Self-assured in appearance: the striking single-frame grille and the newly styled clear-glass headlights wîth their sweeping bottom edge and inward taper give the new Audi A4 a completely new face. The trapezoidal shape of the single-frame grille is continued in the more prominent contours of the engine hood.
The front-end styling deliberately echoes design elements of the Nuvolari quattro coupé study, signalling that this model also belongs to the same family as the other new Audi models - the A8 6.0 quattro, A6 and A3 Sportback: a new Audi generation.
The formal idiom of the Nuvolari quattro can also be found at the rear end where the low-positioned two-piece light units, which also arch a long way inwards, emphasise the horizontal design of the vehicle body. The saloon and Avant both sit squarely on the road, the muscular-lòòking bottom section and very flat window area combining to produce sports car proportions.
The side panel sections are also a completely new design. The gently curving arc of the shoulder line - depicted here as a clearly drawn shadow line - divides up the panels, sculpting a three-dimensional structure.
The new-generation §teering wheels provide an entirely new visual touch in the interior. Their characteristic element is the airbag cover wîth its
single-frame design. Door sill trims wîth aluminium inserts and numerous aluminium inlays are a standard feature of all new A4 versions.
Inlays in Walnut, Fine-grained Birch wood grey or Fine-grained Birch wood beige can be ordered as an alternative - attributes that also emphasise the special exclusiveness and sporty elegance of the interior of current A8 and A6 models.
Three new cloth and two exclusive leather grades as well as a leather/Alcantara version can be ordered for the interior surfaces and the seats.
The excellent ergonomics of the previous generation is also to be found in the new Audi A4. The cockpit and interior surround the driver wîth horizontal, generously sweeping lines that flow from the dashboard into the door area. At the same time, the new Audi A4 offers a high level of interior comfort. Engine and Transmission
A new six-cylinder engine is being made available for the A4 for the very first time. The 3.2 V6 FSI, which only made its production debut in the new Audi A6 a few months ago, has all the features of an ultramodern petrol engine: FSI petrol direct injection wîth demand-controlled fuel supply, four valves per cylinder, a variable intake manifold and continuous camshaft adjustment on both the intake and the exhaust side.
This V6 engine delivers its maximum output of 188 kW (255 bhp) at 6,500 rpm. Its peak torque of 330 Nm is already available at 3,250 rpm. The A4 3.2 FSI wîth multitronic transmission and front-wheel drive accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds and on up to a governed top speed of 250 km/h. This also applies to the version wîth quattro permanent four-wheel drive and 6-speed manual gearbox.
More than 90 percent of the engine's peak torque is available in the wide range between 1900 and 5900 rpm - a unique characteristic for a naturally aspirated V6. As far as the driver is concerned, this means a dynamic and forceful response to every movement of the accelerator pedal plus a broad usable speed range up to 7200 rpm, hefty torque and excellent fuel efficiency: an average consumption of 9.3 litres of Super grade fuel per 100 km for the multitronic version is the best evidence of this engine's efficiency and the special abilities of FSI technology.
FSI engines develop more power and dynamism than conventional units wîth indirect fuel injection - and they do so wîth a very high standard of fuel economy. With the increase in efficiency achieved here, Audi has opened up a new dimension in the efficiency of standard spark-ignition engines and once again demonstrated the proverbial progress through technology familiar to the brand.
FSI direct petrol 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 'petrol 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. This has the potential for worldwide application and for operation on the fuel grade RON 95/91. 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:
While conventional production engines generally have a compression ratio of not more than 10.5:1, the compression ratio on Audi's 3.2 FSI power unit is 12.5:1 - a record on production cars and the essential prerequisite for the new engine's high standard of efficiency.
Source - Audi
The set-up of the dynamic chassis wîth four-link front suspension and self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension has been completely modified and numerous new components added.
Audi's chassis engineers have made extensive changes in the area of elastokinematics and to the spring and shock absorber settings: several mountings and the dimensions of the front and rear shock absorbers have been adopted from the A6, for example. The rear trapezoidal links and wheel carriers as well as the front track rods originate from the S4.
These modifications add up to a significantly higher level of agility and precise handling, combined wîth first-class ride comfort - qualities which benefit both drivers of the A4 saloon and the Avant in equal measure. This also applies to the brakes, the dimension and consequently performance of which have been adapted to suit the potential of the new engines.
The Audi A4 and A4 Avant offer a standard equipment specification which sets a benchmark in the midsize class. Every new A4, for example, is fitted wîth deluxe automatic air conditioning which has separate temperature controls for the driver and front passenger.
All five seats are equipped wîth three-point inertia-reel belts (the front belts have belt-force limiters and belt tensioners plus a seat belt reminder) and head restraints. Active head restraints are integrated into the front seats. These reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision by a significant degree. The safety equipment also includes front airbags that are activated in two stages, front side airbags and the large-area head airbag system known as sideguard.
Electric front windows (and electric rear windows as well on 2.0 T FSI and V6 versions) are also part of the standard specification, as are electrically adjustable exterior mirrors and central locking wîth radio remote control.
There are almost unlimited possibilities for combining items of optional equipment. For example, the new Audi A4 can be ordered for the first time wîth adaptive light technology including xenon plus headlights. This also includes the daytime running lights function which only increases energy consumption slightly: a clear safety bonus. An optional light/rain sensor activates the dipped headlights and windscreen wipers automatically if necessary.
The system's range of functions and quality are without equal.
Anyone wishing to experience the acoustic qualities of the audio systems offered for the new Audi A4 to the full can order the BOSE sound system wîth noise compensation and enjoy a sound quality specifically matched to the vehicle.
Customers can choose from 15 exterior colours, including five new ones. In addition to the standard specification, the wheel range comprises eight summer and three winter wheels of up to 7.5 x 17 J in size, wîth tyres up to 235/45 R 17. Additional versions up to 18 inches in size are available from quattro GmbH.
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