Audi Launches Web-Based Club RS 6
May 12, 2003
Audi wants waiting for a car to be an interesting experience all on its own. So, corresponding with the launch of the RS 6, Audi has designed an interactive microsite where soon-to-be-owners can join an exclusive web-based community called the Club RS 6.
"Our customers and their new Audi RS 6s may be an ocean apart, but that doesn't mean their love affair with this car can't start now," says Jim McGough, Audi E-Business team leader. "In the coming weeks, as their cars embark on the journey across the Atlantic, the Club RS 6 will serve our customers as their private, in-depth RS 6 guide."
Every owner of an RS 6 will receive a welcome kit (including a letter from Len Hunt, vice president, Audi of America; an RS 6-embossed leather portfolio; glossy photos; and technical vehicle specifications) along with an invitation to join and a password to a very personalized and customized Club RS 6. After logging in, the website recognizes the owner and provides personalized information on the ordered car, like the exterior and interior colors, options, a VIN number, dealer contact, and more.
Designed by Enlighten, Audi's web design partner based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Club RS 6 microsite consists of several areas to obtain detailed information - "Journey of Your RS 6," "quattro GmbH," "RS 6 Highlights," "Specifications," and "RS 6 Accessories."
By clicking on "Journey of Your RS 6" link, the customers can view the status of their vehicle from the start of its production in Neckarsulm, Germany, through to its arrival in Audi's U.S. port. By selecting a button from a horizontal calendar, customers can read about the various stages of their RS 6 production. To help the owners track their vehicle progress, "Milestone" buttons are highlighted, signaling that the customer's RS 6 has passed from one milestone to another. An example might be the car leaving the paint shop or quality checkpoint. The RS 6 owner is also proactively notified via e-mail every time their car passes a milestone. The calendar also displays dates for the race series in which Audi participates, like the American Le Mans Series and Speed Channel World Challenge GT series (where the RS6 is raced), as well as other significant moments in Audi's racing history. This interactive feature allows users to select a date and view more information.
The quattro GmbH page features a brief animation about the history of Audi's high-performance subsidiary, quattro GmbH, the company responsible for tuning the RS 6. Also, visitors can listen to audio clips of exclusive interviews with six key RS 6 team members, including Helmut Stettner, head of RS 6 production; Michael Ganz, lead engine developer; and Uwe Gsaenger, who played the central role in developing the RS 6's new suspension system. A new interview will be posted on the site every six weeks.
When visiting the RS 6 Highlights section, owners can access details about the RS 6 accompanied by never-seen-before pictures. Photography includes beauty shots as well as detailed images of the engine and other technical components.
Users can download detailed RS 6 technical specification sheets by clicking on the Specifications link. They can also learn what additional accessories and merchandise are available on the RS 6 by visiting the RS 6 Accessories page. To support their bragging rights of owning such a unique automobile, the site equips the RS 6 owners with e-postcards and downloads to send their friends. The owners can also send a non-password-protected link to a consumer version of the RS 6 microsite where they can learn about the features of the car through detailed photos and technical specifications. The non-owner site will be available by the end of June.
Available in July for $82,700, the RS 6 is the newest high-performance sedan from Audi, with just over a thousand units to be sold in the North American market. This ultra-high-performer boasts 450 horsepower at 6,500 revolutions per minute, promising to be a world-class sedan with the heart of a sports car. With a bi-turbo, 4.2-liter V-8 engine, the Audi RS 6 accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, with an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph. Twin turbochargers, twin pressure-loss optimized intercoolers, and five valves per cylinder help develop 415 lb.-ft. of peak torque across a broad range of 1,950 to 5,600 rpm.