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Ultra-economical Audi A4 TDI gets the ‘e’ treatment

10th July 2009 Print
Audi A4 TDIe

From this week the Audi A4 earns the right to use the ‘e’ suffix that subtly signifies major strides forward in economy and emissions control as already proven by the Audi A3 1.9 TDIe and the A6 2.0 TDIe. Available exclusively in saloon form, the new A4 2.0 TDIe joins the range alongside the three existing, and continuing, 2.0-litre TDI variants, and employs the very latest efficiency measures to make 61.4mpg and 120g/km CO2 output a reality. Now open for order priced from £23,340 OTR, the latest Audi ‘e’ model will reach its first UK customers in October.

Thanks to the punchy 136PS version of the 2.0-litre TDI engine first seen in the A6 2.0 TDIe, the new acutely economy-focused A4 will avoid reminding drivers that they have chosen to give priority to efficiency each time the accelerator pedal is pressed. Delivering peak power at 4,200rpm and a healthy 320Nm of torque from 1,750rpm, the directly injected diesel with its sophisticated piezo injectors will enable the exclusively six-speed manual A4 2.0 TDIe to reach 62mph from rest in 9.5 seconds and to continue to a top speed of 143mph.

Although worthy of many more ‘conventional’ executive cars, this impressive performance data doesn’t preclude an exceptional combined economy figure of 61.4mpg and an impressively low CO2 output of 120g/km in the A4 2.0 TDIe, positioning the car very favourably in the 13 per cent benefit-in-kind bracket for business users and therefore attracting a competitively low annual liability for a 40 per cent tax payer of £1,209.

Of the acutely efficiency-focused premium compact executive contenders, the A4 2.0 TDIe arguably achieves the best compromise between power, performance, economy and emissions. It does so with the help of numerous modifications and new technologies, principal among these being the latest automatic start-stop and energy recuperation systems.

Start-stop saves 5g/km
The start-stop system cuts engine power at idle when the clutch pedal is released and the gear lever is in its neutral position, and then restarts in just two-tenths of a second - more rapidly than any other comparable system – when the clutch is depressed. With the system’s help, economy is boosted and CO2 is reduced by approximately 5g/km, but if required it can be deactivated at the touch of a button.

Recuperation technology provides further fuel and CO2 savings by recycling a proportion of the wasted kinetic energy which is generated under normal braking and normally dissipated as heat, and storing this temporarily in the vehicle battery to reduce the engine load when the car subsequently accelerates again.

The achievement of ‘e’ status in the A4 has also been helped by a five per cent increase in the six-speed manual transmission’s final drive ratio, by the installation of a power steering pump which operates only on demand and by the use of low rolling resistance tyres. The ‘e’ model also conserves fuel by slipping more cleanly through the air thanks to an additional streamlining underbody trim panel, extra enclosure for the radiator grille and sports suspension settings which help to reduce drag through a 20mm ride height reduction

The A4 2.0 TDIe will be available in Standard and SE trim levels, both featuring the usual appointments such as electronic climate control, alloy wheels (16-inch for Standard models, 17-inch for SE), a CD audio system and electric front and rear windows.

On-board efficiency advice
In common with the 120PS, 143PS and 170PS TDI models, the TDIe also features a special instrument cluster with an efficiency-focused version of the Driver’s Information System (DIS) which recommends gear shift points and gives situation-specific driver advice on how to optimize fuel efficiency based on sensor analysis of driving conditions and driving style. The recommendations provided by the system, incorporated into the dashboard, have been proven to improve fuel economy by as much as 30 per cent.

Picture caption
Audi ‘e’ range extends to A4 - From this week the Audi A4 is available in an acutely efficiency-focused TDIe version capable of covering up to 61.4mpg while emitting as little as 120g/km of CO2. The new A4 2.0 TDIe Saloon and Avant models join the range alongside the three existing 2.0-litre TDI variants. Prices start from £23,340 OTR, and UK customer deliveries begin in October.

Audi A4 2.0 TDIe £23,340 OTR
Audi A4 2.0 TDIe SE £24,320 OTR

Audi UK has enjoyed an exceptionally rapid rise to prominence in the premium sector. In 2000 just over 43,000 Audi models found homes in the UK, and from that point until 2008 the brand has continually broken annual sales records, successfully passing the milestone 100,000 sales mark in 2007 and 2008, when it ended the year with a record 4.7% market share from 100,845 sales. Globally, the brand exceeded 1 million deliveries for the first time in its history in 2008, marking the occasion with its best ever revenue figure and a record profit-before-tax total of 3.177 billion Euros (£2.94 billion) in the process. With its programmes for both road and race cars the brand continues to maintain its dramatic trajectory. On the road it has extended its reach into important new segments with strong offerings such as the A3 Cabriolet, the Q5, the TT RS and the R8 5.2 FSI quattro, and in the near future will break further new ground with the A1 compact hatchback, the Q3 compact SUV and the A5 Sportback five-door coupe. On the race circuit Audi Sport has contested the 2009 Le Mans 24-hour marathon with the R15 TDI - a completely new sports prototype powered by a newly developed ten-cylinder diesel engine.

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Audi A4 TDIe