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Future models - Audi - Allroad - 2.5 TDI

Allroad leads to Audi diesel

Show and tell: The Audi allroad quattro turbo-diesel will be previewed at the Melbourne motor show.

Audi jumps on the turbo-diesel wagon with an allroad quattro version

18 Feb 2002

AUDI Australia will introduce a sub-$90,000 diesel version of its allroad quattro around June, after previewing it at the Melbourne motor show this month.

With two Td6 models of the all-new Range Rover arriving in the second quarter and BMW promising an X5 3.0d when a new national diesel fuel standard takes effect in 2003, Audi is wasting no time bringing an allroad quattro 2.5 TDI tomarket.

Audi Australia marketing manager Patrick Collins said pricing was still being finalised with Audi AG, but he expected the diesel-engined allroad to start below $90,000.

The approximate price indicates Audi Australia will use a two-pronged attack with the four-wheel drive wagon, dropping the premium specification level found onthe $97,200 twin-turbo petrol-engine allroad as well as offering the alternative engine.

Mr Collins said the aim was "to give it every chance" against other luxury four-wheel drives, which include the Mercedes-Benz ML270 CDI.

He said Audi Australia had been considering introducing a diesel allroad for some time and that research indicated a growing interest in new generation diesels among metropolitan consumers.

He estimated the 2.5 TDI allroad would account for 50 per cent of allroad sales once established in Australia, pushing annual volume for the entire range to more than 350.

The oil-burning allroad is powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged direct-injection engine that develops 132kW at 4000rpm and has a maximum torque of 370Nm available between 1500rpm and 2500rpm.

Like the 2.7-litre petrol engine, the 2.5 TDI can be mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission - and with the manual it is claimed to reach 100km/h from rest in 9.5 seconds. Audi also claims the engine's pulling power enables the vehicle to run from 60-120km/h in sixth gear in 15.7 seconds.

Perhaps of more interest is the European fuel consumption data which shows the diesel allroad manual consumes 12.3L/ 100km over the urban cycle and 7.0L/100km in highway conditions.

Given the price being considered, Audi Aus-tralia will be forced to cut back on some of the trimmings found on the petrol allroad such as a sunroof, alarm and parking sensors.

But the distributor's track record suggests the specification will still be high and should include eight airbags, traction and stability control, leather upholstery, a premium stereo, full electrics and climate control air-conditioning.

THE AUDI CALENDAR

February: A6 range
March: S3 facelift,A4 1.8T multitronic,A4 2.4 multitronic
June (est.): allroad quattro 2.5 TDI
November (est.): A4 Cabriolet
Pricing and lack of an auto has kept the A2 small car off the planning agenda, while the A4 Avant station is still on the critical list.

A customised "S-line"performance enhancement package for the TT quattro coupe could be introduced later in 2002, ahead of sports suspension and interior options on A3 and A6.

FOCUS ON TOP END

FOLLOWING a record 3507 sales in 2001 achieved in large part through theintroduction of the all-new A4 sedan range, Audi Australia has shifted its attention to its high-end models to break the 4000-unit mark in 2002.

Managing director Graham Hardy said marketing communications would increase 15 to 20 per cent this year, with about $2 million taken up with acampaign surrounding the A6.

"We are increasing our overallcommunication in the media - but we are moving into some value-addingactivities for customers as well," he said.

Dubbed the "C-shift" (a reference to the medium-sized C-class segment the A6 fits into), the campaign encompasses a range of elements to target customers from the top end of town, from value-laden product positioning andtargeted promotions through to residual value support and improved service.

Elements of the program include:* Competitive pricing and specification for the facelifted A6 range compared to the Mercedes-Benz E-class and BMW5 Series in particular.

* New finance programs and residual value support, including a guaranteed minimum 55 per cent retained value after three years when trading in on a new Audi.

* Executing the "dare to innovate"marketing campaign.

* Investing in golf through the Audiquattro Cup and involvement in last week's ANZ Championship.

* Scaling up dealership staff training.

* Implementing an "executive service concept" after-sales campaign, offering free vehicle collection and delivery or complimentary service loan cars as well as business centre facilities in alldealership service centres.

* Revamping the Silver Circle pre-owned vehicle program, starting with improved point-of-sale facilities at dealerships.

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