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Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.5TDi

amoffat Jan 8, 2003

  1. amoffat

    amoffat Member

    This week's Autocar has review of the new 2.5TDi for the cab. Haven't really got time to retype the whole article so here are the main points:

    Using the same 2.5V6 with 163bhp, it cranks out 0-60mph in 9.9secs and goes 140mph. These figures look even more compelling next to the 170bhp 2.4 V6 petrol version; it cuts just 0.2secs from the 0-60 sprint and musters maximum speed of only 139mph.

    The diesal will manage an economical 39mpg next to the 2.4 with only 28.8, lower emissions will help the company car drivers too.

    Apparently the cruising refinement of the diesal does not really affect the cab apart from on cold starups. Motorway noise is not an issue unless you push way above motorway limits (not that any of us would do that /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif) due to the 3 layer electric hood.

    But is it fun? Apparently NO. Autocar say that you would still be better off with a 3-series cab (hsssss) if fun is what you are after.

    Typically Audi, it has vague steering... now theres a surprise /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    Autocar's view is the the diesal is the engine to go for in the A4 cab range.

    The Autocar Verdict The best A4 cabrio is now a diesal: high on style, yet low on running costs. But its still no match for a 3-Series on the road
  2. A4Steve

    A4Steve Guest

    Someone move this to the smoking room please..........

  3. viffer

    viffer New Member

    Thanks for the info. Might even buy a copy of Autocar on the way home today.

    Looking forward to my A4 cab's arrival - should be end of next week.

  4. gtdog

    gtdog Member

    The Sunday Times Jorno gave it a bit of a bashing too, I wonder if they just coppied the Autocar report? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
  5. Moresauce

    Moresauce Member

    The title of the Sunday Times article was 'Marriage made in Hell' basically said great car and great engine but this sort of diesel spoils the whole reason d'etre of the audi cabriolet.

    Here is the article from the The Sunday Times:

    A marriage made in hell: Andrew Frankel drives the Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.5 TDI

    I like diesel. In certain circles such an admission still has people smirking quicker than owning up to an admiration for Barclay James Harvest. But such detractors will soon be laughing on the other side of their faces.
    A diesel uses less fuel than a petrol car, drastically cuts company car tax on bigger cars and for private buyers will always hold its value better than a petrol-powered equivalent. Diesels offer more usable performance, their mid-range torque proving more effective in the real world than petrol cars’ top-end power. For almost all reasons and for almost all purposes diesel has the potential to be better than petrol. Almost.

    Allow me to introduce the Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.5 TDI, the first and only diesel convertible on sale.

    I like the A4 Cabriolet: I respect its engineering integrity, admire its brilliant cabin and quietly covet it for its looks. And you know already how I feel about diesel. My problem is with their marriage.

    In fact, I started having problems with it before I’d even sat in the car. I heard a rattling outside the sitting room one morning and knew without looking that it had arrived. I went to the door, saw a beautiful convertible and could not equate that sight with the sound that assailed my ears.

    On paper, the arguments are almost all in its favour. At £26,385 the diesel A4 convertible is a little (£1,715) more expensive than the petrol 2.4 litre version. While both cars are powered by V6s the diesel 2.5 has 163bhp, just seven fewer than the petrol, but it also has 229lb ft of torque, some 59lb ft more than the 2.4. Audi claims the diesel is just 0.2sec slower to 62mph (9.9sec) and has a top speed of 140mph, one more than the petrol car. In reality, however, all that torque ensures the diesel is much, much quicker.

    The financial case is unarguable, too: compare combined fuel consumption of 39.2mpg for the diesel with 29.1mpg for the petrol or a company car tax bill that saves a higher-rate taxpayer £334 per year despite the higher purchase price.

    Unfortunately, these are sensible arguments for a car that is unlikely to be bought for sensible reasons. People who buy cars like this want you to think they’re free spirits who love feeling the wind in their hair. In fact, all they really want is to show off and they may feel their carefully crafted image can do without a loud rattle to announce their arrival.

    Oddly enough, I don’t think diesels need to be a complete turn-off and should BMW ever decide to install its sublime 3 litre six in the 3-series convertible (as it shortly will in the coupé), I would expect it to fare much better. Not only is the engine more powerful, economical and tax efficient than this Audi alternative, critically for such cars it is massively smoother. Waft up to the pub or someone’s house in a BMW diesel and they’d probably not guess which pump it was filled from. In the Audi you’d never get away with it.

    The car is easy to fault in other areas, too: it’s 187lb heavier than the petrol 2.4 and it’s all under the bonnet, making the car even more nose-heavy. By BMW convertible standards it feels ponderous when driven fast yet it rides less well too. And while the diesel rattle subsides once you’re up to speed, the engine never threatens to offer more than modest performance, at least not with the otherwise superb optional CVT (continuously variable transmission) fitted to the test car.

    Clearly, the union of car and engine was well meant but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Though the A4 soft top is a fine example of its breed and the engine is perfectly capable, they were not meant for each other. Would you wear a Paul Smith suit with Timberland boots?

    Vital statistics

    Model Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.5 TDI
    Engine type V6, 2496cc, turbocharged
    Power 163bhp @ 4000rpm
    Torque 229lb ft @ 1400rpm
    Transmission Five-speed manual or Multitronic CVT
    Suspension (front) Independent, four links, coil springs, anti-roll bar; (rear) Independent multi-link, coil springs
    Tyres 215/55 R16
    Fuel/CO2 39.2mpg (combined), 197g/km
    Co car tax £2,412 for a higher-rate taxpayer
    Top speed 105mph
    Acceleration 0 to 62mph: 9.9sec
    Price £26,385
    Verdict World's first diesel cabrio is brave but unconvincing


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