]

    Lamborghini Factory Tour

    Another early start and we took a drive to Sant’ Agata for our pre-booked tour.
    We arrived early and I ended up in the queue for the carpark with what turned out to be all the factory workers and ended up being let into the workers car park! As we drove around the back I saw inside a large room that was full of Lambos waiting for collection. One was under a cover but I managed to make out that there were 2 Reventóns in there! No chance to get a pic though I’m afraid. We did see this though:

    [​IMG]

    A nice man then came to tell us we had to leave as we were in the wrong place. You actually have to park at the side of the road outside the factory! We got there in time though as we saw 2 Gallardos covered in stickers and strips going in the delivery entrance. Not sure what they were but they weren’t the new LP 560-4!

    Anyway, the tour...

    We were escorted by a lovely Italian lady who said Mama Mia a lot and did actually put an O at the end of every word!

    She took us through a history of Lamborghini and then though the model history up until the company was sold to Audi. She seemed very passionate about the cars and it was really interesting to see where the different design cues came from.

    We then had to put our cameras away in lockers before we were taken through a door to the rear of the building where we were greeted by a long road leading away from us with about 20-30 Lamborghinis either side! :yahoo: I had goose bumps! My missus nearly fainted, and then we heard a V12 start up somewhere from the line and she made a purring noise!!

    We moved into the production facility. There are 3 main areas there, the Gallardo line, Murciélago line and then the engine line. Most parts arrive in boxes from Germany (the Gallardo body is made in the same factory as the R8) but the engines are made in Sant’ Agata apparently!

    Each production line is very similar to that at Ingolstadt. It’s a lot shorter however and the conveyor only moves every 45 minutes allowing the workers to do a lot more things. Also the workers all wear smart black Lamborghini polo shirts (€66 from the shop) and have better haircuts.

    So that’s about it. It was €35 for 2 hours but it was still worth the money!
    A few pics:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Also I noticed the front car parks were full of Audis all registered in Ingolstadt:

    [​IMG]

    And finally...

    A couple of pictures of my car near Lake Garda:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Thanks for reading :happy:
    #1
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  3. jamiekip
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    jamiekip Guest

    [Sep 2, 2008]
    Awesome trip mate!
    Great read... tell me more about the 2 Gallardo's that weren't 560/4's????
    Interesting you spotted an S3 cabrio.... did it have the S3's grill, chrome mirrors, oval exhausts etc....... not sure it'd be up my street mind......
    Also, noticed you had the new facelift tailights on your car in sprint blue... got anymore pic's???
    #2
  4. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Sep 2, 2008]
    Could always be someone that put a S3 badge on a normal one mind.
    #3
  5. madalex
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    madalex S3-less untill December

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    [Sep 2, 2008]
    Awesummmmmmm mate . Im going to do this in my new facelift . Might even collect it from audi factory . Still unsure if i would wanna use a brand new car for a long dirty drive stright away if u get what i mean
    #4
  6. I'mRonBurgundy?
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    I'mRonBurgundy? Lets make that kitten purr...

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    [Sep 2, 2008]
    Wheels look a bit small...
    #5
  7. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 2, 2008]
    It certainly was mate!

    The Gallardos were mostly covered up but the headlights looked completely different. They looked like they were made up of multiple bulbs/LEDs. A bit like the Nuvolari. The tour guide hinted that there was new model coming out also.

    I was being sarcastic with the S3 Cabrio mate. It was an S-Line and just had the badge on the back but it did have the S3 grill on the front! I had a bit of fun with him though. I was only cruising when he went past, I caught up to get the pics and then sped off :thumbsup:

    More tailight pics here: http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showpost.php?p=594502&postcount=68

    It's a good chance to run it in ready for modding! Plus it's an interesting day.

    It's a bloody long way though!
    #6
  8. S3 Big Andy
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    S3 Big Andy Stealth Beast Baby Yay

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    [Sep 2, 2008]
    Audi cant make an S3 cabio as the chassis wont take the strain, or the quattro, in fact none of the A3 cab's will be quattro!!
    #7
  9. TrickyLad
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    TrickyLad is loving his new A3

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    my dad is looking at getting a new lp560-4 in march next year and guy in showroom said that they could arrange for a tour of the factory and actually watch the car being built and meet the people building it.

    I like the comment about the people making the cars in expensive polos with good hair. i met some of the lambo test drivers and they are all male model candidates, imagine how successful they are with the ladies.

    Is it worth the trip then, i might mention it at the weekend as a good idea.

    My mates brother is in the army and he is based outside of Ingolstadt, and he says he sees loads of amazing audis driving around. Which prompted him to say when he saw mine "thats the worst audi i have ever seen" :shrug:
    and he is probably right if he lives next to the factory producing shine new S3 and RS6
    #8
  10. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    The girl working on the reception desk was a stunner too!

    If he has any passion for Lamborghinis then it should be on his list of things to do! It's always been on my list and I have loved them since I used to play with a Countach Micromachine!


    There were loads of RS4s parked around the factory area for sure but the specs of most of the Audis in the area weren't that different from in the UK though. It's just that there are more of them.

    Where is he posted? I didn't know there were any bases down there. I may ask for a posting there! lol
    #9
  11. TrickyLad
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    TrickyLad is loving his new A3

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    not sure where he is based, he said he is based just outside of town where all the audis are made, i assume he means ingolstadt

    he drives a focus ST so i tend to ignore what he says.


    think will probably be paying a visit to sant agata in the new year then. might have to look into this new model gallardo, he wont be happy buying the lp560 in march and then they spring another new model a few months later.

    be surprised if its a new model, probably a special order one.
    #10
  12. Doublemint1984
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    Doublemint1984 Member

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    On a german forum there was a guy that put some bits to his A3 cabriolet to make it look like an S3 cabrio.
    Can't find it now, but im almost sure it was him.

    If it is a test mule it would surely be registered in Ingolstadt.
    #11
  13. MarcQuinlivan
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    MarcQuinlivan Active Member

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    looks like there is an s-line badge on the front wing:
    [​IMG]

    and his mirrors aren't alumunium either - plus he has the s-line diffuser.
    #12
  14. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    To be fair i don't understand what that guy (or girl) has tried to achieve there. Clearly an S-Line with an S3 badge bolted to the back :shrug:

    Anyway i must say i'd love to go and collect mine from the Audi Factory. Does anyone know if your car has to be manufactured in ingolstadt in order for you to collect it there or is the car shipped there for collection from anywhere?? e.g. Hungary etc.
    #13
  15. jamiekip
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    jamiekip Guest

    [Sep 3, 2008]
    eyes like a hawk Marc!!
    :detective2:
    #14
  16. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    Great photo and really interesting
    hope you had a good time
    #15
  17. Iggu
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    Iggu Active Member

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    Superb write up Stazman - enjoyed every word. How did you keep the German bug swarm off the front of your car though ? Did you get the missus to give it a clean before those pics ?? Nice rear light mod too.
    #16
  18. MarcQuinlivan
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    MarcQuinlivan Active Member

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    "attention to detail" is my middle name.... (actually it is anthony, but you get what I'm saying!)
    #17
  19. MarcQuinlivan
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    MarcQuinlivan Active Member

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    s\he also doesn't have the S3 side skirts.
    #18
  20. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    Cheers duuude!

    I had to clean the windscreen every time I filled up but it wasn't so bad on the route down as it wasn't that hot and I didn't go too fast.

    The route back was 25-29 degrees and I had the cruise on at 120mph most of the way. I could hardly see out by the time I got back!!
    #19
  21. S3 LTN
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    S3 LTN Guest

    [Sep 3, 2008]
    Excellent write-up mate. Glad you had a good time.

    Hmm got me thinking about the rear facelift lights...
    They look ok to me now after finally seeing them on another Sprint blue.
    #20
  22. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    Thanks mate!

    I liked them at first anyway but now I really like them a lot, they stand out more because they're so red.
    #21
  23. TDI-line
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    TDI-line Uber Post Whore

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    Lovely write up Leon.

    I think that white S3 SB with Nav+ is my one.
    #22
  24. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    :icon_thumright:
    #23
  25. Doublemint1984
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    Doublemint1984 Member

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    #24
  26. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    #25
  27. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    Great write-up Leon.

    I've been to Ingolstadt 3 times now and had two factory tours. The first with a group but the tour was all in German. The second time I had booked a tour in English and my wife and myself were the only two. The chap who took us round was happy to chat and explain everything and what should have been a 2 hour tour ended up a just over 4 hours.

    I agree about the insects!!! - when we go to Austria or Switzerland on holiday it's a matter of stopping quite often to clean them off the screen, unless of course it pours with rain. Usually the first thing I do when we get to Austria is put the car through a car-wash. There is an excellent one just down the road from our normal hotel.
    #26
  28. MarcQuinlivan
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    MarcQuinlivan Active Member

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    #27
  29. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 3, 2008]
    To be honest I wasn't too bothered about washing the car as a whole ever since leaving UK. I travelled from Wales to Harwich one day, Hook of Holland to Osnabruck the next, Osnabruck to Ingolstadt next and then Ingolstadt to Garda the following day. Then I knew I'd be driving about a lot while I was there followed by the drive back here at the end so I didn't see the point. My car still got plenty of attention from the Italians though :)
    #28

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