Available combined with either front wheel-drive or quattro permanent four-wheel-drive, and linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, the new addition enables the A4 1.8 T Sport to accelerate to 62mph in 8.2 seconds and to reach a maximum speed, where permitted, of 147mph. It does so without ruling out impressive fuel economy of up to 32.8mpg (combined cycle), and uniquely in the sector the automatic version, powered by the peerless Audi multitronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), actually increases this figure to 34.0mpg, while maintaining performance at virtually the same level.
An even finer balance between punchy performance and real world running costs can be found in the A4 2.0 FSI Sport. Its direct injection, 150PS petrol engine is good for a 0-62mph time of 9.6 seconds and a top speed of 136mph where conditions allow, and at the same time it can cover up to an impressive 39.6mpg (combined cycle). Compared with key prestige rivals, it is the cheapest to run, thanks to a significant advantage in fuel economy, a competitive OTR price of £21,480 and a low CO2 output of just 170g/km which minimises benefit-in-kind taxation. Positioned in the 18 per cent bracket, the A4 FSI carries up to £1,076 less liability than its key rivals for the 2003/4 tax year.
EU4 for TDI
As an added benefit, the highly rated Audi 2.5-litre V6 TDI units with 163PS and 180PS, which power the revised A4 2.5 TDI Sport and 2.5 TDI quattro Sport models, have now been re-engineered for full compliance with the EU4 emissions regulations due to come into force in 2005. The A4 range is the first premium compact executive line-up to offer EU4 diesel models which reduce running costs for business users by eliminating the 3 per cent taxation premium currently levied on diesel. This equates to a reduction in taxation charges of up to £786 in tax year 2003/4.
On the road prices for the A4 saloon range from £18,145 for the A4 1.6 to £25,655 for the A4 3.0 quattro. Avant models start with the 1.6 at £19,295, and finish with the 3.0 quattro at £26,805.Published 15 July 2003