The Road to Bregenz – Driving the Audi A8 TDI

By Christian Stampfer on 5 October 2012
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Located on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee), Bregenz, the capital of Austria’s western-most state of Vorarlberg, is the site of the Bregenzer Festspieler (Bregenz Festival), a performing arts event that typically draws over 200,000 people to over 100 performances.

Home to more than 27,000 inhabitants, the city is tucked in between Switzerland to the west and Germany to the northwest and welcomes its guests with traditional Austrian Gemütlichkeit . Bregenz became even more well known, when the open air festival stage was used in a scene of the James Bond movie “A Quantum of Solace” in 2008.

Our drive to Bregenz started in Munich at the Sofitel Bayerpost, where I picked up TDD Editor Jonathan Spira in our short-term test car, an Audi A8 3.0 TDI Quattro S tronic. Since we had the whole day planned for the drive, we decided to take a more leisurely route via the A95 towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen instead of driving directly to Lindau and Bregenz via the A96.

We started a few minutes after 11 o´clock and left the driveway of the Sofitel Bayerpost. There was only light Saturday morning traffic in Munich while we passed the historic buildings of the Augustiner Bräu (brewery) at the Landsberger Straße. At the intersection of Landsberger Straße and the Donnersbergerbrücke we turned left onto the B304 which led us directly to the A95 Autobahn.

The A95 is a two-lane Autobahn (near Munich, however it has three lanes) that connects Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the southern area of Upper Bavaria (Starnberg, Penzberg, Murnau) with Munich. The idea of the A95 dates back to the late 1930s, but planning started after the Second World War and the first section of the A95 was opened to traffic in 1966. It has a total length of 67 km (41.6 miles).

Thanks to very light traffic and the absence of a speed limit, Jonathan and I were able to enjoy the marvelous panorama of the Bavarian Alps as well as the comfortable and sporty driving performance of the Audi A8. We passed the city of Starnberg and 20 minutes later found ourselves at the end of the A95, where we got stuck in traffic.

Continuing towards Bregenz, we passed by Garmisch-Partenkirchen and followed the Bundesstraße 23 towards the Austrian border. (If you are going to drive on the B23, watch out for kayakers portaging their boats on both sides of the road! The winding mountain road makes it difficult to see them.)

After safely passing the kayakers and crossing the border into Austria, we continued our drive on the Bundesstraße 187, also known as “Ehrwalder Straße” which derives its name from the village of Ehrwald, the first Austrian village after the border. Near the city of Gries we left the B187 and turned onto the B179 “Fernpassstraße”.

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