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A4 1.8t cat placement?

Well, my father finally test drove an A4 this weekend.  He tried a fwd
1.8t auto, and a quattro 2.8 manual.  He is interested in the 1.8t, but
tried the V6 to see how the clutch/tranny felt.

He really liked the feel of the 1.8t engine, very responsive and powerful
(this compared to his '82 Coupe with 100hp I-5).  The interior is
reasonable (he doesn't like fancy interiors, and dislikes wood; apparently
the car he drove had carbon fiber, and he can live with that, barely),
and he really liked the sport seats he tried.

So, his biggest problem with the A4 1.8t is the placement of the catalytic
converter (can you tell he is trying to keep the '82 Coupe, in spite of
my Mother's pressure to buy a new car?).  He says it is bolted right up
to the back of the turbo, in the engine bay.  This supposedly makes the
engine bay extraordinarily hot.  He is concerned that the heat will cause
a lot of problems down the road with the engine (especially the rubber
hoses and such).  This is a big point with him, one that may stop him
from buying an A4.  How long has the 1.8t been on the road (in Europe)?
Are there any problems beginning to show up?  What is the reason for
the location of the cat, and what problems could it pose?

The other problem he has is the feel of the clutch pedal on the A4 2.8.
He is used to the manual clutch (no hydraulics) on his '82 Coupe, and
dislikes the softness of the A4 clutch.  I assume the same clutch in
the 2.8 will be in the 1.8t, or it will be a similar design, and therefore
just as soft?  

Lastly, I assume the turbo in the 1.8 is water-cooled.  How does the
cooling work, are there hoses running from the head to the turbo?  
Is there any cooling once the car is turned off (i.e. something pumps
coolant through the turbo)?  After destroying a number of VW Bug engines
with superchargers when he was a reckless youth, he is slightly concerned
about the longevity of the turbo & engine.  He does not drive the car
hard at all, so I would think it would last reasonably well (he wants
~160K miles before he needs to rebuild the engine).

Thanks for your help.  If I can ease his mind about these issues, he may
end up with a new A4 1.8tq manual early next year!

Eric J. Fluhr                                Email:  ejfluhr@austin.ibm.com
630FP Logic/Circuit Design                   Phone:  (512) 838-7589
IBM Microelectronics Div.                    Austin, TX