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Car reviews - Audi - A4 - Avant 5-dr wagon range

Launch Story

Audi logo8 Sep 2008

By GEORGIA OCONNELL

AUDI has released a new A4 station wagon called the A4 Avant, which arrives four months after the local introduction of the eighth-generation (B8-series) A4 sedan upon which it is based.

With a $2900 price premium over its sedan equivalent, the Avant arrives in just one equipment level and with two engine choices for 2008.

While the A4 sedan has available four engines, each with slight equipment variations (the 1.8 TFSI, 2.0 TDI, 3.0 TDI and 3.2 FSI), the A4 Avant range comprises just the 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TDI.

Audi is confident the A4 Avant will add 13 percent to the A4 sedan’s volume.

In the second quarter next year, the newly developed 155kW 2.0 TFSI with quattro all-wheel drive and an S tronic automatic transmission will also be available.

The 1.8-litre TFSI produces 118kW of power at 4500rpm-6200rpm and 250Nm of torque between 1500 and 4500rpm. The 1.8 TFSI’s average fuel consumption is 7.4L/100km and its C02 output is 175g/km.

The 2.0-litre TDI produces a maximum 105kW of power at 4200rpm and 320Nm of torque between 1750 and 2500rpm. Fuel consumption is quoted at 6.0L/100km and C02 output is 159g/km.

Both engines are available with only one transmission - the multitronic CVT with sport program and eight speeds.

The A4 Avant now measures 4703mm long, which is just under 120mm longer than the car it succeeds and it is also 60mm wider. The new Avant has a reduced frontal overhang but the bonnet and wheelbase are longer.

The A4 Avant has a drag coefficient of 0.31, reduced from the B7 Avant’s Cd of 0.33. While the increase in body width has yielded a corresponding increase in frontal area, from 2.14m2 to 2.20m2, the B8 Avant’s overall drag has been reduced by two percent.

Most of the new car’s extra slipperiness can be attributed to what you don’t see - Audi claims that 40 percent of the total drag of a car usually depends on its underpinnings.

Thus Audi has almost fully covered the underbody area and so succeeded in reducing the drag coefficient by 0.039. Audi claims a better performance yield and fuel economy but quantifies it in terms of reduced emissions - it claims this element of the A4 Avant’s design yields a CO2 emissions reduction of about 4.8g/km.

Audi claims the new body is stiffer and safer than before, plus about 10 per cent lighter.

The A4 Avant shares the same specification as the entry-level A4 sedan, with the exception of wagon-specific standard features such as roof-rails, a reversible cargo floor, cargo cover and partition net.

This is in addition to the equipment also fitted as standard to the A4 sedan, such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), ESP traction/stability, eight airbags, dual-zone climate-control, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, leather seats, an electro-mechanical handbrake and a 6.5-inch colour information screen.

Options specific to the Avant include a load-through facility including ski-bag ($477), a push-button electro-mechanical tailgate ($1165), load area rail retaining system and telescopic rod ($424). Audi also offers Avant customers the option of a unique panoramic glass sunroof, which adds $3019 to the price.

The panoramic sunroof measures an area of more than 0.8m2 and Audi says it solved the design’s typical failing of reduced body rigidity by fixing the sunroof to the body with a reinforcing frame.

The Avant shares the same deep well of expensive and high-tech options to choose from as the A4 sedan, such as the Audi drive select with adaptive dampers ($3390), radar-assisted adaptive cruise control ($2754) and the combination of Audi side assist and Audi lane change assist ($2542). Metallic paint adds $1695 to the price.

The A4 Avant has a 490-litre cargo area capacity with the seats up, which is 10 litres more than the sedan’s boot. With the 60/40-split rear seats folded, cargo capacity increases to 1430 litres. The load floor is 1.03 metres long with seats up (1.77 metres with seats folded) and load-through width is one metre.

The underfloor 19-inch steel space-saver spare wheel is not interchangeable with a full-size wheel option, due to a lack of available space because of the underfloor positioning of the vehicle’s battery.

The cargo area space is not reduced by the extra hardware needed for the quattro all-wheel drive system, which will arrive in next year’s 2.0 TFSI quattro.

The Avant’s roof carrying load maximum is 90kg, and the A4 wagon is rated to tow a maximum of 1900kg, but can only take 90kg on its towball.

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