Audi TT draws biggest crowd for SAMA luncheon
By Paul Borden, Photos by Pepe Forte
 

The biggest turnout yet attended the Southern Automotive Media Association’s third monthly luncheon as 36 members and guests came to Smith & Wollensky’s on South Beach to dine on steak, tuna steak, chicken and fish, and hear a presentation about the new Audi TT sports car by Wolfgang Hoffman, Audi of America’s Director of Product Planning.

Audi was the corporate sponsor for the May luncheon.

The new TT is offered in two versions – roadster and coupe – and is “all about design and innovation,” Hoffman said. Both versions

were on display in the park adjacent to the restaurant and could be seen by SAMA members as they dined and listened to Hoffman’s detailed description.

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The 2008 model “has grown up” since the first TT coupe was introduced in the United States in September, 1998, and is “a little bit edgier than its predecessor,” Hoffman said. It is powered by either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine (200 hp., 207 lb.-ft. of torque) or a 3.2-liter six-cylinder (250 hp, 236 lb.-ft.), both mated with a six-speed manual transmission.

The 0-to-60 times are 6.1 and 5.6 seconds, respectively.

Because of the presentation, little business was conducted at the meeting, but President Ron Beasley did note that details are still being worked out for the group’s participation in the South Florida International Auto Show in Miami Beach . The show opens on Nov. 9 and runs through Nov. 18.

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Beasley also reminded members that application forms are available on the website, and they also will be sent with the notice of the June meeting. Hyundai will sponsor the June meeting with a date and place to be selected. Meeting days have varied according to the schedule of the sponsor or site, but usually will be held during the third week of the month.

Nissan is scheduled to host the July meeting, and John Kiskinis of Kiskinis Communications said the South Florida Auto Dealers will sponsor the October SAMA luncheon and provide more details on the auto show.

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Prospective members are reminded that beginning in July invitations will be sent only to those who have paid their dues for the 2007-08 membership year. Memberships will run from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

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This picture by Angelica D. Willard