Audi has become a major player in the U.S., and a recent report that it sold more vehicles in June than in any month since entering the market 42 years ago only served to solidify that fact. Audi set a new all-time monthly U.S. sales record with 12,664 vehicles sold, a 26 percent increase over June 2011, and the 18th consecutive monthly sales record.
On the heels of those figures came the announcement that Audi will bring back the iconic “allroad” in the 2013 lineup, a popular model discontinued in 2004. Audi honchos believe the time is right for the return of a station wagon type of vehicle with allweather capabilities and great driving dynamics. The new allroad does that and improves on the original by combining the best elements of a rugged crossover and an executive sedan. It’s faster and more fuel efficient, and with 7.1 inches of ground clearance, it meets the outdoor lifestyle needs of today’s consumer.
The allroad has a sleek design and a taller profile, rides on 18-inch wheels (19-inchers are optional), and has a unique single-frame grille design with vertical chrome struts and angled upper corners. Stainless steel skid plates and side sills, contrasting body trim and aluminum raised roof rails highlight the profile, while matte-finished lower bumpers and wheel arches are standard. Sleek headlights and circular fog lights finish off the front, while circular dual-exhaust openings polish the rear.
The allroad is wonderfully responsive with its 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged, directinjected four-cylinder engine that delivers 211 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque, mated to a fuel efficient eight-speed automatic transmission. It clocks 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds; Quattro all-wheel drive is standard and a new electromechanical steering system saves weight, improves fuel economy and refines performance.
On the inside, the allroad is spacious, with plenty of front-seat headroom and 27 cubic feet of cargo space, almost double that with the rear seats folded flat. A panoramic sunroof is standard, along with eight-way power seats, a choice of three wood inlays and a 505-watt Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 14 speakers. The allroad is loaded with technology, including adaptive front lighting and Audi side assist, which uses radar to monitor the space behind and beside the car and detects any vehicles in adjacent lanes. An optional Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control, which keeps the vehicle at a constant distance from the vehicle ahead.
Allroad also offers Audi Connect, a Google Earth integration to navigation that gives panoramic high-resolution 3D satellite views and aerial imagery. Audi Connect also provides a factory vehicle integration of Wi-Fi service, allowing connections for up to eight devices.
Base price on the 2013 Audi allroad is $39,600.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.