First arriving on the scene back in 2009, the Audi A4 Avant’s rugged off-road alter ego, the highly successful “allroad” variant, is back for a second generation at the 2016 edition of the North American International Auto Show.
Visible alterations amount to a redesign that essentially brings the latest allroad in line with the all-new A4 Avant base model. Building on the familiarly svelte proportions of the standard A4, the off-road equivalent gets a set of beefy flared wheel arches as well as a heftier rear bumper, both of which are finished in matt grey or painted in the principle body colour. Despite being a shade larger than its predecessor, the 2016 allroad in fact weighs in at 90kg less than before thanks to an intelligent mix of cutting-edge bodywork materials.
The real changes have been rung in the engine room, with Audi confirming that the A4 Avant’s full complement of TDI and TFSI engines will be available from launch aboard the allroad. This means a choice of up to five different powertrains – both petrol and diesel – each with varying outputs.
Our pick of the petrol bunch is the newly developed 2.0 TFSI. Combined with the A4’s seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox and with a maximum output of 247bhp and 272.9 lb/ft of torque, this 2.0litre petrol will propel the Audi A4 allroad from 0 to 62 mph in just 6.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 152 mph.
If it’s the diesel you desire, try the top spec 3.0l TDI out for size. Its 268bhp and 442.5 lb/ft are none-too-shabby for a car of this nature and as a result the diesel version of the allroad will race to the same target in just 5.5 seconds and up to a marginally superior top speed of 155mph.
As well as the aforementioned seven-speed automatic, the A4 allroad will also be offered with an eight-speed tiptronic unit or a six-speed manual depending on the chosen powertrain.
Naturally, Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system is standard on all A4 models, the new allroad being no exception. The higher-riding allroad gets 34mm more ground clearance over its standard A4 counterpart and will also be offered with optional adaptive suspension from launch. This function sees damper settings altered either automatically or at the push of a button to fine-tune handling when the going gets rough.
Lighter, revamped electromechanical power steering directs the allroad’s 17-inch alloy wheels, whilst inside the standard multi-media interface with its 8.3 inch touch display can be upgraded to Audi’s optional all-digital 12.3-inch virtual cockpit.
Production of the new Audi A4 Avant allroad is already underway with European order books set to open this summer.