THE runway at the Tinson Pen Aerodome on Marcus Garvey Drive, provided the perfect setting for the unveiling of the new Audi 6 on Wednesday evening.
ATL-branded 'flight attendants' lined either side of the red carpet leading up to the Sandals hangar where the car stood undercover before it was revealed.
That was the second event ATL Automotive was hosting in a day, the earlier one being the official ground breaking ceremony for its two terminals — Audi and Volkswagen — in New Kingston. And, like the first, the guest list included government officials, business leaders, bankers, corporate leaders and other professionals.
"In my 25 years in the industry, it's the first time that I have ever been to two functions of this magnitude in one day, " Diego Ramos, vice president of Audi for Latin America and the Caribbean told Auto, in his thick Spanish accent. "We broke ground for a state-of-the-art-facility today and it will be the same kind of presentation that a customer will get in Tokyo, Munich, or in Los Angeles."
Ramos was, however, was even more excited about introducing the new Audi A6 to the Jamaican market.
"This new A6 is the business car of the world. It is ideal for successful people...like entrepreneurs, lawyers and engineers. It's for anyone who appreciates technology and performance," he said.
Ramos said the car was 80 kilos lighter than the previous model so it used less fuel. He said last year Audi sold 1.3 million cars worldwide and sales in Latin America and the Caribbean increased by 36 per cent.
"I am happy to see that our partner, ATL, is in line with our philosophy of best product, highest customer satisfaction and passion for excellence," Ramos said.
Adam Stewart, deputy chairman of the ATL Group, was equally optimistic about the brand's potential.
"Since 2010, when we approached Audi automotive — through its Latin American offices — to represent the brand in Jamaica, we've had explosive growth," said Stewart. "Our sales have grown from 14 Audis a year to 120 units a year - that's a 700 per cent growth in our very first year," he said.
"We are projecting 25 per cent more in 2012, which would make Audi the number one brand in the premium segment," Stewart continued.
He had a similar success story to tell about Volkswagen brand.
Then it was time for the ATL deputy chairman to switch gears to introducing the evening's 'special guest' - the 2012 Audi A6.
"This car epitomizes Audi's positioning of lighter cars, with better performance. It combines the Lamborghini and Porshe technology," he said.
This seventh-generation A6 sedan is over 16 feet long and six wide. Its optional LED headlight gives the vehicle its distinctive appearance. The numerous aluminium components and the high-tech steels reduce its weight roughly by 66 pounds.
"We have the three-litre, V-6 supercharge Audi, which moves from 0 to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds. We also have the 2.8-litre, with an eight-speed multitronic transmission and the two-litre, four-cylinder with an eight-speed multitronic transmission," Stewart told his audience. "And, the styling, the safety features and the number of options these cars have, is mind blowing."
The price tag for the two-litre starts at $7.3m, while the three-litre goes for $10.3m.
Twelve test cars were parked on the runway for guests who wanted to get close and personal with new Audi. And, they didn't hesitate to do so!
Audi A6 3.0 TSFI quattro
Transmission 7 speed S tronic
Top Speed 150 mph
0-62 mph 5.9 sec
Max power, BHP 300
Max torque, Nm at rpm 440/2,900-4,500
Audi A6 FSI quarto
Transmission 8-speed multitronic
Top speed 144 mph
0-62 mph 8.1
Max power, BHP 2773
Max torque, Nm at rpm 280/3000-5000
Audi A6 2.0 TSFI
Transmission 8-speed multitronic
Top Speed 137 mph
0-62 mph 8.2 sec
Max power, BHP 190
Max torque, Nm at rpm 280/1800-4200