The Audi allroad isn't an unfamiliar car to us. It was introduced under the A6 platform back in '99 with upgrades such as air suspension, larger wheels, all-terrain tires and flared fenders giving it a distinct difference between the A6 Avant. Equipped with either a 2.7 liter twin-turbo from the S4 or a 4.2 liter V8 (made available in '03), it was Audi's most versatile vehicle with on-road and off-road functionality. Sales failed expectations and production ceased in North America in 2005.
A second-generation model was built in Europe based of the C6 chassis but it never made it to the USA due to poor sales. But perhaps Audi's latest allroad iteration might change this.
The A4 allroad quattro is based off the A4 Avant reusing the same crisp lines, curved surfaces and low roofline. Like the previous allroad, the new vehicle features pronounced flared wheel arches, 17" wheels and increased ground clearance allowing the car to handle any road or trail.
In more detail, the body is higher to account for longer springs and new shock absorbers. The wheels are fitted with a meaty 225/55 series tire. The chassis in the retains all the advantages which distinguish the A4 model line. Steering is straightforward and responsive. A steering box beneath the wheel conveys the driver's input directly to the wheels. The five-link front suspension and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension consist largely of aluminum to reduce unsprung weight. Massive 16" brakes with cooling behavior provide for rapid deceleration.
For rough terrain, the A4 allroad quattro relies on a new high-tech feature of its Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP): the Offroad Detection (ORD) technology automatically identifies the type of driving surface and adjusts the ESP's control parameters accordingly. When the driver depresses the gas pedal, ESP increases propulsive power by tolerating more wheel spin than otherwise. If necessary, it will override for a time in the interests of safety.
On paved roads, Audi drive select automatically adapts the personality of the allroad quattro to the driver's preferences. Audi drive select namely evaluates the engine's throttle response, the Servotronic power steering, and S tronic's shift points in automatic mode. The driver can freely switch among three different engine maps: comfortable, standard, and sporty.
initially three different engines for the A4 allroad quattro will be offered: a 2.0 TFSI producing 211hp with 29.04mpg, a 2.0 TDI with a respectable 170hp, 258 lb-ft but with 36.75mpg and finally a 3.0 TDI with 240hp, 369 lb-ft and 33.13mpg.
The vehicle will be available in early summer in Europe at a basic price of 37,100 euros (approx $46624 USD). Expect information on a North American model and price in the coming months.