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Audi A4 2005+

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  • There is a 3 series coming: an M3. I imagine the M3 will be the car put up against the RS4 in the comparos. The M3 will NOT be AWD, perhaps not ever. As Audi continues to refine, refine, refine -- including moving the engine back 4 inches, redirecting the torque (as they already have in some of the Torsen line), I would suspect both the high end and the lower end of the performance scale (from both Audi and BMW) will be/remain competitive.

    But. . .

    The current bottom end of the 3 (now on line) is 328i (rwd) and 328xi (awd). This configuration is good for 230 HP. Audi's excellent and more frugal 2.0T at this point remains @ 200HP.

    The "middle" for BMW now is a 335 Coupe and Sedan (at present ONLY RWD, but already announced in AWD for the next year.) This configuration produces a stout 300HP and a similar amount of torque. Gone is the 330 with 255HP. Gone, at least from the US configurator is the 330xi.

    The 335 can be configured price competitive with an A4 3.2 (and for my money quattro makes it more attractive.) Yet, a drive in a 335 and an S4 would reveal the 335 feels a heck of a lot closer to the S version than Audi's middle child.

    Fast forward one year and add ~$2,000 to the BMW (for X drive) and, if Audi does NOT counter punch with something like the uprated 2.0T (taking it to at least 220HP) and bringing to market a 3.2T, I would think someone shopping these two car lines could conclude: for $45 - $48K (for the Bimmer) vs $43 - $46K (for the Audi A4) that I would need to look to the S4 for similar performance (but at higher bucks.) The 335 is less money than an S4, and even with x-drive, the 335 will be less money, better gas mileage and very similar performance.

    Hence: Trouble in Ingolstadt.

    A sweet 335 4-door sedan with AWD and "popular options" would be very close in performance to an S4, but priced more like an A4. Also a 328xi would be close in performance to an A4 3.2 (as it now is configured) but priced perhaps only slightly more than the A4 2.0T (as it now stands.)

    The A5, seems to be either an A4 coupe and/or cabriolet -- and nothing about it (from the cyber rumors, at least) suggests anything but a continuation of the current powertrain lineup.

    Audis, to me, have been about value, greater bang for the buck, i.e., than BMW's as well as greater performance.

    My near term concern (if someone will accept RWD) is that to get to the performance of the 335, one has to consider the S4. Moreover, if a loaded A4 2.0T quattro is on your shopping list, a 328xi is now a serious contender especially with its new found power.

    I have googled 3.2T FSI and there is some evidence that the 3.2 would easily surpass 300HP were it gently blown by Audis (bi) turbos (as applied to previous engines, including the 2.7T and 4.2T.)

    Were BMW to continue the 255HP 330 and 330xi sedans, or have priced the 335 several thousand higher, etc, my "trouble in Ingolstadt" post would be much less ado.

    As it stands, Audi needs to reduce the price of the S4 (but that won't help its gas mileage) or bring both an uprated 2.0T AND a 3.2T to market --soon. :surprise:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "My near term concern (if someone will accept RWD) is that to get to the performance of the 335, one has to consider the S4. Moreover, if a loaded A4 2.0T quattro is on your shopping list, a 328xi is now a serious contender especially with its new found power."

    Left out in that statement is that there are many of us who MUCH prefer RWD over AWD thus offering a further pricing advantage (and depending upon your point of view a performance advantage as well) to BMW.

    Said another way, I would LOVE to see a RWD version of both the A3 (not likely given its engine orientation) and the A4 (which on the surface seems to be a fairly easy change). As it sits right now, if Audi and BMW presented the market with virtual like for like cars (i.e. power, mileage, acceleration, handling, space, looks, goodies...) at the same price, I'd opt for the BMW simply because I can get it with RWD.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Yes, Shipo, but you're wrong! :P

    And, hopefully, you know that sarcasm, irony and/or humor are sometimes difficult to get across appropriately in these blogs.

    You have made my point.

    I have driven the 335 coupe, the S4 and seen up close and personal the 335 sedan.

    I would opt for the AWD version. But you are representative of many folks, I am certain. For $45K the 335 is a whole bunch of car and, frankly, a whole bunch more than a $44K A4 3.2 with sport package and 6speed manual.

    Ingolstadt needs to fire back.

    :surprise:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yes, Shipo, but you're wrong! :P

    Hehe, I love being wrong, it's sooooo much fun. ;-)

    Hmmm, let's see, an A3 or an A4 with a 2.0T putting out say 250HP to the rear wheels through a 6-Speed manual and some form of an LSD down stream of the tranny. Being wrong never felt so good. :shades:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    As I still teeter on the edge of an S4 Avant, I awaken everytime Shipo drops a "RWD rules" post in the odd thread, and just slap my forehead a la Homer (not the Iliad).

    "D'oh!"

    I own the last RWD compact wagon sold in this silly country of ours, and loathe am I to give it up, Japanese though it may be.

    "Dear Audi:

    For Christmas, I would like a 250hp RWD compact wagon with all the Audi beauty of design and style I have come to know and love, plus the S4's suspension and a strong shot of DSG.

    Warmest wishes for the season,
    Wale"
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    I though the A4 was to have a rear drive bias Quattro by now ? Not that it would help with Hp/Mpg but perhaps in feel.

    Also, you mentioned a price reduction in the '07 line? I checked and a A4 2.0TQ 6 speed show's the same MSRP, perhaps the site needs some updating ?

    DL
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    EDIT: 170Hp 2.0 TDI ;)
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    You say "tomato" and I say "tomahto"...
    :)
  • I spoke with two Audi reps, guys I have know for some time and guys who, with me at least, are not likely to even attempt to ladle it on.

    They indicated that the CONTENT has been "upped." The same money now gets more, so they contend. I did NOT vet this and really am not inclined to do so. If I am guilty of misspeaking, I will of course retract what I said once I get the story laid out.

    My "gut" is that BMW is doing something similar.
  • Re: Dear Audi, send me an RWD A3 or A4 or whatever. . . .

    When hell freezes over, I would wager, will be when Audi goes RWD.

    YES -- they HAVE already put the engineering, development and manufacturing bucks into a 40 / 60 f/r torque split torsen diff. It is NOT yet across all cars.

    As far as I know, ONLY the TT is NON torsen (of the quattro versions of the Audi line-up.)

    The rest are torsen and are mostly 50 / 50 f/r torque split with "instant" power shifting capabilities (front or rear up to 75%, as I recall of the power fore or aft as needed.)

    The few 40 / 60 f/r torque split torsen equipped Audi quattro cars can, so the press release says, shift up to 100% (rearward) when being REAR WHEEL DRIVE would provide the greatest performance benefit.

    The upcoming B8 A4 has been leaked to offer: 40 / 60 f/r torque split in the quattro version (using torsen) and will also have the engine pushed 4 inches backwards doing a yeoman's job of improving the f/r weight distribution.

    When this happens and if there is an S-Line version AND if there is a 3.2T FSI engine mated to a 7 speed DSG transmission AND the price stays below $49,999 decently equipped, I would think the BMW 335 threat would be nullified (RWD 335 OR X-drive 335.) :P

    Other "chassis" improvements (to be found on some other websites) are rumored, too. These improvements, purportedly are to further improve Audis handling prowess with "advanced" quattro (TorSen) systems.

    RWD, I Really Well Doubt you will see it any time soon, folks. Maybe if Dr. Piech drops dead.

    Nah, probably not even then. :surprise:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "YES -- they HAVE already put the engineering, development and manufacturing bucks into a 40 / 60 f/r torque split torsen diff. It is NOT yet across all cars.

    As far as I know, ONLY the TT is NON torsen (of the quattro versions of the Audi line-up.)"


    Ummm, how about the A3??? Last time I checked it was a Haldex (sp?) AWD system.

    "The few 40 / 60 f/r torque split torsen equipped Audi quattro cars can, so the press release says, shift up to 100% (rearward) when being REAR WHEEL DRIVE would provide the greatest performance benefit."

    Well, for me at least, that really isn't the point. Speaking strictly for myself, I really don't want an AWD car that is a RWD wannabe, and as such is carrying around all of extra FWD hardware and its associated mechanical drag and weight.

    Thinking about this from a pure drive train perspective, it seems to me that the A4, A6 and A8 really are RWD cars with a trick tranny that can send power to the front as well. Yes, no? If that's the case, they why can't the fine folks at Audi just market a model without all of that extra hardware up there at the front end?

    Once again I'm playing the "Loyal RWD Opposition" here. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I should have said the TT and derivative models, for the A3 and the TT are that and the VW R32 is another example.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    OK, apparently the New Euro style web site is jacked. But best I can tell the former sunroof/leather for $1400.00 and 17" for $150. Are now combined for $800 bucks. Kind of makes up for the $600 price increase last 01/06 . O' wait they took away free maintence... :sick:

    DL
  • ...MiC, I agree about the hp gap and its affect on sales. BMW has certainly raised the bar with the new 335i.

    OTOH, I suspect that only the lunatic fringe :P will be nit pickin' their future vehicle purchases on whether the car is FWD or RWD.

    I would like to see Audi bring over the new version of the 2.0t engine that is currently intended for the S3, which we will not see in the States. That particular 'four' is supposed to be good for 265 hp, which I believe would produce enough speed thrills for most of us (along with respectable mpg).

    While we won't see the S3, I doubt that we will even get the pumped up 'two' due possibly to emission issues and 93 octane fuel requirements. I hope that I am incorrect on these points.

    But that new 335i sure is tempting. I ain't gonna allow myself to drive it (well, maybe).

    BTW, just came back from an unscheduled oil change (I have it changed every 5k miles) and got to speak with Fred Baker, who owns FB Audi. He said that he set a new lap record at Mid Ohio last spring. I watched that race on Speed TV and it was a good day for Audis and a not-so-good day for BMWs.

    Byron
  • There are very few FWD Audis sold here in SW Ohio -- only a lone A3 FWD is on our dealer's lot, in fact.

    NO A6 FWD's and NO A4 FWD's have been sold, so says the sales mgr here in Cinti -- at least since 2004.

    Maybe this is so. In any case I can hardly imagine anyone considering an Audi FWD, but I can see people considering both AWD and RWD BMW's all day long, espcially since our Bimmer dealer say that 60% of the BMW's he sells are RWD -- although he thinks this will change somewhat once the 7x becomes available. Of course that will have a modest impact in units sold, one would imagine.

    I priced out a 335i sedan, 335i coupe, 328 sedan and coupe and both in X drive and RWD.

    The net seems to be that RWD to AWD will add exactly $1900 to the MSRP of a comparably equipped version.

    A well optioned 335i with the $1900 added to see what the final number would be (and this includes iDrive and Sat nav and Sirius sat radio and everything identical between the two cars as evidenced by the 328i and 328xi) was configured by yours truly. The envelope please:

    Including shipping, the figure was $48,065.

    The performance, if not the price, was in the S4 league.

    You can "mostly" get an S4 for that much money -- stripped.

    Comparably equipped, as best as I could come up with it would seem that the S4 would be about $7K more than a 335xi both with all the toys on them.

    The S4, one would imagine (and I would hope) would be a hotter performer. Only you can determine if the $7K premium is worth it.

    On the other hand, an A4 3.2 would be just under $45K -- roughly the same content level and seems to be closer in performance to the thousands cheaper 328xi.

    This, IMHO, is a first. Usually the BMW is thousands more than the Audi. A few years ago a fully loaded 6 cylinder 5 series was about $500 less than a fully loaded Audi A6.

    Of course the A6 in question was a V8 and had quattro.

    Reversal of fortune, in some ways.

    The 335 is, in this light, almost a gift from BMW to the US customer.

    The A4 3.2 with SLine and all the option boxes checked actually would, or could, cost more than the 335 sedan.

    Trouble in Ingolstadt, indeed.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    "NO A6 FWD's and NO A4 FWD's have been sold, so says the sales mgr here in Cinti -- at least since 2004".

    O boy, Sound's like some people need to hear Mr. Shipo's "winter tires are better then awd speech" That is just hard to imagine. Granted Audi has hung it's hat on the "unfair advantage of Quattro" Although now everybody's doing it..

    One of my biggest issues of Fwd ( and I have a few) is torque steer. And Audi/VW do the best job on that. My TDI with Gobs of torque at 1900 rpm has none. I hear it has to do with this new electro mechanical steering. Honestly I dont care what the "why" or "how" is, long as it works.

    To me Audi allways meant Value, which right now has me scratching my head... :confuse:

    DL
  • Here in NE Ohio I believe that Audi dealers do actually move a fair number of FWD A3's and A4's. Once I had to rent an A4 and it was a FWD'er with a slush box. That auto trans with the 1.8t engine was miserable for lack of power.

    I believe that with the A3 you still have to pony up for the six cylinder engine to get a Quattro-configured car, which makes the A3 nutty expensive, considering that you are now close to the price of an A4 with the two liter and a Torsen AWD setup. The two liter A4 isn't very far from the six cylinder A3 in acceleration, gets better fuel efficiency, and has a nicer interior. The A4 also handles better, based on road tests that I've read and my uncalibrated butt-o-meter.

    But then, as you say, BMW has changed every thing with the new 335i series. To counter this Audi is going to have to bump up the base engine to around 230 - 250 hp and perhaps swap the 3.2 liter for the 3.6 liter VW engine. This would at least keep Audi in spitting distance of the new 3xx series (assuming Audi keeps the price point from drifting too far up).

    And this would be a great opportunity to slap that new 265 hp four into the A4.

    But I bet that BMW's first targets were the current Lexi & Infinitis, which seem to have initiated the hp war.

    Audi has time before the release of the B8 A4 to reconsider the engine configurations. I bet that Ingolstadt will 'get it'.

    Last year when I drove a number of cars (from a Subie STI to an Acura TL), I nearly bought a BMW 330. And now with the 335i, I think that Audi would probably come in second. All that extra hp would really help on my 18 mile round trip to work. My usual average trip speed is a blistering 30 mph :P

    Byron
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "But then, as you say, BMW has changed every thing with the new 335i series. To counter this Audi is going to have to bump up the base engine to around 230 - 250 hp and perhaps swap the 3.2 liter for the 3.6 liter VW engine."

    The problem here is that the VW 3.6 won't fit in an A4 (or even possibly the A6) due to its length. The A4 and A6 engine bays were designed for a longitudinal engine mount and as such require shorter/fatter engines, on the other hand, the Passat (which can accommodate the VW 3.6 liter mill) was designed for a transverse type of engine mount allowing a thinner/longer mill.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Googling "3.2T FSI" produces some "encouraging" results, though. :surprise:
  • Shipo,

    Thanks for the insight on the A4 engine bay limitations.

    Byron
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