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Devilish Delight

May 21, 2010, 12:00 AM IST by CarWale Team
Car Tested: A4 [2013-2016] , Version: 3.0 TDI quattro

Devilish Delight

Audi has been steadily launching all their models in India and are ensuring that the Indian consumer gets the very latest as soon as will allow. Okay, so one does tend to wait a couple of months for the cars to be shipped in from abroad, but then you don't go out and buy a car everyday, do you? The A4 has been around and we really loved the zest of the 3.2 TFSI when we drove the car last year. This time round however, we were in for quite a surprise. To start with, the A4 in question here is powered by a massive 3.0-litre, V6 TDI engine which produces a maximum power of 240bhp and a mammoth 500Nm of torque at as low as 1500rpm!

This massive 3.0-litre powerhouse has a common rail valve-train with piezo injectors and a variable geometric turbocharger. Power from this oil-burner is channelled via a six-speed 'DSP' box with tip-tronic and much to our disappointment there are no paddle shifts in a car that costs on the upside of forty five Lakhs (on-road pricing). We really did miss the paddle shifts since it would have been a welcome addition in what is essentially, an enthusiasts car. The engine like most of the VW Group engines is highly refined and it's common rail (to meet the Bharat Stage-IV compliance), it's quiet even at idling (which it does at about 700rpm) with very low NVH levels. It’s during crank-up where the engine can sound a little harsh but it soon settles into a smooth idle.

In our quarter mile run, this feisty A4 galloped to 100kph in 7.3 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 15.1 seconds. It doesn’t matter whatever speed you are at - just step on the accelerator and you'll get shoved back into your seat! And that's a guarantee. For a couple of unsuspecting passengers who experienced this, the sheer shove of the acceleration brought about several sharp exclamations of amazement that can’t be reproduced. The DSP (Dynamic Shift Program) six-speed automatic gearbox is highly responsive and downshifts within milli-seconds on kickdown for some really spirited driving. In our kickdown test, the A4 took 2.1 seconds to clock 30-50kph and 2.4 seconds for 50-70kph run. This large diesel engine is fairly efficient too. We got an economy figure of 9.63kpl when we decided to go into our drive-as-you-please mode. Truth is that the acceleration is so addictive that it's really difficult to keep your right foot in check! The worst figure of 7.74kpl was during our performance testing, which is typically full throttle driving. In our highway driving cycle, the Audi A4’s mileage was an excellent 14.35kpl which really isn’t bad at all for a big V6.

Another reason why the A4 is such an excellent drama-free quarter mile star and surefooted highway star is thanks to Audi's legendary quattro four-wheel drive technology. quattro - which is basically Audi’s patent term for their all-wheel drive; meaning four in Italian. Unlike regular four-wheel drive technology, the quattro doesn’t use the conventional sun and ring gear differential and transfer case but the lighter Torsen, a Torque Sensing type of limited slip differential, to transfer torque. The Audi A4 3.0 TDI handles well, but you can tell that there's a heavier diesel engine upfront and it does tend to feel a bit heavier through corners than its petrol siblings. The ride is good at low and high speeds, and even though the steering is precise, its feedback feels a tad artificial. Dive into a sharp corner and the car will grip well (even though on some occasions it felt a little floaty) the quattro and the ESP will forgive most driver errors and will ensure that the car continues to be the safe handler that it is. Also very reassuring are the beefy brakes which bite progressively and have good pedal feel too. In our braking test, the Audi A4 came to a complete standstill from a speed of 80kph in 30.3 metres.

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Devilish Delight (contd..)

The 3.0 TDI has no difference in its interiors when compared to its 3.2-litre FSI counterpart. It comes with the same leather milano upholstery, wood inlays and interior chrome packaging. The four-spoke steering wheel with mounted audio and cellular phone controls, three-zone air-conditioner (two at the front and one at the rear). The one touch we all loved are the fully powered front seats that have the ability to cool or heat your very own personal rear-end! There isn't enough legroom at the rear and this is really a driver's car and at best, suited for four average sized adults. The A4 comes loaded with a very upmarket Bang & Olufsen entertainment system and a separate DVD entertainment kit with headphones and remote for the rear seat passengers. The MMI (Multi-Media Interface) takes some time to get used to, especially the mobile phone pairing to the MMI system. The A4 is capable of playing a wide range of media formats. From DVD, SD card (dual slots), CD, Aux-in and it even receives a few terrestrial television broadcast channels.

The car has a good range of height adjustment for front seats which can give you a sunken in sports car feeling or the top-of-the-world view for those who suffer in the height department! The car however, has quite a number of blindspots and no convex edged mirrors which could be a lifesaver in traffic. There are other small niceties and thoughtful features in the car which we thought were worth a mention. To start with there are three charging points in the car - one in the centre console, one in the front armrest and the third is below the rear air-conditioner vents. The second is the pre-wired Aux-in connector in the glovebox and a little netted-pocket that holds a small iPod. The front seatbelt buckles which have a soft felt lining that prevents it from ratting or scarring the plastic trim when not in use are truly attention to detail.

Then of course, there are the ever-so lovely string-of-pearls Audi signature LED running lamps which from a distance look like bison horns and the whole effect of the A4 coming up in your rear-view mirror is quite dramatic. The car looks absolutely aggressive and menacing and makes you want to move out of the way. It's almost quite devilish and this one design element really does make Audi's stand out from the other cars today. There are plenty of surprising things about the A4 3.0 TDI, starting with its steep price tag. And the absolutely unfaltering audiophile class B&O audio kit is something that truly makes you hear notes you've never heard before. Let’s also not forget all that oomph and the fact that there's really quite nothing that comes close to the performance that this beefy diesel delivers. So, is this A4 justified in its steep price tag? The answer to those looking for yet another run-of-the-mill entry-level luxury sedan is quite simply – No. For that there are the regular A4's which start at a more realistic 27Lakhs. But if you have the money and you really want the hairiest A4 around, just get yourself one of these. Sure, you'll have to live with the less than perfect rear legroom and not so much metal for the money. But it's what below the bonnet that really counts in this case. Just goes to show that even mere mortals can grow devilish horns once they succumb to the temptation of flooring that accelerator in this very fiendishly fast A4! For complete road test of the Audi A4, click here.


Test Data

Engine Specifications

3.0-litre V6 TDI common rail, 240bhp, 500Nm  View specifications

Speedo Error

Speedo Reading (kph) Actual Speed (kph)
40 39.6
60 59.6 
80 79.2
100 99.1
120 118.2 
140 137.1 

Max in Gear

Gear Speed (kph@rpm)
1st  44.3@4500
2nd  88.7@5000
3rd  124.2@4700
4th  166.1@4600
5th  219.6@4000
6th  250@4000*

Performance Test Data

Top Speed 219.6kph 
0-60kph 3.2secs 
0-100kph 7.3secs 
Quarter Mile (402m) 15.1secs@148.7kph 
Braking 80-0kph 30.3m
30-50kph (kickdown) 2.1secs
50-70kph (kickdown) 2.4secs

Fuel Efficiency

  City Highway Overall Worst
Mileage (kpl)  9.63  14.35 10.57   7.74
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