There was Spanish in the air and a line of Audi A4s on the road between Guadalajara and Mexico City, Mexico, two Thursdays ago as the luxury line's totally redesigned flagship sedan was presented to journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean.
The drive down the cobblestone-style road from Guadalajara's mountainous outskirts onto the generally smooth dual carriageway highway leading to the Mexican capital came the day after the new A4 was officially presented at a press conference and dinner at Camino D'Vinos, at an elevation slightly higher than Mountain Peak.
While Gabriel Ramirez, product and price specialist for Audi Latin America, gave details of the vehicle's specifications and performance, highlighting the numerous improvements on the older model, Martin Port explained to Automotives how it all translates into real-world handling.
Port, the area sales manager of Audi Latin America, said that the new A4's tagline translates roughly to "technology that appeals to the emotions, which excites".
"This was the idea and objective when developing this car," Port said. "and, for me, it is a perfect combination of adding new technology, but not leaving out the human side. It has a lot of advantages over the previous A4."
Port said the sedan is "more attractive, more intelligent and more fun to drive".
In terms of aesthetics, Port pointed out that the A4 is now longer and broader, but keeps the same height, giving the car a sportier design. "There are clear lines and clean surfaces, which also create something elegant," Port said. Naturally, with the increased dimensions comes more interior space, "especially in the back seat", Port said. "The increased space makes it more practical in daily use."
The A4 is laden with user-friendly technology, which includes safety features like park assist, exit warning and new headlight technology (the entry model has a Xenon system, so there are no more halogen lights in the A4 range), along with the heads up display and virtual cockpit. At the upper end the A4 has a Matrix system with intelligent lights, which automatically focuses on obstacles or dim to allow drivers of oncoming vehicles better visibility.
For Port, this all adds up making "the car much more fun to drive". Handling is vastly improved with the sedan's weight down by 110 kilogrammes. At the same time, though, engine power and fuel efficiency are up by 25 per cent, this combined with a lowest in class drag coefficient. It all adds up to a very smooth ride, Port emphasised\.
"This you will feel in each and every curve," Port promised.
And he has high hopes for the A4 in Jamaica, which Port described as "one of the most important markets to us in the Caribbean". Jamaica will be one of the first countries in the region where the A4 will be officially introduced.With ATL as the brand's representative in the country, Port said Audi is "very confident with our partner in Jamaica. We are glad to have such a strong partner in ATL. It is clearly reflected in the market", Port said, pointing out that while the premium motor vehicle segment of the Jamaican market shrunk overall by 13 per cent last year, Audi grew by five per cent.
Now, he said, "We have great expectations of the A4", the intention being to double 2015 sales figures of Audi's flagship sedan.
Next week: Behind the steering wheel of the all-new Audi A4