It Is Like A Watered Down S4

In an effort to compliment Audi enthusiasts who appreciate a good stick shift and, obviously, ease the news that Audi won’t be offering the A4 and the A5 with the option of a manual transmission from the 2019 model year onwards, it’s said that the company will introduce the A4 Ultra Sport Edition. It is a limited-edition car only 40 of which will be produced and sold, presumably to Audi lovers. Despite the sad news of Audi discontinuing its offering of the manual on their popular models, the A4 Ultra Sport Edition is actually a fitting adieu to the stick shift.

In order to make it as impressive as possible, Audi gave it a number of pieces to differentiate it from the rest of the lineup.

Exterior

2018 Audi A4 Ultra Sport Edition Exterior
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Starting with the exterior, the Germans gifted the special edition car with a fitting carbon fiber trim which does include a small carbon rear lip spoiler at the back and carbon fiber mirror housings.

Further denoting the A4 Ultra Sport Edition is the unique Quantum Grey paint.

Every Ultra Sport Edition car is finished in it. Forget about the badges. Audi decided to remove all of them to highlight the grey finish. When I say all of them, I mean, all of them aside from the S-line badges on the front fenders. Then, the A4 was drizzled with 19-inch wheels in matte titanium finish. I would say they complement the gray exterior quite well.

The changes aren’t massive, but they do add up to a rather amusing exterior that differentiates the usually uneventful Audi A4 from the standard models. This one definitely has some sporty substance to it which was Audi’s goal with the A4 Ultra Sport Edition.

Interior

2018 Audi A4 Ultra Sport Edition Interior
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Interestingly enough, it seems Audi did more for the inside than for the outside. As the A4 Ultra Sport Edition is based around an already rich, but middle-of-the-road Premium Plus model, the Germans had a chance to ornament it with a number of cool sporty touches.

It strikes me the most that they’ve actually used Audi Sport RS carbon fiber for the interior trim.

You can find it on the dash and between the seats. Powered seats are, too, considerably improved with new leather on the bolsters, and a cool design. Black headliner? Of course!

While Audi stayed away of garnishing the A4 Ultra Sport Edition with anything out of the ordinary, I find that true gearheads will appreciate stuff like the stainless-steel pedals or awesome flat-bottomed steering wheel. You can’t have a spirited car with a round wheel nowadays, now can you?

Drivetrain & Performance

2018 Audi A4 Ultra Sport Edition Exterior
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The Drive actually contacted Audi’s PR department and asked them to comment on the Audi A4 Ultra Sport Edition. They also asked if Audi will stop selling the manual A4 and the A5 in the US. This is the answer they got from Audi’s spokesperson:
"We have decided to no longer offer the manual transmission due to low take rate, but also because it is clear that the lion’s share of customers appreciate the better performance and fuel economy of the automatic/double clutch transmissions of today. Nonetheless, this model is a nod to our appreciation of the manual on the A4 model line."

Apart from all the exterior and interior makeup for the special edition model, Audi actually improved the driving dynamics with massive wheels (with 245/35R19 tires) and a sharper adaptive steering system.

The cars are, of course, powered by a 2.0-liter, 252-horsepower engine linked with the manual transmission.

It turns out that all of them are already in the States waiting for the prospective buyers.

Pricing

2018 Audi A4 Ultra Sport Edition Exterior
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Although based around the mid-grade Premium Plus trim, the Audi A4 Ultra Sport Edition isn’t cheap. You should expect to pay around $7,000 premium over the price of the Audi A4 Premium Plus to get it. Some of it is justified with the added gear, but I think you are paying for exclusivity more than for anything else. With all said and done, the Audi A4 Ultra Sport Edition price should fall somewhere around $47,000. Bear in mind, you are, in essence, buying a piece of Audi history here. If you get to it, that is, as I am sure dealers are swamped with calls about this car.

Conclusion

2018 Audi A4 Ultra Sport Edition Exterior
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This is not an S4, but if you ask me, it is the next best thing. Like a watered-down version of it. The car most certainly resonates with some sort of exclusivity and sportiness, yet it looks like it is trying to keep it all to itself. No badges on it. It is gray, dignified, but sophisticated in some strange way. It looks like a definition of a sleeper. Only if it could have a bit more power. That would be awesome. Wait a minute, would you remap the ECU on a highly limited Audi A4? Would that be a bit too much?

Further reading

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior
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Audi A4

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A4.

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