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The latest edition of Auto Zeitung had a nice article about the
new-generation A4, due to be introduced in 2000.
From: Auto Zeitung, 18/97
Since its introduction, the A4 has been Audi's most successful model.
Recently however, European sales have taken a bit of a tumble, going from
152,000 in the first six months of '96 to 127,000 in the first half of '97.
According to Ingolstadt officials, this should change with the introduction
of the '98 models with their new interiors and the V6 TDI engine, of which
more later on.
Unfortunately, introduction of the large Diesel has been delayed by
problems with cylinder head sealing and camshafts.
The introduction of the S4 with 6-speed transmission and quattro however,
is running strictly on schedule.
The successor to the current A4 will be introduced in May 2000, and will
initially be available solely as a 4-door sedan. The 2-door version in the
shape of the Cabriolet will commence production in November 2000, the Avant
version won't be available until after the Ingolstadt summer plant closure,
in September 2001. The new A4 uses the internal model code AU 461. AU is
for Audi, 4 is for the A4, 6 for the 6th generation since the first Audi
80. The 1 stands for the sedan body type, AU 462 being the Avant, 463 the
Cabriolet. Further internal codes, also used for other VAG products: 0-
notchback, 4- coupe, 5- roadster, 6- van. The new A4 will be based on a new
platform, shared with the next generations of the A6 and Passat, including
the V8 Passat.
Suspension will be the current multilink setup on the front, while the
independent rear suspension will possibly not be limited to AWD versions
this time. For the more powerful-engined versions separate suspension and
braking setups will be developed.
The new quattros will be lighter and have lower drivetrain friction than
current models. Nothing will change in engine and transmission
orientations: while the smaller A0 and A platforms are built for the
transverse engines, the larger B, C and D platforms are intended for
longitudinal engines and will remain so.
Especially interesting is the new, stepless, electronically-controlled
transmission (CVT) which will make its debut in VWs in mid-'98. Later, this
transmission will become available for the whole FWD A4-range, the quattros
retaining their current conventional auto 'box. The CVT transmission will
be able to handle 300 Nm of torque.
The new A4 will weigh in at about 100 kg less than the current model. This
reduction will be obtained through use of alloy for the suspension arms,
lighter doors and lids, magnesium-alloy dash and seat frames, as well as
higher-grade steel and thinner glass.
The lower (0.27) Cd will result in a flatter car with more interior heat
buildup from sunrays, necessitating standard fitment of a/c.
The following engines will become available in the new A4:
-1.6 2v, 101 hp
-1.8 5v, 125 hp
-1.8 5vT, 150 hp
-2.4 5v V6, 165 hp
-2.8 5v V6, 193 hp
-2.7 5vT V6, 230 hp
-2.7 5vT V6, 265 hp (S4)
-1.9 2v TDI, 90 hp
-1.9 2v TDI, 115 hp
-2.4 4v TDI V6, 150 hp
Meanwhile, the current A4 will receive the 2.4 V6 instead of the current
2.6 version, which will yield 165 hp.
The '98 A4s will follow the naming conventions laid down by the A3 and A6,
and they will follow the A6 in its several same-price equipment packages,
called Advance, Ambition and Ambiente.
The S4 and V6 TDI will be introduced at the IAA in late '98. The S4 will
become available in Germany as a 4-door sedan only, while the V6 TDI can be
had as a sedan and Avant, with optional Tiptronic.
Accompanying sketches (front end only) with this article show a strong A6
design influence for the upcoming A4.
Tom Nas Zeist, The Netherlands
1988 Audi 80 1.8S, Tizianrot metallic, 212,000km
Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog:
Nobody really enjoys it and the frog generally dies as a result.