Audi’s answer to the Subaru Outback was originally turned down for the local market when it was launch in 2009, but the recent addition of an automatic gearbox for the entry-level diesel engine has led to a change of mind.
The Audi A4 Allroad will arrive in the third quarter of 2012 to follow the bigger A6 Allroad that has previously been sold here.
Just one drivetrain will be offered – a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel that sends 125kW of power and 350Nm of torque to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
Audi says the 2.0 TDI model will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds.
The Allroad’s ride height is elevated by 37mm compared with a regular A4 Avant (wagon), while the axles are 20mm wider.
The exterior styling is distinguished by off-roader-style design cues such as plastic cladding for the wheel-arches and rear bumper, and front and rear underbody scuff plates.
Audi Drive Select, which allows the driver to vary suspension, steering, throttle and gearshift settings, is expected to be offered as an option.
An electronic stability control system that is tuned for variable surfaces is standard, however.
Inside, there’s up to 1430 litres of cargo space – same as the A4 Avant - with the rear seats folded, reduced to 490 litres when the seats are in place. The cargo floor mat can also be flipped to reveal a rubberised side that caters for wet/dirty footwear or sports items.
A cargo rail system with telescopic bar and securing belt is also included.
UK versions of the A4 Allroad feature three-zone climate control, 10-speaker CD audio and 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, but Audi Australia is yet to reveal specifications for the model that will be sold here.
Pricing is also yet to be confirmed, but based on European pricing and the $59,200 cost of the regular A4 Avant 2.0 TDI a sticker in the region of $65,000 to $70,000 would be anticipated.
The A6 Allroad was priced north of $100,000.
The Audi A4 Allroad will also have an in-house rival locally in 2012 when Volkswagen launches its twin, the Passat Alltrack.