Since its inception, the A4 sport sedan has served as the cornerstone of Audi’s vast and varied lineup. Always the embodiment of Audi’s trademark precision engineering and understated luxury, the A4 is also the longest and widest car in its segment. For the 2011 model year, the Audi A4 boasts significant refinements including an available, all new, eight-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission.
Audi sells the 2011 A4 in three models: The 2.0T Premium (MSRP starting at $31,950), the mid-range 2.0T Premium Plus and the upscale 2.0T Prestige. The A4 Avant wagon and high-performance S4 sedan are also part of the mix, but we’ll shine our spotlight on the core A4 sedan – the longtime heart and soul of Audi’s production lineup.
The sole engine driving the A4 is Audi’s trusted 2.0-liter TFSI® inline four-cylinder – a five-time selection of Ward Automotive’s annual “10 Best Engines” award. Making 211 hp and 258 lb/ft of torque, the 2.0-liter combines turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing to deliver the power of a six-cylinder while returning fantastic fuel economy: Buyers of the front-wheel drive model can expect as much as 31 highway mpg.
Available on the Premium and Premium Plus models, the Multitronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) offers an infinite number of gear ratios for reduced fuel consumption and high torque delivery across the rev band. A six-speed manual gearbox is available on all three A4 models, and this transmission returns a segment-best zero-to-60 sprint time of just 6.4 seconds.
Also available across the A4 range is a brand-new eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission from ZF (replacing last year’s six-speed auto). With the new eight-speed, you get rapid, seamless shifts, 11 percent better fuel efficiency compared to the outgoing six-speed and the ability to change gears for yourself via paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
Front-wheel drive is standard on the A4. Audi’s renowned quattro® permanent all-wheel drive system is optional on all three models. Featuring a torque-sensing center differential, quattro uses a 40:60 rear-biased torque split to put the emphasis on spirited driving.
Add to the A4’s best-in-class attributes a host of standard driver-assistance technologies. Servotronic® speed-sensitive power steering adjusts the level of steering assistance based on vehicle speed. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) works in tandem with the ABS brakes and Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) to keep the car from sliding by applying the brakes at individual wheels. The Brake Assist system uses a sensor to monitor pressure on the brake pedal. During panic stops, Brake Assist signals the hydraulic booster to instantly deliver full brake pressure.
The Prestige model features several available advanced driver-assistance enhancements. For example, Audi Drive Select lets you configure vehicle drive characteristics – controlling shift points, throttle response, adaptive suspension response and dynamic steering – by choosing between four settings: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. Audi Side Assist monitors blind spots and flashes LED lights mounted on the side mirrors when a vehicle enters the monitored areas. Adaptive Cruise Control uses radar to measure the distance to the vehicle ahead and automatically adjusts your speed to maintain a pre-selected safe distance.
Styling reviewers have likened the A4’s nose – its massive “Singleframe” grille and arched headlamps underscored by daytime LED running lights – to a symbolic declaration of the car’s dominance among upscale compact sport sedans. The A4 dominates the pack on the inside as well.
You’ll find yourself in total agreement when you slip into the leather seats, standard even on the entry Premium model. Other Premium standards include automatic climate control, a 10-speaker sound system with SIRIUS Satellite Radio, a glass sunroof with sliding and tilting functions, 17-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels and a four-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel. Notable Premium options include heated front seats and Audi Music Interface with iPod integration (both standard on the Premium Plus).
Self-leveling xenon headlights lead the array of standards on the Premium Plus. That list also features Bluetooth connectivity (optional on the Premium), three-zone automatic climate control, a HomeLink universal remote, 60/40 folding rear seatbacks, automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers and LED taillights.
The top-of-the-line Prestige model boasts all of those standards plus exclusives such as a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system and the MMI (Multi Media Interface) Navigation Plus Package (both optional on the Premium Plus) with voice control, HD radio, a seven-inch full-color LCD screen and a 40GB hard drive. You also get the Audi Parking System with rearview camera and rear parking sensors as part of the package.
There’s only one compact sport sedan that blends performance, space, efficiency and luxury in just the right measures – the 2011 A4 sedan. Sample that perfect blend with a test drive today.