Audi is introducing two new A4 variants, or at least new drivetrains in the current A4. One will ditch the quattro for a front drive only, and another gets a new manual six speed gear box.
I remember the last time Audi had a front drive version available, a friend of mine, who is both a big Audi and a VW fan asked me, "So is this a cheaper Audi, or a more expensive Volkswagen?"
I assume Audi knows that they're doing, and it does make a certain amount of sense, especially in these troubled and uncertain economic times. If you can broaden out your product selection without increasing your costs all that much, then you have more stuff to sell, and potentially, more customers.
I keep hearing that Subaru is going to make front wheel drive versions of their cars for the same reason.
But will this work? Will it bring more money into Audi's coffers without diluting the brand?
Time will tell.
Full press release after the jump.