Audi A4 wagon a ver­sa­tile beast

Pilbara News - - Motoring - Derek Og­den

The lat­est ver­sion of the Audi A4 comes in Avant (sta­tion wagon) style, with the top of the heap be­ing the new sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Audi all-road qu­at­tro of­fer­ing the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of a sta­tion wagon with off-road abil­ity through the new­est gen­er­a­tion of the qu­at­tro all­wheel-drive sys­tem.

This A4 wagon is avail­able with the 185kW 2.0 TFSI en­gine, the first time a petrol en­gine has been of­fered in any all-road qu­at­tro model in Aus­tralia. An al­ter­na­tive is the 140kW 2.0 TDI diesel mo­tor from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion.

The ad­van­tage of the new qu­at­tro is that it is lighter by 4kg than the su­per­seded sys­tem and brings sig­nif­i­cant fuel sav­ings.

On test was the all-road qu­at­tro 2.0 TFSI S-tronic petrol vari­ant, which comes to mar­ket at $74,400, plus on road costs. Added to the ve­hi­cle was the Tech­nik pack con­sist­ing of the Audi vir­tual cock­pit for $2200, load area rails with load se­cur­ing kit ($350), plus metal­lic paint fin­ish ($1420), nudg­ing up the price to $79,223.

The all-road qu­at­tro has its own dis­tinc­tive styling, from a sin­gle-frame ra­di­a­tor grille and flared wheel arches filled with 18-inch al­loy wheels to alu­minium-look trim el­e­ments and roof rails.

De­spite be­ing a big ve­hi­cle, at al­most 5m long, ex­te­rior lines and pro­por­tions are pleas­ing to the eye, with no bulk­i­ness ev­i­dent.

Push-but­ton start is backed up by one of the bet­ter en­gine start/ stop sys­tems around.

As well as stan­dard Audi Con­nect with Google Earth sat nav, the A4 all­road qu­at­tro is avail­able with the in­te­grated Audi tablet, which al­lows rear pas­sen­gers to use the specially de­vel­oped An­droid-com­pat­i­ble de­vice to watch movies or play games.

A sin­gle Audi tablet costs $2000, with a pair priced at $3600.

There’s 185kW on tap from 5000 to 6000 rpm and 370Nm from 1600 to 4500 rpm from the tur­bocharged 2.0-litre four-cylin­der en­gine.

It is mated to a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch trans­mis­sion.

The maker claims a ze­roto-100km/h time of 6.1 sec­onds.

When AWD trac­tion is not needed, ef­fi­cien­cies are gained by us­ing only the front axle for propul­sion.

The two clutches dis­en­gage to min­imise drive-train torque losses, which in turn aids fuel ef­fi­ciency.

The all-road qu­at­tro has earned a five-star ANCAP safety rat­ing thanks to an im­pres­sive ar­ray of stan­dard safety fea­tures.

There was lit­tle to com­plain about from this driver, with typ­i­cal Audi ef­fi­cien­cies in con­trols and in­stru­ments through the Audi vir­tual cock­pit with dig­i­tal clus­ter, 12.3-inch high res­o­lu­tion lay­out and head-up wind­screen dis­play.

Pleas­ing for the owner too is the fuel ef­fi­ciency for the ve­hi­cle’s size.

Com­bined fuel con­sump­tion is a claimed 6.7 litres per 100km. The test ve­hi­cle scored up to mid-teen fig­ures in town traf­fic; less than half that at mo­tor­way speeds.

The new qu­at­tro sys­tem in­cludes an up­graded drive se­lect pro­gram.

In “auto” mode, the sys­tem pro­vides op­ti­mum trac­tion and sta­ble han­dling. In “dy­namic”, power is di­rected to the rear axle sooner and to a larger de­gree, im­prov­ing han­dling in slip­pery con­di­tions. In the new “off-road” set­ting, the all­wheel drive sys­tem is en­gaged.

Ver­sa­tile is the key word with Audi all-road qu­at­tro, with the added bonus of lower fuel con­sump­tion and the ab­sence of lux­ury car tax thanks to its price.

Pic­tures: Mark Bram­ley/Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

The Audi A4 all-road qu­at­tro stays true to the sta­tion wagon tra­di­tion, while adding the lat­est en­gi­neer­ing.

The new qu­at­tro sys­tem in­cludes an up­graded drive se­lect pro­gram.

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