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Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Quattro: Core four

By Ghaith Madadha - Nov 23,2015 - Last updated at Nov 23,2015

Photo courtesy of Audi

Making its global debut weeks ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show and expected in Amman in early 2016, the new Audi A4 is the Ingolstadt-based four-ring maker’s finest compact executive car yet. Competing in a crucial entry-level four-door premium segment, the A4 is a thoroughly well-reconciled and high-tech player that puts the squeeze on German, Japanese and British rivals. 

Driven in Quattro four-wheel drive guise on winding Italian country and hillside routes surrounding Venice, it was expectedly grippy, but with lighter weight and revised suspension design, also proved a rewardingly dynamic and eager drive. Advanced and well equipped, the new A4 features lightweight construction, class-leading aerodynamics and a sophisticated next generation suite of semi-automated driver assistance and infotainment systems.

 

Assertive and elegant

 

Built using an intelligently applied mixture of materials including high strength steel and lightweight aluminium, the new A4 is slightly roomier and bigger than its predecessor, but also up to 120kg lighter. Extensive weight-saving measures include lighter electric-power steering and aluminium suspension components for a lighter un-sprung weight to improve ride comfort and driving dynamics.

Assertive and chiselled, the A4 represents a striking yet elegant design evolution, with squinting sharply angled and browed LED front lights, and a huge and hungry hexagonal grille. Athletic even without optional S-Line trim, the A4 features sculpted surfaces and sills, ridged character lines, aggressive lower and side front intakes, shorter front overhang and pert rear bumper, lights and integrated spoiler.

Sporty but elegant, the A4’s level waistline lends a classier look and better visibility, while with smoothly arcing roofline and numerous design tweaks from mirrors to engine and suspension underbody covers, the A4 achieves best in class aerodynamics. Helping reduce fuel consumption, improve on-the-move performance and cabin noise refinement, the A4 achieves aerodynamics drag co-efficiency as low as 0.23 (0.27, as driven).

 

Fast and frugal

 

Offered with three turbocharged four-cylinder engines at launch — with more powerful options including S4 and RS4 variants soon arriving — the driven A4 2.0 TFSI Quattro is in the meantime certainly no slouch. Developing 248BHP at 5000-6000rpm and 273lb/ft from its 2-litre engine, and with tenacious Quattro traction digging in, it bolts through 0-100km/h in just 5.8 seconds and can top 250km/h.

Optimised for refinement, efficiency and power, the 2.0 TFSI features direct and indirect injection with its intake manifold integrated into the cylinder head for thermal management. Responsive from tickover with imperceptible turbo lag, its broad and rich peak torque mid-range provides effortlessly versatile progress and responses, and underwrites power build-up. With a distant growl and smooth delivery, power accumulates urgently and progressively to a peak plateau.

Driven through a finger-snap responsive 7-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox with economic and manual modes, and a stop/start system, the 2.0 TFSI returns frugal 6.3-litre combined fuel efficiency. Operating with default 60 per cent rear power bias for eager dynamics and balance, the Quattro system can transfer 85 per cent power rearward or 70 per cent frontward for sure-footed vice-like grip when pushed hard through corners or over low traction surfaces.

 

Tidy and tenacious

 

Riding on new five-link front and rear suspension designed for supply longitudinal absorption and lateral stiffness — and with upper links integrated directly into bodywork — the A4 is fluidly comfortable over imperfections and poised and flat through snaking switchbacks. Driven with optional adaptive dampers, the A4 proved refined, smooth and stable at speed, yet tautly controlled weight transfer through corners.

Tidy into corners — with precise electric-assisted steering — the new A4’s five-link suspension design and rear-biased Quattro drive allow for a crisp turn-in despite its engine being positioned just ahead of the front axle. Eager and agile, the A4’s cornering finesse is aided by a torque vectoring system that selectively brakes the inside wheel into corners for enhanced agility. 

Committed and precise through tight cornering lines and narrow winding roads, the A4’s Quattro four-wheel drive ensures resolute road-holding and re-allocates power as needed to power out of a corner with poise and precision. An optional limited-slip “Sport” differential can also mechanically and instantaneously re-allocate power along the rear axle for even sportier, safer, grippier and more agile cornering.

 

Ergonomic and extensively equipped

 

A model of design, build, cabin refinement and ergonomics in its segment, the driven Audi A4 featured rich textures, leathers, metals and open pore woods and a clean, sleek and uncluttered yet user-friendly dash and console layout. Supportive, well-adjustable seats and steering provided an ideal driving position while a level waistline provided an airy ambiance and good visibility.

Thoroughly well-equipped with standard and optional features, the A4’s infotainment systems includes Audi’s configurable Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster screen, head’s up display and Bang and Olufsen sound system. Also available are an 8.3-inch centre screen infotainment system features voice control, smartphone integration, rear seat tablet infotainment and a navigation system that operates in close cooperation with safety and assistance systems.

 

A comprehensive suite of semi-autonomous and safety systems includes, standard pre-sense city safety that can prevent collisions at 40km/h and reduce severity to 85km/h. Meanwhile, a Tour package features radar-based adaptive cruise control and a traffic jam assist function, which can even take over steering control on well-developed roads, up to 65km/h, in addition to the ability to anticipate and prepare for corners.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine: 2-litre, in-line turbocharged 4 cylinders

Bore x stroke: 82.5 x 92.8mm

Compression ratio: 9.6:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection

Gearbox: 7-speed automated dual clutch, four-wheel drive, self-locking centre differential*

Gear ratios: 1st 3.188; 2nd 2.19; 3rd 1.517; 4th 1.057; 5th 0.738; 6th0.557; 7th 0.433 

Reverse/final drive ratios: 2.75:1/4.27:1

Power distribution, F/R: 40 per cent :60 per cent

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 248.5 (252) [185.3] @5000-6000rpm

Specific power: 125BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 164.5BHP/tonne

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 273 (370) @1600-4500rpm

Specific torque: 186.5Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 245Nm/tonne

0-100km/h: 5.8 seconds

Top speed: 250km/h

Fuel consumption, urban/extra-urban/combined: 7.9/5.4/6.3-litres/100km**

CO2 emissions, combined: 144g/km**

Fuel capacity: 58 litres

Length: 4726mm

Width: 1842mm

Height: 1417mm

Wheelbase: 2820mm

Track, F/R: 1572/1555mm

Aerodynamic drag co-efficient: 0.27** (est.) 

Overhangs, F/R: 880/1026mm

Headroom, F/R: 1039/953mm

Luggage volume, min/max: 480/965 litres

Unladen weight: 1510kg

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Suspension: Five-link, adaptive dampers

Brakes: Ventilated discs

Tyres: 245/35R19 (optional)

 

*Optional limited-slip rear-differential

 

**As tested, with 19-inch wheels

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