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.