Audi will unveil at the Geneva Motor Show the Avant version of the all-new A4. Sales will begin in Spring, at a price starting €27,550 for the Audi A4 Avant 1.8 TFSI Attraction.
The A4 Avant will be offered with five engine types to begin with: two gasoline engines and three diesel engines with an output between 143 hp and 265 hp. A new TDI engine that will develop 170 hp will be added later.
The new 3.2 FSI is the most powerful engine that comes with the new A4 Avant. It has an output of 265 hp and reaches 330 Nm (243.40 lb-ft) of torque between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm. It powers the A4 Avant from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 6.4 seconds and on up to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). At the same time, fuel consumption has dropped by 1.5 liters.
The 1.8 TFSI, too, is a highly efficient engine. The compact and light four-cylinder unit has an output of 160 hp and reaches 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. It powers the car from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.9 seconds and on up to a top speed of 218 km/h (135.46 mph).
The 3.0 TDI engine has an output of 240 hp and reaches a torque of 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. Its performance figures – from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.3 seconds, a top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) – demonstrate this engine’s dynamic character.
The 2.0 TDI is offered in two versions: one developing 143 hp and 236.02 lb-ft of torque and the other generating 170 hp and 258.15 lb-ft of torque. Both ensure powerful propulsion – the basic TDI accelerates the A4 Avant to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.7 seconds and facilitates a top speed of 208 km/h (129.25 mph). The more powerful of the two accelerates the Avant to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.6 seconds and on up to a top speed of 222 km/h (139.19 mph).
Press release after the jump.
Dynamic, elegant, and emotional; with the A4 sedan, Audi has already advanced into a new dimension. In a few weeks, the A4 Avant will follow: The most successful premium station wagon of its class offers, along with excellent drivability and uncompromising quality, a higher utility value for sports and recreation. This vehicle combines elegance and intelligent functionality.
The Audi A4 Avant is extending its lead. Based on the same technology layout as the sedan, the newly developed five-link front axle has been shifted farther forward. This ensures that the axle loads are perfectly distributed, thereby guaranteeing the highest precision and agility when it comes to handling. The Avant therefore also offers a new and fascinating driving experience similar to the one that led media experts to pronounce the sedan the best automobile in the midsize range.
Audi is launching the A4 Avant with five engine types to begin with: two gasoline engines and three diesel engines. These engines offer superior performance while reducing fuel consumption by more than 14 percent compared to the previous model – proof of Audi’s successful efficiency strategy.
Audi’s high technological competence is also expressed in the broadly diversified range of powertrains and in its numerous sport and comfort technologies – many of which originate directly from the premium class.
Attractive station wagons called Avant: the design
The design of the new Audi A4 Avant is as exciting and dynamic as one would expect from a brand as design-oriented as Audi. The headlights are staged like a technological work of art. The Avant comes with daytime running lights as a standard feature; the xenon plus headlights consist of 14 white light-emitting diodes.
Compared to the forerunner model, the proportions have been reconfigured in a new and even sportier design. The front overhang has been shortened, and the engine hood and the wheel base have gained considerably in length. The flat D-posts lend the Audi A4 Avant a dynamic, coupe-like silhouette, while the rear design emphasizes its width with powerful, horizontal lines. The new A4 Avant measures 4.70 meters (15.42 feet) in length, almost 12 centimeters (4.72 inches) longer than its forerunner model. Its body is considerably more rigid and safer in build than its predecessor, yet is around 10 percent lighter at the same time.
With up to 1,430 liters in volume (50.50 cubic feet), the latest addition to the Audi family has the largest luggage capacity in its competitive field; in its basic configuration it holds 490 liters (129 gallons). The 60/40 split-fold rear seats also come with the option of a load-through hatch with separate ski and snowboard bag. The A4 Avant’s trunk is lined with fine carpet and features intelligent details as standard such as a reversible cargo floor and a convenient cargo cover that retracts at a touch. Audi also offers luxury features such as an electro-mechanical drive for the rear tailgate or tie-down eyelets for securing luggage.
Light and spacious: the interior
The ambience inside the new A4 Avant is light and spacious. The interior reflects Audi’s strengths – the highest quality of workmanship, sophisticated looks, and logical, intuitive operation. The cockpit is driver-oriented; it borrows many features from the larger A8. Thanks to the new electro-mechanical parking brake, the manual parking brake was no longer necessary.
Even the standard climate control system has been completely redesigned. It supplies ten percent more cooling capacity, yet operates more efficiently than the previous system, thus saving about 0.2 liters of fuel per 100 km.
When it comes to safety, Audi has raised the bar, for example, with its combination of adaptive airbags, belt tensioners with variable belt force limiters and seat position sensors on the front seats. With this system, the force of the airbag deployment and belt tension level are selectively controlled depending on the seat position and the accident severity. In case of a rear-end collision, the backs of the front seats and the head rests support the upper body. This system is called Audi backguard and has received special praise during independent tests.
The engines: more performance, less fuel consumption
The new Audi A4 Avant will be launched on the market with two powerful gasoline engines and two diesel engines, thus covering a range of 105 kW (143 hp) to 195 kW (265 hp). The 2.0 TDI generating 125 kW (170 hp) will be added later to round out the range. All the engines have FSI and TDI direct fuel injection technology and the three four-cylinder engines reach high torques thanks to turbocharger technology. On average, the engine performance in this model series has increased by almost eight percent. At the same time, fuel consumption in the gasoline engines has dropped by almost 12 percent, and the TDI engines by almost nine percent.
The new 3.2 FSI is the most powerful engine that comes with the new A4 Avant. It has an output of 195 kW (265 hp) and reaches 330 Nm (243.40 lb-ft) of torque between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm. Enhancements to the V6 include considerably lower inner friction and a valve actuation system called the Audi Valvelift System, which varies the stroke of the intake valves.
The 3.2 FSI delivers sport-driven performance in any situation. It powers the A4 Avant from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 6.4 seconds and on up to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). At the same time, fuel consumption has dropped by 1.5 liters (0.40 gallons) compared to its predecessor.
The 1.8 TFSI, too, is a highly efficient engine. The compact and light four-cylinder unit has an output of 118 kW (160 hp) and reaches 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. Direct gasoline injection and turbocharging create the ideal combination in this model. The 1.8 liter engine responds spontaneously and provides a highly refined driving experience. It powers the car from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.9 seconds and on up to a top speed of 218 km/h (135.46 mph).
The 3.0 TDI engine in the Audi A4 Avant comes across as a widely new engine, particularly when it comes to the fuel injection system and the turbo. This three liter diesel unit, which is firmly coupled to the manual transmission, has an output of 176 kW (240 hp) and reaches a torque of 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. Its performance figures – from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.3 seconds, a top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) – demonstrate this engine’s dynamic character.
The 2.0 TDI has a new common rail fuel injection system that guarantees refined running; other innovations include the turbo and the piston geometry. Audi offers the two liter diesel engine in two versions: one developing 105 kW (143 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque and the other generating 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of torque. Both ensure powerful propulsion – the basic TDI accelerates the A4 Avant to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.7 seconds and facilitates a top speed of 208 km/h (129.25 mph). The more powerful of the two accelerates the Avant to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.6 seconds and on up to a top speed of 222 km/h (139.19 mph).
When it comes to power transmissions, customers can choose from a broad range of high-tech components. Six-speed manual and tiptronic transmissions (optional for the 3.2 FSI) transfer the engine’s torque. For the 1.8 TFSI unit and the 2.0 TDI engine generating 105 kW (143 hp), the continuously variable multitronic transmission is also an option.
The 3.2 FSI and the 3.0 TDI come equipped with quattro permanent all-wheel drive as a standard feature. It distributes the forces under normal driving conditions at a ratio of 40 : 60 between the front and rear axle – a configuration that perfectly harmonizes the overall dynamic character of the new A4 Avant. If needed, the Torsen differential transfers the majority of the torque to the axle with the better traction.
In the driveline of the new A4 Avant, the differential has moved directly behind the engine. It has switched places with the clutch or the torque converter.
It was therefore possible to move the front axle 154 millimeters (6.06 inches) forward. This solution provides for a longer wheel base and for the perfect distribution of the axle loads, thus improving both handling and ride comfort equally.
Redesigned from top to bottom: the dynamic suspension
The dynamic suspension of the new Audi A4 was redesigned from top to bottom. The pivot bearing and the five links of the front axle are also made of aluminum, just like the beam, which makes the front end of the body more rigid. The steering box is located far to the front and deep down to enable the steering impulse to go directly to the wheels via the tie-rods. The highly efficient servo pump in the sensitive rack-and-pinion steering improves fuel consumption by about 0.1 liter/100 km.
In the rear axle, Audi applied the track-controlled trapezoidal link principle from the larger A6 and A8 series. The suspension is made largely of aluminum; the separate layout of the springs and shock absorbers guarantees sensitive responsiveness. The new A4 Avant will roll off the production line on 16 inch and 17 inch alloy wheels, behind which are located powerful brakes. The electronic stabilization program (ESP) can be partially switched off when driving under 70 km/h (43.50 mph).
A package of innovative technology makes the driving experience even more dynamic and exciting. The optional Audi drive select control system accesses various technology components, depending on which upgrade the customer has selected. In the basic version, it influences the engine’s gas intake, the tiptronic shifting points, the multitronic and the power steering as well as the steering angle of the steering wheel. By pressing a button, the driver determines whether these components should work in a comfortable, average or sporty mode. If the car is equipped with the MMI operating system, a fourth, individually programmable mode is available.
Audi drive select requires at least one of the following two high-end components. One is an adaptive controller for the shock absorbers which is connected to a sports suspension and lowers the body by about 20 millimeters (0.79 inches).
The second component is the Audi dynamic steering that operates with a superposition gear. It varies the steering ratio continuously by almost 100 percent depending on the speed driven. In the limit range, it stabilizes the new A4 Avant thanks to its lightning-fast steering interventions. The system is also extremely useful when understeering occurs.
Even greater supremacy: assistance systems
Audi equips the new Avant, upon request, with a complete range of high-tech systems that make driving an even more supreme and relaxed experience. These include the Audi parking system (a parking aid; standard for the A4 Avant Ambiente), Audi lane assist (the lane departure warning system) and Audi side assist (which warns of hazards when changing lane). Adaptive cruise control maintains the distance to the vehicle in front.
Even when it comes to multimedia, the Audi A4 Avant sets new standards. The Audi Music Interface (AMI) allows iPods to be connected. The navigation systems with MMI Basic plus or with DVD including MMI are also further upgrade options. They permit the integration of cell phones as Bluetooth car phones and are combined with the competition-beating MMI operating system. The top of the line when it comes to hi-fi enjoyment is the car’s sound system from the leading Danish company Bang & Olufsen: A powerful 505 watt, ten-channel amplifier controls 14 speakers.
The new Audi A4 Avant will roll off the production line in the Attraction, Ambition, and Ambiente equipment lines. The dynamic S line offers the options of an exterior package and a sports package. The broad range of options includes luxury-class features such as air-conditioned comfort seats, the triple-zone climate control system, the advanced key which allows keyless access to the vehicle and vehicle start-up at the press of a button, and the dynamic cornering light system known as adaptive light. The large panoramic glass sunroof lights up the elegant interior. A new headlight assistant will be an additional feature in the future.
The A4 Avant will be available for sale in the spring in Germany and other European markets. The basic price of the Audi A4 Avant 1.8 TFSI Attraction model with an output of 88 kW (120 hp) will be €27,550 and it will be available in the fall.
Sporty and sophisticated, progressive and packed with emotion – with the A4, as either sedan or Avant, Audi sets new standards in the midsize class. Its engines perform supremely well but use very little fuel. Their high efficiency is an expression of Audi’s technical expertise, as is their dynamic suspension and countless technological features from the luxury car class.
Concept and design
At 4.70 meters (15.42 ft) for both body types, the new A4 is a large vehicle by midsize standards. Its 2.81-meter (9.22-ft) wheelbase approaches that of a full-size car and easily outdoes the competition. Sharp contours on the car’s body define its
curved, sculpted surfaces: the ‘dynamic line’ above the door sills rises slightly to the rear, the ‘tornado line’ below the windows slopes down. In this way the two contours divide the panels and add dynamic balance to the sides of the car.
Large wheels and boldly styled wheel arches emphasize this impression of concentrated energy. A typical Audi styling principle is that the body accounts for two-thirds of the vehicle’s overall height, with the remaining third consisting of the greenhouse. The side and roof are linked by a barely visible, zero-gap joint – an intricate feature calling into focus the high level of precision involved in Audi design and body manufacturing.
The front-end appearance is dominated by the sporty width of the low singleframe grille. The headlamps have been designed as technical works of art, with powerful visual accents set both by reverse-curve elements known as ‘wings’ and by the standard daytime running lights. In the xenon plus headlamps, which can be combined with adaptive light cornering light technology, the daytime running lights consist of 14 white LEDs, while the halogen headlamps utilize regular bulbs. The ‘wings’ likewise come in a variety of shapes.
The rear end of the body, which tapers dramatically inwards, also adds a subtly sporty touch: its narrow, angled lights draw the eye toward the roadway. And when the lights are on, a strip of reflectors generates narrow halos of light. A4 models with the sporty S line exterior package differ in certain exterior design details. The Audi A4 comes in 15 body colors – a wider choice than any of its competitors offer.
The body is even more rigid and safe than the previous model. But thanks to intelligent lightweight steel construction, it has undergone a dramatic weight loss. Although it is almost 12 centimeters (4.72 in) longer and more than 5 centimeters (1.97 in) wider than the previous model, the body weighs about 10 percent less. High-strength and ultra-high-strength steels make up 62 percent of the weight. The bottom line? The sedan version of the A4 1.8 TFSI weighs only 1,410 kilograms (3,108.52 lb) when empty.
The rigidity of the A4’s body and its favorable vibration characteristics form the basis for its superior handling and quiet ride, with no disturbing noise or vibration. With a drag coefficient of only cD = 0.27 for the basic version, the sedan glides easily and quietly through the air, an effect enhanced by the use of underfloor panels.
The sedan’s trunk now holds 480 liters (16.95 cubic feet) on models with either front-wheel drive or quattro permanent all-wheel drive, a feature that places the A4 in first place among its direct competitors. Innovative curved hinges automatically open the trunk lid as soon as it is unlocked. An optional extra (standard on cars with quattro drivetrain) is the split, folding rear seat back. It increases the load-carrying volume to 962 liters (33.97 cubic feet).
The basic capacity of the A4 Avant’s trunk is 490 liters (17.30 cubic feet) – yet another top value. When the split rear seat back is folded down, total capacity increases to 1,430 liters (50.50 cubic feet). A load guard is standard, as is the reversible load-area floor that also acts as a storage tray. Another standard feature is the deluxe load-area cover that runs up automatically at the touch. As optional extras, Audi supplies other practical items too, for instance a load-securing kit for the load area, electromechanical tailgate closure and a rear seat load-through hatch complete with ski bag.
Inside the A4 there are two front airbags, side airbags in the front backrests and large window airbags. The front seats and head restraints support the occupant’s upper body reliably if the car is struck from the rear; this system, known as Audi backguard, has been awarded top rankings in independent tests. An innovative control system precisely coordinates the adaptive airbags and two-stage belt force limiters, to provide improved protection for the driver and front passenger in a frontal impact. In the Euro NCAP crash test, the A4 received the maximum ranking of five stars.
Inside the A4 there is a sense of light and space that would do justice to a car in a much larger category. It embodies the traditional Audi strengths: distinguished appearance, no-compromise high-quality workmanship with close attention to detail and logical, intuitive controls. The spacious interior has ideal dimensions: rear-seat legroom, for instance, is not far from what would be expected in a large luxury car.
All the car’s occupants enjoy a number of amenities. Audi provides a luxurious center armrest as an optional extra; its dimensions are especially generous, thanks to the new electromechanical parking brake that eliminates the need for a handbrake lever.
The front seats integrate the driver and front passenger perfectly into the sporty ambience. Audi also offers electrical seat adjustment as well as manual. Small fans in the optional climate-controlled comfort seats cool the backrest and cushions in six stages; an automatic auxiliary heating function prevents overcooling.
A deluxe option is available as an alternative to the standard automatic air conditioning; it divides the car’s interior into three climatic zones. The A4’s radiooperated key, which is capable of memorizing various car data, has no projecting bit. As a luxury optional extra, the ‘advanced key’ can be ordered. It provides access to the car while remaining in the user’s pocket.
Its colors and equipment give the Audi A4 its sporty yet elegant style. The interior is light all the way through; the designers have chosen powerful, brilliant shades for use inside the car. The ergonomics are perfect, with the cockpit clearly aligned toward the driver and the center console also angled at eight degrees towards him or her. Many of the details of this midsize model have been adopted from the larger Audi A8.
The standard steering wheel has four spokes, but a leather multifunction steering wheel with three or four spokes is also available. The instrument cluster has been redesigned in all its details, but without sacrificing the classic Audi look. The
driver information system is standard for engine versions of 125 kW (170 hp) or above; there is an additional large display area in the upper section of the center console where the driver can easily see it. A 6.5-inch screen (standard) displays information on the audio and automatic air conditioning systems.
The switches and buttons of the standard audio systems are located ideally within reach between the automatic air conditioning system and the air vents. When one o the two navigation systems is ordered, the Audi A4 also has the Multi Media Interface (MMI) operating system on the center tunnel, complete with a large color monitor. Praised in countless tests, the MMI has proved superior in design and function.
With their supreme, refined power flow, the engines in the A4 provide sheer driving pleasure. At the same time they consume an average of ten percent less fuel than their predecessors – efficiency made by Audi. This progress is underpinned by an extensive package of hi-tech solutions.
In most of the A4 engines – as well as a series of other models – the brand with the four-ring emblem has introduced a collection of new technologies under the general heading of ‘modular efficiency’. All versions of the A4 regenerate energy when braking and coasting to a standstill.
The alternator converts this electrical energy into a form that can be stored temporarily in the car’s battery. The battery releases the energy when the car accelerates, thus reducing the engine’s workload.
The oil pump is regulated by volumetric flow and therefore operates only in accordance with demand. Systematic detail design work has reduced the internal friction of all engines. Temperature management has been solved in a new way: part of the coolant circuit is bypassed during the warm-up phase, helping the engine to reach its operating temperature faster – this, too, boosts efficiency. A new vane-type pump for the power steering delivers only as much oil as is needed at any given operating point. The automatic air conditioning’s refrigerant circuit, too, operates extremely economically.
Customers have a full selection of hi-tech drive options to choose from. The manual transmissions for the A4 have been redesigned; the tiptronic six-speed automatic and multitronic continuously variable transmissions have been
extensively improved. All these transmissions are notable for their ease of operation and high efficiency, with short, precise gear lever or selector lever travel.
Their construction is oriented toward the basic layout of the A4, with the differential located directly behind the engine but in front of the clutch or torque converter. A gearshift indicator is provided in the driver information system. It indicates which gear is actually in use, and displays a recommendation for the driver if a different gear would be more suitable.
The Audi portfolio also includes a sporty classic: quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which is standard on the 3.2 FSI and the 3.0 TDI. Its key element is the Torsen center differential, which operates entirely mechanically and without delay. In regular driving conditions, the differential transfers 40 percent of engine power to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear axle, which permits sporty handling with a rearward bias. But when the need arises, the Torsen differential redirects most of the torque to the axle with better traction.
All gasoline engines available for the A4 use the direct injection principle: the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chambers. The 3.2 FSI, with its displacement of 3,123 cc, develops 195 kW (265 hp) and has a torque of 330 Nm
(243.40 lb-ft) at engine speeds between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm. All cars with this engine transmit the drive to the road via the quattro all-wheel drive system.
The A4 3.2 FSI with six-speed manual transmission consumes only 8.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (26.43 US mpg) – a level of efficiency to which the Audi valvelift system makes a contribution. This system varies the lift of the inlet valves, so the optimal amount of fuel-air mixture is always present in the combustion chambers. The throttle can usually remain open, allowing the engine to breathe freely. 6.2 seconds are all that are needed for the saloon to complete the standard sprint, after which its governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is soon reached – figures that show the dynamic nature of the most powerful A4 Sedan.
The 2.0 TFSI also uses the Audi valvelift system, though in this case only exhaust valve lift is varied. Audi supplies this turbocharged four-cylinder engine in two versions, with outputs of 132 kW (180 hp) and 155 kW (211 hp). In both cases,
the pulling power is most impressive – maximum torque is 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) from 1,500 to 3,900 rpm or, for the more powerful engine, 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) from 1,500 to 4,200 rpm.
The A4 with 132 kW (180 hp) engine accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 236 km/h (146.64 mph), yet its average fuel consumption is only 6.6 liters per 100 km (35.64 US mpg). The more powerful two-liter TFSI, which records the same fuel consumption, hustles the sedan up to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) from a standstill in 6.9 seconds, and on to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) – truly dynamic performance. With this engine, Audi also offers the option of quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
The 1.8 TFSI is also a highly efficient engine using the combination of direct fuelinjection and turbocharging. This four-cylinder unit, with a displacement of 1,798 cc, is also available in two versions.
The more powerful one has an output of 118 kW (160 hp) and 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque on tap between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm; the figures for the entry-level version are 88 kW (120 hp) and 230 Nm (169.64 lb-ft) between 1,500 and 3,650 rpm. With the 1.8-liter engine, the car performs vigorously, reaching 100 km/h (62.14 mph) from a standing start in 8.6 seconds (10.5 seconds for the 88 kW version) and reaching top speeds of 225 km/h (139.81 mph) or 208 km/h (129.25 mph) respectively. Fuel consumption is low, however, with both engine versions consuming only 7.1 liters per 100 km (33.13 US mpg) on average. All versions with the 1.8 TFSI engine drive the car’s front wheels.
The diesels available for the Audi A4 are two V6 units and one engine with four cylinders, this in turn being available in two versions. The top engine is the 3.0 TDI: it develops 176 kW (240 hp) and has a maximum torque of 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) at engine speeds between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. This big V6, with a displacement of 2,967 cc, needs only 6.1 seconds to accelerate the A4 from a standstill to a speed of 100 km/h (62.14 mph). Top speed is governed to 250 km/h (155.34 mph), but despite this high performance, fuel consumption is only 6.6 liters per 100 km (35.64 US mpg). The 3.0 TDI is supplied in combination with
quattro permanent all-drive.
The 2.7 TDI, with a displacement of 2,698 cc, has been derived from the threeliter engine. It has an output of 140 kW (190 hp) and up to 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft) of torque at engine speeds from 1,400 to 3,250 rpm. Its average fuel consumption is a mere 6.0 liters per 100 km (39.20 US mpg), and it can accelerate to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) from a standstill in 7.9 seconds, before reaching its top speed of 239 km/h (148.51 mph). Cars with the 2.7 TDI engine have front-wheel drive. The four-cylinder TDI, with its displacement of 1,968 cc, shares with the V6 its common rail injection system and its highly refined running. It is rated at 105 kW (143 hp) and can deliver 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque at any engine speed between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. This engine accelerates the A4 in 9.4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph), and gives it a top speed of 215 km/h (133.59 mph). Its average fuel consumption is 5.3 liters per 100 km (44.38 mpg).
A second version of this diesel, developing 88 kW (120 hp), is new, and reserved for the A4 Sedan. It generates 290 Nm (213.89 lb-ft) of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Other key performance data: it hustles from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 10.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 205 km/h (127.38 mph). Its average fuel consumption is 5.1 liters per 100 km (46.12 US mpg). Both versions of the 2.0 TDI drive the car’s front wheels.
From the driver’s perspective, the A4 is the sportiest sedan in the midsize car segment. Swapping the positions of the transmission and the clutch in the drivetrain has made it possible to move the front axle forward by 154 millimeters (6.06 in) – a solution that optimizes the load balance between the axles. The dynamic suspension of the Audi A4 has been redesigned from the ground up. The pivot bearings and the five links per wheel that make up the front suspension are made of aluminum, as is the support member that adds rigidity to the front end of the vehicle. The steering box is located well to the front and lower down, to enable steering movements to reach the wheels directly via the track rods. The rack-and-pinion steering provides excellent contact with the road; its efficient servo pump reduces fuel consumption by roughly 0.1 l/100 km. Cars with V6 engines have standard servotronic power steering that varies the degree of assistance according to road speed.
The construction of the rear axle adopts the self-tracking, trapezoidal link principle used on the larger A6 and A8 models. The trapezoidal links, wheel carriers, upper lateral control arms and track rods are all made of aluminum. The separate spring and shock absorber mounting points make the car highly responsive.
Almost all versions of the A4 leave the factory on alloy wheels. These are 16 inches in diameter on cars with four-cylinder engines and 17 inches in diameter on cars with six-cylinder engines. 18- and 19-inch wheels from quattro GmbH can be
obtained as optional extras. Powerful brakes are located behind these large wheels; the front discs are ventilated. On cars with V6 engines, the floating brake calipers are made partly from aluminum. The ESP stabilization system can be partially switched off at speeds below 70 km/h (43.50 mph) – a useful option for skilled drifters.
In addition to two sport suspensions, Audi also offers another example of its innovative technology: the Audi drive select control system. Various system levels are available, involving different technical components. Audi drive select influences the engine’s throttle response, the tiptronic and multitronic gear shift points, the degree of steering power assistance and the settings of the adaptive shock absorbers, which are also new. The shock absorbers adapt extremely quickly to changed operating conditions; their basic settings are at the same level as those of the sport suspension, which lowers the body by 20 millimeters (0.79 in).
The driver can switch the systems linked to Audi drive select to comfort, medium or sporty mode – at the touch of a button. The MMI operating system offers an additional mode in which the driver can create an individual profile. Audi drive select transforms the A4 into up to four vehicles in one.
Audi dynamic steering is another pioneering technology. At its heart is a superposition gear that can vary its ratio by almost 100 percent. The harmonic drive, as it is known, was developed in the robotics industry and is of extremely compact, lightweight construction, and operates precisely with no play. Audi dynamic steering makes the steering ratio more direct at low speeds, with a high degree of power assistance. As the speed of the vehicle increases, the steering ratio becomes gradually less direct and the amount of power assist decreases – at freeway speeds this promotes calm straight-line stability.
The hi-tech steering from Audi is closely linked with ESP. If the A4 threatens to oversteer, it automatically corrects itself with small steering maneuvers in the opposite direction; these frequently eliminate the need to brake. The system also helps to counteract understeer and assists when the car has traction on only one side. With such a wide range of functions, Audi dynamic steering represents a technology that far outstrips what competitors have to offer.
Equipment and trim
The new Audi A4 rolls off the production line with three different trim lines. Attraction is the modern line with character, Ambition is the sporty line, and Ambiente the one for those who favor luxury and style. The dynamic S line consists of an exterior package and a sport package.
The numerous optional extras include such features as climate-controlled comfort seats, three-zone automatic air conditioning, the ‘advanced key’ keyless entry system and adaptive light, the dynamic cornering light technology. These features underscore the close relationship between the A4 and the larger A8.
Audi has built up a wide array of driver assistance systems for the A4. The Audi parking system advanced uses a rearview camera to simplify parking. Audi lane assist is a positioning aid that warns the driver by way of pulses at the steering
wheel if the vehicle is tending to leave its lane; the system operates at speeds of 65 km/h (40.39 mph) and above. Designed to promote safe lane changes, Audi side assist has an LED display in the mirror housing that draws attention to critical
situations at speeds of 30 km/h (18.64 mph) and over.
Radar-assisted cruise control is another system originally available in luxury cars. This form of adaptive cruise control (ACC) regulates the car’s speed and therefore its distance from the vehicle in front by either accelerating or braking; it operates between about 30 and 200 km/h (18.64 and 124.27 mph). If slowing the car in this way is not sufficient, perhaps because the vehicle in front brakes sharply, the braking guard, a part-function of ACC, warns the driver that braking is necessary. Its warning signals vary in intensity according to how hazardous the situation is.
Audi also supplies a complete system of modular elements in the communication and infotainment area. The concert and symphony audio systems are available with the Audi music interface (AMI). This creates a link with an iPod and takes over all its controls, with the menu structures appearing on the car’s display screen.
MMI and MMI basic plus are available as navigation system upgrades. The highly reputable Danish stereo equipment maker Bang & Olufsen represents the top of the line when it comes to stereo enjoyment. A 505-watt amplifier processes signals using the company’s own surround algorithm; the system integrates 10 active channels with 14 speakers. Both MMI systems make it possible to integrate a cell phone as a Bluetooth car phone. The A4 telephone uses Bluetooth technology to acquire all relevant data from a cell phone; a digital speech processor ensures high-quality, hands-free communication.