As the advertising gurus working on behalf of Mitre 10 Mega are keen to remind us, big is good. And in many aspects of life, the grand certainly does tend to eclipse the diminutive. Not too many headlines are made about people celebrating small lottery wins, Hollywood blockbusters are rarely made about the lives of small-time celebrities and in the entire history of the internet the number of spam e-mails featuring promises of a reduced gentleman’s department totals precisely zero.
So you would imagine the boys and girls at Audi would have been delighted this week when the 10,000,000th example of the 80/A4 model rolled off the production line at their Ingolstadt plant. But seeing as the celebration largely consisted of making a grunt from the shop floor hold up a hastily assembled sign up in front of the vehicle which took them through the milestone – which, despite being the sporty S4 version, was essentially no different to any of the others – it seems not.
I would like to think that thanks to their inherently sensible Teutonic nature, the four-ringed wonders had actually worked out that their ‘achievement’ was really nothing much to shout about; after all, despite some badge familiarity, they hadn’t made ten million of the same car.
Any claim that the current S4 is in some way linked to the original 80 which clunked and whirred its way out of the factory in 1966 is nothing short of ridiculous. The performance, safety and comfort are so many leagues apart, that the only real connection between the two is that they perform the same basic function. And that is like BAE Systems celebrating a billion Challenger Tanks because they’ve counted all the horses and elephants that served as heavy weaponry in wars before technology came along. Read the rest of this entry »