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2013 Audi A4 Allroad Overview
For reasons known only to Audi, the tepid-selling Allroad crossover will return to the U.S. market in the summer of 2012. The A4 Allroad will take the place of the reasonably popular A4 Avant wagon. Presented as a 2013 model, this admittedly more utilitarian A4 will boast more terrain-taming—though not exactly seriously off-road-ready—capability as its main claim to fame over its passé Avant sibling. It will, however, keep the wagon’s 5-passenger seating and its vaunted 50.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity (with the rear seats folded), and will also, of course, retain Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) capabilities. It is also expected to continue the Avant’s entry-level luxury touches that make A4 cabins among the most attractive and indulgent on the market. In any case, look for more than 7 inches of ground clearance with the Allroad, as well as 2.5 inches of added height, all complemented by over a half-inch of extra length, as well as some 0.5 inches more girth than the departed wagon. Finally, though specifics haven’t been announced, it is assumed that the Allroad will be offered in the traditional base 2.0T Premium, mid-level Premium Plus and top-shelf Prestige trim lineup.
Some of the more notable features of the 2013 A4 Allroad, in whatever guises it might display and besides its more no-nonsense profile, include plastic or optional stainless steel skid plates and side sills, roof rails, electromechanical power steering and, notably, a driver-selectable Electronic Stability Control feature (ESC) that can be disabled at will for some almost-off-road adventures. Finally, flared fenders and plastic wheel arches give this retread a brawnier look, while a longer, wider wheelbase and options such as the highly touted Audi Drive Select with its inclusive Dynamic Steering feature ought to provide enough agility and ride comfort to make drivers forget they’re tooling around in a midsize crossover designed as much for practicality and sturdiness as for sportiness and entry-level luxury. Beware, however, that this redesigned and somewhat toned-down Allroad, with its full-time Quattro AWD, is not intended for rock crawling. It will, however, get you through gravelly back roads, wintry highways and muddy pastures in style and comfort.
As with the late A4 Avant, the 2013 A4 Allroad boasts a standard 2.0-liter direct-injected (DI) turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine and 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Once more, expect 211 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque from the turbo I4. The Quattro AWD system, meantime, tilts most of the torque toward the rear wheels in normal driving conditions, while constantly monitoring traction and adjusting power instantaneously from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip. This is all guided, once again, by a mechanical center limited-slip differential. Mileage figures are, of course, unavailable for the gasoline-burning turbo I4 that’ll be pushing the weighty Allroad, though already lamentations can be heard that Audi has yet to allow its small, 40-mpg turbodiesel powerplants to grace the shores of the New World.
Anyhow, should the 2013 A4 Allroad indeed be made available in the three common trim variants, look for the 2.0T Premium Quattro editions to carry 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, power adjustable front seats, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, climate control and the usual array of power accessories. Expect, as well, a 180-watt audio system to be standard and to include an MP3-capable single-CD player, 10 speakers and a satellite radio subscription. Added features in the anticipated 2.0T Premium Plus Quattro should include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, universal remote garage door opener, driver's memory settings, Audi music interface for iPhone and iPod, not to mention Bluetooth hands-free communications. In the high-end 2.0T Prestige Quattro level, look for such standard added attractions as Bang & Olufsen premium audio, Audi side assist blind-spot monitoring, Audi’s Advanced Key remote locking/unlocking and keyless ignition system, rear parking sensors and the touted, not to mention simplified, MMI navigation suite with a 7-inch LCD screen.
Options should include Audi Connect WiFi integrated with the MMI system, as well as Audi Drive Select, which features, along with Dynamic Steering, four driver-selectable settings for Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual modes that tweak steering, shifting and engine response to driver taste. Lower trims should be eligible for most of the bells and whistles found standard on the pricier versions, while all trims are expected to be offered with available heated front seats, upsized multi-spoke alloy wheels and radar-controlled adaptive cruise control. Finally, genuine wood cabin trim inserts should be available to join the standard alloy and leather accoutrements in the unusually well-wrought interior of each trim.
Safety equipment for the 2013 A4 Allroad should follow traditional lines, including 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and ESC. Then there are such favorites as front and rear head airbags, front headrest whiplash protection, front side-mounted airbags and turn-signal-integrated mirrors. Additionally, LED daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, pre- and post-collision safety systems and a remote antitheft alarm should remain standard, while adaptive xenon headlights should be standard on the expected Prestige and optional for presumed lower trims.
Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.