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 §egmènt. With its bold exterior styling, award-winning interior, S4-derived §teering 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 wîth 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 wîth FrontTrak® and a continuously variable transmission, while the A4 3.2 quattro can now be equipped wîth 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. Drivetrain
Two performance-oriented engines are available in the A4 sedan and Avant. The 3.2 V6 FSI has all the features of an ultramodern engine: FSI gasoline direct injection wîth 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 wîth a six-speed manual transmission, or an optional six-speed automatic wîth Tiptronic ®. The A4 3.2 FSI FrontTrak sedan comes standard wîth a continuously variable multitronic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
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 wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth the optimum geometry of the combustion chambers and the dosage of fuel injected wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission wîth Tiptronic. The A4 2.0 T Avant is available in only quattro all-wheel drive and the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth the ÚLEV 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 wîth a six-speed manual transmission and a specially tuned exhaust that announces the evidence of its power. All S4 models come equipped wîth Audi's signature quattro all-wheel drive.
New for 2006 is the introduction of the latest generation Torsen drivetrain on all S4 models equipped wîth a manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
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 wîth the most traction. Tiptronic-equipped S4 models retain a 50/50 torque split.Audi Design
Únmistakeably Audi: the A4/S4 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 wîth 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.
All S4 models have sporty accents that hint at their power and performance. Vibrant exterior colors wîth contrasting titanium-colored inner housings, and distinctive S4 exterior mirror housings add a sporting look. S4 nomenclature on the trunk lid, a trunk-mounted rear spoiler (sedan) and aluminum roof rails on the S4 Avant, dual exhaust pipes add finishing touches to the exterior of the S4.The Interior
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, wîth 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 Únited States and Canada is a specially designed center console wîth dual cup holders wîth 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 wîth a capacity of 13.4 cu. ft. The smooth-floored luggage compartment is well-equipped for tackling challenging transport tasks. And wîth 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 §egmènt competitors.
Furthermore, both front seats are equipped wîth 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 wîth optimum utility and variability. This synthesis of successful interior design and multifunction sets new standards. ( posted on conceptcarz.com)
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
The body of the Audi A4 is based on a unitary steel structure wîth 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 wîth 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 and S4 have 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.
Several mounts as well as the considerably stiffer track rods on the front suspension have been adopted from the high-performance S4. The mounts for the control arm originate from the Audi A6.
Together wîth the new shock absorber settings, the suspension results in a particularly sensitive response to §teering 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 wîth 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 wîth 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 S4 has a sport suspension including stiffer shocks and springs, stronger stabilizer bars in the front and rear, and a ride height lowered by 30 mm compared to the Audi A4. The aluminum-intensive design yields low unsprung mass, which nets a sophisticated maximum ride comfort for driver and passengers, while still providing sports car like handling ability.
The Audi A4/S4 sedan and Avant models come standard wîth hydraulic rack-and-pinion §teering featuring speed-dependent power assistance, Servotronic®. The development goal here was to provide the highest conceivable standard of sporty §teering precision and improved §teering comfort.
The refined Servotronic system enables the driver to maneuver into parking spaces wîth a minimum of §teering 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 wîth the latest Electronic Stabilization Program, ESP®. This system comprises ABS brakes wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth the given situation, particularly when the car is under§teering. 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.Safety
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 wîth 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 §egmènt to receive a 'Double Best Pick' rating.
When combined wîth 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 wîth predefined deformation and a highly stable passenger cell. The structure also has been improved regarding side crash impact. And in conjunction wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth 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.Equipment
The new Audi A4/S4 is positioned in the midsize luxury §egmènt. It stands out for a range of standard equipment wîth 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 §egmènt, 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 wîth 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 Últra Sport package from the previous generation A4. The S-line package consists of a sport suspension, 18-inch 5-arm quattro GmbH wheels wîth 235/40/18 performance tires, S4 front and rear bumper, side sills, S-line specific grill wîth 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 wîth 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 S4 are available BBS/quattro GmbH fourteen-spoke 18-inch wheels wîth high performance tires to ensure an uncompromisingly sporty character in more ways other than just visually. Both the standard six-spoke 18-inch AVÚS, and optional BBS/quattro GmbH wheels come equipped wîth 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 §egmènted §teering 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 wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth 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.
All Audi vehicles sold in North America, including the 2006 Audi A4 and S4, come wîth the Audi Advantage, an outstanding combination of warranties and protection. This top-rated package includes:
• Four-year/50,000-mile no-charge scheduled maintenance
• Four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty
• 12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation
• 24-hour Roadside Assistance for four years provided by Road AmericaSource - Audi
Introduced in 1994, the Audi A4 was a compact executive vehicle built by the German automaker Audi that was the successor to the Audi 80. This vehicle holds the distinction of single-handedly reviving the Audi brand following its large sales slump two years prior. The A4 was available as a saloon/sedan or an estate/wagon. During the 2nd version the model was called the B6 and the 3rd generation was dubbed the B7. A Cabriolet version was also introduced, though it was not retained for the 4th generation which was called the B8. The A4 quickly became a favorite among luxury-car buyers thanks to its sleek look, well-appointed cabin, sharp handling and available Quattro all-wheel drive.
The interior featured a truly European ambience with its firm, comfortable seating, it also featured tight panel gaps, high-quality materials and gave a very supple ride and willing performance.
Internally, the first generation of the Audi A4 was known as the Typ 8D and was introduced in 1994 on the Volkswagen B5 platform which was shared with the fourth generation Volkswagen Passat. The platform featured a longitudinal engine and standard front-wheel drive though many enthusiasts preferred the optional Quattro four-wheel drive system. Originally the A4 was introduced as a four-door saloon/sedan, but the following year the Avant; Estate/wagon showed up the following year.
European customers could opt for a variety of engines that included between 1.6 and 2.8 liters, and a 1.9 L Diesel that was available with VW's new 'Pumpe Düse' technology that was capable of achieving a high power value of 110 PS. At the time, the Audi's 2.8 L V6 that was carried over from the original 80/90 was the only engine option that was available in North America until 1997.
The first model in the Volkswagen Group, the Audi A4 featured the new 1.8 L 20V motor with five valves per cylinder and was based on the unit Audi Sport had developed for their Supertouring race vehicle. Producing 150 PS, a turbocharged version had 155 ft/lb of torque. In 1996, this technology was added to the V6 family, beginning with the 2.8 L V6 30V which now produced 193 PS.
Based on the unit that Porsche had developed for their 964-generation 911, Audi introduced their new Tiptronic transmission on the B5 platform. Offering a choice of driving the vehicle as either a fully automatic operation or with a manual override of the gear ratios, the transmission was a conventional automatic gearbox with a torque converter.
In 1997 a revised B5 Audi A4 range was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Sales began in Europe in early 1998. Replacing the 2.8 L 12-valve was a newly introduced 2.8 L 30-valve engine. The range received an important addition, the 2.5 L V6 TDI diesel engine with 150 PS and standard Quattro and a six-speed gearbox, along with the new high-performance S4. New updates included new taillights, door handles, headlights, and other minor exterior and interior changes.
Halfway through the 1998 model year, the 1.8T engine was available outside of Europe and had its power output raised to 170 PS. The original KKK KO3 turbocharger was upgraded with a KO3s (sport) unit. The 30-valve unit that had been available in Europe for two years replaced the 12-valve V6 engine. An even higher performance RennSport model was introduced in 1999; the RS4 Avant which was available only in Avant body-style just like the RS2.
The Audi A4 introduced a hybrid version in 1997. Audi was the first European car manufacturer to put a hybrid vehicle into series production, the third generation Audi duo then based on the A4 Avant. Internally, the all new A4 model was dubbed the Typ 8E and was introduced in late 2000 and was now riding on the all new Volkswagen B6 platform.
The all-new styling of the Audi A4 was inspired on the C5; second generation Audi A6. The original 1.6 L base model didn't change, but most other petrol/gas engines received power upgrades or displacement increases. Now available in two additional versions, the 1.8 L 20-valve Turbo came with either 150 or 180 PS, this one came with a standard six-speed gearbox. The naturally aspirated 1.8 L straight-4 and 2.8 L V6 were replaced by 2.9 L and all-aluminum 3.0 L units. The most powerful of these was capable of 220 PS and 221 lb/ft of torque. Upgraded to 130 PS, the 1.9 TDI engine was now available with Quattro permanent four-wheel drive. The 2.5 V6 TDI high-end model was unveiled with 180 PS and standard Quattro. Halfway through 2001 the Avant was unveiled.
Audi upgraded power to the 1.8 Turbo engine for 2002 to163 and 190 PS. The 190 was designated by a red T with both available with Quattro and in the 2.5 TDI intermediate version to 163 PS. Fuel Stratified Injection was also available with a 2.0 engine. The S4 was reintroduced the following year and was now powered by a 344 PS 4.2 LV8 engine. An A4 Cabriolet convertible variant was also introduced and finally replaced the 80-based Audi Cabriolet that had been discontinued in 1998. The variant included an electro-hydraulic operated hood which could be lowered in less than 30 seconds and also incorporated some styling changes which found their way to the saloon version.
Generally regarded as being the best of its type in the entire world, a continuously variable transmission was developed by LuK, named multitronic which was the replacement of the Tiptronic on front-wheel drive models. This transmission was well praised due to its light weight and promptness in response. The use of this transmission was limited to models with a maximum of 229 lb/ft of torque.
The trunk was redesigned to remove the extension of the top edge with a smoother fold line, and the taillight assembly now forms part of the top line. Introduced in the North American market, an 'Ultra Sport package' named Ultra Sport came along shortly before the B6 was replaced by the B7. This package included aluminum interior trim and doors sills, front and rear spoilers, 'S line' steering wheel, side valence and 18-inch RS4 wheels.
In 2004 Audi introduced a very largely revised A4 with the internal designation of B7. The new range A4 continued to utilize the already existing Volkswagen B6 platform, a chassis derived from the outgoing B6, but featuring heavily revised steering settings, new engine ranges, suspension geometry, navigation systems and chassis electronics. The internal platform nomenclature used PL46 for both B6 and B7 chassis. Also unchanged from the B6 A4 were the Typ 8E and 8H internal designations.
Many additions were added to the engine lineup. FSI, or Fuel Stratified Injection was introduced in 2005 on the 2.0 TFSI and 3.2 V6 FSI petrol/gasoline engines along with other refinements, and increased power output to 200 and 255 PS. Both engines utilize a four-valve cylinder design. The earlier 5-valve design was not compatible with the FSI direct injection system. Combining Pumpe Düse, or PD, technology, the 2.0 TDI diesel engine with 16 valves for the first time, and the larger 2.5 TDI was increased to 3.0 L offering 204 PS Quattro permanent four-wheel drive remained available on most A4 models. The 5-speed manual transmission was finally deleted in favor of a 6-speed. Once again, multitronic transmission is available on front-wheel drive models. A 6-speed Tiptronic transmission is available on Quattro four-wheel drive models.
Audi reintroduced the ultra-high performance RS4 to the lineup, in addition to the higher-performance S4 which carried over the powertrain of the B6 S4. This was the first time on the saloon/sedan and Cabriolet body with a normally aspirated 4.2 V8 FSI engine. The 3rd generation Torsen T-3 quattro system used a ‘default' asymmetric 40:60 front-rear torque distribution.
Introduced in late 2005, a limited edition variant was dubbed 'DTM Edition' and was reintroduced in 2006 as a regular option. The 2.0T FSI engine was now engineered to 220 PS wit standard Quattro. In the same manner of the C6 Audi A6, the front grill assembly has changed to be a tall trapezoidal shape. Arriving later than the other two body variants, the B7 Cabriolet model was introduced. Sales began in February of 2006. The Cabriolet featured an entry-level 2.0 TDI version.
Offering many safety features, the Audi A4 featured side airbags, anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stabilization Programme and its available Quattro four-wheel drive. The Audi A4 also received the IIHS 'Top Safety Pick For 2007'. The A4 Avant with the diesel engine is considered to be the most reliable vehicle available on the market according to 2007 Swedish vehicle inspection data, with vehicle inspection rejection rate of 0.0% in 3 year old category. Face-lifted and rebadged, the B7 series became the SEAT Exeo in 2008 with styling changes to both the front and rear, and also incorporated interior trim from the A4 Cabriolet.
In August of 2007, Audi introduced photos, the first official photos of the B8 series A4. The vehicle was unveiled to the public at the September 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. Available models were the Saloon/Sedan and the Avant (estate/wagon). The Avant debuted at the March 2008 Geneva Auto Show.
Built on a variant of the Audi Modular Longitudinal Platform, the B8 A4 was constructed on a platform which was also utilized in the Audi A5 coupe. Earlier A4 chassis were limited in wheelbase because of the relationship between the engine, front axle and transmission, and the MLP allows for a reduced front overhang. This resulted in a greater wheelbase length without he same increase in overall length. The center of gravity is now effectively redistributed rearwards, which now improved handling by effectively balancing vehicle mass in between the front and rear axles. The front:rear weight ratio of B8 A4 is approximately 55:45 depending on the body style and engine. Handling was also improved over earlier A4 platforms due to the relocation of the steering rack in front of the axle.
The length of the B8 A4 was also increased in length by 117 mm (4.6 in) over the earlier Audi B7 and gave room for additional seating legroom. The curb weight dropped around 10%, the trunk was increased to 17 cu ft. for the saloon version. With the rear seats folded down, the A4 Avant has a maximum capacity of 1,430 liters. Introduced in the China market in November 2008 was a long wheelbase version called the A4L. This model came with a 2.4 inch longer wheelbase and 2.0 inch longer length.
Standard on the A4 was the MMI system; Multi Media Interface, electronic park brake, LED daytime running lights and speed sensitive steering. Optional on the Audi A4 was Audi Side Assist, Audi Lane Assist, Advanced Key; keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, Bang & Olufsen sound system, navigation system with full MMI with 7 inch screen, adaptive headlights with cornering technology, Audi drive select and advanced parking system front and rear plus reversing camera.
In 2004, the Audi Sport A4 DTM was introduced and was entered into the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series. The DTM was a V8 engined silhouette racing car that resembled the A4. These vehicles are identified by Audi Sport R-series designations.
Today buyers can purchase an Audi A4 in convertible, sedan and wagon configurations. The wagon and A4 sedan are in their fourth generation which began in the 2009 model year. The newest A4 sedans and wagons feature more interior room, more high-tech gadgetry and improved driving dynamics. Since convertible A4's have not yet been produced on the four-generation current platform, the Audi continues to be sold in 3rd generation models.By Jessica Donaldson