Even though the Audi A7 seems to have come out on top after duking it out with the sand dunes in Dubai, we know there’s a lot more to that type of driving than just a capable all-wheel drive system.
To be fair, the desert is no place for any type of premium four door coupe, unless you count the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and BMW X6 in that category. But those are SUVs, no matter what the marketing people would have you believe.
We weren’t expecting to see an Audi A7 Sportback kicking up sand in the desert, but we’re not surprised either. At first you’d think that you would need above average ground clearance in order to even attempt to go sand dune skiing, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Believe it or not, except for the all-wheel drive system (and Audi’s Quattro does a great job), the most important element in such an endeavor is the driver himself. Knowing how to drive on sand can make up for anything the car might not have going for it.
For example, you can start by lowering your tire pressure in order to increase the size of your “footprint”. This improves traction not just on sand but also in snowy conditions. Remember when Jeremy Clarkson did it in one of his Top Gear winter specials?
After that, try to follow a set of already-made tire tracks – which seems to be the case in this video with most of the footage. No reason to assume that the A7 was responsible for all the tracks, right?
Last but not least, when stationary, don’t accelerate hard but rather go for a smooth “take off”. You can apply the same philosophy to accelerating or braking. Try to be as smooth as possible in order to avoid sand build-up in front of your tires.
Maintaining speed is more important than ground clearance, so never step on the gas like you just stole the car, even if you feel like you’re starting to lose traction and coming to a halt. Trust in the all wheel drive system and trust your right foot when it comes to gradually building up speed and keeping it steady.