Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
October 10, 2007
At an overall length of 4.70 metres, the new A4 is a large saloon. It boasts a substantial, powerful road presence. Its body illustrates the technical progress that has been made: it is significantly more rigid and safer than the previous model, but also distinctly lighter, thanks to intelligent weight-saving. With a drag coefficient of cD = 0.27, the new saloon cuts its way through the wind with ease, and its 480-litre boot is larger than that of any of its direct competitors.
The new Audi A4 is being launched with a choice of five refined, powerful engines, covering a power-output range from 105 kW (143 bhp) to 195 kW (265 bhp). All of them use the direct fuel injection principle: FSI technology for the two petrol engines and the common-rail system for the three TDI units. The four-cylinder engines are turbocharged. With their smooth running and impressive flow of power, the engines in the new A4 are a source of pure driving pleasure. They also use distinctly less fuel than the corresponding units in the previous model: consumption is down by an average of 13 percent for the petrol engines and six percent for the TDI units.
More dynamic than ever: the quattro driveline
In the transmission area, Audi offers customers a wide range of high-tech solutions. Easily operated manual gearboxes or tiptronic automatic transmissions, and also the multitronic continuously variable transmission, deliver engine torque to either the front wheels or the quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system. For the new saloon model, this is more dynamic than ever before, with the torque split biased more strongly to the rear wheels.
The driver will experience the new A4 as the sportiest of the midsize saloons – a car that is agile, precise and effortless to control. The differential has been moved further forward in the driveline by interchanging its position with the clutch or torque converter. This has enabled the front axle to be repositioned 154 millimetres further forward – a solution that permits the axle loads to be ideally balanced. For the new Audi A4, the dynamic suspension is a totally new development. Thanks to the use of numerous aluminium components, the suspension, steering, wheels and brakes are exceptionally light in weight.
Two innovative technologies add even greater fascination to the driving experience. One of them is the Audi drive select control system, with which the driver can adjust the operating characteristics of the engine, automatic transmission, steering and adaptive damping to suit his or her own preferences. The other is Audi dynamic steering, which operates with a superimposed gear system that varies the effective steering ratio according to road speed. Close to the handling limits, it acts together with the ESP to stabilise the car by slight but very rapid adjustments to the steering. In this way, the system combines sporty driving fun with a high level of safety.
The innovative assistance systems on the new A4 make driving even more relaxed and enhance the driver’s control of the situation. Audi equips its new saloon model on request with various high-tech systems that have so far been available only on luxury cars. These systems control the distance from the car in front, help the driver to keep within the chosen lane or to move safely from one lane to the next, and provide support when parking the car.
Technical area of the future: multimedia
The Audi A4 also sets new standards for a midsize car in one of the most fascinating technical areas of the future, namely multimedia. The new saloon enters production with a series of communication and entertainment technologies at the customer’s disposal that would be impressive even in a luxury-class car.
Among the components are various audio systems, a TV receiver, two navigation systems, an iPod interface and a highly convenient Bluetooth telephone. Audi is supplying the new A4 in three equipment lines, known as Attraction, Ambition and Ambiente.
(Oct. 4, 2007)