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Driven: Audi continues quattro push

All four it: Audi's top-selling Q3 has dropped the CVT in favour of a double-clutch S-tronic transmission as part of the quattro range refresh.

More focus on quattro drivetrains as Audi tweaks Q3, A4 and A5 models


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4 Oct 2013

AUDI is planning to further boost sales of its all-wheel drive quattro models with the introduction of new all-paw, S-tronic dual-clutch versions of the A4, A5 and Q3.

Leading the charge is a new all-wheel-drive, automatic entry point for the Q3 crossover, Audi’s top-selling car this year. At the same time, the company has dropped the old front-drive manual option, rendering the Q3 a quattro-only model.

Audi has also introduced a more potent yet fuel-efficient version of the familiar 2.0-litre TFSI turbo-petrol engine to quattro versions of the A4 sedan and Avant, and A5 Coupe, Sportback and Cabriolet.

In addition, the 130kW/380Nm 2.0-litre TDI quattro drivetrain from the A4 Allroad has been added to the regular A4 sedan and wagon, plus the A5 Sportback and Coupe, though not the Cabriolet.

The addition of new all-wheel drives’ continues Audi’s push of the quattro sub-brand in Australia following the ‘Land of Quattro’ advertising campaign, which pioneered the nation’s first interactive television commercial.

Sales of the four-paw models have risen steadily over the last ten years but Audi wants to maintain the popularity by adding a range of more accessible quattros.

Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle is predicting the recent publicity efforts and new model introduction will boost sales by up to 10 per cent.

“More than ten times the number of quattro cars are expected to be sold (in 2014) compared with ten years ago,” he said.

“We expect these (sales) to increase by about ten per cent with the introduction of the new models.

“In 2004 around a quarter of our sales were quattro models and year to date 2013 almost 70 per cent of our sales are now quattro.

“We believe we will increase our sales of quattro quite significantly with these new models.”

Audi unveiled two new concepts at the Frankfurt motor show last month, both of which wore the quattro badge, and the Nanuk diesel/electric hybrid takes its name from a television campaign that ran in the 90s.

And as part of the ‘Land of quattro’ campaign, Audi invited members of the public to direct its next Q5 television advert with a selection of footage and specially devised microsite.

To specifics: Audi has axed the slow-selling front-drive Q3 2.0 TDI, which kicked off the range at $44,700. This variant accounted for just one per cent of Q3 sales before its departure.

The new entry point therefore climbs to $47,500 for the revised 2.0 TDI quattro, which in turn gets an S-tronic dual-clutch transmission in place of the outgoing multitronic CVT.

The oil-burning engine produces 103kW/320Nm and consumes 5.8 litres of diesel per 100km.

Leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, light- and rain-sensors and a central screen all come as standard.

Audi has also introduced a new range of option packages for those wanting to customize their Q3.

The $2000 ‘Style’ package adds xenon headlamps with contrasting LED running lights and adds an extra inch to the alloy wheels.

For $3790 the ‘Technik’ package includes an upgrade to the ‘Audi Sound System’ with a 20GB hard driven and two SD card slots, while the parking system gains a reverse camera.

And the ‘Comfort’ package improves cabin comfort with electrically adjustable and heated front seats, keyless entry/start, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and Nappa leather throughout for $3990A $1250 ‘Assistance’ package helps the driver out with blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and auto high-beam assistance, while a $6,000 investment kits the Q3 with Audi’s ‘S-line trim inside and out.

Audi has also tweaked the A4 and its A5 spin-off. The A4 quattro S-tronic now retails for $65,800 plus on-road costs (or $68,000 for the Avant), which is $1300 more expensive than before but is 10kW more powerful and has extra safety equipment.

Meantime the A5 Coupe and Sportback quattro S-tronics now cost $75,900 (actually $5000 cheaper than the old starting point), or $89,100 for the soft-top Cabriolet.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine under the bonnet gets an extra 10kW, boosting output to 165kW/350Nm thanks to direct-injection.

In addition to the added petrol power the A4 and A5 (except the Cabriolet) diesel range also gets a new family member with an entry-level quattro 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI joining the 3.0-litre V6 TDI variants.

With its new more frugal diesel the A5 2.0 TDI quattro manages to return economy of 5.3L/100km but still gets to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds.

By comparison, the boosted 2.0-litre petrol engine offers a little more in the way of performance, ringing-up 100km/h in 6.4 seconds but still managing respectable efficiency of 6.7l/100km in A5 guise.

Previously the only diesel/quattro A5 combination was the 3.0-litre TDI quattro priced at $95,900 while the A4 Allroad started at $69,900, making a diesel/quattro combination in both revised A5 and A4 model ranges more affordable.

The price of a manual A4 2.0 TFSI quattro has also taken a cut from $64,500 to $63,000.

All A4 and A5 quattro models now get the ‘parking system plus’ reversing camera as standard and top-end 3.0-litre variants (diesel and petrol) get a makeover with the S-line exterior package included.

2.0 TDI $47,500
2.0 TFSI $49,450
2.0 TDI $55,000
2.0 TFSI $56,500

A4 Sedan
A4 1.8 TFSI multitronic $55,800
A4 2.0 TDI multitronic (special order only) $57,900
A4 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic 1$65,800
A4 2.0 TFSI quattro manual $63,000
A4 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $65,800
A4 3.0 TDI quattro S tronic $88,000
A4 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $92,900
S4 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $119,900

A4 Avant
A4 1.8 TFSI multitronic $58,500
A4 2.0 TDI multitronic (special order only) $60,900
A4 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $68,800
A4 allroad 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic $69,900
S4 Avant 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $123,400
RS 4 Avant 4.2 FSI quattro S tronic $149,400

A5 Coupe and Sportback
A5 1.8 TFSI multitronic $64,200
A5 2.0 TDI multitronic (special order only) $65,700
A5 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic $75,900
A5 2.0 TFSI quattro manual $74,000
A5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $75,900
A5 3.0 TDI quattro S tronic $93,800
A5 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $98,400
S5 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $135,400

A5 Cabriolet
A5 1.8 TFSI multitronic $75,800
A5 2.0 TDI multitronic (special order only) $77,900
A5 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $89,100
A5 3.0 TDI quattro S tronic $106,700
A5 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic $110,500
S5 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic 245kW $146,000

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