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Audi A4 - an off-roader

20.02.2013

I’VE been thinking a lot about euphemisms lately, mostly thanks to George Clooney. In Jason Reitman’s 2009 masterpiece Up in the Air, he plays Ryan Bingham, a contractor who flies around the country firing people for a living.

The thing is that he never uses the term “you’re fired.” Instead, he tells the unfortunate party that his position is no longer available and that he’d like to discuss his future away from said company. The “F” word is never used; in fact, it’s frowned upon.

Like Mike Bingham, automotive manufacturers tend to stay away from certain bad words. You’ll never catch them using the horrible “s” and “w” words - station and wagon. It’s always something else: Touring, Shooting Brake, Estate and the subject of this editorial, the Avant.

It saddens me to tell you that the Avant as we know it is dead. From now on, if you want an A4 station wagon (and I can’t for the life of me understand why someone wouldn’t) it’ll have to be an S4, RS4, or the new allroad.

Some of you will be familiar with the allroad nomenclature. The A6 allroad first came to South Africa in 2001, but was dropped in 2004. As was the case with the infamous A2 incident, Audi may have been a few steps ahead of everyone else and as a result, no one quite understood what the A6 allroad was for.

Now, a few years - and a massive attitude adjustment on the consumer’s part - later, it’s having another go at the concept, this time in A4 guise.

Off-road

The A4 allroad is not a serious off-roader, but then again, Audi isn’t trying to sell it as one. It may be called an allroad, but it won’t go much further than a slightly abused gravel road.

Some of you may frown at this, but after spending a few hours behind the wheel of an allroad, I’m wondering if Audi isn’t onto something. Yes, you lose the elevated driving position, but it’s a small sacrifice to make for the driving experience you get in the A4.
Both models are equipped with the quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, making the allroad a predictable and safe companion to live with on a day-to-day basis. There’s only slightly more body-roll compared to the standard A4, but in essence it’s way closer to that car than it is to the full-on Q5 SUV.

To complement the all-wheel-drive, Audi has developed suspension technology specifically for the allroad. Ground clearance is rated at 180mm and you get stainless steel underbody protection as standard.

The allroad is excellent at soaking up the worst that any gravel road has to offer. As you’d expect, grip levels are exceptionally high, but as an added bonus, an ESP system with off-road detection is standard fare.

Engine

For the allroad, Audi has gone for two four-cylinder options:  a 2.0 TDI or a 2.0T FSI. The 2.0 TDI generates a power output of 130 kW and 380 Nm of torque, while the 2.0T FSI generates 155 kW and 350 Nm. Fuel consumption is rated at 6 litres/100km for the diesel and 7.3 litres/100km for the petrol. Both engines are mated to Audi’s seven-speed S tronic transmission and feature stop/start as standard.

The A4 allroad is sold with Audi’s standard 5-year/100 000km Freeway Plan.

Pricing:

Audi A4 allroad 2.0T FSI R433 000
Audi A4 allroad 2.0 TDI R438 000

 

Article written by Autodealer
20.02.2013
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