North American Market Details for All-New A4

With the impending debut of the B7 A4 in Paris next week, Audi of America has shared some details surrounding the new car and its equipment levels.

Standard equipment for all models is up from B6 standards. Inside, aluminum interior beltline trim will now come in all cars, along with symphony radio and in-dash 6-disc CD changer mated to a Multi-function 3-spoke steering wheel. A new center console design, said to be North American market-specific, will include 2-cupholders moulded into the console on the passenger side of the emergency brake lever, with an auxiliary power outlet just aft the cupholders.

Also North American market-specific will be driver and passenger seat belt reminders and dual-stage advance airbags with passenger airbag disable indicator located in the main button cluster on the center dashboard.

The chrome side trim on the windows and matching roof rails for Avant models will now extend across the range, including the base 2.0T models.

One of the most talked-about design elements of the new A4 must certainly be the new “shield” grille at the front. There’s been plenty of talk online speculation on how well or unwell the taller North American license plate will fit on the grille’s cross-member, just barely tall enough to house European license plates. We’ve been told by Audi of America that where front license plates are required, a new bracket will be fitted that places the license plate with a very narrow overlap on both the top and the bottom of the crossmember.

Standard wheels will include 16-inch for 2.0T, 17-inch for 3.2 and 18-inch for S4 models. The wheel designs on 2.0T and 3.2 models will carry on with the current 5-spoke designs (16-inch 5-spoke base wheel from A4 1.8T sedan and 17-inch 5-spoke wheel from A4 3.0 with sport package). 2.0T customers will be able to specify the standard 3.2 5-spoke wheel and tires as a stand alone option. Unlike the B6 A4s, both sedan and Avant will share the same wheel packages.

The S4 will change from Avus to the 5-spoke design originally shown on the European RS6.

Audi has added several option packages and a significant list of standalone options, offering new and much-requested equipment such as DVD-based navigation and Bluetooth hands free phone system.

The new DVD-navigation system is one of the more interesting new technologies for North American B7 models. A common attribute of DVD-based systems is that all 50 states can fit on one DVD, versus regional discs for CD based systems. Additionally, customers will be able to spec either Sirius or XM satellite radio equipped units.

With the navigation system, the head-unit can no longer house the internal 6-disc CD changer. For that reason, an external 6-disc changer will be mounted in the glovebox. If that’s not enough, the DVD-based navigation units will also be capable of accepting up to two SD cards.

SD cards are a new industry standard intended for networking digital media, from computers and digital cameras to PDAs and your new Audi. Music can be moved from your computer to the car with ease. The SD Card Association website claims that more than 665 companies around the world have adopted SD technology and that high-capacity 2, 4 and 8 GB cards are on their way to market shortly.

The 2.0T model, replacing the outgoing 1.8T, has been consciously moved closer to the six-cylinder models with equipment such as leather, power seats and wood-trim interior now available for that model.

While the 2.0T can now be had with leather, the 3.2 will exclusively have a premium leather option. This premium leather will be the same in color, but softer and suppler than the standard leather.

A more detailed list of options and packages can be found below.

Start of production for the B7 A4 is November 2004, and the first cars will be introduced into the market by February of 2005 with 2.0T and 3.2 versions of both avant and sedan available at that time. In March, the B7 S4 sedan and avant hit the market.

S-line models are last to market, arriving in the fall of 2005. As we’ve previously published, S-line models will come with 18-inch BBS CH-style wheels, unique S-line front grille, European sport suspension, interior door sill trim with S-line logo, brushed aluminum interior beltline trim, perforated leather steering wheel with S-line badge, and an exterior design package front/rear bumpers and S4 trunk-lid with integrated spoiler.

Earlier this week, Fourtitude reported on North American “S-line” information, along with the publishing of a photograph of a red S-line spec B7 that was released by Audi Sport. We’ve been told that S-line models can be had in three levels in Europe. One includes interior and wheels, another includes exterior aerodynamic package and wheels, while the third includes all three – wheels, interior and aerodynamics. The photograph we published is the former and North American models will include the body kit of the latter.

With the new A4, Audi expects to sell 38,000 units in the USA and 5,200 units in Canada. Of those, the mix will be roughly 80% equipped with automatic transmission and 20% manual. The new S4 is expected to account for 4,500 unit sales per year in the USA and 300 in Canada with a distinctly more enthusiast-driven ratio of 70:30 manual transmissions over automatics.

Audi of America claims that they’ll be holding prices quite closely to the outgoing B6 models with the A4 price rising 0.5 – 4% overall and S4 prices rising just .5% overall.

A4 option packages will include:

Premium Package

– Sunroof

– HomeLink

– Color Trip Computer

– Power Front Seats (2.0T)

– Leather Seating Surfaces (2.0T)

– Driver Seat Memory and Mirrors (3.2)

Audi Package

– Bose Premium Sound system

– US: Satellite Radio (XM or Sirius)

Cold Weather Package

– Ski Sack

– Headlamp Washers (3.2)

– Front and Rear Heated Seats

Sport Package

– Sport Suspension

– 17” 5-spoke “double spoke” design

Lighting Package

– New design bi-xenon headlamps and advanced front lighting

– Interior auto dimming, compass/exterior folding, dimming mirrors

– Rain/light sensor

Audio A4 standalone options will include:

Full-screen DVD navigation and glovebox CD Changer

– “MMI-like” controls within unit, SD card inserts (2)

– Both XM and Sirius Satellite Radio Available

Premium Leather (3.2 Only)

Wood Interior Trim

– 2.0T – walnut

– 3.2 – walnut or varona

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Headlamp Washers (2.0T)

Rear Side Airbags

Bluetooth Phone Prep with Voice Control (Fall 2005)

More info:

SD Card Association

Bluetooth Wireless Info Site

For more discussion on this story, click on the link to our discussion forums to the left.
For more photos of the car in this story, click on the link to our gallery at the right.