By Justin Bauer,
Special to Wheelstalk.com -
Glitz, glam and grandeur, H.J. Pfaff Audi’s grand opening received guests with the kind of welcome befitting a premier luxury automaker. The evening ushered in a brand new design concept for Audi, embodied in a stylish addition to Newmarket’s landscape.
Located on Leslie Street just north of Mulock Drive, the full-service 70,000 square-foot facility is among the first in Canada to incorporate Audi’s new sleek and ultra-modern design, which reflects well the brand’s reputation for progressive thinking. (Its slogan, “Vorsprung durch Technik,” translates to advancement through technology.)
While the facility has been open since early September, November 8th marked its grand opening. Valet parking offered a luxurious introduction to the evening, which carried on with a steady stream of hospitality in the form of hors d’ouevres, fine wine, cigars, live music and friendly greetings from staff. Using one of the building’s characteristic curved interior walls as a backdrop, a slideshow kept guests entertained with images from Audi’s photo album.
Not to be outdone, several vehicles dotted the dealership’s interior, inviting guests to get up close and personal with what the brand is best known for. The Audi R8 GT was dressed to kill in a lustrous black finish, while the red R8 Spyder injected a dose of vibrant colour into the room. The Pfaff A5 Race Car and a vintage sport coupe, also built for the race track, provided a glimpse at another side of the automaker and drew the attention of many cameras.
The evening was short on talk but Chris Pfaff, President and CEO of Pfaff Automotive Partners, did take a moment to address the anticipatory crowd that had gathered in the showroom. He detailed his long love affair with Audi as well as his future goals for the brand in Canada. John White, President of Volkswagen Group Canada, also took to the microphone. If successful, by 2020 Audi will have advanced to become the top luxury automaker in Canada, he said, up from its current position of third.
Audi enthusiasts can also look forward to several new models in 2013, including the Q5 Hybrid, which combines a 211 hp 2.0 TFSI engine with a 54 hp electric motor.
But such progress doesn’t come easily. That explains Pfaff’s substantial investment in the new Audi terminal, a futuristic but not intimidating building whose essence is captured on the exterior by a mixture of high glass walls and slightly asymmetrical sheen-covered aluminum sections. Inside, gently curved and sloping walls provide an elegant twist on classic straight lines. Clean, reflective surfaces abound, while a simple colour palette of black and white convey sophistication.
Visitors will also notice the pervasiveness of technology, one of Audi’s defining elements, in everything from the 17 service bays to the showroom to the sales department; a state-of-the-art computerized laser alignment system is just one example. But if the grand opening serves as any indication, H.J. Pfaff Audi won’t let technology overtake the personal touch any time soon.