It’s fair to say the claws are out in a lavatory at the airport. “I guess you can say that when you’ve won a Pulitzer,” mutters one journalist to another, and then goes silent as the door swings open and I stroll into the men’s room. I’m at an airplane hangar about 20-minutes’ drive from the Denver airport. The massive building usually used to house planes has been commandeered by Audi for the launch of their updated B8 range of automobiles and a comment… critique really… made by Wall Street Journal writer Dan Neal may have ruffled a feather or two.
Five minutes earlier Audi’s public relations rep was presenting the new cars when the subject turned to the allroad (A4 allroad in most markets, but simply “allroad” in the USA). Someone from Audi described the allroad as “iconic” and when the question and answer period began, Mr. Neal went first by asking something while adding that use of “iconic” as “ill-advised.”
In the perspective of a press launch, catty journos talking about each other aren’t terribly abnormal. PRs talking about their cars in gratuitously becoming fashion aren’t either. Nor again are critiques and smart-assed comments from Mr. Neal… ever since we’d first met him in Le Mans years ago. It’s part of his charm, and so is his impressive scope just in case the Wall Street Journal post or the Pulitzer didn’t tip you off on that already. Still, even with that scope, could he be wrong on the subject of the allroad and its “icon” status?