Audi A4 Avant
Audi advanced into new dimensions with the A4 sedan. In just a few weeks the A4 Avant—the sportiest, best-looking mid-sized station wagon on the market— will follow. In addition to impressive handling characteristics and a captivating feel of quality, the Audi A4 Avant also offers a practical bonus for sports and recreation enthusiasts: Its dynamic, elegant bodywork conceals up to 1,430 liters (50.50 cubic ft) of cargo space and numerous well thought-out details.In terms of technology, the A4 Avant is based on the same layout as the sedan; its newly developed five-link front axle has been shifted far to the front. The advantage to this design is a more balanced axle load distribution that offers maximum handling precision and agility and takes driving into a new dimension. The Avant also delivers the emotion-packed, sporty driving experience that has prompted the automotive press to immediately dub the sedan the best midsize car on the market.
The Audi A4 Avant is making its start with five powerful engines: three TDIs and two gasoline units. The fuel consumption of these engines has gone down by an average of 14 percent over previous models. Also demonstrating the typically high level of Audi technological expertise are the wide array of drivetrains and numerous luxury-class technologies that enhance the sportiness and comfort of the model. Sales of the A4 Avant will begin in the spring throughout Germany and in other European markets. The basic price of the Audi A4 Avant is €27,550, which applies to the 88-kW (120-hp) 1.8 TFSI to be available in the fall.
The captivating design
With its fine precision and captivating styling, the exterior of the new A4 Avant highlights the lead that Audi maintains when it comes to automobile design. The designers re-proportioned the dimensions with respect to the model's predecessor: The roof contour slopes more in this model, while the flat D pillars lend an elegant flow to the silhouette and powerful horizontal lines accentuate the width of the tail.
At 4.70 meters (15.42 ft) in length, the A4 Avant is large, making an impressionon the road that is both stately and powerful. Although more rigid and safe than that of its predecessor, its body has undergone a dramatic weight loss thanks to smart, light-weight construction.
The cargo area of the new A4 Avant—the largest among its direct competitors— holds 490 liters (17.30 cubic ft) in its basic format. The maximum volume is 1,430 liters (50.50 cubic ft) with the rear seats folded down. The rear seats split 60/40; a load-through hatch with a separate ski/snowboard bag is available as an option. Intelligent solutions such as a reversible cargo floor, a separator net and a convenient cover for the cargo area also come standard. Options include numerous luxury features ranging all the way up to an electrically operated tailgate.
The interior is roomy, with a feel of light and elegance, and is refined still further by a wide range of high-tech, luxury-class solutions, including climate-controlled comfort seats ventilated by small fans. When you take a seat in the A4 Avant, you should be prepared for two typical Audi experiences: A sense of well-being will surround you from the very first second and the strictly logical layout of the controls will immediately unfold before you. Another area where Audi is setting new standards is passive safety. Passengers are now even better protected, thanks to the innovative interaction between the adaptive airbags and the belt tensioners with adjustable belt-force limiters. This feature selectively controls the intensity of airbag activation and the level of belt force in response to the seated position and severity of the accident.
The new Audi A4 Avant runs with five powerful, refined engines delivering output ranging from 105 kW (143 hp) to 195 kW (265 hp). All of these engines come with direct injection—FSI technology for the gasoline models, common-rail technology for the TDIs. All TDI units and the four-cylinder gasoline engine feature turbocharger technology. The engines in the new A4 Avant consume significantly less fuel than their predecessors, delivering evidence of the success of the Audi efficiency strategy. Highly precise manual and tiptronic transmissons and a multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission transmit engine power either to the front wheels or to the quattro all-wheel drive, which, by slightly favoring the rear axle for torque distribution, reveals an especially dynamic nature.
Driving pleasure: dynamism and comfort
The new A4 Avant is a car that handles with agility, precision and playful ease. The differential and clutch have traded places on the drivetrain, allowing the new five-link front suspension to move forward by 154 millimeters (6.06 in) and, in so doing, perfectly balancing the axle loads. The dynamic suspension was redesigned from the ground up. The use of numerous aluminum components has made the suspension, links, wheels and brakes unusually lightweight.
A whole bundle of innovative technologies makes this model still more intriguing: Audi drive select is an optional system that allows the driver to influence how the engine, automatic transmission and steering system operate simply by pressing a button. The system can be supplemented with at least one of two modules—an adaptive control system for the shock absorbers and/or Audi dynamic steering, which operates on the basis of a superposition gear. This changes the steering ratio in response to vehicle speed. When approaching the limits of handling, Audi dynamic steering stabilizes the new A4 Avant by intervening instantly with small steering maneuvers. Innovative supporting systems taken directly from the luxury class make driving even more exciting and masterful by regulating the distance to the vehicle in front, helping the driver change and maintain lanes and providing assistance for parking.
The body and trunk
The design of the Audi A4 Avant serves as an expression of its character: exciting and dynamic. With the sculptural curves of its surfaces and the sharp lines that frame them, the car underscores the leading role that Audi enjoys in the field of automotive design. The side and roof are linked by a barely visible, seamless joint—a feature that points out the high level of precision that goes into an Audi. The headlights, with their "wing" elements, are technological works of art. Daytime running lights come standard with the xenon plus headlights and consist of 14 white LEDs.
The dimensions of the Avant have been redesigned in proportions that are sportier than the model's predecessor: The front overhang has been shortened, while the length of the hood and wheelbase has grown significantly. The new A4 Avant measures in at 4.70 meters (15.42 ft)—nearly 12 cm (4.72 in) longer than the previous model. The body is more rigid and safe than in the past, yet, thanks to smart, lightweight steel construction, has shed about 10 percent of its weight. The 1.8 TFSI version of the A4 Avant weighs a total of only 1,470 kilograms (3,240.80 lbs).
The cargo area of the newest addition to the Audi family—the largest among its direct competitors—holds 490 liters (17.30 cubic ft) in its basic format. The maximum volume is 1,430 liters. The split rear seat back can be folded down in just a few steps. When the tailgate is open, the roll-top cover can slide back along special grooves with just a light touch. The A4 Avant also comes standard with a reversible cargo floor and an aluminum roof rack. Audi also provides a variety of luxury options, such as an electromechanically powered tailgate or a roof rail system with a mounting set for luggage.
The ambience of the new Audi A4 Avant conveys a sense of light and space, and provides plenty of room—at 895 millimeters (35.24 in); its rear legroom is almost as spacious as a luxury-class vehicle. The interior reflects traditional Audi strengths: Its classic look, uncompromising commitment to quality craftsmanship and loving attention to detail make this automobile a feast for the senses.
Its user-friendly controls are intuitive and easy to understand. The cockpit is clearly aligned toward the driver and the center console is angled to the left. Many of the details of the A4 Avant have been designed with an eye to the larger A8.
The instruments have been redesigned, but haven't lost that classic Audi look.
The new electromechanical parking brake eliminates the need for a hand brake lever. Still another new component is the standard climate control system, which delivers 10 percent more cooling power, yet operates 20 percent more efficiently than the previous model—that translates to a saving of roughly 0.2 liters/100 km.
The cut of the seats in the new A4 Avant is ergonomically perfect. Anyone who sits in one will know they are in good hands. Audi is also setting new standards when it comes to passive safety. Coordination between the adaptive airbags and the variable belt-force limiters has been even more finely tuned, protecting passengers better than ever before. The front seats and head restraints support the upper body in the event of rear impact. This system, which is known as Audi backguard, received the rating "Good" in independent tests.
The new Audi A4 Avant comes available with two gasoline engines and three TDIs, which together cover a range of output from 105 kW (143 hp) to 195 kW (265 hp). All of the engines operate with FSI or TDI direct injection; turbochargers provide powerful torque for the three four-cylinder models.
The concept underlying FSI technology, which Audi uses for its gasoline engines, is to inject fuel into the combustion chambers under high pressure and extremely turbulent flow conditions. This makes the combustion process more efficient, improves performance and lowers fuel consumption.
FSI gasoline direct injection technology works especially well in combination with a turbocharger. The four-cylinder TFSI engine achieves power and torque values that would have been the preserve of large-capacity, six-cylinder engines even just a few years ago—and consumes considerably less fuel in the process.
The 1.8 TFSI is featuring in the Audi A4 Avant for the first time. As a member of the highly efficient family of Code 888 engines, this unit is the epitome of a modern gasoline engine. The four-cylinder engine has been designed for maximum efficiency and is built to be compact and lightweight. Thanks to the responsiveness of its turbocharger, it has a visceral response to gas, seeming to rev up with pleasure. And at the same time it was possible to reduce fuel onsumption by 1.1 liters per 100 kilometers compared with the predecessor. Two balancing shafts ensure that the engine runs with little vibration.
The 1.8-liter unit produces 118 kW (160 hp) and applies a full 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque to the camshaft at engine speeds ranging from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. This engine accelerates the A4 Avant (with manual transmission) to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.9 seconds and on up to a top speed of 218 km/h (135.46 mph). The 1.8 TFSI also sets standards in fuel efficiency, consuming an average of only 7.2 liters of premium gasoline per 100 km (32.67 mpg). The power is transmitted to the front wheels via either a manual or a multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission.
The most powerful gasoline engine, the 3.2 FSI, comes with the AVS system.
This refined, sonorous V6 is unusually lightweight and its internal friction has been minimized for use in the Audi A4 Avant. Fuel consumption has been improved by 1.5 liters compared with the predecessor. The 3.2 FSI, which always powers all four wheels, is available with a choice of manual or tiptronic transmission. When coupled with a manual transmission, the key data for this engine are the 6.4 seconds it needs to accelerate to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and its electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Consuming fuel at a rate of 9.1 l/100 km (25.85 mpg), this V6 also proves itself to be extremely efficient. efficiency technology in the world. Two of these are two-liter, four-cylinder units hallmarked by numerous improvements: The piston geometry has been further developed to optimize combustion, while a modified turbocharger increases the air supply. Improvements to the fuel supply are provided by a new common-rail system with fast-acting piezo injectors that allow the engine to run calmly and quietly. Two balancing shafts improve engine acoustics.
The smaller model delivers 105 kW (143 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque, and accelerates to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.7 sec. It achieves a top speed of 208 km/h (129.25 mph) with a fuel efficiency rating of 5.7 l/100 km (41.27 mpg). Power is transmitted to the front wheels via either a manual or a multitronic transmission.
The more powerful two-liter TDI, which will be added to the series at a later point, delivers 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 Nm (258.15 lb-ft) of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Front-wheel drive with a manual transmission provides sporty performance, letting this model surge to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.6 seconds and achieve a top speed of 224 km/h (139.19 mph). Its fuel consumption is an excellent 5.8 liters/100 km (40.55 mpg).
The 3.0 TDI transforms the A4 Avant into a sports car for leisure use: The 6.3 seconds it needs to reach 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and its governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) are every bit as impressive as its average fuel efficiency rating of 7.1 liters/100 km (33.13 mpg). The powerful V6 diesel engine delivers 176 kW (240 hp) and a hefty 500 Nm (368.78 lb-ft) of torque between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. The 3.0 TDI comes coupled with a quattro drive and either a manual or—to be available at a later date—tiptronic automatic transmission.
The differential is located directly behind the engine in the drivetrain of the new A4 Avant, having traded places with the clutch and/or torque converter—a move that made it possible to shift the front suspension forward by 154 millimeters (6.06 in). This solution makes for a longer wheelbase and a more balanced axle load distribution, improving handling and providing a more comfortable ride.
Customers can choose from a full range of high-tech drivetrain options, with engine power transmitted to the wheels by six-speed manual or tiptronic transmissions or by a multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission. All transmissions are distinguished by how efficient and easy they are to use and by how precisely they operate.
Two engines come standard with quattro permanent all-wheel drive that, under normal driving conditions, distributes forces between the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio. This arrangement slightly favors the rear—the perfect complement to the overall dynamic character of the new A4 Avant. When needed, the center differential redirects most of the torque to the axle with better traction.
The dynamic suspension
The dynamic suspension of the new Audi A4 Avant was redesigned from the ground up. The pivot bearings and the five links per wheel that form the front suspension are made of aluminum, as are the support elements that add rigidity to the front end of the vehicle. Because the steering gear is located low down and well forward, the track rod transmits steering impulses directly to the wheels. The rack-and-pinion steering provides close contact with the road, and its efficient servo pump reduces fuel consumption by roughly 0.1 liter/100 km.
The construction of the rear axle mirrors the self-tracking, trapezoidal link principle used in the larger A6 and A8 series. The main suspension components are made of aluminum. The separate alignment of springs and shock absorbers makes the vehicle highly responsive. Powerful brakes with ventilated discs are located behind the standard light-alloy 16-inch and 17-inch wheels. The ESP stabilization program can be disengaged in stages at speeds below 100 km/h (62.14 mph).
A series of innovative technologies makes for an even more captivating driving experience. Audi drive select is an optional control system that manages different technical components depending on the add-ons that the customer has selected. In its basic version, Audi drive select influences the tiptronic shift points, the gasoline intake at the engine, and the degree of power assistance for the steering system. The driver can operate these components in comfort, medium or sporty mode—all at the touch of a button. Customers who choose the navigation system with a DVD drive and MMI have a fourth operating feature at their disposal that they can program to their individual tastes.
Audi drive select can be expanded with at least one of two modules: The first is a new electronic shock absorber control system providing the characteristics and ride height of a sports suspension—the body is positioned 20 millimeters (0.79 in) lower than usual. The second component is Audi dynamic steering, which operates using a superposition gear that continuously varies the steering ratio by nearly 100 percent in response to vehicle speed. When approaching the limits of handling, it works with ESP to stabilize the new A4 Avant by instantly intervening with small steering maneuvers. The system is also useful for understeering and for braking when traction is only available on one side of the car. With all these features, Audi's groundbreaking dynamic steering system far exceeds the competitions' offerings.
Upon request, Audi can equip the new A4 Avant with a wide range of high-tech, luxury-class systems that make driving more masterful and relaxing. These include Audi parking system, an add-on parking aid available in three different versions; Audi lane assist, a system that aids in maintaining one's lane; and Audi side assist, which warns drivers of dangerous lane changes. The adaptive cruise control system maintains speed and distance to the vehicle in front.
Multimedia systems constitute one of the most exciting areas of cutting-edge technology, and here, too, the Audi A4 Avant is raising the bar. For the navigation system with a DVD drive and MMI system, Audi offers AMI—Audi Music Interface—which integrates an iPod and its entire user interface. This navigation system and the "MMI basic plus" navigation system can both be expanded by integrating a cell phone (SIM Access-compatible) as a Bluetooth car phone.
Customers whose cell phones do not support this service can use a universal hands-free system. Sophisticated Danish stereo maker Bang & Olufsen represents the top of the line when it comes to stereo enjoyment. A 505-watt amplifier activates 14 speakers via 10 active channels.
The new Audi A4 Avant rolls off the production line with three different equipment lines. The Attraction package is modern and full of character; Ambition is sporty; and Ambiente is comfortable and stylish. The dynamic S line consists of one exterior package and one sports package.
The broad array of options includes high-end features such as climate-controlled comfort seats (which are ventilated by small fans), a three-zone climate control system, advanced key (a keyless entry feature), and adaptive light (a dynamic cornering light system). The panorama sunroof covers more than 0.8 square meters (8.61 sq ft) and floods the interior with light. An innovative high-beam assistant will be offered as an additional option at a later point.