Myron Love / Winnipeg Free Press
Audi Winnipeg’s general sales manager, Rory Egan, is decked out in a red suit to match the Audi TT RS at the Audi Sport Tour event.
Audi Canada came to Winnipeg on Sept. 18 and 19 and brought along some hot new models for 2018.
The Audi Sport Tour event took place in the parking lot of the new Audi building site located at Outlet Collection Winnipeg on Sterling Lyon Parkway. Pre-booked test drives of the R8 Spyder, R8 Coupe, TT RS, RS3 and RS7 were scheduled and there was a VIP tent party following the test drives.
“The Audi Sport Tour was scheduled to stop only in selected cities,” Audi Winnipeg brand specialist Jeff Harochaw said. “Our store is an official Audi Sport dealer. This event gave people a chance to test drive some of our new models, such as the R8 Coupe with its V-10 engine 610 horsepower and the R8 Spyder with a choice of V-8 or V-10 engine and 540hp, which they wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to drive. We only have one R8 Spyder and we have already sold out the coupes.”
Harochaw reports more people than expected turned out for the event, with 127 test drives booked. The VIP portion was by invitation only and featured food platters and refreshments.
A major benefit of having the test drives by the Outlet Collection mall, Harochaw said, was that it gave Audi customers an opportunity to see what stage the construction of the new Audi store is at and how to access the store when it is completed early next year.
“Our new store is going to be the largest dealership building in Manitoba,” Harochaw said of the three-storey building under construction.
The completely-redesigned-for-2018 Kia Rio has been available at Manitoba dealers since the beginning of August.
“It used to be the low price that attracted people to the Kia Rio,” notes Birchwood Kia West sales rep Mike Debrowski.
“The car was an affordable option for commuters. But the 2018 Rio has become the destination.”
This fourth-generation version of the Rio is slightly lighter than its predecessor despite having more content, larger dimensions and additional safety equipment.
Debrowski is particularly enthusiastic about the 2018 Rio’s available enhanced telematics offerings.
“Using your smartphone app,” he points out. “You can get up in the morning and use the app to remotely start your car, turn on the heat and defrost the windows. If you are in an accident and your air bags deploy, the system will automatically call for an ambulance.”
He adds that heated seats and a heated steering wheel are standard on every model.
The model is powered by a 130-horsepower, 1.6-litre gasoline direct injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine. You have a choice of either a standard six-speed manual or an available six-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission.
The vehicle is available in a choice of three trims — the base LX, the EX and the EX Sport.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard with the two EX models.
The base price for the new model is just under $20,000 with the top-of-the-line Ex Sport, fully loaded, selling for about $26,000.
“The first 2018 Rio I sold was to an 18-year-old university student,” Debrowski says.
“This was the first new car the student has owned and she was blown away.”
He reports that there are a lot of models in stock in all trims.
The 2018 Forte, which also recently arrived, has just some minor tweaks from the redesigned for 2017 model. The LX+ trim’s new 16-inch alloy wheels were formerly only available in the EX trim. And the EX and EX+ add a heated steering wheel that was previously standard only with the EX Luxury trim.
The 2018 model continues to be powered by a two-litre four-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft of torque in the LX, but that rises to 164 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft of torque for all other trims due to direct fuel direction.
Standard features for all trims include height-adjustable driver’s seat, tilt-and-telescopic steering column, four-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and power windows, locks and heatable side mirrors.
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and back-up cameras are now standard for the Forte, Debrowksi reports.
The starting price is slightly above $20,000.
Sales Rep: Mark Zhang
Dealership: Capital Ford Lincoln
No. of Years: Two
Favourite Model: Ford Escape
Why: “The Escape is a good size for a single person or a small family,” Zhang says. “It offers flexibility and it is affordable.”