Everybody loves free stuff. Audi knows this and is ready to hook...you...up! Okay, so it should come as no surprise that they just want to hook you up with marketing materials and
most all of these things are designed to make you want to buy one of their cars. So what? One man's long commercial is another man's racing documentary. Here are five six of the best free things from Audi:
1. Truth in 24 (iTunes) - This documentary, produced by the award-winning NFL Films and narrated by Audi-driving Transporter, Jason Statham, follows the Audi Sport racing team as they try to win the 2008 24 Hours of LeMans against a faster opponent. This is a full-length, world class documentary, filmed entirely in HD. The filmmakers had full access to the team and it's the interviews with the drivers and team bosses that add so much depth to the story. In fact, the biggest surprise of the film isn't who wins the race, but rather who emerges as the hero of the film - not a chiseled, intense young driver, but instead, a chubby, soft-spoken engineer. This might be one of the great racing documentaries of all time. Rating: 5
2. Truth in Motion (iTunes) - This documentary follows several skiers as they work to secure their place on the Audi-sponsored US Ski Team that will compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. This film is shorter (about 45 minutes) and feels more like a promotional film, rather than a proper documentary. There is excellent HD cinematography throughout and the film does do a good job of introducing the viewer to the various personalities on the team. I enjoy watching ski racing and found it interesting. Still, no cars and essentially zero Audi content. Rating: 3
3. Truth in 24 (iPhone App) - This racing game starts with a very quick clip from the documentary of the same name and then fades into a slick interface, before...crashing. Crashing is to be expected in racing, but not in racing games. Based on comments in the iTunes App Store, this is a widespread problem. However, a lucky few have been able to play and report that it is a good game. It's free, so you have nothing to lose by trying. If you get it to work, let me know how you like it in the comments. Not rated.
4. Audi A4 Driving Challenge (iPhone App) - This game has players autocrossing a new A4. The interface and controls are nice enough, but the player's view is not locked on the car, but rather to due North. In other words, it's manageable to drive the car when it is pointed at the top of the screen, but when the course turns back on itself, the car points back at the player and left becomes right and right becomes left. We're through the Looking Glass people! I found it frustrating and difficult. I can't even complete the first course without wanting to defenestrate my iPhone. Rating: 1
5. Audi Test Drive - No, this isn't another iPhone App. I mean, go to your local dealership and test drive an Audi. It's free! And don't be shy, drive something cool. Drive something you can't really afford. And take all of your friends, so the salesman can't ride along. Why not? Okay, if the test drive convinces you to buy the car, then maybe it undermines the economic thriftiness that I am promoting in this article. Still, you win, because...you know, new car. If you are in Austin, go see the folks at Roger Beasley Audi, 12971 Pond Springs Road, Austin, TX 78729, (512) 219-3150. Rating: 4
6. Bonus! Cheap Trick
Dream Green Police (MP3 - Right-Click, Save-As) - Cheap Trick has been getting around lately. First, their song "Surrender" was highlighted during the final show of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian, which drew over 10 million viewers. Now their music will be in front of an even bigger audience this Sunday, during the Super Bowl, with a remake of their hit song "Dream Police." The song, whose lyrics have been changed to "Green Police," will play over a new Audi campaign for Audi's A3 TDI. Audi is giving you the MP3 for free at the link above. Points off for selling-out, but it is a very catchy song. Rating: 3
Know of any other free Audi stuff? Let me know in the comments.