19 February 2009

Want it All?

Audi unveils A4 Allroad Quattro. It’s like an A6 Allroad for slightly smaller people…

Audi A4 Allroad

Want your Audi a bit more offroady than an A4, a bit less offroady than a Q5 and a bit smaller than an A6 Allroad?

You’re in luck. Audi has just unveiled the A4 Allroad Quattro, a jacked-up version of its ‘compact executive’ A4 with permanent four-wheel drive and some big plastic wheelarches to help you scale mountains and cross raging torrents of water.

Set to be formally shown off at the Geneva show early next month, the A4 Allroad will reach the, er, slightly gravelled backroads of the UK in May. It sits on a slightly wider track than the road-only A4, and rides some four centimetres higher on taller springs.

As you’ll have already guessed, it gets permanent four-wheel drive, which supplies 60 per cent of the torque to the rear wheels in normal driving. However, there’s some clever new technology called Offroad Detection (ORD) which spots when you’re on slippery stuff and can divert 85 per cent of the power to the rear wheels or 65 per cent to the front wheels. Though not at the same time, obviously.

It’ll be launched with the choice of three engines: one petrol and two diesels, all of which sound very tidy. The 208bhp, two-litre turbo petrol will manage 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and return 29mpg, while the two-litre turbodiesel will sacrifice a bit of pace for extra economy.

But it’s Audi’s lovely three-litre V6 diesel that we’re really exited about: it’ll haul the A4 Allroad to 62mph in 6.4 seconds while returning 33.2mpg… and you get a seven-speed DSG box thrown in for good measure.

Prices start at £29,285, but it’s another five grand for the V6 diesel.

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