words and photos: George Achorn
With the Audi Cars and Coffee: The Second Edition approaching, we are going to rerun our Audi of America Open House coverage. This story originally ran in the Winter 2018 issue of the Audi Club North America quattro quarterly print magazine. If you don’t receive quattro quarterly and wish to subscribe, join the Audi Club North America HERE.
When it comes to the Audi brand, the Audi Club North America’s Potomac-Chesapeake Chapter enjoys a home field advantage. You see, Audi’s domestic headquarters are based in the Washington DC suburb of Herndon, Virginia… smack dab in the center of the Potomac-Chesapeake region. Fortunately for Audi Club, the chapter and the brand we all love have become quite talented at organizing an ever-growing open house that has become a staple fall event.
If you’re in town for the open house and care to get a head start, heading up to Katie’s Cars and Coffee in nearby Great Falls, VA before first light of morning is a great way to start the day so long as you don’t mind rising early. Here, you’ll catch plenty of Washington’s most impressive automobiles, not to mention a healthy mix of Audi enthusiasts and club members.
By mid-morning, the chapter has set up and guests begin to roll into the Volkswagen Group of America headquarters as soon as they’re permitted. This year, those arriving were greeted by some of Audi’s latest new offerings, including the new RS 5 coupé, SQ5, TT RS, RS 3 and more parked both outside and in the ground floor Audi Forum.
On this particular weekend, the main parking lots of headquarters are cleared out in order to make way for Audi Club member parking only. This is an event exclusive to Audi Club members and is capped at about 150 people. As a result, it fills the parking lot with a very impressive mix of four-ringers.
A great tradition of the Audi of America open house is access to cars such as the aforementioned RS 5 coupe that aren’t yet available in the US. Audi tends to bring in German market models for early evaluation, and they go one step further by having product planners on hand to go over the cars thoroughly with attendee guests.
Food this year came from an eclectic mix of food trucks that ranged from carnitas tacos to lobster rolls. Ducking out between presentations, members could grab a complimentary bite to eat or purchase tickets to the annual membership raffle that gave away an Audi exclusive RS 3 sedan painted to the winner’s spec.
At the end of the day, Potomac-Chesapeake Chapter President Christine Lemley capped off the event with the traditional farewell. This year, a generous mix of Audi collection prizes were awarded to randomly chosen attendees.
As you might expect, this level of access to Audi of America has helped establish the fall open house as a highly popular event on the autumn event schedule. If you are interested in attending next year, watch for email announcements confirming early signups as space fills quickly. Attendees tend to travel in from more than just the Eastern seaboard, and each will tell you it is well worth the trip.