Audi's new A4 Avant arrives

Audi's new A4 Avant arrives

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Audi's big news from this year's Geneva auto show is the release of its updated A4 Avant. The all-wheel drive wagon is six inches longer than its predecessor, giving it more than 50 cubic feet of storage space. The Avant comes with a choice of two direct-injection gasoline and three diesel engines: the top-of-the-range V-6 is good for 265 horsepower. The Avant is based on the same layout as the updated A4 sedan that we saw in Frankfurt last year, and features the same suspension configuration and the same Audi drive select system, which lets drivers influence how the engine, automatic transmission, and steering system respond.

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Onboard tech options are also similar to those in the sedan, including an available 505-watt Bang and Olufsen audio system with 14 speakers. That option puts its audio on par with higher-end Audi models such as the S5 coupe and the R8.

Curiously, we noticed that the updated MMI interface on the Avant, which controls its GPS navigation system and multimedia options, appears to be available in one of two configurations. On one of the display cars, the MMI wheel was mounted on the central console between the two front seats, while on another one it was mounted vertically on the central console. Audi makes a reference to "MMI basic plus" in its media kit, which leads us to believe that it might be offering several versions of its technology package with the A4 Avant.

Click here for our coverage of the 2008 Geneva auto show.


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