AUBURN HILLS, MI – Audi is eager to point out that it is the only automaker among its chief German rivals to offer a four-cylinder in the mid-size luxury segment. The company’s turbocharged, direct injection four-cylinder formula has always been well respected, and in its latest take, Audi gives buyers even more reason to pass on the optional six-cylinder engine, according to http://blogs.automobilemag.com.
The 211-hp, 258 lb-ft turbo four makes 15 more pound-feet of torque than the V-6, and the run to 60 mph is just 0.2 seconds slower. When paired with a six-speed automatic, four-cylinder sedan and Avant models return fuel economy of 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
The 3.2L V-6 (available only with the six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive) will deliver 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Both four- and six-cylinder engines make use of Audi’s new variable valve lift system, but the V-6 uses the feature on the intake valves, while the four-cylinder utilizes the technology on the exhaust side.
The best fuel economy comes from the front-wheel drive, four-cylinder A4 mated to a CVT gearbox, turning out 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Despite being the least thirsty powertrain combination, Audi expects most buyers will opt for a model equipped with Quattro all-wheel drive. The current take rate for the front-wheel drive/CVT car is about 20 percent.
The company also hopes it can train drivers to squeeze more miles out of a gallon of gas. Opting for a six-speed manual transmission (only available on four-cylinder models) will also equip an A4 with a shift indicator light to encourage shifting at lower engine speeds. That car is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
A4s will begin arriving in dealerships in September, with sedans starting at $32,700 and Avant models beginning at $34,500.