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Motoring News

used Car Checkout AUDI A4 2008 – 2020

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2008 Audi A4 sedan

AUDI A4 2008 – 2020

By EWAN KENNEDY

For too many years the Audi 4 was regarded by the public as a second division player in the prestige German market. That’s now pretty well changed and Audi is now seen as one of the big three alongside Mercedes and BMW.

2008 Audi A4 sedan

2008 Audi A4 sedan

The Audi A4 is sold in a big variety of bodies; sedan, a two-door cabriolet and an Avant station wagon. A further variation is the A4 allroad quattro. Based on the Avant it has increased ground clearance, as well as added body and underbody protection, it’s certainly not an off-roader, but as the name suggests it can be used on all roads, be they sealed or not.

Most Audi A4s are unusual in this class in having front-wheel drive. However, many of the high-performance versions use Audi’s ‘quattro’ all-wheel-drive system for improved handling and acceleration.

Interior design is a longtime hallmark of the Audi marque and the A4 has the sort of quality you normally associate only with top-grade furniture.

2016 Audi A4 Avant wagon

2016 Audi A4 Avant wagon

Space efficiency isn’t as good as you would anticipate from a front-drive car, because the engine is set a fair way back. The rear seats may not be suited to large adults if the front seats are set well back. Later models are better than the original ones, the B8 series arrived here in April 2008 and is larger in all dimensions. It’s still best to take along all those who may be using the rear seats during your pre-purchase road test.

The Audi A4, B9 series, was launched Downunder in stages from February 2016. It is larger in every important dimension, particularly in interior space. Cleverly it is lighter than the smaller B8 as it’s built on the MLB platform. It also has even more aluminium components than in previous models. It’s well worth buying a B9 rather than a B8 if your budget is up to it

These mid-sized Audis are sold in a bewildering range of engines, with four, six or eight cylinders, fuelled by either petrol or diesel. Naturally all the diesels are turbocharged, but an increasing number of petrol engines also get force feeding. The turbos are generally there to reduce fuel consumption, but some sporting turbo variants are set up to squeeze a lot of extra power out of the engine.

Automatic transmissions come as conventional torque-convertor units, as well as double-clutch and continuously variable CVT S tronic systems.

Audi was an early adopter of tiptronic automatics, with the driver able to use manual-type overrides when they felt the computer had got it wrong.

The front-heavy mechanical layout makes for more understeer than we like in early models, but Audi answered criticisms over the years and later models are better balanced. That’s due mainly because of suspension changes, but also due to electronic assistance braking individual wheels as required.

Insurance costs for the Audi A4 are often a little higher than average for its class – even more so for the full-on sports variants. Young and/or inexperienced drivers may be charged very high premiums.

These Audis are complex machines and the amateur mechanic shouldn’t attempt anything more than the most basic servicing. Audi’s Australian dealer network is well established, though relatively limited.

We have heard of no real complaints of parts availability or pricing. Naturally some unusual spare parts may have to be ordered in, perhaps from Germany, but this shouldn’t take more than a few business days.

The Audi S4 and RS4 are sports variants of the A4, though considerably more expensive. They feature significantly more engine performance, revised suspension, steering and braking systems.

You may also care to look at the Audi A5 range of sporty, coupe-like models that share many mechanical components with the A4.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Interiors feature quality materials and are built to a very high standard. But it’s smart to check out their condition as repairs can be pretty expensive.

An engine that has done a lot of work or which hasn’t been serviced correctly may prove difficult to start and blow smoke from the exhaust when accelerated hard. Get a professional’s opinion if there’s even the slightest doubt as repairs aren’t cheap.

If an A4 high-performance turbo engine has a high-pitched whining sound it may have been thrashed. Again, be very wary.

Automatics had problems in some earlier A4s. Check that all gear changes are smooth and quiet and that the transmission doesn’t change up or down unnecessarily. The Australian importer usually fixed cars under warranty, even outside the normal warranty period.

Audis have exceptional corrosion protection and are unlikely to ever give trouble. It’s still wise to have a good look over the car in case it has been incorrectly repaired after a crash.

HOW MUCH?
Expect to pay from $4000 to $7000 for a 2008 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Avant; $8000 to $13,000 for a 2011 2.0 TDi; $11,000 to $16,000 for a 2009 3.0 TDI quattro sedan or a 2014 2.0 TFSI; ; $14,000 to $21,000 for a 2012 3.0 TFSI; $18,000 to $25,000 for a 2017 2.0 TFSI Avant S-Line; $21,000 to $29,000 for a 2016 2.0 TFSI; $25,000 to $33,000 for a 2016 TDI quattro; $30,000 to $41,000 for a 2017 2.0 TDI quattro; $37,000 to $48,000 for a 2018 2.0 TFSI quattro; and $45,000 to $59,000 for a 2020 40 TFSI.

CAR BUYING TIP
It makes sense to shop around for finance before looking for a used car. That way you can avoid the pressure that sales people who stand to get a kickback from financiers.

RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/

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2024 Lotus Emeya Debuts with 675kW

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2024 Lotus Emeya

2024 Lotus Emeya Debuts with 675kW

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Lotus has introduced the all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, a four-door electric ‘coupe’ poised to challenge high-end Porsche Taycan EVs and stake a claim in the burgeoning hyper-GT segment. Boasting an impressive powertrain and striking design, the Emeya is set to redefine electric luxury performance.

The flagship 2024 Lotus Emeya features a dual-motor powertrain delivering an astonishing 675kW and 985Nm of torque. This setup enables the Emeya to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 2.8 seconds, rivaling the performance of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. It achieves a top speed of 256km/h, facilitated by a sophisticated two-speed transmission.

Powered by a 102kWh lithium-ion battery, the Emeya supports ultra-fast DC charging up to 350kW, allowing the battery to recharge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. While Lotus has not yet disclosed the exact range, the fast-charging capability ensures minimal downtime.

The Emeya’s exterior combines bold lines and sharp angles, drawing inspiration from designs by Lamborghini and Fisker. It features a wedge-shaped silhouette, slimline exterior lighting, and a striking yellow and black colour scheme. Aerodynamic efficiency is enhanced by an active front grille, air-dam combination, and an active rear spoiler capable of generating over 215kg of downforce, supported by an active diffuser.

Inside, the Emeya continues its aggressive styling with deeply sculpted bucket seats, chunky door trims, a multi-layered dashboard, and a thick steering wheel. The minimalist digital instrument cluster is complemented by a massive 55-inch augmented reality head-up display (AR HUD) that projects crucial driving information onto the windshield.

During spirited driving, the AR HUD can be switched off in favor of a slim display on the dash, showing essential information only. The interior also features adaptive air suspension as standard and a ‘race-grade’ braking system, ensuring the vehicle can stop almost as quickly as it accelerates.

Lotus has incorporated sustainably sourced and recycled materials throughout the Emeya. The cabin includes repurposed fibres from the fashion industry, PVD aluminium, Alcantara, Nappa leather, and Ultrafabrics PU, reflecting a commitment to eco-friendly luxury.

Ben Payne, Vice President of Design at Lotus Group, commented on the Emeya’s debut: “This is a Lotus like you have never seen before. We’ve built on everything Lotus has achieved so far to create a luxury performance car for the drivers, designed to inspire confidence, exhilarate with raw emotion and pure joy – connecting them to the road.”

While customer deliveries have already begun in China, more details about the Emeya lineup, market availability, and pricing will be revealed in the next quarter. The launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, is expected in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya marks a significant leap forward for Lotus, combining blistering performance, cutting-edge technology, and sustainable luxury. As it prepares to enter the market, the Emeya is set to challenge established players like the Porsche Taycan, offering a compelling new option for enthusiasts of high-performance electric vehicles.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

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Finally, the Toyota 86 We’ve Always Wanted

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2025 Toyota GR86

Finally, the Toyota 86 We’ve Always Wanted

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Toyota could be preparing a radical new version of its GR86 sports car, according to a report from the popular Japanese magazine Best Car, which is known for its well-placed sources in the Japanese auto industry. The new GR86 is expected to debut next year with significant updates that will bring it into direct competition with the Mazda MX-5.

Key Highlights:

  • Potent Powertrain: The new GR86 will reportedly feature the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine from the Yaris GR, paired with Toyota’s hybrid technology. This hybrid setup is claimed to produce more than 220kW.
  • Design Overhaul: The GR86 is expected to grow in size to accommodate the new engine and electric motor. Best Car’s digital render showcases a drastically redesigned front end with a three-tier lighting structure and a prominent bar running the length of the bonnet. The rear end features LED lighting running the length of the back, a prominent rear spoiler, and dual exhausts.
  • Upcoming Sports Car Revolution: Rumours suggest a new sports car revolution in Japan, with Toyota potentially preparing a new Celica and a micro S-FR. The new Toyota Celica is expected to debut at next year’s Tokyo Auto Salon in January. The mini S-FR sports car, believed to be developed in partnership with Daihatsu and Suzuki, will spawn new versions of the Daihatsu Copen and Suzuki Cappuccino.

Toyota GR President Tomoya Takahashi emphasised the importance of collaboration between companies for the future of sports cars. “The sports car market is shrinking. We cannot maintain sports cars as one brand, Toyota,” said Takahashi. “Collaboration between brands will increase in the future. We don’t know with whom we’re going to collaborate.”

The 2025 Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are set to redefine the sports car segment with their potent hybrid powertrains and innovative designs. As the market gears up for a new wave of high-performance vehicles, Toyota’s strategic collaborations and cutting-edge technology ensure that enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to.

 

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2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

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2024 Lotus Emeya

2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record

 

By Jeff Gibbs

The all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, an upcoming electric super-sedan, has set a new benchmark in DC fast-charging technology. With its advanced 402kW peak charging speed, the Emeya can recharge its 102kWh battery from 10% to 80% in just 14 minutes.

Key Highlights:

  • Record-Setting Recharge Speed: The Emeya achieves a 10-80% top-up in just 14 minutes using a 400kW DC charger, maintaining an average charge speed of 331kW.
  • Rapid Range Addition: This translates to approximately 310km of added range in just 10 minutes.
  • Advanced Battery Technology: The Emeya’s cell-to-back battery structure incorporates a cutting-edge cooling system that significantly enhances thermal performance, surpassing many competitors.

Performance and Competition

The Lotus Emeya was tested against several high-profile electric vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW i7, Tesla Model Y, Genesis G80, XPeng G9, Hyundai IONIQ 6, Nio ET5, and BYD Atto 3. This testing highlights the Emeya’s superior charging capabilities, narrowing the gap between the time required to recharge an electric vehicle and refuel a conventional combustion-engine vehicle. However, it’s worth noting that recharging the Emeya for a 310km range still takes five times longer than refueling a combustion engine car like the Porsche Panamera, which takes about two minutes.

Among its competitors, the XPeng G9 was the closest, achieving a peak charge rate of 320kW but averaging around 233kW as it approached 80% capacity.

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

Power and Speed

Designed to compete with the fastest electric vehicles on the market, particularly the Porsche Taycan, the flagship Lotus Emeya boasts impressive performance specs:

  • Acceleration: 0-100km/h in a claimed 2.8 seconds, matching the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
  • Top Speed: 256km/h.
  • Powertrain: Dual-motor setup delivering 675kW and 985Nm.
  • Transmission: Two-speed system for optimised performance.

Official Statements

Lotus Group CEO Qingfeng Feng emphasised the breakthrough in charging technology, stating, “With our industry-leading charging technology available today, Emeya pushes the boundaries for how an EV performs, providing drivers with the confidence to travel anywhere. We’re bringing an unrivalled driving experience in the ultimate grand tourer package, so drivers want to go electric.”

Launch and Availability

Customer deliveries have already begun in China, with the Lotus Emeya set to launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya not only sets a new standard for fast-charging electric vehicles but also promises exceptional performance and driving experience, making it a strong contender in the luxury EV market.

 

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