Audi has boosted its A4 - to be replaced in 2008 - by inserting its revised 3.0 V6 TDI into the model. The engine – as seen in the A6, A8 and A4 Cabriolet – is notable for having had its power increased from 201bhp to 229bhp at no cost to its combined economy figure of 36mpg.
The senior partner in the A4’s diesel lineup punches its way to 60mph in 6.8 seconds and on to 152mph. A common rail unit with piezo injectors, the V6 has a CO2 output of 206 g/km. Prices range from £27,025 to £28,925. Although the BMW 330d is slightly faster, has better combined economy and puts out less CO2, the power gap has now been closed to almost nothing and the Audi is the best part of £3,000 cheaper.
The value of the A4 is increased by the fact that this new TDI is available in SE specification at no extra cost until 30th June. This adds 17-inch 16-spoke alloy wheels, a better radio with CD player, cruise control, electric rear windows and the Audi Driver’s Information System (DIS).
There is also the option of upgrading to S line specification for £750. That gets you 18-inch five-arm alloy wheels, S line body styling and sports suspension, seats and steering wheel.
As an endnote, the S8 price has been announced as £70,780. Although a Jaguar XJR costs £61,995, it doesn’t come with the Lamborghini Gallardo’s 5.0 litre V10. Should you be tempted by a Mercedes S55 AMG, the outgoing model will cost you £89,745. Read what we made of the S8 in First Drives.