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  1. #1
    Anito's Avatar
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    Is the B7 really a new car

    I've been looking (with great dissapointment) at the new stuff about this new car and ask myself is it reslly a new car?

    To me this is more of a B6 mid-life fresh-up marketed as a new car for sales. The B6 has been on sale in the UK for less than 4 years and I can't believe Audi would have created a completely new car in this time. Also consider that broadly speaking it looks the same, the B5 & B6 look nothing like each other.

    If you take the B5 as an example that had a re-vamp in 99/2000 then a year or so later the truly new carrived, the B6.

    I know the B7 is touted as having different panels, new technology, etc but again the B5 went through the same process.

    What do you guys think?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    It is a facelift, nothing more. Everything below the skin, other than a few suspension, brake, electronic tweaks, and revised A6 like interior, is the same as the B6. Audi have never said that it was THE new A4, just a revised one.

    The chassis is exactly the same, so despite all the claims from Audi that it is a far better drive, it probably isn't.

    The new passat is out mid next year, I think. I can't remember which came out first, the A4 or the Passat on the B6 platform. But I should think that if the new Passat comes out next year, a new A4 should not be too far behind.

    Having said that, I would think this facelifted version should be around for at least 2 years to make all the money spent on the revisions worth while.

  4. #3
    imported_Macduff
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    It is basically a facelift but there are some biggish changes like moving the engines further back to improve weight distribution. It also gets a new line up of engines

    I believe the Passat is still on the B5 platform. I assume that the new one will be B7 and the a brand new A4 would be B8

  5. #4
    yak
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    B8 in just few years? Unless they've renamed the B7 to B8, I don't see that being possible. Most likely this is just B6 still with little facelift, as new A4 is projected to 2006-07.

    - Yak

  6. #5
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    [ QUOTE ]
    Macduff said:
    It is basically a facelift but there are some biggish changes like moving the engines further back to improve weight distribution. It also gets a new line up of engines

    I believe the Passat is still on the B5 platform. I assume that the new one will be B7 and the a brand new A4 would be B8

    [/ QUOTE ]

    But from what I've heard the Passat chaais won't be the same one. I think they're using a stretched Golf platform. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

  7. #6
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    I thought the Passat was on a smaller version of the A6 platform, and not an A4 platform.


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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    More importantly, how different to drive is the B7 S4 compared with the B6 S4? If the rest of the range has 'learnt' from the S4's suspension settings then has the suspension on the S4 changed?

    Also, what of the fact that the engines are now 'further back'? Is this possible with the V8 or is it too big to move back further?

    Basically, therefore, does the B7 S4 drive exactly the same as the B6?

  9. #8
    imported_ndrummond
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    What's changed in all B7 models including the S4 is that they now utilise a shorter gearbox, which is what enables all engines to be moved rearwards. It's only 4cm (1.6 inches) but this is enough to reduce the total amount of weight bearing on the front wheels to noticeably improve steering feel, especially under braking.

    The re-luanch of the S4 appears to be very low key. This may be because the new RS4 is on the launch pad for March 2005 or because Audi plans to update the S4 with the new 4.2 litre FSI engine as soon as it is ready.

  10. #9
    scoTTy's Avatar
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    I can't see the FSI going in the S4. That's the RS4 lump.

  11. #10
    imported_S4Mate
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    [ QUOTE ]
    drum said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    scoTTy said:
    I can't see the FSI going in the S4. That's the RS4 lump.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    The next generation S4, (based on the B8 A4 platform, which is already on the drawing board), will almost certainly get the 4.2 FSI unit if the current one doesn't. As you know, FSI engines turbocharge well, so the same engine could be fitted with bi-turbos the RS4 that arrives after the B7 version. (Of course, there may be no oil left in the world by that time, so it's pure speculation!)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Surely we know that the FSI is not going in the B7 S4, after all the car has been launched?

    I can't help but think Audi is going to be well behind for a few years until the B8 and the B7 may not be enough to plug the gap. Other than a re-skin the B7 has not changed much and meanwhile even relatively basic marques are creeping ahead. The new 3 series will have the latest technology and will set the bench mark, i drive (even if no one likes it), SMG, keyless entry, head up diplay, electronic parking break, etc. Menawhile we will have to wait 2-3 years for any of this stuff even though Audi already has the technology for most of it, DSG etc.
    But then again, when the RS4 comes along it will be hard to resist even without the bells and whistles.


  12. #11
    imported_ndrummond
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    The B7 S4 has at least 3 years to run, but I am not sure whether the current five-valve 4.2 V-8 it uses can last that long because it may not be Euro IV emission compliant. If this proves to be the case, then Audi will have to replace it across all models that presently have it by 2006. While the new 4.2 FSI meets all future emission requirements, it also offers better fuel economy and performance, so why not fit it to the S4 as soon as it is ready?

    Your post is interesting, because it raises the question of what Audi will do to replace the B7 chassis. Earlier this year, there was talk of Audi moving to rear-wheel drive platforms, which would have truly put the brand on a par with BMW and MB. The plan was subsequently vetoed by Bernd Pischetsreider (Head of VW) because he said that Audi drivers prefer the characteristics of front-wheel drive cars: they understeer on the limit rather than oversteer, so there's less chance of spinning on wet or icy winter roads. As a result of Pischetsreider's change of heart, Audi has had to re-commence the development process for the next A4, which means that B7 may need to soldier-on for longer than planned. But, you're absolutely right: it is already long in the tooth, especially compared to the new 3-Series.

    I actually agree with Pischetsreider and believe that Audi should engineer a front wheel drive platform, but WITH THE ENGINE MOUNTED BEHIND THE FRONT AXLE. This won't give Audis a perfect 50:50 weight balance, but will dramatically improve handling without compromising safety. By the way, you need only look at the original Mini's record number of wins of the Monte Carlo Rally to see how a front-wheel drive car can dramatically outperform rear-wheel drive ones. BMW's marketing hype is merely a point of view, not gospel.

    On the technical side, Audi's engines are certainly on a par with those of BMW. Its FSI technology is class of the field. DSG is well up on dodgy SMG. Audi's latest SatNav system is light years ahead of BMW's. And the A6 already has most of the toys you describe. So Audi is not as far behind as you might think.

    The A4 is one Audi's most important models and B6/ B7 is not as good as B5 was when it came out. They need to up their game, but at least they recognise this. B8 needs to be awesome, Audi is committted to making it so, and has the necessary resources (having incidently plundered BMW's design department).

    Finally, Audi has two acrucial dvantages that mean I will replace my M3 coupe with a B7 RS4 before doing so with the next generation 3-Series: GREAT STYLING, especially compared to the anaemic new E90, and even better BUILD QUALITY. I don't think Walter da Silva's design direction has yet hit its stride, but will almost certainly do so if recent concepts, such as the Nuvolari or Le Mans are anything to go by.

    BMW is in a situation where it is trying to maintain quality as it ramps up production volumes, whereas as VW/ Audi already has the sales volumes and is trying to ramp up quality. I'd rather buy a car from someone committed to quality rather than volume. In fact, I rather wish by BMW was less complex so had a better chance of working properly.

  13. #12
    imported_S4Mate
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    I agree, Audi is not that far off on the new technology. My concern is that the current A4 platform is particular is not geared up to take all the latest advances and will not be until the next platform.

    There was an interesting article in the papers at the weekend talking about the prestige German marques slipping down the quality/reliability tables. All sorts of reasons were cited but one of them was their increasing use of sophisitcated electronics. Traditionally the German majors have tried to do as much as possible in house, now they are switching to using outside suppliers and this is causing all sorts of headaches. It reinforces your plea to BM to reduce the complexity and make sure things work.

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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    On the FWD vs RWD debate, I believe that I have read somewhere that Audi are thinking of changing the bias on quattros from 50:50 to possible 40:60 FWD:RWD to get a better feel?

    Any news or comments?

  15. #14
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    As with many many things, it's something they're looking at. This doesn't mean that it will or won't happen though. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    [ QUOTE ]

    Your post is interesting, because it raises the question of what Audi will do to replace the B7 chassis. Earlier this year, there was talk of Audi moving to rear-wheel drive platforms, which would have truly put the brand on a par with BMW and MB. The plan was subsequently vetoed by Bernd Pischetsreider (Head of VW) because he said that Audi drivers prefer the characteristics of front-wheel drive cars: they understeer on the limit rather than oversteer, so there's less chance of spinning on wet or icy winter roads. As a result of Pischetsreider's change of heart, Audi has had to re-commence the development process for the next A4, which means that B7 may need to soldier-on for longer than planned. But, you're absolutely right: it is already long in the tooth, especially compared to the new 3-Series.

    I actually agree with Pischetsreider and believe that Audi should engineer a front wheel drive platform, but WITH THE ENGINE MOUNTED BEHIND THE FRONT AXLE. This won't give Audis a perfect 50:50 weight balance, but will dramatically improve handling without compromising safety. By the way, you need only look at the original Mini's record number of wins of the Monte Carlo Rally to see how a front-wheel drive car can dramatically outperform rear-wheel drive ones. BMW's marketing hype is merely a point of view, not gospel.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well have you taken delivery of your new Audi yet? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on its handling after your 3 series...if you ask me Pischetsreider is an idiot. (cue sales figures etc)

    One of the biggest problems with front wheel drive and quattro is weight distribution - namely that the engine drives the front wheels and must therefore be "in line" with them. BMW are able to shift weight further back because the front wheels are not driven.

    Add the lack of torque steer and improved traction and you already have a convincing argument for RWD without needing to resort to Top gear slides out of every corner. The nail in the coffin is BMW suspension which manages to resist roll and pitching whilst remaining compliant.

    IMO Audi is no more than the posh face of VW / Skoda. The cars are nicely put together, aggresively styled, "desirable", allegedly technologically advanced and well styled, but are basically crap to drive. No matter what engine they put in them I would prefer the equivalent model from BMW. I cannot wait to get rid of my A3 and back into a BMW! Bring on the new 3 series - I will never buy another Audi unless A)they move to RWD, or B) I have children and need the extra space afforded by FWD.

  17. #16
    yak
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    Exactly, FWD cars are a much better in winter conditions, because then it's slippery [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]. Not just safer, but more pleasure to drive because of safety, and knowing that it won't get stuck so easily. AWD is of course yet another step forward.

    But with the ugly design of new Audis, any superiour technology is ruined.

    - Yak

  18. #17
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    scoTTy said:
    I can't see the FSI going in the S4. That's the RS4 lump.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    No. The RS4 gets a highly tweaked version of the existing 5-valve 4.2 litre V-8. Instead of pushing out 344 bhp it will generate 425 bhp.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Drum,

    Now it's all out in the open I can admit I knew Audi's plans as far back as last February '04. I bought my S4 fully informed on all of these details thanks to a good contact inside Audi UK.

    Of course I couldn't come clean with the details so have had to sit on it until now.

    I just felt I had to come clean on this. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  19. #18
    imported_ndrummond
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    You cunning man, ScoTTY!

    I knew it wasn't a turbo, but I didn't know for sure that it was the FSi engine. All they would admit to was a naturally aspirated, high-revving engine derived from the existing 5-valve (thirsty) 4.2 V-8.

    You probably also know that a two less powerful versions of this engine are also in the pipeline:

    1. 345-350 bhp for the S4 and 4.2 A6
    2. 380 bhp for the S6 and A8.

    I also know that they are working on a bi-turbo version of the standard version that develops 480-500 bhp. I do not know what car it will go in. Who knows, there may be an RS4 plus.

  20. #19
    scoTTy's Avatar
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    I've heard mention of the FSI for the S4 but I'm not sure if they would do an engine swap in an exising model.

    I reckon they may keep it for S4 coupe (assumming it comes) and I guess that may mean they do it across the range. I'm not sure on this one.

  21. #20
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    Re: Is the B7 really a new car

    Audi have had a long history of replacing engines part way through model life cycles. So have Merc and BMW. I'm not saying that you are wrong but it's happened lots before.

    I am sure that it would have made sense to intro it with the B7 but BMW launched the last 3 series with the 2.8 for only a couple of years afterwhich the 3.0 came out.

 

 

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