Audi launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show the A4 sedan, a redesigned model with a sporty and progressive character. But the sedan is not the only one to get a facelift, the company is also working on the Convertible version that will be launched at the beginning of 2008. With a price around $45.000, the new A4 Convertible will compete with models like BMW 3-Series Convertible and the upcoming Infiniti G37 Convertible that will be launched in 2009.
The 2009 A4 Convertible will feature new and sporty proportions like the new sedan unveiled. The front body overhang will be drastically shortened; the bonnet and wheelbase will be both longer compared to the previous A4. In the driveline, the differential has changed places with the clutch (or torque converter), making it possible to move the front axle forward by 154 millimetres. This innovative solution ensures ideal axle-load distribution.
The 2009 A4 Convertible will be offered with five powerful, refined engines. All of them, both petrol and diesel, use direct fuel injection, and the two four-cylinder units and the V6 TDI engines are turbocharged.
The petrol version are the 1.8 TFSI (that replaces the 2.0 TFSI engine from the previous generation) and the 3.2 FSI. The 3.2 version will have an output of 265 hp and a peak torque of 243 lbs-ft. Matted with a manual gearbox, the 3.2 FSi will make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 6 seconds and will hit a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). An 6-speed tiptronic automatic transmission will be offered as an option.
The less powerful version, the compact four-cylinder 1.8 TFSI will develop 160 hp and a peak torque of 184 lbs-ft. With the 1.8 TFSI model and a manual gearbox you will make the 0 to 60 mph sprint a little bit slower than in the 3.2 version: 8.4 seconds and you will reach a top speed of only 140 mph.
Diesel engine will be also offered: two V6 units and a four-cylinder inline. The V6 engine are a 2967 cc one that develops 240 hp and makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 5.9 seconds and a 2.7 TDI engine, with a displacement of 2698 cc that delivers 190 hp and makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 7.5 seconds. The four-cylinder inline will develop 143 hp and will make the 0 to 60 in 9.2 seconds.
A S4 version will also be offered. It will be powered by a 4.2 liter FSI V8 engine with an output of 350 hp. In the S4 the 0 to 60 mph sprint will be made in less than 5 seconds and you will hit a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).
Audi launched the A4 for the first time in 1994 as a successor for the Audi 80. In its 13 years life-time the A5 had four different generations: the B5 from 1994 to 2001, the B6 from 2001 to 2005, the B7 from 2005 to present and the B8, the generation that was launched this year in Frankfurt and will be available starting 2008.
The First generation A4 (B5) was unveiled in 1994. It was built on Volkswagen Group’s B5 platform, which it shared with the fourth generation Volkswagen Passat. It was powered by a range of engines between 1.6 and 2.8 litres, and a 1.9 L Diesel.
In 1997 at the Frankfurt Motor Show Audi launched a facelift A4. It featured two new engines: the 2.4 L 30-valve V6 (replacing the outdated 2.6 V6) and the 2.5 L V6 TDI engine with 150 hp, but also standard quattro and a six-speed gearbox. Audi also added to the line-up the new high-performance S4.
In 2000 Audi launched all-new A4 built on the B6 platform and inspired by the fifth-generation Audi A6. The biggest changes were under the hood: the 1.6 L base model remained unchanged, but most other gasoline engines received either displacement increases or power upgrades.
The A4 Convertible was first unveiled in 2003 replacing the 80-based Audi Cabriolet that had been discontinued in 1998.
In 2004, Audi unveiled the third generation A4 built on the B7 platform. The engine lineup received many additions, the most notable of which was the 2005 introduction of Fuel Stratified Injection on the 2.0 TFSI and 3.2 V6 FSI, respectively capable of 200 and 255 hp.
The A4 Convertible was powered by a choice of six engine versions, ranging from the 2.0 TDI to the sporty 4.2-litre V8 available for the S model. The S4 Cabriolet quattro is the only car of its kind worldwide to offer an eight-cylinder engine and permanent four-wheel drive as standard.
The Fourth generation A4 was launched this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The A4 is a sporty car with superb presence on the road; it takes Audi forward into a new dimension on the midsize car market. The engines that power the saloon, both TDI and spark-ignition, in all cases with direct fuel injection, combine effortless power with high efficiency.
The new Audi A4 is being introduced with a choice of five engines, their power outputs ranging from 105 kW (143 bhp) to 195 kW (265 bhp). The four-cylinder petrol engine, like the diesels, is turbocharged, and both types of engine have direct fuel injection. All the engines, with their supremely refined flow of power, make the A4 a pleasure to drive and, thanks to their high efficiency, consume distinctly less fuel than the previous versions.
BMW unveiled the 3-Series Convertible in Spring of 2007. The model comes with a three-piece electronically-operated retractable hard-top – a first for BMW .Stowed or raised in approximately 22 seconds, the new roof has been introduced, not only for added security, but also for better visibility and a greater feeling of space and light for occupants. Because the roof features a larger rear glass windscreen and side windows, visibility has improved by 38 per cent compared to the outgoing 3 Series Convertible.
The new High-Precision Direct Injection system on the BMW 3 Series Convertible uses centrally-mounted piezo crystal injectors spraying atomised fuel vapour directly into the combustion chamber. Combined with Bi-VANOS variable valve technology the system delivers the most efficient burn of fuel for maximum power and parsimonious economy. The fruits of this technology are highlighted by the impressive performance figures posted by all of the petrol-powered 3 Series Convertibles.
The 325i Convertible with its all-new 218hp six-cylinder engine develops 270Nm of torque. The open-topped 325i covers the 62mph sprint in 7.6 seconds and can attain a top speed of 152mph. However, it is still capable of a combined consumption figure of 35.8mpg.
Representing the flagship of the range is the 335i Convertible with its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre engine. Using an aluminium cylinder block rather than the magnesium alloy unit from the 325i Convertible, but with the added benefit of lag-free forced induction, the 335i posts a zero to 62mph time of 5.8 seconds. The 306hp engine, higher than the output of the E36 BMW M3 , has been restricted to a 155mph top speed. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 28.5mpg. Peak torque of 400Nm from just 1,300rpm through to 5,000rpm gives the driver a real surge of effortless power, acceleration and flexibility.
The 2009 G37 Convertible will be inspired by the 2008 Coupe version; this means it will combine the same exhilarating performance, stunning styling and modern, sporty interior of the original Infiniti G Coupe.
Under the hood of the Convertible version we will see a 3.7 liter V6 engine with an output of 330 hp and a peak torque of 269 lbs-ft. The engine will be matted with a a choice of an upgraded electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, downshift rev matching, DS mode and ASC (Adaptive Shift Control) that allows for quicker shifts in sporty driving situations and available genuine magnesium paddle shifters; or a newly revised, lightweight 6-speed manual transmission.
The G37 Convertible will be build on the FM (Front Mid-ship) platform, which has been stiffened 36% from the previous generation, is lower in overall height and has a wider front and rear track width.
Also there are rumors that Infiniti is working on a more powerful version of the G37: an all-wheel drive, twin-turbocharged version that will have an output of 500 hp. This mean that the 2009 G37 will be even more powerful like a GT-R. So, it will reach at least a top speed of 185 mph and the 0 to 60 mph sprint will be made in less than 4 seconds.