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Audi

Country of Origin:
Germany
Hungary
Slovakia

Models:
A3
A4 / S4
A6
A8 / S8
Q7
TT
Key:
* Top speed electronically limited
2.5SC 2.5-litre supercharged engine
2.5TC 2.5-litre turbocharged engine
2.5D 2.5-litre diesel engine
2.5TD 2.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine
I4 4-cylinder engine in inline configuration
V6 6-cylinder engine in V-shaped configuration
FWD   Front-wheel-drive platform
RWD   Rear-wheel-drive platform
4WD   Four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive platform
5M   5-speed manual
5A   5-speed automatic
5AM 5-speed automanual
CVT Continuously variable auto transmission
l/100km   Litres of fuel consumed every 100 kms

Audi A3

The A3 hatchback slips into Audiís line-up as the companyís smallest and cheapest model. Sharing its platform with the new Golf, the main A3 models available here are a 1.6-litre four and a 2.0-litre four, both with front-wheel-drive, but while engines such as a 2.0-litre turbo four are not officially offered, a few local dealers offer the 3.2-litre V6, complete with Quattro all-wheel-drive. We confirmed that many local dealerships do not stock the faster models, but Audi's PR people, apparently disconnected from the local dealer network, argue that they are in fact available. Transmission choices are limited to a six-speed automatic in this region. The four-cylinder engines can be had in either three-door or five-door Sportback form, though again it depends on the local dealer. Standard features on the four-cylinder models include four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, power windows, power locks with keyless remote, cloth seats and a CD player. Although itís a compact car, the A3 is pricey. It tries to justify its price with a well-built exterior and a pleasant interior, as well as a badge that no one respects yet. The biggest challenge the A3 faces is getting buyers to accept its relatively high price tag. For what is offered, we wouldn't.


Premium Compact Hatchback



Road Tests & Articles:
2005 Audi A3 2.0 Sportback road test

Competitors:
BMW 1-Series
Renault Megane
Peugeot 307
Price Range
Dhs 86000 - 138600 (US$ 23400 - 37700)
Body Styles
3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback
Weight (kg)
1295 - 1315
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
1.6 I4 FWD
2.0 I4 FWD
3.2 V6 4WD
6A
6A
6AM
102
150
250
148
200
320
8.0
8.4
9.8
12.9
9.7
6.3
183
214
250
Good
Smart looks, well-built, space
Bad
Price, base engine power




Audi A4 / S4

The Audi A4 received a recent facelift which gave it a corporate nosejob, among other things. Available as a sedan and a convertible in this region. The wagon is not offered here, for obvious reasons. Engines for the sedan include a 2.0-litre normally-aspirated four and a 2.0-litre turbocharged four, along with a 1.8-litre turbocharged model cropping up at random dealerships. The sedan can also be ordered in hot S4 and hotter RS4 form from a few dealerships, which adds a V8 engine and sporting suspension, among other goodies. The cabriolet can be had in this region with a 3.2-litre V6 as well as the 2.0-litre turbo four. There is a choice of a six-speed manual for all engines, though they are not officially offered. Standard on the front-wheel-drive models is the Multitronic CVT automatic, a transmission system which does not use gears. The all-wheel-drive models get a traditional automatic only. Changes over the previous model include new dynamic suspension, a new braking system with larger discs and automatic brake disc wiping for better performance in wet weather, advanced front lighting with available pivoting front lights, advanced rollover and better on-road stability. Features include aluminium or wood trim, six-CD changer, auto door locking, a bunch of airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system and an optional S-Line body kit. The S4 or even the 3.2-litre sedan are normally not offered at most dealers, though you could probably get one if you pay them enough.


Premium Compact Sedan / Convertible



Road Tests & Articles:
2006 Audi A4 1.8T road test

Competitors:
BMW 3-Series
Infiniti G35
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Price Range
Dhs 109000 - 290500 (US$ 29600 - 79000)
Body Styles
4-door sedan, 2-door convertible
Weight (kg)
1555 - 1825
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
2.0 I4 FWD
1.8TC I4 FWD
2.0TC I4 FWD
3.2 V6 4WD
4.2 V8 4WD
4.2 V8 4WD
CVT
CVT
CVT
6A
6AM
6M
130
163
200
255
344
420
195
225
280
330
410
430
8.0
8.4
8.4
10.2-11.4
12.5
13.2
10.4
8.9
7.6
7.1-7.4
5.8
5.0
205
220
241
250*
250*
250*
Good
Clean looks, nice interior, quiet ride, build quality
Bad
Base model performance, patchy model availability




Audi A6

The Audi A6 is available as a sedan and a wagon in this region, though V8-powered S6 and RS6 variants are not sold offiically. The engines available in the front-wheel-drive platform are the 2.4-litre and the 3.2-litre V6 powerplants, and in the Quattro all-wheel-drive platform, the 3.2-litre V6 and the rare 4.2-litre V8 motors. The transmission of choice in these cars is either the CVT or the traditional six-speed automatic, depending on model. The S-Line sports package is available on 3.2 and 4.2 sedans. Other features include a Bose surround sound standard on the 4.2, adaptive cruise control and adaptive air suspension are available, and 17-inch wheels are standard on the 3.2, while the 4.2 gets 18-inch rims. The A6 attempts to offer a blend of comfort and performance, and the Quattro models certainly do well here. The 3.2-litre does a good job of lugging the A6 around, while the V8 is pure muscle. The front-wheel-drive models are purely for cosmetic purposes, considering the wrong wheels put the power down, unlike rear-wheel-drive offerings from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.


Luxury Midsize Sedan



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
BMW 5-Series
Lexus GS
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Price Range
Dhs 145000 - 252700 (US$ 39400 - 68700)
Body Styles
4-door sedan
Weight (kg)
1820 - 1880
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
2.0TC I4 FWD
2.4 V6 FWD
3.2 V6 FWD/4WD
4.2 V8 4WD
CVT
CVT
6A/CVT
6A
170
177
255
335
280
230
330
420
8.5
9.8
9.9-11.2
13.2
8.7
9.2
7.0-7.1
6.1
220
226
250*
250*
Good
Handsome looks, V8 power, interior
Bad
Front-drive handling limits, average base engine power




Audi A8 / S8

The A8 is the most imposing of the Audi range. Most noticeable is the big single-frame grille on all models. Engines available in front-wheel-drive form include the 3.2-litre V6 in this region, while all-wheel-drive Quattro offerings include the 4.2-litre V8, although some dealers do offer the 6.0-litre V12 too. All these models are sold here only in long wheelbase form, but there is also a sweet short-wheelbase S8 model, again only from some dealers, that is powered by a Lamborghini-sourced 5.2-litre V10. Basic features on A8 models include a parking system with graphic display, adaptive front lighting, new 18-inch wheel designs, optional 19-inch performance tyres with the Sport Package, a revamped Driver Information Centre; a glove box lock and a leather interior. The 4.2-litre, 6.0-litre and 5.2-litre models all use Audiís Quattro all-wheel-drive. The A8 uses an all-aluminium frame with a fully pneumatic suspension system. Its aluminium four-link front axle and trapezoidal-link rear axle suspension has air spring struts at each wheel, with sensors that continually monitor and adjust the damping, and automatically level the car. The 3.2-litre uses a CVT automatic transmission, while the rest of the models use a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with manual mode and available wheel-mounted paddles. Audiís Multi Media Interface control system can be used to monitor or control such things as the radio, phone, climate control, stereo or lighting profiles of the LED illumination in the door trim and foot wells. The Quattro models are at least a step in the right direction in combating its German brethren.


Luxury Large Sedan



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Lexus LS430
BMW 7-Series
Mercedes S-Class
Price Range
Dhs 259000 - 454100 (US$ 70500 - 123400)
Body Styles
4-door sedan, 4-door long sedan
Weight (kg)
1945 - 2150
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
3.2 V6 FWD
4.2 V8 AWD
5.2 V10 AWD
6.0 V12 AWD
CVT
6A
6A
6A
255
335
450
450
330
420
540
580
9.6
11.5
12.5
13.0
7.9
6.4
5.0
5.2
250*
250*
250*
250*
Good
Sharp styling, power, interior, relatively light
Bad
Alum body repair expensive, front-drive base model




Audi Q7

All-new in 2007, the Q7 is the first proper 4WD off-roader to bear the Audi name. It is based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, though it shares mostly drivetrain components. The Q7 is larger in all dimensions than its relatives, and is named after its Quattro all-wheel drive system. The Q7 is available with only a 4.2-litre V8 in this region, so as not to compete directly with the Touareg, with a six-speed automatic using a Tiptronic manual mode. The V8 features standard seven-passenger seating which, if available, can be optioned to six-passenger by changing the second-row bench to two individual seats. Standard features include self-levelling bi-Xenon headlamps, leather seating surfaces, MMI computer with colour screen, in-dash six-CD changer and Bose premium sound system. Available items include 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels, three-panel panorama sunroof, advanced parking system with rearview camera, keyless lock and ignition system, and parking sensors. The Q7 is a proper luxurious 4WD that can also go off-road, in the vein of the Range Rover models, though it looks a lot like a minivan.


Luxury Midsize 4WD



Road Tests & Articles:
none

Competitors:
Range Rover Sport
BMW X5
Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Price Range
Dhs 237000 - 280000 (US$ 64500 - 76100)
Body Styles
5-door wagon
Weight (kg)
2390 - 2480
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
4.2 V8 4WD 6A 350 440 14.2 7.4 244*
Good
Space, interior, decent off-road ability
Bad
Fuel economy, mixed looks, weight




Audi TT
coming soon

As with the previous model, the new TT is built on the VW Golf platform. The new TT will be available with numerous engines, including a 2.0-litre turbo and a 3.2-litre V6. The TT roadster will debut late into 2007. The new TT is a far more aggressive sports car than the model it replaces, which was more of a show car than a sports car. Like its predecessor, the curvy profile generates a lot of aerodynamic lift at the rear end, so the new TT adopts a rear spoiler which recesses smoothly into the tail at low speeds and raises automatically at over 120 kph. The new car is larger and heavier, so to compensate for the additional metal, the hood, front fenders, roof and doors are made of aluminium, while the panels of the rear body remain steel to help balance the car. Quattro all-wheel-drive is optional on the front-driven 2.0 turbo, while standard on the 3.2 V6. Manual gearbox is standard, but a DSG automanual is optional. As was the case with the previous TT, the new car is built as part of a joint effort, with bodywork and paint done at the German plant in Ingolstadt, and vehicle assembly is completed at Audi's Hungarian plant in Gyor.


Premium Sports Coupe



Road Tests & Articles:
2007 Audi TT first look

Competitors:
BMW Z4
Honda S2000
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
Price Range
Dhs 145000 - 180000 (US$ 39400 - 48900)
Body Styles
2-door coupe
Weight (kg)
1280 - 1430
Version
Performance
Engine
Gearbox
Power (hp)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel Econ (l/100km)
0-100 kph (sec)
Top Speed (kph)
2.0TC I4 FWD
3.2 V6 4WD
6M/6AM
6M/6AM
200
250
280
320
8.5
10.3
6.8-7.0
5.8-6.0
238
248*
Good
Looks, fair power, decent handling, gearbox
Bad
Useless rear seat, luggage trunk, price






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Drive Arabia serves Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Northern Emirates car markets, but is also relevant to the Middle East region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.