Audi Club Eastern Canada Niagara Cruise

By: Gordon Varney

It is a wonderful thing when the idea of a few friends out for a Sunday drive evolves and takes on a life of its own… five times running. This was the fifth annual Niagara cruise with plenty of repeat and new attendees. Plans are underway for a sixth in 2023.

Similar to last year, a handful of Toronto Audi dealer friends were involved: Audi Midtown, Audi Mississauga, Audi Kitchener-Waterloo and Audi Hamilton where the group ultimately gathered for the cruise. Other brands supporting the event were Michelin who showed up with a 12-foot inflatable Michelin Man, Liqui-Moly, and of course our destination host, Reif Estates.

Niagara Falls is a fixture in this particular part of the continent, treating Audi enthusiasts through Southern Ontario (the Niagara peninsula) with many twisting roads and significant elevation changes, including our drive route that took us from Hamilton to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

A highlight of the cruise itself was stopping part way at fruit farms and antique shopping areas.

A special highlight this year was partnering with a photographer who took wheels-in-motion pictures at locations along the drive.

Reif Estates winery, right on the Niagara River and a few kilometers downstream from the falls, was our destination: Klaus opened up the entire property, allowing the group to park on his lawn where he joined the group for most of the day. He even became a member bringing in a few of his Audi-enthusiast friends too. The visit to the winery included tours, tastings, barbecue and more.

Cars ranged from 90s-era MK1 TTs through the latest e-tron GT. Several friend clubs also joined, including Audi True North and The EV Society. Over forty cars and even more guests took part.

Audi Canada’s Accessories team was also part of the event. This group brought several incredible cars ranging from RS e-tron GT to a properly outfitted S5 Sportback, and each showing off some of the latest upgrades from Audi Canada.

A personal note: As part of the leadership group, having attended lots of events, I’ve had my fair share of great hot lap rides… and some were very hot. Well, nothing I have ever been in comes even close to the drive I had with Goran in his RS e-tron GT. If his full throttle blip when he was already going 60 kilometers-per-hour wasn’t enough, he took a moment on our return drive to show off the car’s launch capabilities on a very flat, very long, Niagara side road. He looked at me and smiled and said: “My wife tells me that I need to warn people before what comes next.”

I acknowledged I was warned. I planted my feet firmly, pressed back slightly in the seat and adjusted my headrest and put my head against it. “Have at it,” I responded.

Well, I was already pressed back, so on launch my body, arms, or neck didn’t move – thank God. My stomach however felt like it had decided the best thing to do was to hide *behind* my spine. Instant power. No tire spin. Just get up and go.

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