German automaker Audi produces a stunning array of precisely mannered sedans and
wagons sized from small to medium and large, plus curvaceous sports coupes and
Audi's complete line for 2004 comprises alphanumeric designations for sedans of
compact, mid-size and large-car classes, with engines of four and six and eight
cylinders -- thus the tags as A4, A6 and A8. In addition, the avant label in Audi
vernacular denotes a station wagon format, FrontTrak means front-wheel-drive (FWD)
and quattro signifies all-wheel-drive (AWD) with a permanently engaged device
that distributes the engine's power to all wheels.
there are variations, like Audi's too-cute TT coupe and roadster convertible,
or the allroad quattro, a crossover vehicle that merges a sports sedan with a
sport-utility wagon to form an AWD estate wagon off the A6 avant but with a broader
wheel track and variable-height pneumatic suspension.
for 2004 is Audi's A8L flagship
sedan. Consider it a kinetic work of automotive art, chiseled from aluminum
with a space frame structure stretched to extravagant length and an elegant cabin
decorated in glossy hardwoods and supple leathers and filled with limousine luxuries.
It also scores world-class marks for the strength of a V8 powertrain and sophisticated
electronics aboard governing all aspects of the vehicle's movement plus communications,
navigation, comfort, even entertainment.
too is the S4, a souped-up sports sedan derived from the A4 quattro series with
a 4.2-liter V8 pushing 340 hp through a six-speed manual stick or optional six-speed
Tiptronic automatic transmission. A variation of that powerful engine drops into
the allroad quattro wagon to make a new model, the allroad quattro 4.2. It scores
300 hp when teamed to a five-speed Tiptronic automatic and stocks Audi's side
curtain-style air bags labeled Sideguard. And TT quattro cars offer another powerplant
choice this year with a 250 hp version tied to a clutch-less transmission dubbed
the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG).
full-size flagship sedan from Audi has been recast with a stretched wheelbase
and a unitized space frame structure composed of lightweight aluminum, then fitted
with sophisticated mechanical systems and extravagant luxuries. And it's absolutely
for the exterior is understated elegance where subtle shapes and soft edgework
come out of the less-is-more school of car design. The body stretches to a considerable
length yet linear dimensions are disguised by the raked-back windshield and rear
tapered roof pillars supporting a gracefully arched canopy spanning the passenger
compartment. Forward and back decks are then abbreviated with a blunt prow and
tail, leaving scant space for overhangs projecting beyond fore and aft edges of
the massive wheels in multi-spoke patterns cast from aluminum.
Up front, the curving nose looks clean and organized with a narrow horizontal
grille centered between elongated clusters of composite lenses shielding bi-xenon
high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps. Open any door and slip into a supportive
seat that fits like a custom-built lounge chair.
layout is familiar with two broad buckets in front and a bench in back with indentions
for two but room for three. The stretched wheelbase -- fully ten feet long --
adds up to more than sufficient legroom for passengers in the rear quarters. The
A8L driver is surrounded with an ultimate assortment of electronic car controls,
with most set on the steering wheel or driver's door, or operated from a handy
joystick mounted at the front end of the center console's padded armrest.
joystick, rotating and clickable like a computer mouse, links to a video screen
that pops up front on the dashboard to access car controls such as the variable
suspension settings, as well as climate, navigation, audio and telecommunications
equipment. Audi dubs this stick the MMI -- Multimedia Interface. The A8L comes
with Audi's quattro AWD equipment.
power rack and pinion steering feels precise and quick, and for braking, there's
a big disc at each wheel coupled to a computerized anti-lock brake system (ABS)
as well as electronic brake force distribution (EBD), and an electronic stabilization
program (ESP) to prevent wheels from skidding laterally. Powertrain consists of
an aluminum 4.2-liter V8 with dual cams and all torque translated through a ZF
six-speed electronic automatic transmission outfitted with Tiptronic manual shift
mode. It runs up to 330 hp.
A8L provides a comprehensive list of standard
gear, including leather and wood trim in the cabin.
Still, there are options, such as a convenience
package plus stand-alone options -- a sunroof,
front and rear Parktronic guidance, and different
wheel and tire packages to 19 inches.
our Review: Audi
sedans and estate wagons from Audi stand in size between compact A4 and full-size
A8. The series consists of three sedans and an avant wagon that vary through powertrains
yet a unibody structure shared by all contains lightweight aluminum structural
components. Base A6 3.0 sedan uses Audi's 3.0-liter V6 worth 220 hp.
five-speed Tiptronic automatic is standard with sport settings, but a multitronic
continuously variable transmission (CVT) is offered on FrontTrak models and it
carries a new sport mode shifting program. Audi's quattro traction system is optional.
Next step up in the series leads to the A6 2.7T sedan tipping decidedly to the
sporty side of performance with a unique bi-turbo 2.7-liter V6 aboard for 250
The two turbo-chargers -- one for each of two cylinder banks -- take up less space
than a single large unit and the small size means faster response from accelerator
pressure to firing time and higher torque at lower engine speeds. A6 4.2 sedan
stocks the powerful 4.2-liter dual cam V8 for massive muscle.
for superior strength in a wagon, the sport-tuned A6 4.2 avant also gets the V8.
A sunroof shows up as standard equipment on all A6 quattro models for 2004.
A4 compact-class sedans emerged in 2002 with new generational designs that expanded
the structure and stretches the wheelbase to forge a larger package with more
cabin space for riders.
2003 an airy drop-top variation showed up as the A4 Cabriolet with two powertrain
options. For 2004 Audi adds a new quattro AWD version to the convertible to create
the A4 3.0 quattro Cabriolet, while the sedan gets a racy S4 quattro special edition.
The S4 quattro stocks Audi's 4.2-liter V8 pushed to 340 hp and linked to a six-speed
manual or new six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. It has large front brakes,
xenon HID headlamps and 18-inch AVUS cast-alloy wheels with 235/40 high-performance
Also, the exterior for S4 varies from other A4 sedans with large front air intakes
and a double grille mounted up front, aluminum mirror housings on flanks and a
spoiler on the trunk. Special paint colors apply, such as Imola Yellow or Goodwood
Green. Inside, ultra-sport seats of Recaro design are clad in leather, while the
leather-wrapped sport steering wheel holds Tiptronic shift paddles for hands-on
issue in the A4 series is the 1.8T sedan with a 1.8-liter turbo plant in FrontTrak
format linked to a manual five-speed gearbox. In addition, Audi offers its multitronic
CVT shifter. To ensure tire traction on pavement, A4 1.8T is available with Audi's
quattro system and this year it brings a new six-speed manual transmission as
also casts the A4 sedan in luxury mode as the A4 3.0. This version is fired by
an aluminum-block 3.0-liter V6 that generates 220 hp. A4 3.0 quattro gets either
a manual six-speed or five-speed Tiptronic automatic. A4 Cabriolet stocks the
1.8-liter turbo plant in FrontTrak format or the 3.0-liter V6 with FrontTrak or
new quattro traction.
fabric-lined convertible top has three layers for insulation plus a rear window
constructed from glass and imbedded with a defroster element. Top opens and closes
by either a manual mode or optional semi-automatic power.
Rollover Supports (ARS) are also aboard the convertible. The bars, lurking behind
backseat headrests, will deploy instantaneously if on-board sensors detect potential
vehicle rollover movement.
compact two-door machines appear as a slinky sports coupe or daring convertible
roadster with roly-poly styling and curvy skin stretched tautly over exaggerated
FWD TT 1.8T employs a 1.8-liter turbo four of long stroke design with dual overhead
cams and five valves per cylinder. It's rated at 180 hp and connects to a five-speed
manual transmission or optional six-speed manual. The AWD quattro TT massages
the same engine, although inter-coolers are also attached to pump up a juicy 225
a new quattro edition extracts 250 hp from that plant and sends it through a DSG
shifter. This most powerful TT wears 17-inch wheels capped by performance tires
and sports a taller tail spoiler, plus bigger brakes and a modified exhaust system.
It also adds shifter paddles to the steering wheel.
TT cockpit is a creative exercise of form following function. Machined aluminum
rings dotted by eight circular indentions simulating screw marks show up in multiple
locations, such as a clamp for the stick shifter's leather boot.
the silvery metallic theme continues with metal bezels ringing analog gauges in
the instrument panel and dash control buttons, plus an aluminum cover over the
face of audio controls and perforated stainless steel foot pedals studded in rubber.
Xenon HID headlamps light a bright path for all TT models this year.
designers tried to blend two seemingly disparate concepts of a curve-craving sports
sedan with a mud-loving sport-utility vehicle -- one a sleek pavement speeder
that slinks snugly against asphalt, the other a boxy off-road machine hiked high
in suspension to clear rough stuff on a trail. The vehicle produced by this mix
is called allroad. It's a cool scheme based on Audi's A6 avant but with different
body panels and protective armor cladding, plus a luxurious passenger compartment
draped in supple leathers, hardwoods and touches of satin-finished aluminum. And
it comes with Audi's quattro AWD system.
year Audi doubles the allroad models by creating a high-powered version that joins
the base allroad quattro 2.7T. Called the allroad quattro 4.2, this new wagon
gets the 4.2-liter V8 out of A8L and S4. In this installation it produces 300
hp and puts it through a five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The entry-issue
allroad quattro 2.7T edition uses the bi-turbo V6 of A6 2.7T. The plant makes
250 hp, with all torque scored by a six-speed manual or optional five-speed Tiptronic.
bridge between a low-slung pavement cruiser and high-clearance SUV, the allroad
quattro applies the magic of a height-adjustable suspension that moves the chassis
up or down to one of four levels. The cabin has two front bucket seats divided
by a center console and followed by a rear bench with twin indentions for two
but wide enough for three. A third bench, facing the rear and sized strictly for
children, is optional and can be removed.