Sunday, December 21, 2008

Audi To Intro New A4 Models

Audi A4

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?"

Good question.

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.

- The Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak sedan pairs the multitronic transmission with the award-winning Audi 2.0 TFSI engine
- The Audi A4 quattro sedan is now available with a six-speed manual transmission
- MSRP for the base front-drive model is $31,000 and $31,850 for the base manual quattro model.

HERNDON, Va., Dec 19, 2008 - Audi announced an expansion of its 2009 A4 lineup with two new models, one featuring front-wheel drive and one featuring a six-speed manual transmission. The newest 2009 Audi A4 models offer exceptional value and the best fuel economy ratings in their individual segments.

The 2009 Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak combines the advantages of the Audi 2.0 TFSI engine, which recently earned a spot on the 2009 Ward's 10 Best Engines list, and the efficient multitronic continuously variable transmission, or CVT.

The A4 sedan now available with a six-speed manual transmission, offers a sporty driving experience for those who prefer to shift for themselves. The manual transmission is also paired with Audi's efficient 2.0 TFSI engine along with Audi's latest generation of quattro all-wheel drive featuring a rear torque bias for sporty handling.

The result of the new front-wheel drive A4 powertrain combination is the best fuel efficiency in its class with an EPA rating of 23 mpg in city driving conditions and 30 mpg in highway driving. Those fuel economy figures represent a 4 percent fuel-efficiency gain over the previous-generation A4 powered with earlier versions of the 2.0 TFSI engine and the multitronic transmission. The 2009 A4 2.0T quattro manual sedan achieves the best efficiency of any all-wheel drive car in its luxury segment with EPA fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg on highways.

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price on the front-wheel drive 2009 Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak sedan with multitronic CVT transmission starts at $31,000. The MSRP on the 2009 Audi A4 2.0T quattro manual is $31,850. Both models come with a rich list of standard equipment such as sunroof, leather seating, SIRIUS satellite radio, and quattro all-wheel drive.

"Offering exceptional efficiency without sacrificing the comforts that luxury car buyers expect is Audi's hallmark," said Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president, Audi of America. "These two new A4 models are no exception. Their addition to the Audi lineup allows us to meet a broader array of consumer tastes with our highly acclaimed, best-selling car."

Audi is a pioneer in continuously variable transmission technology. The multitronic transmission was significantly revamped and first appears in the 2009 Audi A4. With the redesign, the multitronic transmission offers greater sportiness and agility along with reduced fuel consumption. The first Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak multitronic model will begin arriving at dealers this month, with Audi A4 2.0T quattro manual models expected to arrive in dealerships by early 2009.


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