The 2006 Audi A4 represents a dynamic level of driving pleasure, superior technology, exciting styling and a level of luxury that even satisfies the demands made in the premium sports class. The A4 and its performance sibling, the S4, represent Audi’s contribution to the premium midsize segment. With its bold exterior styling, award-winning interior, S4-derived steering and suspension, and best-in-class crash protection, the A4 line offers a world class driving experience unmatched by its competitors.
The vehicles’ technology lives up to the promise made by its exterior styling. Innovative and highly sophisticated technologies are an integral part of practically all vehicle areas and components: the optional bi-xenon headlights with pivoting dynamic adaptive light technology, continuously variable multitronic® transmission, quattro® all-wheel drive and the revolutionary FSI (Fuel Straight Injection) engine technology.
For 2006, FSI technology is has been mated to three new powertrain configurations. The A4 3.2 sedan is now available with FrontTrak® and a continuously variable transmission, while the A4 3.2 quattro can now be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission in both the sedan and Avant®.
With so much style, performance, and technology imbued in the A4 line, the accolades it has received come as no surprise. In 2005, the A4/S4 won the ’Auto Interior of the Year’ award from Ward’s, it received a double-best pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for occupant protection, and has been named to Consumer Reports’ ’Recommended’ list for new vehicles.
Two performance-oriented engines are available in the Audi A4 sedan and Avant. The 3.2 V6 FSI has all the features of an ultramodern engine: FSI gasoline direct injection with demand-controlled fuel supply, a variable intake manifold and continuous camshaft adjustment on both the intake and the exhaust side.
This V6 engine delivers 255 horsepower at 6,500 revolutions per minute. Its peak torque of 243 lbs. ft. is available at 3,250 rpm. More than 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque is available in the wide range between 1,900 and 5,900 rpm – a unique characteristic for a naturally aspirated V6. The A4 3.2 FSI quattro is available with a six-speed manual transmission, or an optional six-speed automatic with Tiptronic ®. The A4 3.2 FSI FrontTrak sedan comes standard with a continuously variable multitronic transmission.
FSI direct gas injection has confirmed its unique potential several times over in what must be the most challenging endurance test in the world: an engine with FSI direct injection powers the Le Mans-winning Audi R8.
How does the FSI technology differ operationally from a conventional engine? The term ’fuel direct injection’ makes the central feature clear: in contrast to indirect injection, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber.
A common rail high-pressure injection system with a newly developed single-piston high-pressure pump operating on demand ensures exactly the right supply of fuel, delivering precisely the volume required for building up operating pressure between 30 and 110 bar.
In the intake tract, also comprising the two-stage variable intake manifold, moving charge-movement flaps provide the necessary tumble effect, swirling the induced air around depending on operating point. In order to achieve the high specific power and torque values, a new combustion process has been developed. Together with the optimum geometry of the combustion chambers and the dosage of fuel injected with supreme accuracy down to the last millisecond, this allows a significant increase in compression.
The 2.0 T FSI is the first engine to combine turbocharging with the FSI concept of gasoline direct injection. The 2.0 T produces 200 hp from 5,100 to 6,000 rpm. The maximum torque of 207 lbs. ft. is available from just 1,800 all the way up to 5,000 rpm.
Several transmissions are combined with the new A4 2.0 T FSI. In the A4 sedan there are two front-wheel drive options: six-speed manual and a continuously variable multitronic transmission; and two quattro versions with either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission with Tiptronic. The A4 2.0 T Avant is available in only quattro all-wheel drive and the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with Tiptronic.
In the 2.0 T FSI the fuel is injected via a common rail system supplied by a demand-controlled high-pressure pump. The fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber via an injector positioned at one side between the inlet valves.
The four-valve cylinder head with low-friction roller cam follower drive has a modified inlet duct geometry that produces even higher tumble values than the naturally-aspirated FSI engine. This results not only in greater refinement, but also in superior knock resistance.
Both the 3.2 and 2.0 T engines are longitudinally installed and qualify with the ULEV emissions standard, regardless of transmission version.
The S4’s 4.2 V8 engine produces 340 hp and a mighty peak torque of 302 lbs. ft. In acceleration tests, the S4 sedan rips from 0-60 miles per hour in just 5.3 seconds with a six-speed manual transmission and a specially tuned exhaust that announces the evidence of its power. All S4 models come equipped with Audi’s signature quattro all-wheel drive.
New for 2006 is the introduction of the latest generation Torsen drivetrain on all S4 models equipped with a manual transmission. The new system has an asymmetrical torque split of 40/60 front/rear under normal driving conditions. This helps the S4 exhibit a more dynamic driving sensation. However, like all quattro-equipped cars, engine power can still be sent to the wheels with the most traction. Tiptronic-equipped S4 models retain a 50/50 torque split.
Unmistakeably Audi: the A4 sedan and Avant once again exhibit the brand’s typical design features. Their sports character is immediately visible at first glance.
The ratio of the large, clearly shaped body surfaces to the flat, equally bold strip formed by the windows is significant. The discreetly rising shoulder line accentuates a powerful, dynamic stature, even when the car is stationary. Clear proportions, the gentle curve of the roof, the striking, visibly flared wheel arches: even its silhouette immediately identifies the A4 as a genuine Audi.
The design elements, however, are even more eye-catching, especially at the front end: the striking single-frame grille and clear-glass headlights with their sweeping bottom edge and inward taper give the Audi A4 and S4 an aggressive face.
The front-end styling deliberately echoes design elements of the Audi Nuvolari quattro concept car, thus emphasizing that this model also belongs to the same family as the other new Audi models – the A8®, A6® and A3®: a new Audi generation.
A clearly crafted horizontal light-refracting edge gives the bumpers additional shape. No less eye-catching at the rear end are the exhaust tailpipes, which are a clear indication of just what the A4 models’ engines are capable of.
The perfect tailor-made suit: a metaphor frequently used to describe vehicle interiors. But this image will come to the mind of anyone getting behind the characteristic wheel of the Audi A4, with its hallmark feature of the single-frame element at the center. This, after all, is a car that unites two apparent opposites to produce an amazing synthesis of exceptional ergonomics and subjective comfort.
On the other hand, the A4’s cockpit is characterized by lines extending a long way into the door trim and center console areas, which quite literally appear to embrace the driver. This ’wrap around’ effect, to use the designers’ technical term, is accentuated additionally by the A4’s high waistline. This feature is something that many customers value very highly, not least because of the remarkable sense of security that it imparts.
The architecture of the dashboard and center console also provide scope for positioning a wide range of instruments and controls high up, in other words ideally within the driver’s field of vision. This is an ergonomic strategy that is adopted in every aircraft cockpit for very good reasons.
The lines of the driving area create a lively interplay of distinctly rounded, tangible shapes and graphically clear edges and notches.
This area is thus divided up into clearly defined zones. These can be distinguished at a glance – a worthwhile ergonomic bonus that speeds up intuitive access to the individual information units and function groups. This process of locating involves both the visual and tactile senses: groups of controls and displays can also be identified by the materials used.
The most important controls for the occupants’ well-being are located in the center console: dual automatic climate control, audio system, and the optional navigation system. Available only in the United States and Canada is a specially designed center console with dual cup holders with size adjustable tabs and an extra 12-volt power outlet.
With its impeccable blend of style and function, the A4/S4 was given the ’2005 Auto Interior of the Year’ award by Ward’s.
There is more room than average for luggage in the A4 sedan with a capacity of 13.4 cu. ft. The smooth-floored luggage compartment is well-equipped for tackling challenging transport tasks. And with a large distance between the wheel arches, there is plenty of room even for bulky loads. Both the sedan and Avant have a standard 60/40 split folding rear seat, which is optional on all other luxury segment competitors.
Furthermore, both front seats are equipped with standard sliding storage drawers under the seat. This is yet another feature exclusive to A4 and S4.
The A4/S4 Avant’s load area combines an exclusive atmosphere with optimum utility and variability. This synthesis of successful interior design and multifunction sets new standards.
By design, the A4/S4 Avant’s load area offers a full range of ingenious details such as a net for small items, chrome-plated load-securing lugs, a storage compartment behind a cover in the left side panel, an easily accessible 12V power socket in the side panel and an active light in the tailgate that also illuminates the area behind the vehicle.
The body of the Audi A4 is based on a unitary steel structure with integrated aluminium components. The percentage by weight accounted for by plastics and the use of the lightweight materials aluminium and magnesium is considerable.
A further decisive measure with a low vehicle weight in mind is the expansive use of high-strength and very high-strength sheet-metal panels, which make up a total of 45 percent of the body shell weight. These special sheet panels are used primarily in the front end of the new A4, where the main priority is to absorb impact energy as effectively as possible in a frontal crash.
As a protective cage, the occupant cell must also make sure that deformations and intrusions are minimized in a crash. Part of this task is performed by three large tailored blanks incorporated into the floor area. The wall thickness of each of these blanks varies. They are joined together by laser weld seams.
The Dynamic Chassis
In the A4 sedan and Avant, dynamics and comfort, easy handling and active safety are at the very highest level. Agility and ride comfort are equally impressive.
This road behavior is the result of extensive modifications in the area of elastokinematics as well as to the spring and shock absorber settings.
The A4 has a four-link front suspension and the highly complex self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension. Both consist primarily of light-alloy components resulting in a low unsprung mass.
On the four-link front suspension layout, each wheel is located by four aluminum control arms. Large-volume rubber components are used as the damper mounts on the suspension. This helps to effectively isolate the shock absorbers acoustically.
Together with the new shock absorber settings, the suspension results in a particularly sensitive response to steering movements and even more precise feedback from the road. In other words, extremely dynamic behavior which is isolated almost completely from front-wheel-drive influences.
The trapezoidal-link rear suspension makes for top-quality ride comfort on all models, coupled with dynamic behavior that will amaze the driver of many a competing model.
This design is notable for its low weight as well as its outstanding space efficiency. The compact design permits a low load-area floor in all versions, coupled with a generous load-area width.
The trapezoidal links and wheel carriers on the A4 now also originate from the S4, a car whose suspension has demonstrated its all-round superiority in numerous individual and comparative tests conducted by the trade press. However, several mounts and the shock absorbers, which are considerably larger than on the previous model, have been adopted again from the A6.
Thanks to the precision work that has gone into modifying the rear suspension set-up, the dynamic qualities of this basic structure are demonstrated even more effectively. This all adds up to agility and excellent directional stability, outstanding straight-line running and a high level of comfort without any disturbing movements of the body.
The Audi A4/S4 sedan and Avant models come standard with hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering featuring speed-dependent power assistance, Servotronic®. The development goal here was to provide the highest conceivable standard of sporty steering precision and improved steering comfort.
The refined Servotronic system enables the driver to maneuver into parking spaces with a minimum of steering effort and maximum accuracy, and also provides a clear response from the road at higher speeds. The system also offers a high level of sensitivity around the straight-ahead position and even more comfortable initial response behavior.
All Audi A4/S4 models come with the latest Electronic Stabilization Program, ESP®. This system comprises ABS brakes with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and hydraulic brake assist which automatically increases brake power when the driver applies the brakes in an emergency. The traction control system (ASR) interacts with the electronic differential lock (EDL) to provide efficient yaw control as the foundation for enhanced ESP safety.
The system has been developed to an even higher standard in terms of both electronics and hydraulics. Advanced pressure control ensures precise intervention of the ESP stabilization functions in accordance with the given situation, particularly when the car is understeering. In the event of excessive understeer, all four wheels apply brake pressure if necessary so that the vehicle can be returned to its original course.
Yet another feature is the brake disc wiping function integrated into ESP. This new function helps to keep the brake discs largely dry on wet roads even when the driver does not apply the brakes for a relatively long time. To provide this effect, the brake linings are pressed against the discs under low hydraulic pressure at regular intervals, helping to ensure even more spontaneous brake response under wet conditions, too. This process goes unnoticed by the driver.
The new Audi A4 remains faithful to the manufacturer’s best tradition of safety. After all, its predecessor was one of the very best in its class in this respect. A rigid body structure and meticulously calculated deformation properties, in conjunction with ultra-modern restraint systems – such as the new two-stage front airbags – and outstanding technical concepts such as the Sideguard™ head-level airbag system, created an outstanding level of occupant safety. All of this technology helped the A4 to achieve a ’Double Best Pick’ rating from the IIHS for its occupant protection in both frontal and side impact crash tests. The A4/S4 was the first car in the mid-size luxury segment to receive a ’Double Best Pick’ rating.
When combined with the excellent performance of the Audi A6 in the same tests, these results make Audi the first manufacturer ever to receive two ’Double Best Pick’ ratings from the IIHS. Only four other cars ever have received this rating, two are Audi models.
In the event of a collision, the car’s occupants are effectively protected by the robust structure of the body with predefined deformation and a highly stable passenger cell. The structure also has been improved regarding side crash impact. And in conjunction with seat belt tensioners and belt-force limiters, the full-size front airbags, front side airbags and the Sideguard head airbag system offer the driver and passengers a high level of protection.
The two full-size front airbags are activated in two stages, depending on the severity of the accident. Active front head restraints fitted as standard help to protect the occupants against whiplash injuries in a collision from behind.
Active safety benefits from the latest-generation ESP complete with hydraulic brake assist, anti-lock brake system (ABS), electronic brake-pressure distribution EBD, the traction control system ASR and the electronic differential lock EDL.
Standard active head restraints on the front seats, which increase protection in a rear impact most effectively, automatically adjust the restraints in the event of a crash to help prevent head and neck injuries. A seat belt reminder system is also part of the standard specification on all Audi A4 models.
In addition to the large-area front airbags, the occupants are protected by several side airbag systems. In the event of a side impact, remote sensors transmit signals which are compared with those from the sensor in the central airbag control unit.
An extensive system of crash sensors ensures that the airbags are ignited at exactly the right moment. In addition to the upfront sensors, the triggering system comprises several remote satellite sensors at the sides of the vehicle.
All Audi A4/S4 models have provisions for mounting Isofix (LATCH) child seats on the outer positions of the rear seat.
Available as an option is Audi’s tire pressure monitoring system. The system monitors the tire pressure and temperature of each individual wheel. In the event of a loss of pressure, it informs the driver optically and acoustically via the display in the instrument cluster.
The system also is able to take minor changes in temperature and pressure caused, for instance, by intense sunshine, hot air coming from the engine or unusual weight distribution of the car into account, thus avoiding a false alarm.
The new Audi A4/S4 is positioned in the midsize luxury segment. It stands out for a range of standard equipment with quality and comfort attributes that would not be out of place in the premium class. Subtle touches like seat belt height adjustment, retractable hooks in the cargo area, and a cargo net are not available in other cars in this segment, but all come standard in the A4 and S4 models.
There is a choice of 10 body colors for the Audi A4. The color spectrum ranges from particularly sporty shades such as Silver metallic to Brilliant Red, and also includes the elegant colors in the range such as Liquid Blue metallic and Dakar Beige metallic.
As many as four alloy wheels (16, 17, and 18-inch) are available giving drivers a further means of enhancing the characteristic appearance of their new Audi A4. For 2006, 3.2 models now come standard with double-spoke 17-inch wheels.
To take matters further, the 2006 A4 model line has an available S-line package that replaces the very popular Ultra Sport package from the previous generation A4. The S-line package consists of a sport suspension, 18-inch 5-arm quattro GmbH wheels with 235/40/18 performance tires, S4 front and rear bumper, side sills, S-line specific grill with thicker verticle lines, rear trunklid spoiler (roof spoiler on Avant), and S-line badges on the grill and rear side doors.
Interior changes to S-line vehicles include S-line scripted door sills, brushed aluminum trim, and a three spoke with perforated leather and triple red/black/silver stitching, S-line badge, and shift paddles on CVT and Tiptronic equipped cars.
Changes to the S4 for 2006 include standard brushed aluminium interior trim – carbon fiber or wood trim is optional - and exterior ’V8’ badges located beneath the fender mounted turn indicators. These new touches help identify the S4 while still staying within the S4’s restrained aggressiveness.
New for the 2006 Audi S4 are available BBS/quattro GmbH fourteen-spoke 18-inch wheels with high performance tires to ensure an uncompromisingly sporty character in more ways other than just visually. Both the standard six-spoke 18-inch AVUS, and optional BBS/quattro GmbH wheels come equipped with 235/40/18 performance tires.
The interior also satisfies virtually every design requirement. Walnut brown and vavona wood inlays are now standard on A4 3.2, optional on 2.0 T. Aluminum finish silver inlays for the center console are standard on 2.0 T, optional on 3.2 models. A wood segmented steering wheel and shift knob are now available on all A4 models for 2006, and add yet another luxurious touch to the A4.
The optional Audi Navigation Plus system, which uses a DVD drive, helps the driver find the fastest route from A to B. Its operating principle follows the same clear logic as the Audi MMI™, familiar from the A8 and A6.
The 6.5-inch color display shows the map and the visual route description, while the driver information system translates the corresponding directions into pictograms and adds information on directions, distances and arrival time.
Two slots for SD memory cards can be found behind the flip-down Navigation screen. MP3 files stored on the cards can be played through the audio system.
The A4/S4 standard audio systems offer the ideal combination of convenience and equipment options for every customer:
- Second generation of the Audi Symphony radio
- In-dash six-disc changer (in glovebox if navigation is ordered)
- 10-speaker sound system
- Satellite radio preparation standard
- Choice of Sirius® or XM as factory option or dealer installed receiver
The optional BOSE® sound system with AudioPilot noise compensation additionally provides a concert hall atmosphere in the A4.
The Audi range of unique options also offers perfect solutions for when the sun goes down: the best examples are the xenon plus headlights with outstanding dipped and main xenon beams and automatic-dynamic headlight range control. They illuminate the area in front of the car evenly and intensively.
Even better visibility on the road is ensured by adaptive light including bi-xenon headlights. Featuring swivel headlight units, this dynamic cornering light system activates effectively from a speed of about 7 mph and illuminates twists and turns in the road far more than a tradition lighting system. Daytime running lights, which can also be deactivated manually if required, complete the lighting package.
In 2006, Audi enhanced rearward visibility with rear Parktronic®. Available on all A4 and S4 models, rear parktronic senses objects behind the vehicle the driver might not be able to see, and creates an audible signal in the cockpit.