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What can Audi offer?
Launched in the United States for the 1996 model year, the Audi A4, with its lively character and polished look, started the brand's metamorphosis into an icon of performance and design.
The third-generation A4 should be similarly transformative when it debuts in early 2008. Revised power train packaging will allow the A4's longitudinally mounted engines to move four inches rearward, thanks to a more compact clutch and differential. The engine lineup will remain the same (with a bit more power): a 210-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four; a 265-hp, 3.2-liter V-6; and, in the S4, a 4.2-liter V-8 making 350 hp. Each will come with a choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed version of Audi's DSG transmission. The next A4 also gets a new four-link front suspension, a revised rear setup, and a 60 percent rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel-drive system. These changes, together with more equally balanced weight distribution, should make for markedly sportier handling
Another benefit is that the designers can trim the front overhang, vastly improving the proportions. Inside, the A4 will take many cues from the Road jet concept seen at the Detroit show. Look for all manner of techno gimmickry, including MMI, seats that self-adjust based on the occupant's height and weight, and an MP3 player integrated into the ignition key. The car will be built on a new platform that also will be used for the A5 coupe/convertible and the next A6 and A8.
Furthermore, Audi – maker of quality Audi A4 tie rods, continues its strategy of diesel domination in Australia with the launch this week of the A4 3.0 TDI Quattro - the most-powerful 6-cylinder TDI in the B-segment.
Audi's new A4 3.0 TDI Quattro tiptronic model impresses with strong performance on tap thanks to 171 kW of power, and a mighty 450 Nm of torque.
Already demonstrating the success, vigor and performance of this engine, November last year saw Audi's larger A6 model with the modern 3.0 TDI engine awarded first prize as 'Australia's Best Luxury Car over ,000'. This was the first time a diesel-engined vehicle has a 'Best Luxury Car' gong and heralds a new-found awareness and acceptance of diesel engines for Australian passenger-car consumers.
The Audi A4 3.0 TDI quattro with a 6-speed tiptronic transmission is priced at ,700.
Weight reduction, a fast and crisp gearshift, and the optimized shifting speed of the new 6-speed tiptronic benefits the driver with more spontaneous gear changes, particularly when downshifting. In addition, the engine automatically double-declutches to further increase agility.
A long-time innovator with diesel technology, Audi first launched a TDI version of its all road quattro in 2002 in Australia, followed by A3, A6 and late last year, its first A4 model boasting this efficient and powerful TDI technology.
The new A4 3.0 TDI quattro features a high level of standard specification including electric front seats with electric lumbar support, Bluetooth mobile phone preparation, 17-inch alloys, sports suspension, acoustic rear parking sensors, Volterra leather upholstery, burr-walnut wood inlays, a multifunction sports leather steering wheel with paddle shifts, servotronic speed-sensitive power steering and automatic rain and headlight sensors.
The A4's smaller sibling – with a 2.0 TDI engine and multitronic transmission – has already proven popular since its introduction late last year, accounting for around 10% of A4 sales.
Audi is putting together some particularly popular options for A4 and A4 Avant customers at extremely attractive prices in the form of three new equipment packages. The three packages – “Business Comfort”, “Business Plus” and “Design” – each work out more than a third cheaper than if the items which they contain were ordered separately. They can also be combined with each other.
The “Business Comfort” package includes the chorus audio system, seat heating as well as a center armrest for the front seats, cruise control and the Audi parking system at the rear.
“Business Plus” includes the new navigation system with MMI operating logic, the driver information system, a mobile phone preparation on the centre console, and a 4-spoke multifunction leather steering wheel. The package costs €1,800. Here, too, the Audi A4 customer saves around 34 percent, or €925, compared with ordering the items separately.
The “Design” package offers attractive optic styling equipment at a price of €1,100 (depending on engine version). 17-inch cast aluminium wheels of 16-spoke design, a metallic or pearl-effect paint finish as well as a high-gloss and lights package are available here up to €845 cheaper than if ordered separately. This is a saving of at least 35 percent if the Design package is ordered.
All three packages are now available for the Audi A4 and the A4 Avant in all engine versions.
About the Author: James Russel grew up in Los Angeles and is 35 years old. He works as a marketing analyst for a supplier of automotive parts in the United States. On his spare time, he loves to spruce up his vehicle.