Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.
These lines from Ray Charles’ “Hit the road Jack” are one of my favorite. I have often listened to this song on my earphones while riding my bike into the mountains. It’s not that I do not like cars. I love them. However, it takes a special car for making me want it drive it on an open highway, just for the sake of driving it. When I got an invite from Audi Gurgaon to drive the Audi A3 Cabriolet to Neemrana, I was excited. A 200 km drive in an open top convertible on a crisp Sunday afternoon in Delhi winters? Who would want to give it a miss?
When I had attended the launch of Audi A3, I had taken an instant liking to the car. Not only was it beautiful, it felt upscale, well put together and spacious when one got inside. We have said it before in our official review, and we say it again, the Audi A3 Cabriolet, from a practical standpoint is probably the best convertible in India.
Back to the drive. We often see hordes of bikers riding down on major highways on Sunday mornings. But the same cannot be said for cars. I think one major reason is that while driving a car, one if cocooned in a controlled environment, separated from the surroundings. That clichéd yet appropriate feeling of wind in the hair is missing from cars.
This Sunday drive was different. There were three A3 Cabriolet’s, an Audi Q3 and a Q7 driving in unison on a relatively empty NH8. The convoy turned many a heads and we saw people in much more expensive cars ogling at the top down beauties. Listening to Metallica’s rendition of “Turn the Page”, we were in our own world. Company of two pretty ladies in the car added to the experience.
Our companions were some of the best known fashion bloggers in India and while we talked about cars and they updated us on the latest trends in fashion. Add to that the sun shining gingerly on our shoulders. The car was a treat to drive with an unstrained engine, smooth shifting gearbox and comfortable ride over bumpy sections of national highway leading to Jaipur. We were in no hurry to reach our destination.
Neemrana Fort is now a resort, thronged by Delhiites on any given weekend, who go there to experience the glorious Royal past of Rajasthan. Though this was going to be our first visit Neemrana, we couldn’t have cared less for the destination. I could’ve just turned around the car and driven all the way back. Isn’t that what driving should be about – the journey being more important than the destination?
We took two stops for photographing these beauties and discussed the exquisite design and driving experience of the car with other bloggers. Having undertaken quite a few bike rides on some of the choicest motorcycle, we are used to the attention from fellow road users. However, with the ever increasing number of luxury cars on the road, regulation German cars aren’t as much a subject of attention as they once used to be. The A3 Cabrio turned out to be much different though – the ‘I wish I had that car’ look being evident on almost every onlooker’s face.
It was a Sunday morning so the traffic was thin and with 180 bhp on tap one would want to put the pedal to the metal and test the limits of the car. However, we preferred to just cruise at a leisurely pace soaking in the sun on the bright sunny afternoon – lunch could wait. We arrived at the fort and soon every head turned. Some looked at it with awe, some with jealousy and some were almost ready to sign a check book to take the beauties home.
We parked the cars under the supervision of drivers from Audi Gurgaon and moved on to have some lunch. The palace was beautiful and took us back couple of centuries back. Hungry, stuffed our faces quickly and hit the roads ever so quickly thereafter.
Another photo session on our way back ensued, this time on a sandy hill. Surprisingly, the car took the dusty path much better than we expected. By this time, the sun was almost getting redding to disappear in the horizon with more than 100 km still to go. We got back into the cars and drove back at a rather fast clip, back to base.
It was a day well spent driving a beautiful car which provided its own unique motoring flavour, very distinctive and pleasurable, and more approachable than the hardcore, performance oriented sport cars. Convertibles have their own charm and one drive explained why they are so sought after in international market. There might be several reasons such as weather and cost, why convertibles never became a great success in India but we feel that the experience of driving one is unparalleled. One can enjoy the sun and look great driving it.
If you want to experience the same, you can book a test drive with Audi Gurgaon by going to the link: https://tinyurl.com/audiggntestdrive