US-Spec(ish) Audi A4 allroad Caught Testing Stateside
by, 12-16-2010 at 01:41 PM (11149 Views)
Road and Track Magazine has published photos of an A4 allroad (not the one above) caught winter testing in the States. R&T points out the US-spec bits on the car such as the amber corner markers and US plate holder at the front. They also confirm the car had a speedo in miles rather than metric. The magazine says an A4 allroad is coming and that it will likely be powered by a 2.0T mated to the brand's 7-speed dual clutch S-tronic transmission.
So What Do We Think?
This car is a puzzle. From what we know Audi is very seriously considering and may have even signed off on an A4 allroad to join the lineup. Knowing what we know of cost models considered by Audi, it would make sense that the allroad would join the lineup after the expected 2013 product improvement (P.I., a.k.a. facelift).
This car certainly looks to be built to US spec. The amber lights are US, the plate frame on the grille is US (note Euro plate overtop) and the interior shows miles. The fact remains though that any and all of these parts are available in the Audi partsbin already so the fact that this car is built to US specs doesn't mean US spec versions are close to production. However, Audi rarely bothers to Americanize a test car which is why we're puzzled.
Looking at Volvo and at Subaru, both brands who sell more rugged variants of station wagons, the business case seems clear. The rugged versions outsell the standard wagon by a significant amount and an allroad introduction could mean an exit in America where Avants are already not hot sellers. The latter would be a shame for enthusiasts but likely a shrewd business move for Audi.
If the allroad did come before the P.I., and we doubt it will, then expect the drivetrain from the A4 Avant to come over wholesale. That means 8-speed Tiptronic and 2.0T mated to quattro. There's no point in adding the additional cost of S-tronic and that doesn't fit Audi USA's view on S-tronic as a sporting option for S-cars and the like.
If the allroad waits for the product improvement, there is more flexibility for drivetrain changes but even then it will likely mirror the A4 or S4. In as much, we expect a 2.0T, 3.0T (S4) and 2.0 TDI to be in the facelifted A4 lineup so any one of those three could do duty in the allroad. However, as we've seen in the A4 Avant, we doubt all of these options will be available.
If we had to guess we'd still bet on 2.0T with Tiptronic for the car but 2.0 TDI is also an interesting opportunity. That Audi of America's product planning folks had an A4 allroad 2.0 TDI in their own Herndon test fleet earlier this year may or may not also be a hint.
Read more and see the spy photos over at Road & Track after the jump. Thanks Mike J. for the tip.
Full Story - Road & Track
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