The Audi A4 Allroad has been spied testing at the 'Ring
19 September 2008

Audi’s all-encompassing product strategy continues to throw out more unexpected niche products – with what appears to be a prototype for a new Allroad version of the A4 snapped by our spy photographers circulating at the Nurburgring.

Like this existing A6 Allroad, the A4 gets jacked-up suspension and butch plastic wheelarch extensions, with the prototype riding a couple of inches higher than a standard A4.

When backed-up by Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system, that should be enough to give it soft-roader levels of off-tarmac ability.

The mule is using standard A4 bumpers, but if it does go into production it will be certain to get chunkier mouldings similar to those of the A6 Allroad.

The big surprise is that the A4 Allroad prototype is a saloon, a car that’s extremely unlikely to go into production – both generations of the A6 Allroad have only been available with the Avant estate bodyshell.)It’s possible that, as development of the car must have begun before the current A4 Avant was introduced, the decision was made to build the mule around a four-door shell.

The legend ‘Bosch ESP’ is visible below the registration plate – along with a small skid-plate – suggesting that this car is being used for stability control calibration.

Presuming the A4 Allroad does make it into production, it will fit into the Audi range between the Q3 and Q5 SUVs. Engines will be shared with the rest of the A4 range, and if Audi offers a version fitted with its new 2.0-litre common-rail TDI motor then the A4 should be more economical and better on CO2 than conventional SUV rivals.

Our Verdict

Audi A4

The Audi A4 is an improvement over the previous version, but isn't good enough to topple the BMW 3 Series

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Comments
7

19 September 2008

Does anyone else think the new A4 looks dated already, especially from the front which I find a bit boxy and square. I think the old one looked better (post facelift). The new Allroad will probably be a very good car, but theres nothing that really excites me about it.

19 September 2008

20 September 2008

I actually don't mind the idea of an A4 Allroad. This makes more sense (to me at least) than placing V12 diesels in Q7s.

20 September 2008

Don't really see the point of this car - why not get a 4x4?

21 September 2008

[quote Will86]Does anyone else think the new A4 looks dated already[/quote]

Yes, i think this A4 is dating very quickly, it doesnt help that the A6 & A8 look exactly the same. The Merc C-Class is definately the best looker in the class. (esp in Sport trim)

Interestingly, the new A4 is now so big that it must be about the same size as the original A6 allroad.

22 September 2008

I really do believe that, round about the first TT, Audis represented some kind of pinnacle of Eurocentric car design, if not necessarily engineering. They seem to have fallen from grace pretty quickly, however, and are now an uneasy blend of butch and Bauhaus. Also, does anyone else find the latest interiors claustrophobic? It could just be me but I've been in the latest A4, A3 and TT lately, and I was glad to climb out of all of them.

22 September 2008

[quote gazza5]

Don't really see the point of this car - why not get a 4x4?

[/quote]

I'd reverse the question. Why get a 4x4 when you could get this car?

If you need modest off-road ability this car this seems a far better bet than a 4x4. Lower centre of gravity and lower weight give far better handling and better performance; with lower emissions and fuel consumption as well.

Clearly if you need "heavy duty" 4x4 performance you'll buy a Land Rover / Landcruiser etc. not this car. But most don't....

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