Future Models - Audi 2012 A4
Audi A4 Allroad to be diesel-only Down Under
Pumped-up kicks: The Audi A4 Allroad crossover bridges the gap between the A4 Avant and traditional SUVs.
Jacked-up A4 Allroad to hit Audi Australia showrooms in 2.0 TDI guise from Q4 2012
28 June 2012
AUDI'S jacked-up all-wheel-drive A4 Allroad wagon will be a diesel-only proposition from Australian launch in the final quarter of this year.
The German company announced earlier this week that it will offer its forthcoming niche crossover model exclusively in four-paw quattro form powered by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit from the newly-updated A4 passenger range (see separate story).
As in the standard front-drive A4, this means a power output of 130kW at 4200 rpm and 380Nm of torque between 1750 and 2500 rpm, with fuel use likely to sit at around 6.0-litres per 100 kilometres.
Overseas examples of the Allroad 2.0 TDI are available with either six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmissions. The automatic is a definite starter for Australia, but there is no official word from Audi’s local arm on the prospects of a manual version.
The front-drive A4 with this engine retails for $57,900 in sedan form and $60,900 as an Avant wagen. Based on the price differential between the standard car and the Allroad in Europe, expect pricing for the crossover variant to be somewhere around $65,000.
The Allroad is differentiated from its standard Avant siblings by its 37mm higher ride height, buffed-up wheel arches, additional underbody protection and a wider track front and rear.
From top: Audi A4 Allroad; RS4 Avant.
The Allroad will hit the local market just months after its bigger A6 Allroad cousin, and Audi Australia believes this sort of crossover vehicle will appeal to buyers who want a versatile vehicle but don’t want to step up into a fully-fledged SUV like a Q3 or Q5.
Audi Australia managing director Uwe Hagen told media earlier this week that he believed an Avant body-style had some advantages over an SUV, notably a lower loading floor, and that an Allroad would naturally bridge the gap between a road-oriented wagon and a larger, heavier SUV.
“This (Allroad) is a form of transition between Avant and an SUV, and I personally believe that there will be a stronger market for station wagons in Australia,” he said.
Mr Hagen also said he believed that overall Avant sales – both front-drive and quattro – would increase in popularity in Australia as buyers increasingly saw the benefits, notably better fuel economy.
“I think there will be approach away from SUVs,” he said.
“There will someone who will request ‘is an SUV really necessary?’ This is not happening with station wagons; people see these differently.
“We don’t want to change culture. We just believe that there is a form of transition between a sedan and an SUV.
“Look at these smaller SUVs, they are coming downwards, two-wheel-drive also. Just put a station wagon to the side of these smaller SUVs, and there is not a huge difference any longer.”
Avant sales make up around 15 per cent of total A4 deliveries, compared with 85 per cent for the sedan body-style.
As we have reported, Audi will expand its A4 Avant line-up from the first quarter of next year with the blistering RS4 Avant quattro, which will supplant the newly-introduced S4 variant at the top of the range.
Powered by a hand-built 4.2-litre FSI V8 producing 331kW and 430Nm between 4000 and 6000rpm matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the RS4 can blast from zero to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds – three-tenths faster than the S4.
Audi Australia has previously stated that the RS4 is likely to be priced “no more expensive” than the previous RS4 Avant that was discontinued in 2008. Back then, the asking price was $168,100.