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Met a test team from Audi at the Gilroy Supercharger!

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
We just had an interesting encounter at the Gilroy Supercharger.


We were returning from a long weekend in Santa Barbara and stopped for a top off at Gilroy before getting home. As we drove in there was a Silver P85 with Michigan plates just pulled into the Supercharger, but at one of the two old slow ones.


I went to the far end and plugged in to start charging and we got out to stroll over to the bathrooms. So I went over to the car where the guy had plugged in - one was in the drivers seat and his passenger was peering in through the door.


At the same time there was an Audi A7 pulled in the other side of the lot, and the two guys were out and filming the P85.


I went up to the driver and said that he was on the slowest charger and he would be better off at the other end where I was plugged in (there were no other cars there). The two guys had their phones out and were talking and looked quite shocked when I started talking, but mumbled back that he was sure they would get a full charge.


At the same time my wife started talking to the 'tourists' doing the filming and the older German gentleman started talking about how much he like the Red and that it was multicoat and looked good in the sun.


So we strolled off and came back around 10 minutes later. They had moved the car down next to mine and all 4 guys were now standing talking in front of our car.


We started talking about our trip and they said they were driving down the coast tomorrow and it became evident thay were all together, so:


"Are you on a tour doing sightseeing?"


"Testing"


"Testing what, the Tesla?"


"Yes"


"Who for, yourselves?"


"A Company"


At that exact moment an A4 drove up and parked next to the A7. Both had Colorado plates and the A4 had 2 PC screens built onto the dash! So:


"What kind of company?"


"A car company"


"Perhaps Audi?"


He laughed and nodded "Might be..."


So we then had a long talk - basically questions and answers - would you buy another Tesla? I mentioned we had done more miles in the Tesla since we got it, as we love driving trips so much - so:


"Ever had trouble on a driving trip?" I mentioned a problem Supercharging and how Tesla had read the logs, diagnosed the issue (cooling fan) and told us it was safe to drive home, then fixed it a couple of days later.


"What about Range Anxiety?" We talked about the first long trip - I had a spreadsheet, now I just aim at the next SC and don't worry. They talked about the lack of infrastructure in Germany - I mentioned that Tesla was building a very viable Supercharger network there!


All very friendly and interesting - so if you see a Silver P85 and two Audis at Atascadero tomorrow or around, say hi and how much you like Tesla!


A couple of thoughts in closing - the P85 had Michigan plates, and all the guys said they were from Germany or Colorado, yet it really looked like their first ever Supercharger experience - could the MS be a factory loaner and they had just driven it down from Fremont or Palo Alto?
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,477
9,594
Drammen, Norway
Very interesting story! Thanks for sharing. Don't you think most likely they own this car? Did you see if it seemed modified or rigged somehow?
 

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
I didn't see any kind of mods to the Tesla. The Audis were obviously modded. The thing that stood out was the 'body language' around using the SC - they looked like I felt when I first drove up to one!

If they had driven it from Colorado, they would be very casual by now, so had they just collected it?
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,519
2,984
I went up to the driver and said that he was on the slowest charger and he would be better off at the other end where I was plugged in (there were no other cars there). The two guys had their phones out and were talking and looked quite shocked when I started talking, but mumbled back that he was sure they would get a full charge.
Listening comprehension failure on their part.

Sure, I can get a full charge on 110V but not before dying of boredom. Rate matters. Car people should know that. Especially high performance car brand people.
 

ckessel

Active Member
Jan 15, 2011
4,447
276
Well, good! I want Audi and BMW and such to figure out what's going on so they can make competitive EVs. The fact that it's been 2 years and they're still in research mode on how the S works shows they've still got a lot of work to do.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,519
2,984
Well, good! I want Audi and BMW and such to figure out what's going on so they can make competitive EVs. The fact that it's been 2 years and they're still in research mode on how the S works shows they've still got a lot of work to do.
Every time I see Audi representatives (every few months at track outings), I make a point of asking "when are you going to offer an upgrade for my Model S?"

I have yet to hear even the beginning of a good answer from them.
 

Lump

Active Member
Mar 31, 2013
2,617
2,399
So. Cal.
I remember BMW buying a MS, they brought it to a supercharger on a flatbed to figure out how the thing worked.
 

JST

Active Member
May 23, 2013
1,560
222
Interesting that the Model S had Michigan plates. Did you notice--did they have an M in the middle (ie, manufacturer plates)?

VW/Audi used to be HQ'd in Michigan but now they are out in Reston, VA.
 

widodh

Model S 85 and 100D
Jan 23, 2011
6,853
2,771
Venlo, NL
A few years ago I spoke to a Tesla ranger here in Europe when he was coming by to do some work on the Roadster. He told me that Audi had bought a Roadster and had it delivered at their factory. They also got requests for spare parts and Audi simply let Tesla send them to their office in Germany.

I'm sure that all the big car companies bought both a Roadster and Model S and completely took them apart. No doubt about that.
 

AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
Every time I see Audi representatives (every few months at track outings), I make a point of asking "when are you going to offer an upgrade for my Model S?"

I have yet to hear even the beginning of a good answer from them.

Haha. I really hope Audi gets on the ball with EVs. I've enjoyed every one that I've owned to date.
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,763
8,734
A couple of thoughts in closing - the P85 had Michigan plates, and all the guys said they were from Germany or Colorado, yet it really looked like their first ever Supercharger experience - could the MS be a factory loaner and they had just driven it down from Fremont or Palo Alto?

I have seen other German car companies with test cars using Michigan manufacturer plates. I don't think it means that the car was acquired or ever necessarily has been in Michigan, just that is where they registered as a manufacturer and so they bring those plates to their R&D offices in other states to put on cars that they are 'benchmarking'. The plate isn't permanently assigned to that vehicle... It is a temporary plate they can move from vehicle to vehicle.
 

Aury

Member
Jun 29, 2014
38
0
USA
Audi engineers have no issues telling they're from Audi. They also have the largest test track in the world from VW. Whoever they were, they weren't from Audi, they don't go on secret james bond missions.

- - - Updated - - -

The fact that it's been 2 years and they're still in research mode on how the S works shows they've still got a lot of work to do.

Audi doesn't believe the time is ripe for them yet for full EV. Their hybrids are direct injection turbos, of which they were the first to produce them large scale, and the benefit of TDI is really good MPG. Their decision not to go full EV has to do with the fact they make amazing direct injection turbo engines. You won't see them make a BEV for a while I think, they don't believe battery tech is ripe yet, they have said they might consider a BEV in the future, but their main focus is hybrids now. It's not unwillingness or research mode, it's a difference in market strategy.
 

RobStark

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2013
10,313
52,830
City of Champions, USA
Audi engineers have no issues telling they're from Audi.

And you know this how?


They also have the largest test track in the world from VW.

Irrelevant.

Whoever they were, they weren't from Audi, they don't go on secret james bond missions.

Again, you know this how?

Audi doesn't believe the time is ripe for them yet for full EV.

No kidding, just like every OEM outside of Tesla and Nissan.




Their hybrids are direct injection turbos, of which they were the first to produce them large scale, and the benefit is really good MPG. Their decision not to go full EV has to do with the fact they make amazing direct injection turbo engines.


Do they get an amazing 89+ MPG like Tesla gets 89+ MPGe from the EPA for the Model S?
 

Aury

Member
Jun 29, 2014
38
0
USA
Ok, maybe 5 engineers flew over from Germany on a secret mission to film Tesla's supercharger, all the while Audi has said they're not interested in EV right now. Call me crazy, but it makes absolutely no sense.

- - - Updated - - -

Do they get an amazing 89+ MPG like Tesla gets 89+ MPGe from the EPA for the Model S?

You tell me, using EPA data is completely inaccurate since the agency is full of fraudsters. http://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2010/11/24/the-epas-electric-vehicle-mileage-fraud/2/

Same is true for hybrids, all EPA data is filled with fraud.

As far as direct injection turbos, yes they have good MPG as far as ICE go, a V4 TDI has much better MPG than a similar V6.
 

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
630
494
San Diego, California
Maybe I was making it all up?

they didn't deny anything, they didn't have a giant illuminated sign saying AUDI either. they were friendly, talkative (we covered quite a bit of other stuff as well) and very well informed.

Neither do I have an agenda - several other members here have met me, and I don't think they would expect 'flights of fancy' from me.


However, believe what you want.
 

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