Audi A4 quattro sales are already booming, but the German car-maker’s local arm this week furthered its goal of getting even more AWD versions of its A4 sedan and Avant into Australian driveways by adding a range of Ambition and S line variants that cut the price of entry by some $8700.
Quattro versions already account for about 80 per cent of total Audi A4 sales here (and somewhere around 60 per cent of all Audi sales, period), but the company is now placing yet greater emphasis on this point-of-difference against its largely rear-drive rivals, the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Audi says quattro versions of the A4 are already selling at a 57 per cent greater rate this year than over the same period in 2013, and that is before the introduction of these new versions. However, since total A4 sales are only up about 4 per cent YTD, it means the front-drive offerings have clearly taken a corresponding hit.
Leading the charge is the 165kW/350Nm 2.0 TFSI Ambition quattro sedan, which costs $57,100 plus on-road costs with a six-speed manual or $59,900 with an S tronic dual-clutch automatic. The Avant wagon version with standard S tronic costs $62,900.
This compares to an asking price of $55,500 for the current (and continuing) range-opening 125kW/320Nm 1.8 TFSI with front-wheel drive ($58,500 for the Avant). The Ambition also undercuts the previous range-opening quattro offering, the $65,800 2.0 TFSI, by $8700.
Audi is also offering a new 130kW/380Nm 2.0 TDI Ambition quattro sedan priced at $59,900 — just $2000 more than the existing front-drive 2.0 TDI offering, and a whopping $28,100 cheaper than the previous range-opening quattro diesel, the 180kW/500Nm 3.0 TDI quattro.
Audi claims the petrol and diesel offerings return combined cycle fuel consumption figures of (respectively) 6.7L/100km and 5.3L/100km, while the 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in 6.4s and 7.9s respectively.
Standard equipment for all Audi A4 Ambition quattro models includes MMI Navigation plus with live traffic updates (and 20 GB hard drive and two SD card slots), 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, a sports steering wheel fitted with shift paddles, three-zone climate control air-conditioning and ‘leather-appointed’ seats.
For an additional $7900, Audi will also sell you an S line version of all variants listed. Extras for your outlay include an S line exterior sports package, five-spoke 18-inch alloys, front sports seats with more bolstering, a parking assists system with rear-view camera, proximity-sensing Convenience Key and a bigger 10-speaker 180-watt sound system with a sub-woofer and six-channel amplifier.
“Our Audi A4 quattro models are popular with Australian customers for their outstanding driveability, and for the confidence they inspire in inclement weather,” said Audi Australia marketing general manager Kevin Goult, adding that these new deals could also see buyers ‘walk-up’ into an A4 from the A3 sedan they had been considering.
“The new A4 Ambition quattro entry price is also well positioned for customers considering an A3 sedan, but who prefer a slightly larger vehicle. Many customers have already shown interest in this idea, and so we have recognised this and are now delighted to offer this very attractive model.”
Quattro versions of the A3 sedan start at $47,800 for the 1.8 TFSI quattro Ambition, climbing to $59,900 for the hi-po 206kW/380Nm S3.
The introduction of these new Ambition and S line models with sharpened pricing comes two months after Audi slashed $15,000 from the price of entry to its S4 range in a bid to keep sales of its sports models bubbling along at the record pace they have been achieving over the past 18 months.
Its sports line grew 172 per cent in 2013, and was up a staggering 400 per cent again over the first four months of 2014 (the latest sports variant breakdown figures we have).
Audi A4 Ambition and S line pricing (prices do not include on-road costs):