Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
November 14, 2011
The interior of the S line sport package comes in black, refined with high-quality applications. 18-inch wheels or the optional 19-inch wheels and an S line sport suspension that lowers the body by 30 millimeters (1.18 in) complete the package. Audi exclusive and Audi exclusive line offer further individualized options.
The A4 Sedan’s luggage compartment still has its 480-liter capacity – 962 liters with the rear seats folded down (16.95 and 33.97 cubic ft). The A4 Avant and the A4 allroad quattro have 490 and 1,430 liters, respectively (17.30 and 50.50 cubic ft), with Audi offering an optional electrically operated tailgate for both models.
The new A4’s drive system sets new standards. The consumption levels have dropped by 11 percent on average, despite the increased power and torque of many of the engines. In the Sedan and the Avant each, Audi offers any of six TDI and four gasoline engines, with 23 possible engine-transmission combinations. All engines are supercharged direct-injection systems; the start-stop system and the recuperation system are standard throughout.
The TDI engines combine pulling power with pioneering efficiency, with the four-cylinder versions presenting extensive modifications. A new centrifugal pendulum-type absorber (in the 2.0 TDI with 100 kW, 120 kW or 130 kW with quattro drive) in the dual-mass flywheel makes engine running even more refined and quieter at low revs, for even earlier upshifting and savings of up to 0.2 liters per 100 km.
The most economical variant in the model family is the Audi A4 2.0 TDI with 100 kW (136 hp). In the Sedan, this engine needs only 4.2 liters of fuel per 100 km (56.0 US mpg) on average – a CO2 equivalent of just 112 grams per km (180.25 g/mile). The new A4 2.0 TDI with 120 kW (163 hp), also optimized for maximum efficiency, manages with 4.4 liters of diesel per 100 km (53.46 US mpg). This equates to 115 grams CO2 per km (185.07 g/mile). Both engines are available for the Sedan and the Avant.
In addition, three other four-cylinder diesel engines are available – with 88 kW (120 hp), 105 kW (143 hp) and 130 kW (177 hp). They can also be ordered for the allroad quattro, apart from the entry-level version. Three V6 TDI units complete the line. The 3.0 TDI with 150 kW (204 hp) (not for the allroad quattro) is the most efficient six-cylinder engine in its class worldwide; in the A4 Sedan it consumes an average of just 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (48.0 US mpg). The second variant, the 3.0 TDI, generates 180 kW (245 hp), with an especially clean diesel version.
The A4 series also presents the latest state of the art in gasoline engine technology. A new highlight of the TFSI family is the new 1.8-liter engine, available for the Sedan and the Avant. The four-cylinder engine delivers sporty thrust, with a power output of 125 kW (170 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque. The average consumption in the A4 Sedan is limited to 5.6 liters per 100 km (42.0 US mpg), or 134 grams CO2 per km (215.65 g/mile). That is a decrease in consumption of 19 percent compared with the predecessor engine.
The new 1.8 TFSI engine features many innovations: in the control of its valves and their lift, in the novel thermal management system, in the fuel injection system, in the turbocharger and in the integration of the exhaust manifold in the cylinder head. The engine weighs 3.5 kilograms (7.72 lb) less and its internal friction has sharply decreased.
The entry-level gasoline engine is the 1.8 TFSI with 88 kW (120 hp). The 2.0 TFSI – as the only spark-ignition engine also available in the A4 allroad quattro – delivers 155 kW (211 hp). At the top of the line is the 3.0 TFSI in two variants. In the A4 the V6, to follow a bit later, affords 200 kW (272 hp). In the sporty S4 top model its power is an impressive 245 kW (333 hp).
Drivetrain The wide range of drivetrains is typical of Audi. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Sedan and Avant models with front-wheel drive; most variants offer continuously variable multitronic as an option. The quattro versions have either the manual transmission or (as of the 2.0 TDI with 130 kW (177 hp)) the seven-speed S tronic on board. The A4 allroad quattro employs a manual transmission or S tronic with all engine versions.
The innovative thermal management system shortens the warm-up phase of the manual transmission, among other things, and thereby reduces friction loss. All transmissions are distinguished by convenient and precise operation, high efficiency and a wide spread of gear ratios – the long ratios in the higher gears reduces fuel consumption, while the short ratios in the lower gears benefit the dynamics.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive is standard on the A4 allroad quattro, and available in the Sedan and Avant from the 2.0 TDI with 105 kW (143 hp). The A4 family uses the self-locking center differential here. In regular driving operation it primarily transmits the engine torque to the rear wheels in the ratio of 40 to 60. If necessary, redistribution occurs within the shortest possible time. The torque vectoring function supplements the work of the center differential with finely incremented brake applications, to make handling even more precise and safer.
In the V6 quattro variants Audi offers the sport differential as a supplement, lending maximum precision and high traction to the A4 when cornering at the handling limits. The high-end component actively distributes the power between the rear wheels as required.
Another high-end feature that gives the A4 a special status in its class is Audi drive select. In the basic package, the driver can switch the characteristic of the accelerator, the shift points of the automatic transmission, the power steering and the automatic air conditioning between the four modes “comfort,” “auto,” “dynamic” and “efficiency.” If there is an onboard navigation system, the additional “individual” mode is also included.
Further modules are optional – adaptive cruise control or the cruise control system, the sport differential, the suspension with damper control and dynamic steering. By means of a superposition gear, the gear ratio is adjusted in a continuously variable manner depending on the driven speed; at the handling limits small interventions compensate for understeering and oversteering.
Audi offers a whole kit of state-of-the-art infotainment systems for its A4 series. The chorus CD radio with eight speakers is standard, while the MMI navigation plus system with large hard disk, color monitor, 3D graphics and DVD player forms the top of the line. Voice control and the optional digital audio broadcasting are further improvements to the system.
The high-end supplement to the MMI navigation plus system is the Bluetooth online car phone. Via Audi connect the system provides special services in the car, such as voice-controlled Google searches for points of interest and navigation with Google Earth pictures, along with Google Street View. Audi online traffic information, another such service, gives the driver the latest news on congestion along the selected route. The WLAN hotspot, another feature of the Bluetooth online car phone, allows passengers in the A4 to surf the internet and send e-mails as they please with their mobile devices.
The Audi S4
The Audi S4, available in the Sedan and Avant versions, employs the most powerful engine in the line – the 3.0 TFSI with 245 kW (333 hp) and 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) torque. The Sedan’s average fuel consumption is a mere 8.0 liters per 100 km (29.40 US mpg) – with an impressive performance: The S4 accelerates in 5.0 seconds from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and achieves an electronically limited maximum speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
The modified Audi S4 is identifiable from the changes to the headlights, the bumpers, the air inlets and colors. The interior also contains subtle changes in appearance. The S sport suspension and 18-inch wheels featured on the S4 deliver outstanding road grip.
The prices of the A4 have changed only slightly, despite the extensive upgrading. For example, the A4 2.0 TFSI costs just 475 euros more – the sporty Sedan is now listed at 35,425 euros.