The Audi A4 will take the smooth with a little more of the rough at this month‘s Detroit Motor Show as it adopts the tougher stance of the A4 allroad quattro. The all-new Avant version already famed for its limousine-like bearing and boundary-stretching technology is repurposed as an exceptional all-terrain machine with the help of allroad hallmarks such as flared arches, an increased ride height and of course quattro all-wheel-drive in its latest and most sophisticated ever form.
The highly successful “allroad” variant first appeared in the A4 model range in 2009, and this latest evolution further refines the concept courtesy of the all-new A4’s advanced TDI and TFSI engines, intelligent multi-material construction bringing weight savings of up to 90kg, more intelligent and reactive quattro drive and a portfolio of assistance systems that are some of the most advanced in the current Audi range.
Defining its individual look, the powerfully flared wheel arches and the rear bumper attract attention. They are finished in matt structure grey or painted in the body colour. The robust underbody guard and the rear diffuser are finished in selenite silver. The distinctive front end with jagged headlights, unique bumper and model-specific air intakes underscores its extroverted character. Vertical chrome slats adorn the sculpted Singleframe grille, while allroad badges decorate the front wings and the tailgate. The higher roof rails round out the typical allroad look.
At 4,750 mm long and 1,842 mm wide, the new Audi A4 allroad quattro resembles its technical foundation, the A4 Avant. It measures 1,493 mm in height, while the wheelbase measures 2,818 mm.
Despite the larger dimensions, the new Audi A4 allroad quattro has a kerb weight that is up to 90 kilograms less than that of the previous model. With the 2.0 TFSI engine, it tips the scales (without driver) at just 1,580 kilograms. Geometric lightweight construction and an intelligent mix of materials have trimmed 15 kilograms from the body.
The strong-pulling TFSI and TDI engines in the new Audi A4 allroad quattro offer improved performance with better efficiency. The TFSI and TDI units produce between 150 PS and 272 PS, which is up to 27 PS more than in the previous model. At the same time, the engineers have reduced CO2 emissions by up to 21 grams per kilometre (2.0 TDI 190 PS). All engines satisfy the limits of the Euro 6 emissions standard.
The newly developed 2.0 TFSI produces 252 PS and delivers 370 Nm (272.9 lb-ft) of torque between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm. In combination with the seven-speed S tronic, the new Audi A4 allroad quattro sprints from 0 to 62 mph in just 6.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 152 mph. NEDC fuel consumption is 44.1 mpg combined, corresponding to 147 grams CO2 per km.
Audi is offering the 1,968 cc 2.0 TDI with 190 PS and 400 Nm between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm. With the seven-speed S tronic, the new A4 allroad quattro returns up to 57.7 mpg combined, corresponding to 128 grams CO2 per km. From a standing start, 62 mph takes just 7.8 seconds. Top speed is 136 mph.
Naturally, quattro all-wheel drive is standard on all models. Depending on the engine, there is a choice of the manual six-speed transmission, the seven-speed S tronic and the eight-speed tiptronic.
Audi offers the manual transmission and the new S tronic for the 2.0 TDI. The dual-clutch transmission is standard with the 2.0 TFSI and the 3.0 TDI with 218 PS. The most important improvements are further reductions in friction, the low weight, a highly efficient oil supply and dual-mass flywheel with a centrifugal force pendulum, which allows for very low idle speeds. Gear changes are performed within a few hundredths of a second and with virtually no interruption in the power flow by changing the clutches. Power flows from the drive shaft to the front-axle differential via a spur gear stage.
This also marks the first time that the eight-speed tiptronic is available in the A4 allroad quattro. It is reserved for the 3.0 TDI with 272 PS. The soft, quick and spontaneously shifting torque-converter transmission has been completely redeveloped. Its high number of gears enables the engine to operate close to the ideal load point very often.
Ride height, which has been increased by 23 mm, and larger wheels compared with the Audi A4 Avant provide an additional 34 mm of ground clearance. The new Audi A4 allroad quattro is thus equally at home on the road or in light terrain.
As an alternative to the standard suspension, the A4 allroad quattro is available for the first time with optional suspension with damper control. Sensors measure the movements of all four wheels plus lateral and longitudinal acceleration. The damper characteristic adapts accordingly to the surface conditions and the driving situation. The results are enhanced handling with even greater comfort and impressive off-road capability. Furthermore, the driver can push a button to choose the default setting of the suspension in Audi drive select and call up the desired handling characteristics at any time.
The new Audi A4 allroad quattro comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design. Audi and quattro GmbH offer optional variants in sizes from 17 to 19 inches. A space-saving spare wheel and tyre pressure indicator are standard.
Interior and equipment
The new Audi A4 allroad quattro is generously spacious. The interior design features a clear architecture with a consistent focus on horizontal lines. This principle is best illustrated by the low instrument panel and continuous air vent strip.
The focal points of the innovative cockpit are the new MMI operating concept with rotary pushbutton including MMI touch, the large MMI display of up to 8.3 inches and the optional all-digital, 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit. The new voice control system can recognize input made using everyday language, such as: “I want to call Peter Miller.” A head-up display adds to the list of options.
Audi connect brings tailored online services to the car via the fast LTE standard. Services include online roadside assistance, smartphone calendar integration, remote control functions and status reports via smartphone, plus apps for streaming media. The Audi phone box connects cell phones to the on-board antenna and charges them inductively according to the Qi standard. The new Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android devices. For discerning hi-fi fans, the Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System is available, tapping into the spatial dimension of height. The Audi tablet also functions as flexible Rear Seat Entertainment.
All driver assistance and safety systems for the A4 model series are available for the new A4 allroad quattro. One of the highlights is adaptive cruise control Stop&Go including traffic jam assist. At speeds of up to 40 mph, it takes over acceleration and braking and helps with steering. The driver receives additional support from the trailer maneuver assist, which is available on the A4 allroad for the first time. This makes it easier to maneuver a trailer. The driver steers via the MMI controller. Other new features include the predictive efficiency assistant, park assist, cross-traffic assist rear, exit warning, collision avoidance assist, turn assist and the Audi pre sense systems.