In line with its pledge to cut CO2 output from its fleet by 20 per cent by 2012, Audi has just introduced its cleanest A4 TDI model ever, and at the same time launched an all-new 2.0 TFSI engine to complete its efficiency-focused overhaul of the A4 petrol range.
Audi says that the new 120PS A4 2.0 TDI is notable as the compact executive car that will attract the lowest company car tax liability in the premium sector, and it’s available to order now in Saloon and Avant body styles with standard, SE or S line specification priced from £22,150.
The new TDI is based on the latest generation 2.0-litre 143PS unit first seen in the A4 at its launch earlier this year, and shares its advanced common rail piezo fuel injection system. With an output of 120PS, and 290Nm of torque delivered via a six-speed manual transmission from just 1,750rpm, it combines strong performance with the potential to cover in excess of 55mpg, with a low CO2 figure of 134g/km.
This ensures that drivers of the new A4 2.0 TDI 120PS will enjoy the lowest tax burden in the premium sector, with benefit-in-kind tax liability of £1,582.20 per annum or £131.85 per month for a company car user in the 40 per cent tax bracket.
Slotting in midway through the petrol range, the new 2.0-litre TFSI engine is an all-new unit based on the 1.8 TFSI that has been available in A4 Saloon models since launch. Like its smaller counterpart it combines turbo charging and FSI direct injection to deliver strong performance as efficiently as possible, but it also supplements this with new Audi valvelift technology that further reduces fuel consumption by at least 5 per cent by controlling valve opening far more precisely than conventional systems.
Valve lift is variable between two levels through the use of sliding cam units mounted on the intake camshaft. When strong acceleration is required, an electronic control mechanism selects a cam profile which opens the valve as fully as possible for optimum ‘breathing’. When throttle usage is more relaxed, the control mechanism selects a lower profile, reducing the amount of fuel and air compressed.
The new 2.0-litre TFSI unit delivers 211PS from 4,300rpm and 350Nm torque maximum from just 1,500rpm. At launch it is available in front-wheel-drive and quattro permanent all-wheel-drive forms, both initially transmitting power exclusively via six-speed manual transmission.
Towards the end of 2008 the unique-in-class multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission – which in several applications actually brings improvements in fuel economy compared with its manual equivalent – will be available for front-wheel-drive versions.
The advantages of Audi valvelift technology are evident in a 6.9-second 0-62mph time and 155mph top speed for the latest A4 2.0 TFSI with six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive. They are even more noticeable in the 42.8mpg combined economy figure and 154g/km CO2 output – a significant improvement over the 36.7mpg and 184g/km recorded by the previous generation A4 2.0 TFSI.