My A3 TDI European Delivery Story

automobiliben

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2010 Audi A3
Ok, I have been asked a couple times about my ED (ugh, yeah, that is European Delivery, not the other thing...), so I will post the story here as well:

Ok, an overview of the car in case you haven't read through the whole thread, it is a 2010 A3 TDI with the Titanium Package. We put 2013 miles on the car in two weeks while in Europe. Overall, I think that we averaged around 38mpg over the duration of the trip which included stops in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria.

Friday 5/21: Depart ORD arrive at JFK, miss flight to Pisa by literally 2 minutes. : ( Get upgraded to Business Class though on the flight out the next day, free hotel room.

Saturday 5/22: My wife had never been to NYC so we took the subway to downtown and did a bus tour.

The Plaza Hotel from Central Park.



Who doesn't need solar panels on their Maybach!



I am a big Seinfeld fan, and couldn't help but laugh and think of Kramer when I saw this



And then it was out to JFK to hop on an airplane. Champagne awaited us at our seats!

Sunday 5/23: After two hours of sleep awoken to a French Toast Breakfast and I was so stuffed I could barely move, luckily a couple hours later we landed in Pisa, Italy. Immediately off to the Leaning Tower to check it out.

I tried to push it over the rest of the way, but it just wouldn't budge!







Then we took a train from Pisa to Milan, shoved in a small room with 6 other people, during very hot temperatures, miserable!

Monday 5/24: We toured Milan for the day.

There was this castle (I forgot the name).





The Duomo, amazing, I can only imagine the craftsmanship that went into building such a thing





That night we took an overnight train from Milan to Munich, once again MISERABLE! Sweaty and hot, stuck in a room with 6 other people, once again got only about 2 hours of sleep...
 

automobiliben

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Feb 25, 2010
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Chicago
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2010 Audi A3
Tuesday 5/25: Delivery Day! Greeted at the Munich Central Station by Wagner, with an Audi sign. Driven to the Forum in a black A8L (I presume, for some reason probably 50% of the cars in Europe don't have badges identifying the model...). Delivery went pretty well, the majority of the people at the Forum DIDN'T speak English which was surprising and at times a bit of a problem. We had to ask for the Munich sticker, so remember to do this, for some reason it wasn't included in our paper work.
Here is the car parked out front of the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt, out of about 100 deliveries they did at the factory that day, only 4 were for Americans doing European Delivery. Multiples S3s, RS6s, and TTRSs...



In front of the Audi Museum:



We did the factory tour which included seeing almost everything, except the paint process, from stamping the steel for body components, to welding the body to the final assembly of the A3, we walked the whole line. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed...

Probably the car that got me started on Audis. My Dad and I went to the 12 hours of Sebring (when we lived in FL) and stood at these guys pits for about an hour, such a great experience/memory







And to be able to buy one of these one day, such a cool car.



These are all of the German/European owner cars in front of the forum that took delivery the same day I did.







Yes, this is a 200k Euro Q7 V12 TDI, didn't even know they made it

 

automobiliben

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2010 Audi A3
A shot of the inside of the Forum and the delivery area





And my car, waiting for us to pick it up!



After the factory tour, we toured the museum and got on the Autobahn to Dusseldorf. Got the car up to 120mph.

Wednesday 5/26: Leave Dusseldorf, head for Amsterdam. The only stop in Dusseldorf was our hotel and a brewery called Zum Uerige, definitely worth the stop, seeing actual barrels of beer being served and rolled around took you back into the old days.
In front of the hotel in Amsterdam, by far the coolest city I have ever traveled to, everyone was so nice there.



That is a bike parking garage in Amsterdam, I think they said it has room for close to 3k bikes.



Other stops in Amsterdam included, Arendsnest and In de Wildeman which are bars.

Thursday 5/27: Leave Amsterdam, head for Brussels but first we toured the Anne Frank House.



In front of the Onze Lieve Vrouw van Koningshoeven Abbey in the Netherlands, they make La Trappe brand of Trappist beer. My wife and I are both beer geeks, we stopped at lots of world renown bars and 4 of the 7 total Trappist Abbeys.



After La Trappe, we headed for the Westmalle brewery/monastery.



First time filling up the car, I wish that diesel would be this easy to find in the US...



Friday 5/28: We toured Brussels for the morning and then headed to Brugge for the night.

The Mannekin Pis in Brussels, not really sure why this thing is a big sightseeing hit, he is about 18" tall

 

automobiliben

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The Grand Place.



Our walking tour of Belgium was courtesy of Cantillon Brewery that has it on their website. It took you by all the big sites in the city and then ended at the brewery. I would definitely recommend both. The brewery has a self guided walking tour, which includes some tasting, my wife and I did not care for their open fermented brews, but it was cool seeing a brewery straight out of the 1900s.





Brugge Belgium, definitely a must stop place. Everything appears to be straight out of the 16th Century.



Saturday 5/29: We left Brugge and headed for Westvletern monastery.

Drinking the "holy grail" of beers at Westvletern along with the car in front of the monastery





After Westvletern we headed for St. Bernadus, which unfortunately was closed.



After that we headed to Ieper to do a WWI driving tour.

This is Ieper.



And some of the WWI monuments.



 

automobiliben

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Misc. A3 content.



For dinner that night, we went to Wally's Farm in Poperinge. This was probably the highlight of the trip. It is a family style dinner house, where Wally who is a Elvis enthusiast provides the entertainment. If you are in the area you HAVE to stop here for dinner, it was awesome. And probably the only place on the trip where we were the only tourist.









We stayed the night in downtown Poperinge.

Sunday 5/30: Leave Poperinge and head for the Chimay brewery.

When we were driving to the monastery outside of Chimay, I thought it was weird that the road had tall guardrails all over and then there were rumble strips. Apparently we were driving on a section of the Circuit de Chimay



Outside of the Auberge de Poteaupre at Chimay.



After that we wanted to head for the Orval monastery/brewery but didn't have enough time, we had to get to the Nurburgring!





Driving around probably the most famous corner on the track, the Karussel corner (my wife was taking the pictures).

 

automobiliben

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2010 Audi A3


After the Nurburgring we head for Heidelberg for the night.

Monday 5/31: Leave Heidelberg and head for Triberg.

But first a tour of the Heidelberg Castle and a shot of the famous Heidelberg Bridge.







On the way to Triberg we stopped at the Fluchenstein Museum (hopefully that was the name) which is a small collection of German houses from the 1600s re-assembled like they would have been at the time and showing how life would have been.



At Triberg Germany, in the Black Forest



The falls in Triberg.



The worlds largest cuckoo clock, you can tour it for 2 Euros and then another 1 Euro to hear him talk about it, sort of a tourist trap, but cool nonetheless...





After Triberg we headed to Zurich, as our staging ground for the Alps. We should have pre-booked a hotel because Zurich was expensive!

Tuesday 6/1: Leave Zurich and head for the Alps!

I had planned on driving through some roads in the Alps and wanted to go along the routes that the guys from Top Gear took, so we headed south. We started with the San Bernadino Pass, then on to the Fluella Pass (it was snowing at the top and there wasn't a sign, so we didn't stop, I just didn't want to slide off the road...), then to the Stelvio and Umbrail Pass.

 

automobiliben

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2010 Audi A3
(That should have been the lake at the top of the San Bernadino Pass, but it was still frozen over.)









Only the "front" side of the Stelvio Pass was open, the back side was still snowed over, as you can see in my picture, the snow was higher than the car. We had to take the Umbrail Pass down since we were heading back into Austria/Germany which was a but unnerving since a decent part of it was a dirt road...

This is looking at the "gnarliest" section of the Stelvio Pass, the orange are the plastic temporary guardrails; some car either fell off the top and rolled all the way down to the bottom and took out all the guardrails, or the snow destroyed them as it melted down.

On the way up to that portion there were actually some one lane tunnels that are carved out of the side of the mountain, and are too long to see to the other side. I was following a van through it when he all of a sudden slammed on his brakes and whipped it into reverse, there was a car coming from the other direction. Backing up in a tunnel that is barely wide enough to see in, in the dark, in a brand new car, was very nerve racking...



Why would anyone ever put a town at the top of the Stelvio Pass is beyond me, maybe they had planned on it being a watering hole for the car enthusiast getting to the top.



After the Alps we headed to Fussen to see the Neuschwanstein Castle, but unfortunately Thursday was a bank holiday when we had planned on dropping off the car, so we ended up having to cut Neuschwanstein out of the schedule.

Wednesday 6/2: Leave Fussen stop at the Andech Monastery, check in at the hotel in Munich to empty the car out and then head to the drop off site. :(



(Unfortunately it rained most of the time we were in Germany for the second part of the trip, so never got to have a beer in an authentic beergarden!)

We hit up the Hofbrauhaus that night!



Thursday 6/3: Check out of our hotel in downtown Munich and head for the Kempinski to check in, then back downtown. The Kempinski was a beautiful hotel!

 

automobiliben

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2010 Audi A3
We stopped that night for dinner and drinks at Augustiner Keller.






Friday 6/4: Wake up and head home. :' (

All in all the car was a blast to drive. The brakes leave something to be desired and unless you keep the revs up in the diesel, it doesn't have much for guts. I had my moments with the DSG, if there is a way to totally lock it out from down shifting let me know. Going through the passes in the Alps, every time you hit a hair pin you had to slow down which the DSG would down shift from 2 to 1 causing a big lurch when I hit the gas again. Luckily, most of the "issues" that I had with it are situations that will never be seen here in the US or the way I will drive it over here. The car cruised perfectly fine at 120mph on the Autobahn with only a bit of wind noise, which was to be expected.

The trip itself was unforgettable and probably a once in a lifetime opporotunity. In our opinion, two weeks was plenty of time to see everything that we did. We aren't much for museums or anything, so about a day to a day and a half in each place gives you a good enough amount of time to walk around, see the sights and get on the road.

Thanks for looking if you got this far and let me know if you have any questions. We took over 1300 pictures...
 

dieseldorf

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In front of the hotel in Amsterdam, by far the coolest city I have ever traveled to, everyone was so nice there.
Note to self: When visiting Amsterdam, remember to leave wife at home :D

Looks like a great trip. How long did you have to wait before you could fetch the car? When will the car arrive here in the USA?

Welcome aboard!
 

automobiliben

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2010 Audi A3
Note to self: When visiting Amsterdam, remember to leave wife at home :D

Looks like a great trip. How long did you have to wait before you could fetch the car? When will the car arrive here in the USA?

Welcome aboard!
Haha, yeah, the Red Light district was a big disappointment, you can see way more on South Beach! We actually took delivery of the car on our anniversary, I am a pretty lucky guy to have a wife like her!

Hmm, ok, timeline:

Feb. ordered car
May paid for car
May 25 took delivery in Germany
June 2 dropped off in Munich
August 17th re-delivery in the US

Audi says 6-8 weeks for re-delivery, mine took 11. It sat in customs in Houston for 6 weeks. Audi got involved and has offered me some stuff for the lost time with the car. It was most likely things out of their control (customs, sort of under their control, sort of not), but they definitely made up for it.

Now if they would just get me the dam cord for the block heater!
 

masterflex164

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Great pics and great looking car! That's how I'd exactly order an A3 TDI. I hope you tried out some of that V Power Diesel from Shell in Europe because your car will never ever see diesel on par with EU quality ever again. Sometimes I wish I could get "premium" diesel, I'd even pay more for it
 
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Timujin

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Very cool stuff. Congrats on the trip and new A3. Thanks for sharing.
 

NickLim

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Nice trip log, I was in the Netherlands around the same time for work for a little bit and a coworker took delivery of his A3 Ingolstadt too, except his was the benzene motor with the S-line trim. It's crazy the number of motor and trim level combo's they offer in Europe.
 

roy1

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For the most part seems to be an wesome trip.
Wondering if Bowling Green has a USD option for the Z. Probably not , and its probably best that they don't.
 

1998993C2S

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For the most part seems to be an wesome trip.
Wondering if Bowling Green has a USD option for the Z. Probably not , and its probably best that they don't.
Oh yes the Chevrolet Corvette has a factory delivery (Bowling Green, KY) option. If I recall there's a new $5k option where the buyer assist's the technican with building the Z engine. Go figure. Sounds like the newest twist on City Slickers theme.......round them up cowboy.
 
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STRANGETDI

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Great write up. Any special options you can get there that you can't get here on the vehicle, and is that part of the reason why you did this? I want to get an S3 TDI and this might be the only way to get it!
 

Ol'Rattler

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Awesome pics. So jealous........................

The best VW could do is a Mexico delivery..................
 

oilbug

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2010 A3 TDI - US Spec
StrangeTDI: as I understand it the only cars and options you can import into the US are those that are available in US dealerships. So even with the European delivery, you'll have to choose from the basic list you see back there. I took delivery of a US spec 2010 A3 in Germany through another program available to military overseas and am being very careful not to mod it such that it'll be refused entry to the States. Too bad, too, they've got lots of options over here I'd have loved to have bought.
 

mikey141414

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This is my favorite thread on TDIClub! My wife asked me yesterday what we were going to do when her 2003 Jetta and my 2000 Jetta bite the dust. I told her she should look at the A3. Maybe we will have matching A3 TDIs in the driveway. The ED is definitely the way to do it! Thanks for a great post.

Mikey
 

Neurot

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Can you tell us how much you saved by using the ED option, and how much your trip cost? I was considering getting the BMW 335d a couple of years ago and it was going to save us almost $4k, more than enough for the trip. The business deal I was working on fell through, so I didn't get the car, but now I'm looking at an A3 to replace our 2004 Passat TDI wagon and might consider the ED.
 

automobiliben

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Can you tell us how much you saved by using the ED option, and how much your trip cost? I was considering getting the BMW 335d a couple of years ago and it was going to save us almost $4k, more than enough for the trip. The business deal I was working on fell through, so I didn't get the car, but now I'm looking at an A3 to replace our 2004 Passat TDI wagon and might consider the ED.
I didn't realize but could have gotten a 335D for about the same money that I paid for the A3 with all of the crazy discounts that they were offering back when I had to order it.

We saved 3% of the price of the car, all other Audi's are 5%.

Also, the car is official now, I finally got the Ring sticker on...

 

TDIMeister

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Very nice, I've covered much of what you've done (except the ED, but I did have an Audi...). The reception area of the Audi Forum hasn't changed much from when I visited it in 1999, but the cars certainly have (and I'm aware that they've made a big expansion for customers and visitors to the Ingolstadt plant). :)



Welcome to the Nürburgring club, you join a only very small company of people in North America aside from auto journalists who've driven on it. It's an experience I'm sure you agree will never be forgotten!

Corsendonk is nice. I too became a beer-buff only after living in Germany for a little over 4 years. If you ever go back to Europe close to Christmastime, I can recommend the Kerstbierfest in Essen (Belgium, not Germany).

Funny that I didn't find this thread sooner.
 
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Jon Linn

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Wow...just awesome. I was in Heidelberg Germany almost 6 years ago (stayed a week) and I never knew Nürburgring was so close. BTW...I have that same picture over looking the bridge in Heidelberg. Did you travel through Speyer or Strasbourg??

Now i just have to talk the wife into doing this...
 

TDIMeister

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In North American terms, everything in Germany is relatively close by. Heidelberg is about a 2 hour drive from the `Ring. It's much closer to Koblenz. I lived 120km from the `Ring along some beautiful country highways for driving, but littered with speed cameras all over the place.
 
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