Australia Region Blogs
Four Rings in New Zealand
New Zealand is known as Middle Earth in many-Oscars-Academy-Awards-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy. The most captivating and magical settings for the world-class movie making are abundant here. Hobbiton, Mt. Doom, Eregion Hills and the pillars of Argonath were all filmed here. So, when I received an invitation to a wedding in Christchurch, New Zealand, I didn’t hesitate. I made the plan to attend the wedding and explore Middle Earth.
As soon as I cleared Custom at Christchurch International Airport, I shopped for the suitable rental car. Avis had the 2009 Audi A4 convertible in its fleet. It would have been a great choice, but the car was not available. Others offered Hyundai Accent or similar Asian cars. My eyes caught an advertisement in the Welcome to New Zealand brochure. There was a car rental company just outside the airport offering older European cars; Audi, Mercedes, and BMW. They happened to have only one European car left. It was a 2000 Audi A3. For relatively the same amount of money, I had to choose between a brand new Hyundai Accent and a 9-year old Audi A3.
Picture Gallery, Multimedia Map
Driving through the deserted lush Mt.Wilson rain forest, just 120 km northwest of Sydney of Route 40, I fall madly in love with this Cabrio. What a marvelous sound this Ibis white Audi A3 Cabrio 2.0T produces. When I upshift the S-tronic dual clutch gearbox, the RPM revs up briefly as the clutch disengages the second gear, and then the RPM goes down to synchronize with the third gear. During this lighting-speed sequence of precision events, the turbo has more pressure than the engine needs at lower RPM on the third gear.
Picture Gallery, Multimedia Driving Map
The pressurized air needs to go somewhere or it would produce a potentially damaging back pressure on the turbo blades. To avoid this back pressure and to make sure that the turbo doesn’t loose too much rotation to maintain some boost threshold for the next acceleration, the blow off valve releases the excess pressure during this syncopation. This blow off valve produces a unique pleasing bass drum sound.
With the top and windows down, the sporty and alluring sounds coming in rhythmic fashion from the blow off valve and exhaust massage my eardrums as I shift the S-tronic. This energizing soundtrack invokes an image in my mind; Audi designers and engineers in Ingolstadt were having a grandiose time tuning the notes of the Audi A3 Cabrio turbo and exhaust sounds in the space-age technology Bang & Olufson echo free acoustic foam chamber.