Classic Audi style

Sportscar performance, diesel economy and a large boot, you won’t feel the need to complain about Audi A4 3.0 TDI

From the exterior, only the 3.0-litre badge on the bootlid helps you tell the difference between this car and the regular A4 — even the wheels and tyres are the same size as on the A4 2.0 TDi. The badge symbolises the 2967cc V6 diesel, breathing through 24 valves, making 240bhp and a huge 51kgm of torque at 1500rpm. Audi’s famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system with a 40:60 front/rear split is standard makes sure all those horses are headed in the intended direction. The torque on hand makes the car react like a racehorse out of the gates every time you stomp on the throttle pedal. It’s what makes it growl past the 100kph mark in just 6.7 seconds. It’s so quick, that it pretty much makes a light appetizer of the A4 3.2 petrol, eats the Porsche Boxster for lunch and makes dessert of the BMW 530d. Our quest to find the fastest car meant we had to go through our road test archives. We found three — two are powered by big 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8s and one a supercharged 3.0-litre motor — all of which run on petrol.

Lighter too

This one is diesel, which means diesel running costs. It’s the result of taking the 240bhp 3.0-litre motor from the Q5 and slipping it into a car that is 175kg lighter. This means that the car can deliver a mighty knockout punch if needed to. Because it makes its torque so early in the rev band and has a six-speed auto instead of the Q5’s DSG, there’s almost no lag between you pressing the throttle and the car lunging ahead.

Acceleration is effortless. It will potter around town all day, and all it takes is a simple dab of the throttle to send the speedo needle arcing towards high numbers on the dial. The engine’s wide powerband allows the car to pull hard and strong almost all the way to its redline. Gearshifts are smooth and the gearbox is pretty accommodating. Keep your foot down and it’ll fly past the 160kph mark in a brisk 16 seconds. The best part is how the car expresses this aggression in a calm, composed manner.

This engine is very smooth and quiet when you are not being silly with the throttle. Once it’s spinning fast, you can only hear a muted growl from under the hood, with absolutely no vibration. It’s this refinement and its free-revving nature that make this A4 stand out as something really special.

The rest of the car is typical A4 (which is in no way bad thing). The Quattro system gives the 3.0 TDI phenomenal grip. Body roll is negligible and now, and the extra power lets you enjoy the car’s high limits to the fullest.

Happily, none of this is at the expense of the ride. Despite its low-profile tyres, the Audi rides comfortably and does a good job of isolating the passengers from the road.

The car’s interiors exude classic Audi style. The seats are large and comfy, and space is good. While it is pretty well specced, this car didn’t have paddleshifts, which we really missed. Also optional is Audi’s drive select system, which gives you adjustable dampers.

The car rides and handles well without it, so lighten your wallet by Rs 2.45 lakh (what it costs) only if you want to add that extra edge to your handling.

The 3.0 TDI costs Rs 36.40 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai), which makes it a lakh dearer than the 3.2 petrol. But for its sportscar performance, diesel economy, four seats and a large boot, you won’t feel the need to complain. Powerful and practical. Could you possibly want more?


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