Audi‘s latest A4 goes on sale in fall 2008, and we recently had a chance for a spin behind the wheel of a Euro-spec car. At first drive, Audi takes everything good on its core model and ratchets it up a notch. Audi showed off the home of their owner’s driving school, the Audi Forum Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. The Audi Forum takes a track experience a step above, and we only wish the day had been longer for more track time.
I promise, you can get the A4 in a color other than red..
We drove Euro-spec 265HP 3.2L Quattro sedans, with six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmissions. Audi is not offering the dual-clutch transmission here. The standard car this fall takes Audi’s 211HP 2.0L TFSI I4 (not the 250HP version once expected), standard in front-drive but available with Quattro. The wagon arrives with Quattro only. We covered the A4′s introduction at the Frankfurt auto show last year and brought you most of the technical stuff then (click here to revisit).
Like many vehicles, A4 has grown with each generation. Having fallen for the A4 back in my mid-1990s Automobile Magazine days, I wondered if this iteration would finally be so big it lost some charm. The A4 has grown about six inches, with a wheelbase just over 110 inches. Instead of being slightly smaller, the A4 is seven inches longer than the either the BMW 3-Series or Mercedes C-Class. Our short drive proved that the A4 is as charming as ever, and more nimble than the size suggests. The cabin is more comfortable, but this new chassis, steering, and suspension ensure a fine-handling sedan.