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Save up to $7,070 on a new Audi A4
Malcolm Flynn | Jun 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

2012 AUDI A4 REVIEW

Variants Reviewed
Model Power/Torque 0-100km/h Fuel Use
3.0 TDI Avant 150kW/400Nm 7.3s 5.1l/100km
3.0 TDI 150kW/400Nm 7.1s 4.9l/100km
3.0 TDI Quattro 180kW/500Nm 5.9s 5.7l/100km
3.0 TFSI Quattro 200kW/400Nm 5.4s 8.1l/100km
S4 3.0 TFSI Avant Quattro 245kW/440Nm 5.1s 8.4l/100km
S4 3.0 TFSI Quattro 245kW/440Nm 5.0s 8.1l/100km

 

OVERVIEW

The A4 3.0 TDI, 3.0 litre TFSI Quattro and S4 3.0 TFSI Quattro sit very much at the performance end of the Audi A4 range.

Each can hammer a nail if asked the question - even the 'de-tuned' 3.0 TDI - but the S4 stands above the rest as the enthusiast buy. It is incredibly swift, has superb grip and balance, and makes wonderful sounds when stretched.

None in Audi's new A4 range lack athleticism; but the bad-boys at this end of the scale are the power sprinters.

See 2012 Audi A4 Launch Review: Part I for an overview of the features, interior style and other model details making up the new A4 range.

 

3.0 TDI and 3.0 TDI Quattro - $68,900 and $88,000

The previous 2.7 litre TDI V6 has been replaced by a version of the 3.0 TDI turbodiesel V6, tuned more for efficiency than outright performance.

This 'base' 3.0 litre TDI model produces a healthy 150kW and 400Nm, which yields a 0-100km/h time of 7.1 seconds.

However, the sedan version’s combined fuel consumption of 4.9l/100km is this engine’s trump card - just 0.1 l/100km behind the 2.0 TDI sedan, yet is nearly a second faster from 0-100km/h.

The 3.0 TDI is also available in a more performance-focused tune, with the Quattro and S tronic drivetrain.

Its 180kW and 500Nm belts out the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.9 seconds, with a combined fuel consumption of 5.7l/100km (down 0.3 seconds/0.9l/100km).

There's a 105kg weight disadvantage with the S tronic and Quattro drivetrain, but few will complain. Maximum torque comes on train at just 1250rpm (to 3500rpm), and it shows. It hauls barely off idle, and can be fired from apex to apex.

Surprisingly, though these are genuine sporting saloons, it's the easy performance that best defines the 3.0 TDI pair.

They each go like a shower just off idle - especially the S tronic Quattro - are superbly refined if a little firm underfoot, and the relative silence and balance of the diesel will have many double-checking the boot badge.

 

3.0 TFSI Quattro S tronic - $93,400

2012 audi a4 s4 launch review australia 02
Replacing the previous 3.2 litre naturally aspirated V6 petrol, the supercharged 3.0 TFSI petrol engine is essentially a detuned version of the monster S4 unit.

The 3.0 litre V6 TFSI completes the A4 range’s now entirely forced-induction engine lineup. In this guise, with S tronic and Quattro drive, the 3.0 litre produces 200kW and 400Nm.

This results in a 0-100km/h figure of 5.4 seconds with a still-impressive 8.1l/100km

Off-throttle thrust lags behind the diesel V6s, with maximum torque not arriving until 2250rpm. Nonetheless, it is maintained through to 4750rpm.

Refined performance is the key here, with the engine dispatching its might in the quietest fashion of all new A4 variants, despite the twin-screw supercharger lurking within the engine’s valley.

The 3.0 TFSI Quattro is a gentleman’s express. While blindingly quick, it's also laden with style and creature comforts, particularly when fitted (as on test) with the full S-line trim and body package.

 

S4 3.0 TFSI Quattro S tronic - $120,400

The S4 models - plural, the Avant (wagon) bodystyle is now also available - are, for the moment, the performance flagships for the A4 range. That's until the new RS4 Avant arrives early next year.

Mechanically, the S4 is the least changed of the updated A4 range, with engine outputs from the supercharged 3.0 TFSI petrol V6 remaining at 245kW and 440Nm.

Efficiency is improved nonetheless thanks to the new electro-hydraulic steering, which significantly drops the claimed combined figure from 9.4l/100km to 8.1l/100km (8.4l/100km for Avant).

The claimed 0-100km/h figure of 5.0 seconds feels about right, with the 45kg heavier Avant taking just 0.1 seconds longer.

The seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch (DSG) remains the only transmission choice for S4, and comes with paddle shifters for when the mood takes you.

Like other Volkswagen Group dual-clutch transmissions though, selecting Sport mode will result in instinctive gear selection that will better the efforts of most drivers.

We continue to be impressed by the automatic big-rev downshift into second gear when you’ve really jumped on the stoppers.

From the driver’s seat, the four exhaust tips emit a distinct rortiness from startup, but this is never intrusive when underway - it is far more subtle than an AMG V8 for instance.

Likewise, the engine is quiet until it is asked to perform, delivering an exciting V6 induction growl from 5000rpm onwards.

2012 audi s4 avant australia 05
Ride is also notably more sporting than the rest of the range; it's quite stiff and can be tiresome on bumpy rural roads. .

Handling is another step above the already impressive A4 range, helped further by the optional 19-inch wheels and 255-section Pirelli P Zeros fitted to the launch cars.

Standard fitment is 245-section tyres on 18-inch wheels.

The rearward bias of the quattro is also welcome on loose or wet surfaces, providing a degree of throttle-adjustment through bends.

Starting at $120,400 for the sedan version, the S4 is nearly $30,000 more than the BMW 335i, though the Audi is alone in offering the wagon variant - for the time being at least.

 

First Drive Verdict

Audi's new A4 range, especially at the top end, is for drivers. Each, built like vaults, feel incredibly robust, exude a brooding restrained style and real on-road elan.

They have style and performance in abundance, quite superb interior trim and finish, and, that slightly numb steering aside, are very enjoyable sporting cars.

Add the practicality of four doors and good interior space, and each is family-friendly as a bonus.

The hard-edged S4 might not be for everyone, but only a rare few sporting saloons can challenge its ferocious speed, balance and quattro grip.

Provided you can make the hurdle into premium buying, pick any in the A4 sporting range and you won't be disappointed.

See 2012 Audi A4 Launch Review: Part I for an overview of the features, interior style and other model details making up the new A4 range.

 

Pricing

  • 2012 Audi A4 3.0 TDI multitronic - 150kW - $68,900
  • 2012 Audi A4 Avant 3.0 TDI multitronic - 150kW - $71,900
  • 2012 Audi A4 3.0 TDI quattro S tronic - 180kW - $88,000
  • 2012 Audi A4 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic - 200kW - $93,400
  • 2012 Audi S4 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic - 245kW - $120,400
  • 2012 Audi S4 Avant 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic - 245kW - $123,900

Save up to $7,070 on a new Audi A4
Get the best deal on this car!
Get a great deal from our national accredited supply network. Fill in the form or call 1300 438 639
 
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