Ever since its arrival in 1994, the Audi A4 has been credited with helping give the German automaker a much-needed boost during a time when the brand was struggling. Prior to the A4's debut, Audi was going through a prolonged drought in sales. The A4 burst onto the scene as a luxurious compact available as both a sedan and wagon, and was constructed on the Volkswagen's B5 platform, which also hosted the VW Passat. The first generation Audi A4 offered a variety of engines for car buyers in Europe, including diesel options such as a 1.9L with VE technology. However, in North America, the only engine initially offered was a 2.8L V6 taken from its predecessor, the Audi 80. Audi's tiptronic automatic transmission made its first appearance with the dawn of the A4, but the model came standard with a five-speed manual.
At the 1997 Frankfurt Auto Show, Audi premiered several changes to the A4. A 2.5L Turbocharged V6 diesel became available, as did a 2.8L 30-valve petrol V6. Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive became standard and the A4 also received new parts, including headlights, taillights, and door handles. The RS4 Avant joined the roster in 1998 for the 1999 model year, showing off a 2.7L biturbo V6. The second generation of the A4 (VW's B6 platform) was introduced for 2002. Engine choices ranged between a 1.8L four-cylinder or a 3.0L V6 capable of 220 horsepower mated to either a six-speed manual or a new CVT automatic. The A4 Cabriolet (convertible) was ushered in just over a year later in 2003. Produced until 2005, the second generation A4 received high praise, including being named a Consumer Guide Best Buy (2005) and being named a Double Best Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The third generation of the Audi A4 was released in 2006. Two trim levels were offered: the 2.0T and the 3.2. (named after the engine size), each featuring its own unique accessories and design lines. The 2.0T was considered the base trim and came standard with dual-zone climate control and a power-driver's seat. The 3.0 offered a slight upgrade with leather seats, but it was under the hood where the main differences are. The 2.0 is 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine that throws out up to 200 horsepower while the 3.2L V6 pushes out 255. Front-wheel drive is available for all body styles except for the wagon, which comes only with Quattro all-wheel drive. Transmissions such as a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic, and a CVT were also offered.
Audi's stabilizing force, the A4 struts its stuff with superb powertrain technology and refined interior options. Boasting all of the smoothness you could ever hope for, the A4 is as well-known for its handling, quality parts, and for its sharp and lustful appearance. With a slew of options and breezy, efficient performance, the A4 has steadily built its case as the type of model that crosses all boundaries. Drivers of the Audi A4 understand exactly what it is they need from their automobile and their loyalty is met every time they climb behind the wheel.
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