The reply would have been an unequivocal sure had the A4 been priced extra aggressively, says Pavan Lall.
Photographs: Kind courtesy, Audi India
Despite its distinctive model attributes that mix understated luxurious with superior engineering, the Audi is but to take pole place in the luxurious sport in India the place it nonetheless trails BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The vehicle model had garnered a substantial amount of consideration from luxurious automotive consumers due to its Bollywood technique below former Audi India heads Benoit Tiers and Michael Perschke.
Tiers and Perschke positioned the firm as a maker of high-tech luxurious SUVs (Q5, Q7) which might be hottest with the in-crowd. Think athletes and Bollywood stars.
While this technique pushed consciousness and translated to gross sales in the brief time period, it didn’t broaden Audi’s volumes past some extent.
That’s as a result of the weak point in the portfolio was all the time its entry-level and mid-sized sedans, which embrace the A4 and the A6.
And these ran neck and neck with the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class.
In reality, for many of final 12 months, due to a new product cycle, Audi didn’t have the A4 sedan in the market. But now that it is right here, anticipate it to push the needle for the German car-maker.
So what’s completely different about the new A4?
The automotive comes with a new two-litre TFSI engine, which is punchier and has extra torque.
There is not any diesel model, which suggests this can be a refined petrol engine. The different new parts embrace the 10-inch multimedia touchscreen, voice management, and gesture-based boot lid opening.
The A4 is extraordinarily quiet and effectively insulated, and is provided with superior suspension that makes it glide over bumpy roads and tough stretches.
However, whereas the suspension and experience high quality match any solidly constructed, heavy German automotive, the smoothness with which its doorways shut and open speaks of the Audi’s trademark use of lightweighting in its rides.
Audi doesn’t depend on anybody materials, however as an alternative goes with what it calls a sensible “materials combine”: Steel, aluminium, magnesium and fiber-reinforced polymers.
Cruising in the A4 is a leap forward from Audis of the previous, however the actual cherry on the cake is the new engine which, in addition to being silent and refined, can be peppy and allows the sedan to carry its personal towards top-notch performers from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
What hasn’t modified are the subtleties that make an Audi an Audi. There’s no sporty flash right here.
The A4 stays restrained and fashionable, and lets its high-quality exterior and interiors drive the message residence.
Class, finesse and efficiency. While the A4 scores excessive on all these fronts, the query is: Are these sufficient to drive volumes and convey back the market share for Audi?
The reply would have been an unequivocal sure had the A4 been priced extra aggressively. But with a sticker value of near Rs 50 lakh on highway for the top-end variant, model pedigree and private desire are what is going to drive its gross sales.
Audi has persistently scored excessive with its line of SUVs that embrace the Q5 and the Q7. But it must up the ante in its vary of sedans, which, whereas being high-tech and high-quality, do not drive volumes like its different German counterparts do. The Audi A4 might effectively change that.
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com