The interior of the A4, still widely regarded as the finest and most meticulously constructed of its kind in the class, has been updated to include the latest generation of steering wheels, new cloth and leather upholstery options and new technology including the latest DVD-based satellite navigation system.

The 2.0 T FSI is expected to be the most popular petrol model in the UK. Its four-cylinder, turbo charged unit delivers 200PS from 5,100rpm through to 6,000rpm and a maximum of 280Nm of torque from just 1,800rpm through to 5,000rpm. It strikes an exceptional balance between performance and efficiency thanks to a sophisticated high pressure common rail injection system supplied by a single-piston injection pump which injects fuel directly into the cylinders rather than via the inlet manifold.

The A4 2.0 T FSI with six-speed manual transmission is capable of accelerating from rest to 62mph in 7.3 seconds and, where permitted, can reach a maximum speed of 149mph, yet is also able to achieve an impressive 36.6mpg on the combined cycle. CO2 output of 185g/km also places the manual version in the extremely competitive 23 per cent tax bracket for business users.

The best-selling TDI model, and the version accounting for the most sales overall, is expected to be the 2.0 TDI. With 140PS at 4,000rpm and an impressive peak torque output of 320Nm available from 1,750rpm through to 2,500rpm, the A4 2.0 TDI with six-speed manual gearbox can accelerate from rest to 62mph in 9.7 seconds, reach a maximum speed of 132mph and cover up to 49.5mpg on the combined cycle. CO2 output of 153g/km ensures an exceptionally low tax rating of 16 per cent, thanks in part to EU4 emissions compliance – an attribute common to every model in the range.

The new 2.0 TDI engine is one of four diesel units in the new A4 range, the most powerful of which being the new 3.0 V6 TDI with 204PS delivered with the help of a sophisticated common rail injection system employing revolutionary Piezo injection technology. The strongest of the six engines in the petrol range is the 344PS V8 powering the latest generation S4 quattro, which is set to make its debut shortly after four and six-cylinder A4 versions.

Accompanying all these engines will be new generation ‘ML’ five or six-speed manual gearboxes, the latest six-speed tiptronic stepped automatic transmission or the recently revised and still unique-in-sector Multitronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), now offering seven speeds in its ‘manual’ mode. These will of course channel power either to the front wheels or to all four courtesy of the renowned quattro system, depending on model.

To enable the fullest possible exploitation of the now even stronger engine range, Audi technicians have been charged with the task of dramatically improving the agility and precision of the new A4, and at the same time maximising ride refinement. As a result the chassis of the new A4 has been extensively revised to include components from the new A6 and upgrades previously reserved for the flagship S4 quattro.

Servotronic speed dependent power steering, originally a feature only of the S4 quattro models, is now fitted as standard to 2.0 T FSI, 3.2 FSI and 3.0 TDI models, and the braking system has been revised for even more assured stopping power. It also now includes a brake disc wiping function, first seen in the new Audi A6, which applies low pad pressure against the discs at regular intervals to keep them drier and therefore maximise performance in wet conditions. Optional xenon headlights with swivelling, adaptive cornering lights, will also enhance driving safety and enjoyment.

Prices and full specification for the new A4 Saloon and Avant models will be available nearer to launch.

Published : 08/09/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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