What is it?
This is expected to be one of the biggest-selling engine and trim derivatives of what remains one of Audi’s most important models in the UK.
That, as such, the A4 35 TFSI Sport has a petrol engine still surprises this tester, but it probably shouldn’t, given the way so many customers are continuing to avoid buying a diesel wherever they possibly can. Although lower-emissions, more frugal diesel derivatives are coming soon, the cheapest and most efficient version available at launch (the 40 TDI quattro Sport) is nearly £6000 more expensive than this, would cost you 5% more in company car tax and isn’t rated as a great deal more fuel efficient even in the emissions lab.
That helps explain why Audi is forecasting that this 148bhp petrol A4 will lead the UK sales mix, albeit in more dynamic and slightly more equipment-laden S line trim than our Sport-spec test car. It’ll be on offer with either a six-speed manual gearbox or Audi’s seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic and exclusively with front-wheel drive, the manual being the marginally quicker of the two in terms of 0-62mph performance and the auto the marginally more frugal and carbon-efficient, the latter depending a bit on equipment level and associated wheel size.
In any other 148bhp petrol model in the sprawling VW Group (and indeed in other 35 TFSI Audis) you’d get a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine, but this A4 uses a detuned 2.0-litre turbo instead, most likely for the greater and more broadly spread torque it yields: 199lb ft of it in all, available from less than 1350rpm. The engine also uses 12-volt mild hybrid assistance, although, unlike a 48-volt system, that only really amounts to an intelligent alternator and automatic engine start-stop.