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Car and Driver: Audi A4, Red Bull Extreme Athletes Tackle Steepest Street in the World [w/ Video]


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Audi A4 Quattro challenge


The city of Pittsburgh and Audi’s German headquarters are as far apart as, well, Pittsburgh and Germany, but somehow Audi caught wind of a unique opportunity for a car commercial in the old steel town where three rivers meet. The city’s Canton Avenue is slathered across a hillside and its surface sits at a brutal 37-degree angle from level; claimed to be the steepest public street in the world, Canton called out to Audi marketing types keen on showing off the traction benefits of the new A4‘s Quattro four-wheel drive.


Because simply climbing a steep hill—a feat which we imagine isn’t impossible for other cars—wouldn’t have offered suitable shock value, Audi dumped a bunch of snow, gravel, dirt, and sand on the pavement. Next, it piled Red Bull athletes Bene Mayr (skier), Heikki Sorsa (snowboarder), and Aaron Gwin (downhill mountain biker) into the A4, with Swedish racing driver Mattias Ekström behind the wheel, and sent them up the hill. To ruin the surprise, they all make it the top, no problem—then the four race back to the bottom—Ekström still at the Audi’s helm—and seem to have a grand old time. It’s fun to watch, not the least for seeing an apparently Euro-spec A4 tearing down the unlikeliest of shooting locations, a Pittsburgh side street.



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