Instead of switching to a rear-wheel-drive layout such as that which underpins most of its competitors, Audi sticks with front- or all-wheel drive in the A4, the former coming as an entry-level version next spring. In order to combat the inherent handling handicap that is inescapable in this front-heavy drivetrain layout, the A4’s wheelbase has been stretched six and a half inches, to 110.6. That, combined with a reduced front overhang, means the weight distribution moves astern—55.5 percent of the new A4’s 3860 pounds are over the front wheels, which is about three percentage points less than the case of the last V-6 Quattro A4 we tested. To further improve the A4’s dynamic prowess, the all-wheel-drive system favors the rear wheels with a 40/60 front-to-back torque split.
How’s that for progress? What’s more, curb weight is up by just 40 pounds despite increases in overall length and width of 4.6 and 2.1 inches, respectively.
The V-6 hustled our A4 3.2 Quattro test car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, which is an impressive number but absolutely astonishing compared with the 7.5-second time of the last-gen V-6 A4 we tested in October 2005. The previous quarter-mile time of 14.3 seconds at 100 mph improves by 1.4 seconds.
Source: Car and Driver