THIS ‘BASE’ MODEL HAS ALL THE BELLS AND WHIS­TLES

Audi A4 mixes hi-tech and crea­ture com­forts with style

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE - WITH CAM WARD

THE irony was not lost on me.

Here I a stretch of road in Al­bert Park that also dou­bles as the home straight for Aus­tralian For­mula One Grand Prix and I was un­able to get my Audi A4 out re­verse into drive.

This of it­self would have been em­bar­rass­ing. But this par­tic­u­lar oc­ca­sion hap­pened on grand fi­nal night for a fut­sal com­pe­ti­tion. I’d man­aged to fluke park right out­side the venue and as such my park­ing space was in high de­mand and de­par­ture heartily —

loudly — wished for. Now, I have had trou­ble with gear­boxes in past (I re­call one which you en­gaged re­verse by grasp­ing a ring around the gear shift and lift­ing it up­wards) but I couldn’t work out what was do­ing wrong in what is at most a one-step process (put gear into re­verse).

The wrin­kle on this oc­ca­sion was that the A4 wouldn’t let me select drive un­til I had my foot the brake, some­thing I must have un­con­sciously been do­ing ev­ery other time I’d put it into drive.

Les­son learned. Once I’d read Audi’s help­ful in­struc­tion in panel on dash was busi­ness as usual.

And the new A4 is very nicely, thank you very much. Safety is much one of its KPIs.

In fact, sec­tor could well be at what pri­mar­ily aimed. It’s an ex­ec­u­tive car for those ex­ec­u­tives who like their lux­ury un­der­stated.

I was be­hind the wheel of the 1.4-litre TFSI, “base” model (it’s still priced at $55,500 plus on-roads) four-car range and only one not to have a 2-litre en­gine.

The en­gine size be­lies a stylish and spa­cious mix of hi-tech crea­ture com­forts. Four adults in com­fort? Tick. Great ex­haust note cor­ner­ing? Tick. The 1.4 TFSI en­gine de­vel­ops 110kW be­tween 5000-6000rpm, and max­i­mum torque of 250Nm from 1500-3000rpm. Audi claims this will push the car 0-100km/h in 8.5 sec­onds rest, with fuel AUDI A4 EN­GINE: 1.4-litre, four-cylin­der, di­rect fuel in­jected tur­bocharged petrol; 110kW/250Nm TRANS­MIS­SION: Seven-speed S-tronic au­to­matic ECON­OMY: 5.5 litres/100km (com­bined) PRICE: From $55,500 (plus on-road costs) WOW FAC­TOR: Per­for­mance of a full-sized sedan from a 1.4-litre en­gine

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